The Great Iowa Fall Ride registration is open!

Hammock or Tent

First time RAGBRAIer, Trying to decided whether to plan on sleeping in my tent or hammock. Any idea whether there will be places to hang hammocks?

12 Replies

Ken, June 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

Hi Kathryn,

No doubt there will be someone who responds that they had no problem using a hammock. But from my experience, trees are few and far between. I would plan on a tent.



Craig Parson, June 10, 2016 at 6:28 am

I love hammocks, but you just can’t find a tree with the proper spacing that isn’t already surrounded by tents. If you are inventive you can figure out a few spots, but I certainly would not have it as my only option.



RoyBoy, June 10, 2016 at 8:45 am

Definitely a tent. There will be areas in Iowa with plenty of mosquitoes that would make sleeping in a hammock a miserable experience.


Cathy Veal, June 10, 2016 at 8:54 am

From one Catherine to another,
In the seven years that I’ve been riding Ragbrai I remember one year we had rain for at least two nights. What would you do if it rains during the night? and if we do have rain, being under trees isn’t the place you want to be during a Iowa thunder storm. Another question, where would you change your clothes?
You are going to have so much fun here in Iowa,
“Summer” (it’s really Catherine)


KenH, June 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm

I think you want to bring a tent for sure. If there is room and weight available then bring the hammock too. Some of the things mentioned above that are problems for hammock campers are not RAGBRAI specific and you may have ways of dealing with them if you are an avid hammock camper. I know that it is an increasingly popular pursuit so there must be ways of dealing with them even if I don’t know them! But it is uncommonly crowded during RAGBRAI and that is something you probably don’t face in most other camping situations. So privacy concerns are higher than they might be at other venues and it will be difficult to find the trees to string your hammock between. When you do find them you will also find that there are bikes leaning up against them already.

So it might be worth bringing the hammock along. You might occasionally find a place to use it and perhaps you are far better at finding those places than we who do not know you at all give you credit for! But I would not make that my only plan the first year, I’d bring a tent too.


Brian Wallenburg, June 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Tent, it rains almost every year.


jayww54, June 11, 2016 at 10:21 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve done RAGBRAI but I suspect the comments regarding space, trees, rain, and mosquitos all ring true. If it weren’t for the lack of trees and space I so want to take one of these that combines the best of tents and hammocks.



Brian Wallenburg, June 12, 2016 at 6:25 pm

You could get by with one of those. Pretty neat looking. Every park has trees.


Jacqui, June 12, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Personally, I’m bringing both. A hammock doesn’t typically take up much room.


ltyoungster, June 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

I hammock camp for RAGBRAI. I have spent 2 nights on the ground in 5 years. I have a bug net and a tarp so rain and bugs are not an issue. So I guess I am the guy saying ‘no problems with a hammock.’ I even take my hammock and straps on the route with me. On a hot day I will find a shady spot on the road side and take a nap.

I also have a Tentsile. I would NOT camp in it on RAGBRAI because it is heavy and you need 3 well spaced trees to put it up. HOWEVER since my team now has a bus we are bringing it along to use as a lounge.


Jason Stoller, June 13, 2016 at 8:28 pm

A very well ventilated Tent is your Best Bet. Trees usually are hard to come by and there is usually at least a day of rain if not more. As another said it also gives you a place to change your clothes.



Mike Cordes, June 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I’d recommend a tent but I’d also recommend a standard bike and there were a couple of guys riding last year with unicycles. Most of the campgrounds don’t have trees but you can request yard camping and note the need for hammock friendly yards. It’s not for me, but if it works for you, then go for it.

P.s., look at this year’s logo – that looks like a hammock. ;)


The forum ‘RAGBRAI XLIV – 2016’ is closed to new topics and replies.






Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI