Hikers Talk About Bad Backs
These hikers with bad backs were saved by a Hennessy Hammock.
Hammock Camping For Bad Backs
Whether you struggle with lower back pain, pain from an old injury, or just general aches and pains all over, these issues are often made worse when you have to sleep on the hard, uneven ground; fortunately, you don’t have to. Sleeping suspended is the best way to eliminate painful pressure points so you can rest comfortably through the night and don’t wake up feeling exhausted and sore.
In 1997, Tom was rear-ended at an intersection by a drunk driver, resulting in severe back injuries and a concussion. Unable to continue with his sailing charter business and farm, he spent two years learning how to retrain his damaged brain by learning how to write patents for his innovative features. He designed a revolutionary camping hammock based on the WWII-era jungle hammocks he had loved as a child. He added a bottom entry which made it easy to get in and out of the hammock without tipping or overbalancing. He traveled in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Florida, testing and improving his design along the way. Two years of patent development helped his brain to recover from the serious concussion that had caused dizziness and memory issues.
Back pain can keep you up at night, prevent you from doing the things you love to do, and in general, just make you feel miserable. It’s estimated that as much as 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Young, old, no matter your fitness level or type of job that you do — it can affect anyone. And, if you’re one of the many who suffer from this painful affliction, camping probably aggravates the problem even more. Worse yet, it may even make you think of giving up camping altogether.
For those who love to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to enjoy the serenity of nature and explore unknown trails, giving up camping is the last thing you want to do. So, like most people, you probably just live with the restless nights and tired days — but there is another way. You can still enjoy hiking, camping, and all types of outdoor fun without having to sleep on the ground. In fact, you might actually get a better night's sleep than you even get at home! What’s the solution? It’s called a camping hammock and for many people with bad backs, it’s been a game-changer.
Benefits of Sleeping Suspended
When you sleep on the ground, a thermal pad, or even in your bed at home, the areas where your body conforms to the sleep surface create pressure points. These pressure points are usually your lower back, hips, and shoulders, so it makes sense that these are some of the most common areas that hurt when you get up in the morning.
Sleeping suspended eliminates the pressure on your back and other parts of your body and instead spreads that pressure all over the length of your body. With less pressure on any one area, it means less pain, and less pain means you can fall asleep — and stay asleep — the whole night through.
Another reason why sleeping suspended is better for your back than laying on a flat surface is that it helps you to remain in the optimal sleeping position throughout the night. People naturally tend to toss and turn throughout the night in order to alleviate pain and pressure. This constant shifting can exacerbate injuries and other pre-existing back conditions. Not only that, but sometimes you might roll onto your stomach. This is one of the worst sleeping positions as it puts stress on your neck and spine causing additional pain and even numbness in your extremities. With a hammock, you’ll be in a more comfortable and stable position which equates to less pain, less tossing and turning, and a restful night’s sleep.
Not All Camping Hammocks Are Created Equal
Although sleeping in a hammock is generally better for your back than sleeping on a flat surface, it’s important to keep in mind that not all hammocks are created equally. Many of them force you to lay on your back with your arms pinned tightly against your sides — a position that is anything but comfortable, especially for an entire night. Others are designed for campers within a particular height and weight category, making it difficult and uncomfortable for anyone else to enjoy swaying in the breeze. Still, others lack the lightweight construction and durability needed for extended camping trips, extreme environments, and long-term use.
Hammock camping has become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason. However, before you run out and grab the first one you see, we encourage you to consider your options carefully. At Hennessy Hammock, we’ve spent decades perfecting our camping hammock for design quality, comfort, and versatility. In fact, we’ve heard from dozens of hikers who claim that their Hennessy hammock has been able to provide them with their most comfortable night’s sleep on the trail, and for some, it’s even helped to eliminate their back pain.
Room To Spread Out
One defining feature of the Hennessy Hammock is its patented asymmetrical design. To solve the problem of feeling cramped and constricted as you might experience in some other hammocks, we moved the anchor points of our hammock to allow for a longer, wider area to spread out so you can sleep flatter when laying on the diagonal. This reduces tension on your shoulders and back and lets you sleep comfortably with your back straight.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to hang your hammock at the right curvature consistently, night after night. That’s where our patented ridgeline helps out. It helps to provide the same, perfect setup and consistent shape every time. Want to see how easy it is to set up your hammock? Check out this video of Tom Hennessy setting up his hammock in just over six minutes!
More Tips For Camping With a Bad Back
Although we’ve tried to think of everything when it comes to creating the most comfortable shelter, there are still a few things that you can do to ensure you have a perfect night’s sleep. First, bring a pillow or roll up a thick, comfy sweatshirt and place it under your neck for support. Because Hennessy Hammocks are designed so you can lay flat, having a pillow of some kind isn’t essential, but it’s nice to have.
Depending on your type of back pain, some people also find it helpful to roll up a jacket or sweatshirt and place it underneath their legs. Although your entire body is supported in Hennessy, sometimes it helps to have a little extra support right where you need it.
Consider a Hennessy Hammock For Back Pain
Has a desk job, car accident, sports injury, or years of adventurous living left you with chronic back pain? Do you cringe at the thought of having to get up once you’ve been sitting or lying on the ground? Consider trading your tent in for a better type of shelter that you can get in and out of without having to crawl on the ground. We’ve designed our tents for easy entry — either from the side or bottom, depending on your preference. That means you don’t have to cause further stress to your back trying to get in, and you don’t have to worry about falling out.
Another thing to consider is the lightweight, durable construction of our hammocks. Less weight means a lighter pack, and that’s definitely better for your back. Just check out our hammock comparison chart and you’ll see hammocks ranging from around 4 lbs. to as little as 1 lb. 12 oz. Even our lightest hammocks are still manufactured using high-quality materials that will help keep you comfortable, dry, and out of reach of flying pests. Whether you’re looking for a shelter to take on weekend trips or travel across the globe with, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that will provide you with the features you’re looking for while allowing you to get a great night’s sleep.
Take a look at some of our camper’s videos to hear how a Hennessy hammock has helped people with the following conditions:
Order a Hennessy and Say Goodbye to Back Pain!
Whether you struggle with lower back pain, pain from an old injury, or just general aches and pains all over, these issues are often made worse when you have to sleep on the hard ground. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Sleeping suspended is the best way to eliminate painful pressure points so you can rest comfortably through the night and don’t wake up feeling exhausted and sore.
Ready to experience the difference a Hennessy can make in your life? Just visit our hammock page and design the hammock that’s right for you. We offer over 20 different models and each one can be customized to meet your needs. Wondering where to start or how to choose the right one? Head over to our comparison page for an easy-to-read overview of specifications and features.