Skills & Techniques

Leave No Trace Skills: Hammock Camping

Guest - June 11, 2017

Bar Harbor, ME: Did you know… Hammocks generally leave a very small footprint and are good examples of minimum impact shelters? There is nothing better than hanging tree side in your hammock for a bit of relaxation. Keep reading to learn how to protect your campsite from potential hammock specific impacts.

If you are new to hammock camping or already have a bit of experience the following are a few tricks that will help you to lounge in the most Leave No Trace way.

  • Good campsites are found not made. Set up your hammock camp at least 200 feet from water, trails and other campsites when in the backcountry. Always use established campsite when possible.
  • Set up your hammock on live and sturdy trees to avoid injury and impacts.
  • Always set up the hammock on the thickest part of the tree trunk.
  • Use straps that are 1 inch or wider. These straps made of webbing will limit girdling and bark damage.
  • Check the ground for vegetation. It’s always best to set up your hammock above a durable surface such as rock, gravel, dirt, or dry grasses.
  • Hammocks are best set up no higher than 18” off of the ground. This can help to prevent accidents, and will limit impacts on high branches and leaves.
  • When not in use it is recommended to take your hammock down to prevent injury to other visitors and wildlife.
  • Finally, check local land regulations to make sure hammock camping is permitted where you plan to visit.


While camping, know the best ways to Dispose of Waste Properly, including human waste. It is also vital to store all of your food properly to prevent wildlife from getting into your food stash check out this blog to learn more.

Enjoy your world & Leave No Trace,


Steph and Andy

Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

Leave No Trace’s Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, Smartwool, and Taxa Outdoors.

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