State changes rules to allow hammock camping


The Iowa Natural Resources Commission is changing its rules to allow the use of hammocks in state parks and camping areas.

State Parks Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt said some people use hammocks for sleeping instead of a tent or RV. “You still have to rent a site – but if there are mature enough trees that can be used to tie your hammock to it – then we want to provide it. It’s just that you have to take care to do that, to tie it there so that the tree doesn’t get injured, ”says Coffelt.

The proposed rules indicate how hammocks are held together with straps and bands. You cannot hammer nails or screw screws into trees to hold your hammock. He says the use of hammocks depends on where you are.

“Not all parks have the right tree height to support a person like me that I would be comfortable sleeping in,” he says. “But it’s different for everyone.” Coffelt says they also want to avoid having too many hammocks in a tree.

“If you can find two trees the right distance apart, you’re going to set up a hammock. Then you’re going to start what I call the ladder effect where you have a hammock over a hammock, over a hammock. And we have to fix it, because part of what we do is protect the resource, ”Coffelt said.

He says they will only allow two hammocks or camping units together.
“You can’t stack them six. Nature just isn’t designed for everything we want it to do sometimes. We want to work with people and accommodate them as much as possible, ”says Coffelt.

Anyone interested can submit comments regarding this draft regulation. MNR is taking comments on the proposed rule change. You must send your comments no later than 4:30 p.m. on June 2. Comments should be addressed to: [email protected]

There will be a public hearing by conference call at 10 a.m. on June 2.

(DNR photo of the campsite)


Sally J. Minick

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