Tree Camping In California
Camping can be great fun and is one of our favorite past times, but every once in a while, when I wake up in the middle of the night on the cold hard ground with a tree root digging into my back I often reconsider my options. There is a new concept in camping that is rejuvenating the experience for those that want to return to the great outdoors. Tree camping is becoming the new camping craze where instead of sleeping on the ground, campers spend their night dangling in the air from a tree.
While it sounds like a horrible experience to those afraid of heights, sleeping suspended in between trees is really picking up steam in the adventure community. Tree camping has become much more than just sleeping up in a hammock, designers all over the world have dedicated themselves to making works of art and engineering to design a better sleep above the ground. Some tree camping devices even hold full sized beds and bedroom furniture, but like most devices out in the wild, simple is better. A simple place to sleep with unparalleled views of the landscape while dangling high from a tree still keeps with the essence of camping while enhancing it with just slightly more adventure and comfort.
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Why go Tree Camping in Elk, California?
Though tree camping is increasingly popular all across the world, Elk, California is the premiere destination for it in the United States. In many places in California, tree campers use the portaledge style tents for tree camping originally designed for rock climbers that need a place to sleep while climbing a sheer rock ledge. This method suspends a fabric tent with a metal frame using suspension cables to raise and lower the tent accordingly. However, a fabric tent doesn't do much for those looking to tree camp for the view. Tree campers in Elk and other locations of the Pacific Coast have modified this method so that instead of fabric, the tent is little more than mosquito nets. Suspension cables are still attached to a metal frame that creates a "treeboat" bed that can be plain or padded with raised sides just in case campers tend to roll around when they sleep.
After campers have their tent, all they need to do is find a big tree with strong branches, something that Elk has no shortage of. Elk, California is filled with coastal Redwoods and ancient Cyprus trees that are perfect for tree camping in. Though getting the suspension able fastened to a sturdy branch can be a bit of a task.
There is one obvious question about tree camping that few ever address: how does one get into a tent that is suspended in the air? Some tents come with ladders, but those are for the tree camping tents that are just barely off the ground. The tents most commonly used in Elk use ropes to ascend and descend from the tent. This makes tree camping restricted to those who are in fairly good shape, considering visitors both have to climb a tree to secure the tent then climb a rope to get in and out of it. I guess the rope climbing section of gym class really was teaching some real world skills after all.
What Camping Gear do you Need for Tree Camping?
The major problem with this method of camping is that it is significantly more expensive than regular camping. Ground campers can make a tent out of almost anything, but tree camping requires very specific gear to assure that it is safe and scenic. Tents range anywhere from $200 for a single person tent to $700 for a multi-person tree tent. In Elk, there are a few outdoor shops where visitors can rent the equipment, but even then it is still fairly expensive ranging from $150 to $200 a night. Is the price justified? In Elk it most certainly is, visitors can pitch their tent in a strong, tall tree and get unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean at sunset, enjoy the night sky and listen to the ocean all night long while the gentle swinging of the tent rocks campers to sleep. It is also a bonus that campers won't wake up to find any wildlife rummaging through their tent either.
While tree camping in Elk is not only expensive but also physically demanding, it is an experience of a lifetime. Ground camping is still the popular way of sleeping outdoors and though tree camping is popular in many circles; there are still a great number who have ever done it. It is certain to be one of the most memorable experiences for all those adventurers out there.