The Appalachian Trail is one of the best hiking places you can go. This place, over 2000 miles long, is ideal for outdoor recreational activities. You can do many things on this trail, from hiking to camping and outdoor games.
If you are new to hiking and camping on the Appalachian Trail, you might be wondering if you are allowed to use or hang a hammock on these trails or mountains. You might also be interested in knowing the rules and regulations guiding this trail. We will discuss all this information and more below.
You can do many things on the Appalachian Trail, and using a hammock is one of them. Unlike other recreational centers or campsites where you need a tent to rest, you do not need any of these on this trail.
As long as you have your hammock, you can set it up between two trees when you see dusk approaching. However, it is pretty much advisable for you to ensure you are not alone in the vicinity. This is for security purposes. If you intend to catch a break after hiking for a while, you can easily do this by setting up and relaxing in your hammock on the trail.
Hammocks are a must-have if you intend to hike on this trail. With a hammock, you save yourself the stress of having to carry something as heavy as a tent for your relaxation. Setting a hammock on this trail also saves you more time when compared to setting up a tent.
General Hiking Rules to Observe when Going on the Appalachian Trail
To hike on the Appalachian Trail, you must observe different hiking rules. Here is a list of those rules.
- Pay Attention to your Surroundings
This is the first rule you must observe when hiking on the Appalachian Trail. You must always pay attention to your environment at all times. This is to ensure you have spatial awareness.
Paying attention to your environment allows you to be aware of the wildlife and animals around you. It also reduces the chances of falling or having an accident while you hike or hammock.
- Be Mindful of the Trail Condition
Always observe this rule if you want to hammock on the Appalachian Trail. You must always be mindful of the trail condition. If the conditions are not too good, you should try hiking or hammocking for another day.
A wet or muddy trail exposes you to a lot of risks. It is better to be mindful of the trail conditions before you set out on your hike or hammock camp on the Appalachian Trail.
- Always Know Who Has the Right of Way
Knowing who has the right of way is very important when it comes to safety on the Appalachian Trail. Anyone coming uphill always has the right of way. With this, you will avoid scenarios whereby you argue with people over who has the right to pass first.
- Do Not Disturb Wildlife or the People Around
You need to consider the people around you and the wildlife if you are hiking the Appalachian Trail. You must move or walk in a way that you don’t disturb the people around you.
If you have to listen to music, do it quietly. Also, avoid disturbing the animals you see along the trail. Hunting animals on this trail is a punishable offense. You must also not break down trees.
Are you going camping or hiking, I made a full checklist of the things that you need
How to Set Up a Hammock on the Appalachian Trail
Setting up your Appalachian hammock is pretty easy on the Appalachian trial. All you need to do is find the right tree. Finding the right trees with adequate distance for your hammock is pretty essential. You wouldn’t have a problem finding trees with the right space for your hammock as there are a lot of trees on this trail.
Once you have found the right tree, the next thing you must do is check the tree to know if it is strong enough to hold your weight. While most of the trees here can comfortably hold your weight, it is still essential to check and confirm. Checking is petty easy. Just look out for signs of dead leaves and trees. If there isn’t any, push your weight against the tree to see if it bends. You can choose the trees if there are no signs of dead leaves or branches. You can also choose the tree if it doesn’t bend to your weight.
Wrap your hammock strap or rope around the tree the moment you are done with selecting good trees on the Appalachian tree. Ensure the strap holds firmly to the tree to prevent it from slipping when you get into the hammock. Once the strap or rope has adequately been wrapped to the tree, you can connect your hammock using your carabiner. Repeat the same process for the other end of the hammock connecting it to the other tree. Once you do this, sit and relax in your hammock before you continue your hike.
“What about a hammock stand?” you might ask.
You can also set up your hammock on the Appalachian Trail using a hammock stand. However, you might not be too comfortable carrying a hammock stand hiking. This is largely because of the weight. If you do not mind the weight or feel more comfortable hanging your hammock from a hammock stand, you can always carry it on the Appalachian Trail.
