Pros and Cons of Using a Camping Hammock

A good night’s sleep is a priority above everything else when you are backpacking. With enough time for a refreshing snooze, you are guaranteed a healthy body and mind, and therefore much more time on the trail track exploring nature. While the default choice to sleep in for most backpackers is ground shelters, there is no doubt that hammocks are gaining popularity. If you are thinking about giving hammocks a try, here is one fact for you: they let you swing about, literally, and the experience is unique! It’s like sleeping on a water bed that can rock sideways.

If you are new to hammocks, here are a few pros and cons so that you can decide if you will include one in your next backpacking adventure.

Camping Hammock

Pro: Easy to put together

All you need to get you started is two trees about 17 feet apart. Once you get the distance right, you can snooze almost anywhere, and as opposed to a ground shelter, you do not need to fret over a wet ground, busy campsites or an uneven ground. Having said that, you can backpack anywhere without worrying about where to set up camp for the night.

Con: Quality against Cost

For maximum comfort, you need a hammock with insulation, padding, rain trap and a mosquito net and that requires you to dig deeper into your pocket. Essentially, like most of the quality things in life, anticipate paying a higher price for more comfort.

Pro: Comfortable

If you are looking to spend some time outdoors bonding with nature, you will find hammocks are much more comfortable compared to ground shelters. When you take a camping hammock along, rocky surfaces, uneven ground or a sleeping pad are no longer a problem. You are able to sleep comfortably and get up feeling refreshed and ready for more adventure.

Best Camping Hammock

Cons: Getting Used to a Suspended Camping Hammock

Although there is much praise to go around, there a big difference between sleeping in your ordinary bed and sleeping in a suspended hammock. You need time to get used to a hammock and that requires a period of adjustment. Also shifting around in a hammock is tricky, and that requires you to condition your mind to feel comfortable in a hammock.

Pro: No Traces of your Hammock

Ground shelters are known to leave behind quit a mess. To set them up, you need to smoother a few plants and drive pegs into the ground to hold things together. Camping hammocks do not come with any of these complications, although their straps can dent the bark of trees. So, when you set out to look for one, do some research and find one that has bark-friendly straps.

Con: Insulation

If you are camping in a cold environment, and you want to stay insulated then sleeping bags, pads or high quality tents are your best bet. If you choose to tag along with a hammock, be sure to take with you insulating material to keep you warm. Also, focus extra attention to the hammock’s underside because it is exposed to cold drafts.

Best Camping HammockFinal verdict

If you enjoy backpacking or camping in order to be in tune with nature, hammocks make the best companions. You have the freedom to set up camp and snooze anywhere you want with a little insulation to keep you warm. If you relish the experience, find one that suits your tastes and go have fun you can find camping hammock reviews online that provide the best choice for you.

Hammock Camping Part I: Advantages & disadvantages versus ground systems

Foods That Are Dangerous to Dogs

There are many types of human food that are very bad for mans best friend. Many of these foods you would think are harmless but in reality they can be deadly.

Mushrooms are very hazardous, they contain many toxins which can cause shock.

Macadamia nuts can affect the nervous system of a dog. Alcohol of any kind can cause a coma in animals. Chocolate or caffeine contains theobromine, or theophylline, which can affect the heart and nervous system. Persimmons can cause obstructions in the bowels. Pits from Peaches or Plums also create blockages. Salt can cause electrolyte imbalances. Yeast or Dough can expand in the stomach causing gas or bloating. Any type of Baby food is also bad because it contains Onion Powder another toxic substance to a dog. Raw Eggs contain enzymes that can damage the coat. Eggs can also contain Salmonella. Can you believe that even Grapes and Raisins can harm a dog? They can damage the kidneys. Cat food contains many proteins and fats and should be avoided. Any type of Sugar can lead to dental problems and obesity. Tobacco is harmful because of Nicotine, which can cause rapid heartbeat or even death.

