Forts are great. Hammocks are great. Winter is... sometimes great. It's great when you're warm. Now picture this: a warm + cozy wintertime hammock fort... Such greatness is rare indeed.

Here's a 4-step recipe to making the ultimate winter hammock fort.

1. Get a hammock

Your hammock is your base. Think of your hammock as a nest. When faced with winter weather on its own it won't keep you very comfortable. But it's just the beginning.

Hammocking in the snow, on top of a mountain

Any good nest needs a base to build up from, and that's what the rest of the recipe is about. 

2. Rainfly to keep the wind out

All great forts have walls. The walls of your hammock are more like the walls of the inner sanctum than they are outer buttresses. You want your outer walls to be sturdy and encompassing so your inner nest can be flexible and formfitting. 

The walls of your hammock fort: a taut all-purpose rainfly.


3. Fill out your nest

Remember, your hammock is your nest. Your inner sanctum. Your rainfly is your outer walls. The skeleton is there. Now, it's time to focus on the details: nest decor. The simplest way to get the true feeling of a fort is to surround yourself with as much fabric as possible.

Of course, there are limits. You need something portable. It can't be any fabric, either. It needs to be encapsulating but packable -- it needs to be a footie blanket. A blanket with a foot pocket built-in. Get 2: one for your body, and one for on top of your body. Like a piece of insulating seaweed in a gull's nest.

4. The most overlooked part: Puffy Travel Pillow

You thought we were done. Most people do at this point. Until that is, they enter their 3-piece wintertime hammock fort and realize they're missing a 4th item: a pillow.

woman resting her head on a fluffy travel pillow in the woods

You probably won't want to take off your puffy if it's cold, and your blankets are blankets, not meant to be rolled into the role of a pillow. Bring a puffy travel pillow for your head. It packs down when you're on the move, and poofs out when you're in your fort. Perfect.

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Austin Wilson