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Tree Camping: What Is It and Why You Should Give It a Try

Camping is great fun and a favorite pastime for many individuals. However, the idea of waking up on the cold, hard ground doesn’t appeal to most people, so a new option is being considered. It’s called ‘tree camping’ and it is sweeping the United States at a rapid rate. Right now, you may be wondering to yourself ‘what exactly is tree camping and why should I give it a try?’

What is tree camping? Tree camping is the new craze whereby you setup camp and sleep in the air rather than on the ground. It involves your tent being suspended between two trees on cables that can be raised and lowered accordingly. This unique and exciting way to experience nature and the outdoors will have you hooked the very first you try it!

Now that you know what tree camping is, let’s take a closer look at this concept in more detail below. I’ll discuss the different types of tents used and how they compare to each other. I’ll also discuss what other gear you need for tree camping and where the best places are to experience it.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about the new trend known as tree camping, then let’s get started!

What Do You Need for Tree Camping?

Tree camping is a fun and unique way to camp. All you need is a special tent, some cables, your typical camping gear and a few trees! A few of the possible tents to choose from include the following:

Portaledge Tents

A portaledge tent is a hanging tent that is used by most rock climbers who are heading out for multiple day treks in the wilderness. It consists of a covered surface reinforced with a metal frame that dangles from a single point. Some camping spots in Europe, like Pfronten in Germany, for example, will provide people with these accommodations, eliminating the need to carry additional overnight camping gear.

Raindrop Tents

The raindrop-shaped tent looks exactly as it sounds. It was originally designed as a place for climbers and hikers to sleep and has become a favored choice for tree campers in Europe, especially in the Netherlands. This tent is 13 feet tall and comprised of a steel frame covered entirely in canvas material. It has a nice, sturdy platform and a rounded mattress that can easily sleep up to 4 people comfortably.

Treepee Tents

The treepee is a combination of a tent and a trampoline. It is often used as a place for children to relax and play in, as the maximum height it can be set up to is a mere 50 centimeters above the ground. Like the portaledge, the treepee hangs from a single point on a tree branch, secured to the ground by 4 anchors. This prevents the tent from swinging when elevated.

Luminair Tree Tents

The circular tree tent is made from sustainably-sourced materials, recycled fabrics and thermal liners. It provides both warmth and comfort, often consisting of a double bed or the option for two single beds. It even comes with a wood-burning stove, water storage basins and options for renewable energy. This is the Cadillac of tree campers and ideal for those who crave luxury while enjoying the great outdoors!

Tentsile Tree Tents

The tentsile tree tent looks like a mini UFO and can be tethered at any elevation to 3 trees. Easy to put together, it has a floor hatch and/or side door and even a retractable ladder. This allows you to get in and out of the tent effortlessly. The Stingray design, for example, features a fortified floor, 3 large hammocks, cup holders, luggage nets and even storage pockets for cell phones and iPads.

Other gear you need for tree camping includes:

  • helmet
  • 200 feet of rope
  • carabiners (at least 3)
  • throw line
  • weights for each side of the throw line
  • auto locker
  • hand descender
  • foot loop
  • harness
  • lanyard
  • quick link
  • ATC guide
  • backpack
  • pillow
  • sleeping pad
  • sleeping blanket
  • pocket knife
  • food – energy bars and other ready-to-eat fare
  • water bottle
  • first aid kit – should include bandages, ointment, insect spray, sunscreen, medications, etc.
  • fire starter or matches
  • clothing – including hat, shirt, shorts and/or pants, socks and synthetic jacket
  • hiking boots or runners
  • camera
  • map or navigation tool

Where are the Best Places to Tree Camp?

Tree camping is a becoming a popular activity in both North America and Europe. The best places to tree camp in the United States, for example, include the following:

Oregon

Tree camping in the ancient woodlands of Deschutes National Park is a must! With fantastic hiking trails and gorgeous lava fields, it is truly a stunning sight to behold. A Tree Tent would work perfectly in this environment, providing ultimate views of the rugged terrain, serene lakes and lush forested areas.

California

A redwoods retreat in Northern California would provide the perfect tree camping experience. If you want to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, we highly recommend this area. Experiencing Yosemite National Park, under the silhouette of the El Capitan, makes for an epic outdoor adventure!

Cleveland

The Laguna Trail, deep in the heart of the Cleveland National Forest, would be a beautiful location for a tree camping experience. At the foot of the Laguna Mountain, you will find the highest peaks in San Diego, measuring in at over 6,000 feet elevation! Just imagine the serenity that awaits you here!

Utah

Utah’s salt flats would be a great place for tree campers looking for a something a bit wilder! You can setup camp in the beautifully barren landscape and witness of the magic of daybreak across the desert. The incredible colors of sunset on a clear night will add only add to this amazing outdoor experience.

And of course, there are beautiful places in Europe as well to experience tree camping, such as Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. No matter where you choose to go, tree camping in the great outdoors will be a memorable experience you’ll want to repeat over and over again!

Why You Should Consider Tree Camping?

There are so many reasons to consider tree camping today. These include (but aren’t limited to) the following:

For Something Different

Why not ditch the traditional camping experience and try something new and exciting. Tree camping is like camping 2.0! The bonus amenities of the Tree or Tensile Tree tents provide for a more comfortable (almost luxurious) environment in which to enjoy nature. This takes camping to a whole new level!

For Spectacular Views

Tree camping, without a doubt, provides for the most stunning views of nature. The sunrise and sunset viewed from high above the ground are spectacular. Not to mention the panoramic views that possible only at higher altitudes.

To Be Off the Ground

Nothing is worse than waking up on the cold, hard ground with a root or rock poking at your back! Tree camping eliminates that by allowing you to sleep up high on a soft, warm mattress surrounded by comfortable, modern amenities. Now, doesn’t that just sound so much better?

Less Risk of Wild Animals

Tree camping helps reduce chance encounters with dangerous wildlife, such as bears and wolves. While these animals roam the grounds of forests and national parks, you will be safely tucked away, high above it all, in your tree tent! The only wild animals you’ll need to worry about are the birds!

Fewer Bugs

Ground beetles, spiders and ants can be a problem for traditional campers. However, tree camping reduces the chances of coming into contact with these pesky creatures. The ones you may be encounter are mosquitoes, wasps or ticks, however, the higher you go the less likely they are to bother you.

Peaceful Atmosphere

Tree camping provides for a peaceful outdoor experience like no other. It’s so much quieter than traditional ground camping, as there are less people, animals and all-terrain vehicles around. You can truly become one with nature, high above the commotion down below.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, tree camping is the new craze that you definitely need to try! It involves setting up camp in the air rather than on the ground. By suspending your tent between two trees, high above the earth’s floor, you can enjoy the beauty of nature in a new, exciting way. So go ahead, give it a shot! You’re bound to be hooked and you’ll never want to go back to traditional camping again!