There are a lot of benefits of buying a camping hammock, but one of the biggest selling points is that you can use it in more non-traditional camping spots. This effectively makes it so you can camp anywhere, unless, of course, anywhere is devoid of trees.
Yes, that’s right. While there are a lot of excellent spots that are only suitable for camping hammocks, if you completely abandon that tent lifestyle, you will find yourself in situations where you can’t pitch a hammock and thus can’t camp. For those situations, it is best to always have a portable hammock stand around as a backup.
When Will a Portable Hammock Stand be Necessary?
Hammock stands kind of go against the creed of a camping hammock. After all, you chose a camping hammock because it is lighter weight than a tent and less hassle to put up. A hammock stand is not only just one more thing to carry, but one more thing you need to assemble when you make camp.
However, portable stands aren’t something you need to take on every trip, but you will want to have one in situations like:
- Assigned plots in campgrounds where trees may not be reachable
- Camping above the tree line where any vegetation is small and too weak
- Beach camping where you would rather enjoy the sand than the tree line
- Group camp events that take place in an open area
- Locations with little vegetation like the Grand Canyon, Escalante, and basically most of the American Southwest
- State and National Parks where hanging hammocks are not allowed in order to prevent damage to the trees.
While the above situations aren’t going to happen on every camping trip, as you can tell, they aren’t entirely uncommon situations either. Naturally, it might be easier to just keep a tent on hand for such times when your hammock isn’t viable, but if you have fully committed, you need a hammock stand.
Choosing a Quality Hammock Stand
A lot of hang junkies often break out their MacGyver skills to craft a hammock stand on their own, but it either takes a firm grasp of physics or a lot of trial and error to pull off. If you are not as handy as you like others to think you are, it is easier to buy one.
However, it is best to keep in mind that there are hammock stands and then there are portable hammock stands. Hammock stands are meant to sit in your backyard and not move, while portable stands are meant to be easy to set up, break down, and taken places.
When buying a portable hammock stand, you need to keep the following criteria in mind:
- Can you break it down in a way that it will fit in your car as well as carry it on your back if need be?
- Can you easily assemble it by yourself?
- Can it accommodate a tarp or bug netting?
- It is sturdy does not flex or bend under your weight
- Is it affordable?
Those are all important questions to ask yourself, but as always, some features are more important to some than others.
Best Portable Hammock Stands
Whether you want to take it out into the field or sit it on your porch, this handy little hammock stand is an all-around great choice. The feet at the bottom provide unparalleled stability and lend to the 450 pound max weight of the stand, and its weight rating is more than enough to support couples hammocks. However, the best part is that this stand collapses down into a 26 pound package that can be neatly stored in its own carrying case. The two prongs at the top not only make it easy to hang a hammock, but it also allows for tarp set up as well. It is also worth noting that while you will need some screws to set it up, they all come with widgets so you can easily tighten and loosen them without tools.
Sunnydayz did the hammock world a real favor by selling the parts of their steel hammock individually. For some stands, you also have to buy the crappy hammock that comes with it, but this model is available with the whole package or just the stand for purchase. While this stand only has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, it does maintain a lighter weight. However, the one downside is that while it breaks down into eight pieces easily with no tools needed, it doesn’t come with its own carrying case. Another nice feature is the hooks for hanging the actual hammock on. They present a convenient base that makes for an easy hang. Unfortunately, this model can be a little more troublesome when it comes to rigging up a tarp.
This is one hammock stand that is built for strength and versatility. Its simple design provides for an optimum hang with long hang poles and stabilizing feet. Because it comes with both chain hooks and hooks on the actual poles, you can go for as deep of a hang as you want which is why it is able to accommodate single, double, and extra wide hammocks with ease while still have a 450 pound strength rating. However, the strength given by the 12 gauge steel poles does mean some added weight, but it is easy to break down without tools and comes with its own easy carrying bag. Fortunately, because it is adjustable to fit a variety of hammocks and comes with a variety of ways to tie on, this is actually one of the best options if you are a frequent tarp user.