With all of these potential food problems how do you know what your dog should eat? Studies indicate that most dogs prefer canned dog foods to other kinds of foods. This is probably because of the way the foods smell. It is ok to feed your adult dog once or twice in a day. Puppies need more meals than that as a general rule.

Homemade or table food is the most risky thing you can feed your dog. No more than ten percent of a dog’s diet should be human food. Some people learn this the hard way and their poor pet suffers. Don’t be one of those people.

Water should be available to your dog at all times. This can prevent dehydration and the possibility of overheating. Summer time is especially dangerous. Alot of exercise can make your dog very thirsty.

Around the holidays do not use tinsel or popcorn string. The holidays are the busiest time at the animal hospital. Poinsettia or Mistletoe plants can be harmful if ingested. Turkey and pumpkin pie could also be toxic. These hazards along with the consumption of table foods injure many pets. You should not spoil everyone’s holiday with these common mishaps.

Exposing dogs to human foods can lead to dental problems, heart disease or diabetes. The safest way to protect your dog is not to give it any human food at all. Being a responsible pet owner will ensure many years of happiness for you and your dog.

Ways to Ease an Arthritic Dog’s Pain and Discomfort

My darling fourteen year old golden retriever suffers from arthritis. While he is a stoic old gentleman, he definitely has his moments where I can clearly see the discomfort and frustration on his face. While I know he will only have a few more years with us at best, I strive every day to make his life a bit more comfortable and easy. Here are some tips on how to help your arthritic dog live out his days in as much comfort as possible.

Talk to Your Vet About a Glucosamine Sulfate or Aspirin Regimen

Both drugs offer a potential amount of substantial relief from the pain and discomfort of canine arthritis. Work with your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage and frequency of the drug regimen. I began giving my dog Glucosamine with his daily meals during the summer and the difference was like night and day. This drug builds up in the system and offers a wonderful amount of pain relief after only a few doses. One Monday my dog could barely get up to go outside and by Thursday he was frolicking around the yard like he was a young pup.

Move Bedding Downstairs

Going up and down a staircase several times a day can be tortuous for a dog suffering from arthritis. If your canine friend generally sleep

s upstairs on his own bed, eliminate the trip and move the bedding to the first level. Your dog will appreciate being able to sleep in comfortable and familiar surroundings without the exertion of going up a staircase.

Add Throw Rugs and Runners to Hardwood Floors

A few years ago, we removed all the carpeting from the first level of our home. This was a great aid in controlling my husband’s asthma, but was a great detriment to the comfort of my arthritic dog. When he began to really suffer from the condition, he was literally stuck wherever he had chosen to lay down. The laminate and hardwood flooring did not allow him any traction when trying to get up and move to another room. A few strategically placed throw rugs and runners gave him that extra boost when trying to switch from a reclined to an upright position.

Splurge on a Piece of Low Furniture

My darling dogs have always been spoiled and pampered. They are accustomed to napping on my couch and love seat whenever the mood strikes them. Unfortunately, the height of my living room furniture makes it very difficult for my arthritic dog to successfully make the climb. I purchased a futon and placed it in a corner of the living room. My golden retriever finds it much easier to navigate that shorter height when he wants to settle in for an afternoon nap. Not only can he relax in comparable comfort, he does not need to tax his aching joints to do so. Large Orthopedic Dog Beds is also something I plan to get my dog so that he doesn’t have to make the climb. They come in various sizes with bolsters so your dog can lay and stretch out.

Get in Tune with Your Canine Friend.

Learn your dog’s non verbal cues and signs of distress. While canine arthritis can be managed for a time and steps can be taken to minimize the discomfort, the condition is painful and debilitating. Shortly after my golden began to exhibit signs of arthritis, he developed a signature bark that indicated when he was in need of something. I now am able to recognize his messages of thirst, a need to go outside or a problem in getting up. He very clearly lets me know when he is having a bad day and needs a bit of help in meeting his needs. Paying attention to your dog’s expressions and sounds will allow you to be sensitive to his needs and offer a bit of comfort on particularly painful and challenging days.