You just need a few larger trees and a rather open spot on the ground. I did once set mine up over some Devil's Club in Alaska. Not the best way to wake up folks! So, if you are in the desert, or any area that has some kind of vicious foliage, err on the side of caution and clear a spot or move on!
Above is the stalk of Devil's Club. Just a little tidbit of info: the underside of the giant leaves have thorny pokers too. They break off and are left to fester out of your skin, sometimes taking their sweet time. This was my preferred method of sleeping while out on the trails in Southeast Alaska. [in the hammock that is, NOT over Devil's Club!]
The mesh allows you to see your surroundings and even star gaze, without allowing bugs to feast.
Here, next to our little snowy fire pit is the hammock and the rain fly. And lots of snow.
Make sure you read these handy printed on the carry-sack instructions. No better way to have printed them -- and no paper to lose or blow away! LOVE this idea!
This is a bit of an action shot. You see, you enter the hammock through the bottom. Some super heavy duty velcro secures the opening once you are in (or out.) You can shake and stomp your boots before entry, or just leave them directly below you and they will stay relatively dry and out of the elements (without mussing your sleeping quarters!)
Adding a second person to the mix? They make hammocks with larger weight allowances (this model holds up to 250 lbs. and up to a six-footer in height) so you can bring the tyke in the hammock too! It's the ultimate in co-sleeping, that's for sure! Just make sure your partner in crime doesn't snore!
This is a photo through the mesh top. It's super easy to see though, making your experience just as good (if not better) than in a tent. I like that you don't freeze from lying on the cool ground, there is no threat of water getting into low spots, and even creepy crawlies seem to have a harder time finding you when you are in the hammock. It's not difficult to find a place with a few large trees, so finding or making a little tent pad is no longer going to take up valuable time in your backpacking trip. It's also lightweight (under three pounds) and very pack-able.
We are really excited to take the Expedition kayaking and on a few weekender hikes--sans snow next time!
**Thanks to the folks over at Hennessy Hammocks for the complimentary hammock to test out and enjoy. My opinions are my own and are honest. We were not compensated in any other way for the post.**