The Truth About Hammock Camping: Claim #5: hammocks make you pee more in the night

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26 Responses

  1. Andrew van Ees says:

    This was better explained in another article about hiking and camping, water is a both a hydration system but also a temp regulator in body and so much more. It needs water to both keep you hydrated but also used to regulate temp and as temperatures go up and down so will your need to pee.

    • Derek says:

      Agreed. Water and fluids are essential for those core functions you mentioned: hydration, thermoregulation, mobility, etc. I touched on those very lightly. However, you should be able to rest for 6-8 hours without peeing. If you’re peeing more in the night, than something is amiss. There are a lot of causes for excessive nighttime urination, some could be serious (e.g., diabetes, urinary tract infection, congestive heart failure, etc). Non-medical causes include consuming too much liquid, consuming a diuretic before bed, or accumulated fluids are more easily managed.

      • Bill says:

        Very good article. There are 4-5 of us who section hike the A-T annually and typically have to pee 2-3 times during the night. Obviously, the wine we enjoy after dinner–and usually shortly before bed–is a likely contributing factor. A couple of my colleagues keep a pee bottle in their hammock for use during the night. I did too, when I had a bottom entry HH. Now that I’ve switched to the side entry HH, it’s not so traumatic to get up during the night to relieve oneself. (I’ve never been all that comfortable with the bottle, anyway.)

  2. kristine says:

    Nice article, thank you. I blame it on my forgetfullness. I go back and forth about 5 times for things I forgot to do. Peeing can be one. And since I drink a tea to help me sleep, if i do not pee before sleep, I can be in trouble at some point.

  3. so you just move yourself over to the side of you hammock and pee- then lay back and go back to sleep- no big deal.
    another advantage of hammock camping when you are not laying on the ground!

  4. John Bruneau says:

    Let’s not forget that there are those of us who use a CPAP at home for sleep apnea treatment. I happen to have a severe case and while using my CPAP at home, am able to sleep through the night. However without it I can be up 4 to 5 times a night. I have never let this stop me from hammock camping. It is a nuisance though! Some authorities believe that only 20% of sleep apnea affected people are diagnosed. I still notice a difference between the hammock and tent with the hammock having a higher frequency of nature calls.

  5. Patrick says:

    When it comes to Hammocks, I like the Caribbean Mayan Hammocks like the ones at http://www.ameriprod.com/category_CMHA_Caribbean-Mayan-Hammocks.html because they are made in the USA and are very durable.

  6. Steve Austin says:

    What also happens is if you are dehydrated, even slightly, your body will store its waste to preserve moisture. Than at the end of the day when you have replenished your water your body takes time to process it and excrete the stored liquid waste. …And dont forget the caffeine in coffee and tea etc acts as a diuretic which causes you to go more.

    • Jason says:

      A pretty recent study showed that coffee/tea does not act as a diuretic for regular coffee/tea drinkers and actually has the same hydrating effects as water. Beer and wine on the other hand will keep you up all night.

      • Derek says:

        I found the study, and the results are interesting, but it isn’t a very broad (only 50 “habituated” males), so the results may not sway everyone (although there is a lot of internet buzz on it). Also important to note, the “funding for this study was provided by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.”

        I take a moderate approach: coffee and tea do contribute to your hydration, and in moderate amounts, will not dehydrate you. The key takeaway is summarized by the study itself:

        These data suggest that coffee, when consumed in moderation by caffeine habituated males provides similar hydrating qualities to water.

        I also like the medical research provided by the MayoClinic:

        Still, caffeinated drinks can cause headaches and insomnia in some people. Water is probably your best bet to stay hydrated. It’s calorie-free, caffeine-free, inexpensive and readily available.

    • Steve Austin says:

      I did say the ‘caffeine’ in coffee and tea. Do your own study drink a caffeinated beverage or two after dinner before bed and see what happens. After all we are individuals and have our own tolerances and conditions that effect results.

  7. Walter says:

    I have an enlarged prostrate and need to go frequently. But I also drink a lot because I want to stay well hydrated. I just hang a “P” jug from the hammock support line so I can go in the night without leaving the hammock or leaving a steamy wet area under it. Works very nicely.

  8. wgiles says:

    Simple aging is also a factor. I used to sleep through the night, but as I get older, I find that I wake up and usually need to go. I also find that I need to go more often in cold weather than in warm weather when sweat is a factor.

  9. Subligar says:

    I’m a 365 hanger and i never thought about this before now.. When I’m out on a cycling trip hanging I normally have to pee during the night, but when I’m hanging at home I almost never get woken up by the urge to pee..
    So coming from someone who sleeps every night in a hammock, a hammock does not make me pee, it’s the other things that cause it.

    • Derek says:

      Thanks, that is great feedback. I think you are correct, especially when adding the complexity of physical activity and exertion. As I mentioned in the post, fluid build-up and extra hydration are components. The hammock plays a part, but isn’t the cause, per se. It is the combination of factors.

  10. gjhendricks says:

    Great site, Derek. I have been using my Hennessy for a little over a year on our Scout family campouts; nothing is better on an old man’s back! But to older I get I do see a more frequent need to ‘go’ in the night, but the hammock does seem to magnify it no matter how much I prepare ahead of time before turning in. The best accessory I have for my hammock, and it didn’t cost me a dime, was a Starbucks juice jug that flattens when empty. Went to toss it after a business meeting and ding went the lightbulb. :)

  11. Hammock Camper says:

    One thing the males can do, is to have a large plastic pee bottle with a screw on cap. I use an Arizona Tea bottle which has a relatively wide mouth opening. I spent 3 nights hammock camping in mid 30 degree weather, so I certainly didn’t want to get out of the hammock each time nature called. Whenever I felt the urge, I removed the bottle from the stuff sack attached to my hammock, took the cap off the bottle, then held it at a downward angle to avoid spilling, placing the bottle opening right where I needed it, while lying on my back. When I finished, I put the cap back on, and placed it back in the stuff sack. I could pee 2-3 times before the bottle got too full, without ever spilling a drop. Once the bottle got near full, I simply dumped it out on the ground, then put the cap back on until the next use. The bottle can also be used to warm your hands in cold weather. I bring one every time I kayak, hammock camp, as well as keep one in my vehicle in case of emergencies.

  12. Shal Loeser says:

    I also need to pee several times each night, even in a regular bed (and often during the day too, doc says it comes with being 65) and use a pee-jar to avoid getting out of bed. I get on my hands and knees to pee in the jar, and wonder if a camping hammock is stable enough for that position. Never tried a pee-jar while laying on my back, hard to imagine that, but I will try.

    • Shal says:

      I succeeded in peeing while on my back! Cool, problem solved by the info in this great site, thank you!

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