The hammock next to us is tucked between two large birch trees. There, little brother hangs out with his mom. Below them crawls ants that have long since moved baby needles and twig to their garden.
Isabella has slept outside before. In a tent, but this is our first overnight stay in a hammock. The 4 year old rubs the sleep out of her eyes as she stretches her arms and legs touch my nose. I look at my daughter lying to me and smiling. When I asked her last night why she thinks we are in a hammock tonight, she replied that “it’s because we like it”. She didn’t like it herself, she thought. We also fell asleep, two adults and two children in each of our hammocks overlooking the water – just 10 min from our house in the woods.
Experiences with children in nature can be made both short and simple. My experience is that it is much more important what you do rather than where you go. When we take our children out into the wild, whether it is a tent in the woods, ice skating, cycling in the fields or hiking in the mountains, “simple comfort” is important. You need good clothes, good bedding, good equipment that gives the experience you are looking for. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but one should choose good quality that lasts.
Jo`s three hiking tips for staying in a hammock:
Pack a drawing pad or adventure book. It gets intimate and cozy with children in the hammock and you really appreciate something to “enjoy”
Place two thin or inflatable sleeping mats at the bottom of the bunk. Without it, the wind pulls through even the hottest sleeping bags
Invest in a mosquito net (often compatible with the model you buy) that is pulled over or outside the hammock