By: Blonde Two
Once you have discovered the joys of hammock camping, you might find yourself with the same obsession as me, that of finding trees in which to hang your new bed. I should perhaps change the title of this post to, ‘How to find a tree for your camping hammock’ because, despite the UK having 3.17 million hectares of woodland area (1 hectare is approximately the size of an international ruby pitch), finding two that are the right distance apart, not overhung by dangerous dead branches and won’t find you chased off in the middle of the night by a disgruntled land owner, can be a tad tricky. That said, searching for hammocking trees, even if you know that you won’t be able to use them, is quite a good excuse for a walk… as Blonde One and I found out.
There is a stand of trees visible from one of Dartmoor’s more popular roads that looks perfect (from a distance) for hammocking. I didn’t actually need to glance at the National Park’s interactive Dartmoor wild camping map to find out that these lovely uprights aren’t in the wild camping area but I did so anyway, just in case my luck was in. It wasn’t but that didn’t stop me suggesting to Blonde One that we use our afternoon Dartmoor walk time to do a bit of tree-sploration in the area.
As we walked I told Blonde One a few things about hammock tree selection (she was very patient and listened politely, just as she does when I start naming plants in Latin). She quite correctly spotted that the trees below were incorrect choices for different reasons…
These trees were too gnarly for hammocks!
These trees were too small for hammocks!
These trees were just right… but behind a wall and forbidden!
It’s a lovely wall isn’t. Luckily I have found a few suitable hammocking trees on Dartmoor that are within wild camping areas. It took a bit of exploring to do so and I am not going to tell you where they are… last time I did that the tree ending up getting a rather severe haircut!