Hammock Camping?

Hello everyone! I am doing the RAGRAI for the first time this year, and I am wondering if hammock camping is permitted. From the pictures that I’ve seen online, it doesn’t look as though we will be camping in forested areas. Thanks in advance for your advice!

41 Replies

Amelia Neff, May 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

It is definitely possible! Finding a place to string up your hammock won’t be difficult as long as you don’t mind where in town you are. We stayed in a Culver’s drive-thru last year. They have great spots. To get the best sleep I use a thermarest to keep the bottom warm and dry. Plus a bug net and a rainfly. Good luck and welcome!

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steve zink, May 12, 2018 at 7:44 pm

The colorful string hammocks from South America work the best…lightweight..the big famalia ones are best if sitting in hammock with friend..

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Barry Schnoor, August 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm

Mary,

Just curious…did you end up slinging your hammie?

I brought a tent as a backup, and never once used it. But those of us in hammocks had to be creating. One night in Dennison, slung between a light pole and a chain link fence. The night in Jefferson slung under the high school bleachers. And the night in Sigourney slung between two traffic / parking bollards. Great night’s sleep in each of those cases. I did find trees in Ames, Iowa city and Newton.

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Barry Schnoor, August 15, 2018 at 9:04 pm

My Bear Butt hammock was wonderful. Eno’s make a good model as well.

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Mary Stewart, August 23, 2018 at 7:30 am

Hi Barry. Yes I did end up hammock camping and it was the best sleep I’ve had in years. I didn’t have any trouble finding a place to sling my hammock, but I felt like I had to arrive early at the campground ever day so I could find a good spot. I used a Hennessy hammock, which worked beautifully!

PS I think I may have met you in Dennison. I was at the high school hanging out with a former Peace Corps volunteer and met someone who had slung his hammock between a light pole and a chain link fence. Was that you?

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Paul Pickles, August 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Barry, I was on the tree next to you in Newton. I slept in my hammock 3 nights and slept great. the last couple nights got too cold. No insulation.

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Barry Schnoor, August 27, 2018 at 10:14 am

Mary, I remember you at the gym in Denison. I also remember your kindness in sharing your beer! As I recall, you slung yours from the soccer goal in Denison? I ran into Nancy a couple of times after that, but don’t remember seeing you later.

Glad your hammie worked out for you. We were fortunate, I think, to have good weather.

Paul…were you the guy who made fun of me for putting on sunscreen before the sun came up? You were a good hammock neighbor. You might want a sleeping bag next time you sling. The lack of insulation is a real problem.

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Paul Pickles, August 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Yes that was me. there were times I wished I would have put on sunscreen before I rolled out. Usually forgot once I was riding. I tried to be quite and not wake you. I actually had a sleeping bag. I would get cold If I got out of the bag that’s for sure.

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Bill Richards, August 28, 2018 at 7:31 pm

Paul, you need to tell the story about the raccoon almost sleeping with you.

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Paul Pickles, September 3, 2018 at 8:56 pm

sleeping in my hammock in Ames. Hear what sounds like someone walking on a tarp and knew there was no tent there when I went to bed. Looked out of my hammock and there was a raccoon in the trash can. Kept an eye on him until he went off in case he wanted to get into my bag.

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KenH, September 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Many years ago, back when we were still young marrieds my wife and I were staying in a cabin in a rural area outside of Galena, IL. I was outside one night with a telescope for a while when I heard something approaching me along the gravel driveway. Bushes hid it from view but it sounded like it must be huge. The only thing I could think of was that there could be black bear in that part of the world so I was sitting stock still, eyes glued to the end of the row of bushes at the height where I judged a bear snout would first appear. Eventually my eyes did catch the first sign of motion, but much lower down. As I watched a possum ambled into view, taking its sweet time without a care in the world. I don’t know what it had been doing before to make so much noise but it was fairly quiet as I watched it forage along the edge of the driveway for a while. Eventually I moved one hand ever so slightly. I instantly discovered two things about possums:

1) they don’t always play dead when confronted by a “predator”

2) a possum can move far more rapidly that you would ever imagine if they decide to skedaddle!

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