Are you worried about mosquitoes or flies disturbing you? here is a guide I have written to help you enjoy your hammock without flies disturbing you.
Why You Should Carry a Hammock on the Appalachian Trail
There are different reasons why you should carry a hammock on the Appalachian Trail. We will discuss these reasons below.
You will undoubtedly derive more comfort when your hammock on the Appalachian Trail. If you usually set up tents for your hammock before, you will certainly feel and know the difference the moment you decide to rest in your hammock.
For starters, resting in your hammock will give you more comfort than sleeping in a tent. This is because you wouldn’t have to go through the problem of lying on the floor. The feel of the hammock on your back is worth it.
This is another reason why taking a hammock with you on the Appalachian Trail is a pretty good thing. Hammocks are lightweight, so you would have a problem moving them from one place to another.
Unlike tents, which can be relatively heavy, you can carry your hammock anywhere. Most tents wouldn’t fit into your backpack, but a hammock can without stress. Since you cannot take your mattress because of the inconveniences, carrying your hammock is the best bet as they are lightweight.
3. Easy Set Up within Minutes
On your hike, you wouldn’t want a scenario whereby it takes you more than 2 to 5 minutes to set up a place where you can relax. This is where having a hammock comes in handy. While setting up your tent can take as much as 10 minutes, setting up your hammock will take much less. You should be able to set up your hammock in less than 5 minutes.
Apart from setting up, another thing that makes hammocks important is the fact that you can dismantle or disassemble them easily within seconds. All it takes is to lose the ropes, fold the hammock in the bag, and you are good to go.
4. Ideal for your Comfort and Environment
Setting up a hammock on the Appalachian trail is ideal for comfort and convenience. With a hammock and safety tree straps, you can easily enjoy maximum comfort without harming the trees or exposing yourself to the risk of lying on the ground.
Hammocks are ideal for your environment as it reduces all the risks associated with lying n the ground. You wouldn’t have to worry about creeping insects or animals.
Best Hammocks for the Appalachian Trail
There are different types of hammocks you can use if you are going to hike the Appalachian trails. These hammocks, which have distinct features and a lot more, will be discussed below.
1. Warbonnet blackbird xlc
This should be your go-to hammock if you intend to hike the Appalachian Trail. This relatively cheap hammock has a lot of features. They also come in different colors. If there is one thing that makes this hammock unique, it is the fact that it is an ultra-light backpacking hammock.
It is lightweight and comes with a mosquito net. You can use the mosquito net if you intend to spend the night in your hammock on the trail. There are also a lot of other features, such as multiple suspension, maximum legroom, and more.
2. Eno Doublenest Hammock
While warbonnet blackbird xlc is a single-sized hammock, eno doublenest is a double-sized hammock that is just as light as the single-sized hammock. It is pretty affordable and perfect for hiking if you will b going in groups. Four of these hammocks can accommodate a group of 8 people hiking on this trail.
With its fast-drying FreeWave fabrics, this hammock is highly breathable and comfortable. They also have safety tree straps, so you wouldn’t have to worry about harming your tree. You will have more room to stretch as much as you like in this hammock.
3. Hummingbird Single Hammock
This is another lightweight hammock you can trust. It weighs less than 6 pounds and can hold up to 300 pounds. It’s also affordable as it costs less than 70 dollars. Many campers and hikers prefer this hammock.
This hammock had its tree straps. However, it doesn’t have its bug net. You will have to buy a bug net if you intend to spend the night on the trail. The hummingbird hammock comes in different colors and designs to suit your preference.
You can use your hammock on the Appalachian trail as long as your hammock isn’t disturbing the wildlife or the people around you. Setting up your hammock on this trail is pretty easy, as there is no shortage of trees on this trail. Pick healthy trees and hang your hammock from them.
There are a couple of hiking or camping rules you should observe when hiking on the Appalachian Trail. All these rules and more have already been discussed in this article.