Hammocks, Portaledges, Tree Tents and Treeboats for Leisure and Overnight Camping:
Hammocks are excellent for relaxation, meditation, and sleep. Hammock camping is favorable, when compared to other ground-based camping options. Being above ground, one avoids things like a cold damp ground, bugs, bumpy or uneven surfaces. Optional bug netting, wind and rain cover protection, provides a compact, lightweight camping alternative.
People sleeping in hammocks report a far more satisfying sleep, compared to other ground-based sleeping options. Double hammocks are designed for people to lay slightly off-center, thereby mitigating the banana effect. Certain hammocks also enable people to cocoon themselves, like in the movie Avatar. Hammocks can also be augmented with pillows, sleeping pads and sleeping bags to make the overall R&R experience even more blissful.
Beyond the traditional hammock with two connection points, Tree Tents are more like tree houses, especially when you see the latest Tentsile Tree tents. Their lightweight, portable tree-houses use three anchor points to create a “living space” suspended between the trees.
Hammocks: A typical hammock has two tie in points. My favorite hammock is a simple slightly oversized homemade hammock, using a 40 Danier Tricot, semi-transparent fabric, with 4-way stretch. The ends are each tied onto carabiners, using an anchor hitch knot.
TreeBoats are like hammocks, but use four connection points for greater stability, so it actually feels more like a cot.
Portaledges or Hanging pods are also available, using a single connection point at the top. These seem well suited for meditation, and relaxation, but their frames make them less transportable and a lot more bulky.
The Bat Hammock is a combination Portaledge/Hammock, using a single tie-in-point. This is a great concept and it is available, but it has yet to hit the mass market.
As demonstrated below, tree camping can be a lot of fun. On the cautionary side, please use proper discretion when tying onto living branches, especially in wet, cold and/or windy conditions. Harsh weather can be dangerously destructive to trees, campers and gear, especially when at-height and under load with a multiple-tie-in system.