9 Spectacular Spots to Relax in a Hammock
What could be better after a strenuous day spent outdoors?
Though they've been around for 1,000 years, hammocks have experienced a renaissance lately. Hammock sales have spiked in the last few years, thanks to brands like ENO and Grand Trunk that specialize in lightweight, easy-to-set-up products. Many campers are trading in their tents for hammocks for a variety of reasons: They’re more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, you don’t need a level spot to set one up, and you get to enjoy the scenery as you fall asleep.
There’s even a day of the year dedicated to celebrating hammocks (National Hammock Day)! Check out these photos of adventurous Instagrammers enjoying some well-deserved relaxation time in stunning places. If you haven’t already embraced the hammock trend, these pics will convince you to pick one up ASAP. (I know I will.)
Zion National Park, Utah
Athabasca Glacier, Canada
Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands
Hamama Falls, Hawaii
Red Cliffs Hiking Trail, Utah
Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee
South Kalimantan, Indonesia
Banff National Park, Canada
Assemble a Camping Emergency Kit
Over packing is a disaster in itself when camping, especially if you have a multi-day trip. But don’t leave behind the critical first aid kit in attempting to lighten your load. Gear stores like REI and LL Bean sell ready-made emergency packs. ven if you’re just car camping, bring along basic first aid gear (including bandage supplies and antibiotic creams to treat wounds), necessary medications, a small knife, lighter and hand crank camping lantern or LED flashlight (with extra battery).
Bring Your Cell Phone and a GPS
Getting lost in the wilderness -- there’s an app for that (check out iSurvive Wilderness for wilderness survival tips such as tying knots and making shelter). But there’s no guarantee you’ll have cell phone service when you need it most. And while you can map out your hiking routes with a GPS device, you may go out of range as you navigate peaks and valleys.
Track the Weather
Before your trip, check NOAA’s National Weather Service for any possible extreme weather warnings, including blistering heat, hurricanes and other severe storms. Even with proper planning, though, it’s possible to find yourself sleeping outside or a few miles along the trail when a storm rolls in.
The USDA Forest Service outlines helpful lightning safety tips, such as not to pitch your tent under the tallest trees. And though it may go against your natural instincts, if you can’t find safe shelter (like a car or building), head deep into the woods instead of sticking around an open space with sparse trees. Crouch low to the ground (instead of lying or sitting down) to diminish the path lightning can follow if you do get struck.
Prepare for Animal Encounters
The National Park Service’s website provides insight into avoiding the dangers of wildlife encounters. If you encounter a bear near your campground, the National Park Service suggests you make loud noises to scare it away. However, if you see a mountain lion, you should maintain eye contact and back away slowly. If a mountain lion approaches you, throw rocks, make noise and never play dead in the event of an attack -- keep fighting because this wild cat is sure to do the same.