1. The Gear
At first glance, the biggest difference between hammock and tent camping is the gear. This is technically true but you need the same cateogries of gear for both camp styles.
Comfort (Hammock or Tent + Sleeping Pad)
Warmth (Top/Bottom Quilt or Sleeping Bag)
Protection (Bug Fly and Rain Fly)
Set-Up (Suspension and Stakes)
2. Choosing A Spot / Setting Up Camp
First and foremost, follow Leave No Trace principles when choosing a campsite. With both camp styles, it's a selection process to find the perfect spot. When tent camping you must find level ground, without obstructions, away from animal habitats that fit your tent footprint. When hammock camping you need to find two sturdy trees or other objects, 10-15ft apart. In both situations, always look up and make sure there aren't dead branches overhead.
What if there are no trees?
No trees? No problem. Depending on your camp style there are several ways to work around a lack of trees when hammock camping.
If you are car camping...
The beauty in car camping is that you have the luxury of bringing as much gear as you can fit in your car as opposed to just your pack. A lightweight hammock stand is perfect for this situation.
If you are backpacking...
In a pinch, your trekking poles can be used to prop up the head of your hammock to create a bivvy and hold up your rain fly. Giving you the same level of protection without having to be suspended.
Let's be honest, has anyone actually slept comfortably on a sleeping pad? Trying to get comfortable in a tent can be challenging. You need a perfectly flat area and no matter how careful you are, you still end up with a rock in your back.
Sleeping in a hammock shows you a level of comfort you thought you couldn't find outdoors. Since you literally sleep on air, there are no pressure points to cause you pain in the morning.
With hammocks like the Ninox Flat Lay Hammock, you can sleep comfortably in any position. Back, side, and even stomach, thanks to proprietary comfort wave technology.
How to sleep in a hammock (the learning curve)...
In order to experience the total comfort experience of sleeping in a hammock, you have to lay at a diagonal so you don't fold up like a banana. Wiggle in and find the perfect spot for your head and feet and spend the night stargazing.
To be completely honest, you might not love it the first time. It's new, it's different and like all things take a night to get used too. The first time you slept in a tent it was probably a miserable experience but you kept on camping anyway and now you are a pro at sleeping outdoors.