Hammocking is a stress-free, accessible, and healthy way to spend time outside. But more than anything, spending time in a hammock is, at its essence, a supremely relaxing way to soak up nature. And you can do it anywhere.
It’s no surprise, then, that hammocking is growing in popularity every year. Whether you’re stringing up hammocks between trees in the backyard to or embarking on an adventurous backpacking outing with a portable hammock in tow, this indispensable piece of gear can be taken anywhere and instantly ups your outdoor game. And hammocks aren’t for just alfresco relaxing: As many proponents attest, sleeping in a hammock is much more comfortable than the ground. But that’s just one of the ways to enjoy this longtime outdoors. Here, nine reasons why you should spend some time hanging out in a hammock this summer.
1. The Rocking Motion is Relaxing
The swinging motion of a hammock stimulates the cerebral cortex, which in turn helps with focus. Spending just 20 to 30 minutes a day in a hammock can prove beneficial with tasks requiring attention to detail and extended periods of concentration.
2. It’s a Fun Way to Hang Out with Friends
Portable chairs are great, but for next-level hanging out with friends and family, a hammock is comfortable and fun alternative. Whether you’re planning a picnic, weekend camping trip, or simply an afternoon in the park, bring along your hammocks to add an extra element of comfort and relaxation to your outdoor excursion—not to mention, a fun burst of color that will make your photos really pop.
3. It’s a Great Addition to Any Campsite
Whether you venture into the backcountry or are setting up at a convenient car-camping site, a hammock is an easy way to up your camping game. It’s a great place to curl up with a book, gaze at the campfire, or even catch some zzz’s (more on that below).
4. Hammocking is One of the Best Ways to Sleep
In a recent sleep study from the University of Geneva, a bed was rigged to rock gently and evenly (not unlike the rocking of a hammock) while study participants had their sleep patterns measured. The quality of participants’ sleep in the rocking bed was far superior to the stationary beds, with the rocking bed helping increase what’s known as N2 sleep, a crucial part of a solid night of rest.
5. Hammocking Can Ease Muscle Aches
Thanks to their design, hammocks have no one particular pressure point, which helps your body relax in ways it can’t when you’re sitting in a chair or lying flat on your back on an immobile surface. If you’ve been experiencing back problems or aching joints, spending a few hours—or a full night of sleep—in a hammock could very well make those aching joints feel better.
6. Hammocking Can Help During Meditation
While some of us are lucky enough to be able to tune into a meditative state anywhere, many people need a specific environment to ease into that mindset. The rocking motion of a hammock (and the aforementioned lack of pressure points) can help you ease into a meditative state with much less effort than in other scenarios. As a bonus, you’re probably outside, so you’re getting additional relaxing benefits as well.
7. You Can Set Up a Hammock Anywhere
Spending time in a hammock is ridiculously accessible. You don’t need a large plot of flat ground, any type of particular terrain, or evenly spaced trees. Get a free-standing hammock like the Mock One from the Republic of Durable Goods, and you can take it anywhere. Have some extra time? A good book? Get out your hammock and relax. This is really something you can do anywhere, from your backyard to a local park, to a patch of serene woods near a burbling creek.
8. It Inspires You to Spend Time in the Forest
It’s been long suspected (and proven repeatedly again over the past few years) that spending time in a forest setting, also known as forest bathing, is beneficial for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Escaping to a wooded environment can help reduce blood pressure, ease anxiety, and increase energy levels. String up a hammock between two trees, and you can forest bathe to your heart’s content.
9. It’s a Great Spot for a Nap on a Summer Day
For a nap on a lazy summer day, there’s no better spot for a hammock. As a bonus, snoozing in a hammock offers a higher quality of sleep than an immovable bed does, meaning you’ll wake up rested and ready to enjoy whatever else is on tap for the day.
Written by Matcha for Republic of Durable Goods.