One of the most frustrating things is using a sleeping pad in a hammock, whether you’re in the hammock for just a couple of hours or overnight the sleeping pad tends to slide as you move and is incredibly difficult to readjust without getting out of the hammock.
You can keep a sleeping pad from sliding in a hammock by ensuring the hammock sags correctly, by ensuring your feet end of the hammock are higher than your head end. However, laying in a diagonal position also prevents the sleeping pad from sliding.
In most cases, you’ll want to use multiple techniques to prevent the sleeping pad from sliding. Which combination is right for you will depend on a number of factors.
Let The Hammock Sag Properly
Many people tend to string up their hammock as tightly as possible between the anchor points, but this does not let sleeping pads lay comfortably, thus making them slide on the hammock when in use. If you ease the tension at the anchor points, letting the hammock sag and form the shape of a smiley face, the sleeping pad would sink in and reduce the chances of it sliding around.
For maximum comfort, let the hammock be at a 30-degree angle from the horizontal axis. A sagging hammock is significantly more stable and would keep you and your sleeping pad in one position when in use as opposed to one that is strung up tightly. This would work perfectly if you are not one to toss and turn all night while you sleep.
Lay Down In A Diagonal Position
Once you have set up the hammock in a good sagging position and are ready to lay your sleeping pad, you should lay it down diagonally. Putting yourself in this position not only makes the whole structure stable, but it also gives you more comfort since your feet and head would hang and be relaxed while your body is laying flat on your sleeping bag.
This is how hammocks were designed for people to sleep in, but unfortunately, many people who use them do not know this. If you lay directly in the centre, you would feel swallowed up by the hammock, which is not the most convenient thing to experience. Your sleeping pad would not be able to spread out adequately, thereby reducing insulation and giving you less room in the hammock.
Putting sleeping pads in a diagonal position lets you spread your entire body weight throughout its surface and prevent it from sliding around while you are trying to have a good night’s sleep.
Let The Side For Your Foot Be Higher Than That For Your Head
If you set the ends of your hammock at equal heights, it lets your body – and sleeping bag – slide and position itself at the centre of your setup, which is undesirable. Let the side you want your feet to be at hang anywhere between 8 and 10 inches higher than the side for your head. Doing this ensures your upper body – which is the heavier part of your body – makes your sleeping bag stay away from the middle of the hammock.
It is more comfortable to sleep in this position because your body weight would focus on your back – which has a larger surface area – rather than your butt, which would be inconvenient after a while. Putting some knee pillows on your knee’s underside pads it and gives it more comfortable while you sleep in this position.
Slightly Deflate Your Sleeping Pad
When you put a sleeping pad in a hammock, it does not fit well into the outline, making it slide from time to time, thereby causing inconvenience. A good solution is to deflate your sleeping pad, which makes it conform to the hammock’s shape and makes it less likely to slide when you use it.
It would help if you also put your sleeping pad into a sleeping bag to prevent it from sliding underneath you regardless of how much you toss and turn around in your sleep.
During hammock camping, the common practice is to place a sleeping pad underneath a sleeping bag before laying down, but this does not keep the sleeping pad steady. An easy way to deflate the sleeping pad is to lay on it the way it is, then opens the valve and let some air escape. This way, the sleeping pad would conform to your body, making it comfortable to sleep on.
Hold The Sleeping Pad To The Hammock When You Climb into It
If you want to take a nap, lay your sleeping pad diagonally and let a little bit of it extend over the side of the hammock. This is the side where you would climb in from, so grab both items and sit over your hand.
When seated, raise your legs and turn slowly until your body shape is aligned with the long side of the sleeping pad. If your head extends over the sleeping pad – and is on the hammock – when you lay down, gently drag your body forward while still laying down by putting your feet on the hammock at both sides of the pad.
Do not stand up because you might make the sleeping pad slide to the hammock’s centre because of your motion. However, if you move slightly towards the centre mistakenly, put your feet on the hammock and use your upper body weight to move the sleeping pad to a more diagonal position.
Put the Sleeping Pad Inside The Inner Compartment Of The Hammock
Some hammocks have a compartment directly beneath your body when you sleep on it. This compartment is big enough to house a sleeping bag and hold it in place all through the night while you sleep.
This kind of setup helps with insulation, making hammock camping much more convenient since it keeps cold away and takes any sweat from your body through the fabric and unto the sleeping pad beneath you.
Put Old Clothes Under Your Sleeping Pad
You can add more resistance to your sleeping pad’s motion when it is on a hammock by stuffing old clothes directly underneath the sleeping pad. It is easy to imagine how this would keep the pad stable while you move around all through the night.
This cost-effective option is quite reliable, and all you need is to pack up extra clothes you do not use anymore from home when you are going out camping. Although it is best to spread the clothes out through the length of the sleeping bag however if you do not have sufficient clothes for this, place the ones you have under the section for your upper body because that is where weight is concentrated on the hammock.
Use Non-Slip Mats
This works the same way as the method above. Non-slip mats should be put in between your sleeping pad and the hammock. The non-slip mat will increase friction and reduce the sleeping pad’s chances of sliding around while you are asleep.
Luckily, this method does not cost much money, and it will not add extra weight to your camping gear. The non-slip mat will be more effective if you put it anywhere from your butt area to just below your head area.
Use A Velcro Tape
This is a permanent method of fastening your sleeping pad to a hammock. You do not need much tape, just a little strip of tape above the hammock, which should align with the underside of the sleeping pad. It is almost impossible to get the alignment right if you try to line up both sides of the Velcro tape separately. Firstly, stick the Velcro tape to the underside of your sleeping pad while both sides are still together.
After which you would gently remove the paper to expose the sticky side of the Velcro tape. The next step is crucial since you would only get one chance to do it correctly. It is advisable to get someone to help you with it, so you will avoid starting over. Gently place the sleeping pad in the exact position that would be comfortable for you to sleep in. Since it is a Velcro tape, the sleeping pad can be easily detached from the hammock at any time.
When your camping adventure is over, you do not need to rip off the Velcro tape. It is reusable and forcefully removing the sticky sides of the Velcro tape from both the sleeping pad and the hammock would leave adhesive smudges, which is an unpleasant sight to see.