Is Sky Camping Real?

Sky camping provides a unique outdoor slumber for intrepid adventurers. Known also as sky tenting, this novel form of camping involves sleeping aloft inside tents or shelters tethered to trees or poles overhead. Deserted beaches, deep forests, and rocky cliffs may host the campsites for these aerial havens. Sleeping high above the hard ground brings campers closer to panoramic views and fresh breezes uninhibited by earthly obstacles.

Ensconced in the airy shelters, restless campers need not fret about flooded tents nor crawlies skittering below. Yet challenges come with the rewards. Precise anchoring and painstaking setup keep the lofty shelters stable amidst the elements. Gusty winds and wild storms may render the sites too risky for hanging a night above ground.

While sky camping offers the open air without earthly entanglements, this extreme activity requires know-how, ideal conditions, and nerves of steel. For intrepid outdoorsmen and women, the call of the open sky beckons from above, inviting those bold enough to answer.

Is It Sleeping Camping?

Yes, sky camping involves sleeping while camping.

When we think of camping, images of tents pitched on solid ground typically come to mind. Yet some adventurous souls have taken camping to new heights with the emerging activity of sky camping. This thrilling twist on camping involves suspending tents or other temporary shelters high up in trees or atop poles and sleeping within them overnight. So does spending the night hovering above terra firma in a fluttering nylon cocoon count as true camping?

Is It Sleeping Camping
Is It Sleeping Camping

Sky camping contains the core elements that define camping as we know it. Those who latch their tents to branches or posts overhead are still venturing out into nature, setting up temporary abodes, and sleeping out under the stars, just from loftier perches. They must still select campsites, secure proper anchoring, and rough it sans modern comforts and amenities during their aerial overnights. While the location may be atypically airborne, sky campers embody the spirit of intrepidness and communion with the outdoors central to camping’s ethos.

Sky camping, while a highly novel and niche offshoot, aligns with camping’s essence of embracing nature through humble, primitive means. The act of sleeping suspended many feet above the ground in modified shelters is simply a more extreme implementation of the exposure, simplicity, and connection with the elements that define the beloved camping experience. So for those with sufficient courage and preparation, the sky truly is the limit for where one can camp.

Is Sky Camping Real?

Yes, sky camping is real. The practice of sleeping in suspended tents or other shelters above ground for camping is something some adventurous people have done, though it is still a niche activity. The concept exists and has been executed by certain outdoor enthusiasts, so sky camping does indeed exist in reality.

For thrill-seeking outdoor aficionados, the call of the open sky beckons from places wild and remote. This singular adventure, known as sky camping, involves sleeping suspended on high in portable shelters tethered to sheer cliffsides or towering trees. Embracing dizzying heights and airy expanses, sky campers slumber precipitously perched, reveling in sweeping vistas and liberation from earthly bounds.

This extreme form of camping demands technical expertise, nerves of steel, and specialized gear. Stout climbing harnesses and carabiners allow access to precipitous sleeping sites. Durable portaledge tents with rain flys transform rocky outcroppings into suspended shelters. With meticulous setup and safety precautions, skilled climbers and campers can securely anchor their aerial dwelling. Come nightfall, sublime tranquility prevails, the Milky Way blazing brilliantly up above.

sky camping offers the open air
sky camping offers the open air

For hardy souls who live for the extreme, sky camping brings the adventure of vertical camping to spectacular new heights. Suspended on high above the world, they dwell amid the elements, merging daring and ingenuity to experience nature on its own transcendent terms.

How Does Sky Camping Work?

Sky camping, also known as cliff camping or high camping, is an extreme outdoor activity that involves sleeping in a suspended tent or porta ledges on the side of a cliff or steep mountain slope. Here’s how it works:

The Thrill of Sky Camping

The extreme pursuit of sky camping offers adventurers the chance to bed down for the night suspended precipitously on high. This thrilling variety of camping involves sleeping in portable shelters anchored to remote mountainsides and cliffs, hovering audaciously over steep drops. Successfully executing a sky camping trip requires careful planning, specialized gear, and daring.

Choosing an Epic Location

The first prerequisite is choosing a breathtaking yet safe location like a windswept crag or towering bluff. The spot must offer stunning vistas but also have stable and secure anchor points. Popular destinations include desert cliffs, rocky ridges, and mountain walls.

Gearing Up Properly

After selecting an ideal spot, the next step is gathering the right specialized gear. This includes harnesses, ropes, ascension systems, and sturdy portaledge tents designed for hanging off walls and cliffs. Safety equipment like helmets and gloves are also essential.

Anchoring the Portaledge

With gear in tow, campers must securely anchor their portaledge shelter to a natural feature on the cliffside. This is done using carabiners, rope knots, and other climbing hardware to attach to an anchor point like a rock horn, block, or crack.

Occupying the Aires Campsite

Once anchored tightly, campers can carefully ascend into the portaledge using the fixed ropes. Inside the portaledge, they can relax and enjoy panoramic views for miles as the sun sets and night sky emerges. Caution must be exercised at all times.

Breaking Camp

Come morning, campers must meticulously deconstruct their setup, ensuring no gear or litter is left behind. Finally, they rappel safely back down the cliffside, ending their airborne adventure.

Is Sky Camping Safe?

When it comes to recreational activities, there is inherent risk in any pursuit that brings us face-to-face with the forces of nature. Sky camping is no exception. Sleeping suspended on a portaledge thousands of feet in the air inevitably carries certain hazards. But with the right precautions, training, and decision making, the risks can be mitigated to make sky camping acceptably safe for those adventurous enough to attempt it.

Is Sky Camping Safe
Is Sky Camping Safe

The most significant dangers of sky camping stem from the high-altitude exposure, reliance on gear, and little margin for error. Situational hazards like storms, falling rocks, or equipment failures can swiftly turn catastrophic. To make sky camping as safe as reasonably possible, strict protocols must be followed.

First, only experienced climbers and campers should attempt sky camping. Extensive training in climbing, anchoring, and emergency preparedness is mandatory before stepping foot on the wall. Quality gear and backups for every component are essential, as is checking and re-checking every piece of equipment. Campsites must be chosen carefully for optimal stability, shelter, and reliable anchors. And contingency plans should be established in case of emergencies or evacuation.

With the right precautions taken, the inherent risks of sky camping can be managed. But no amount of preparation can make it completely safe – a degree of risk tolerance will always be needed. Ultimately, confronting the vertical world demands vigilance, humility, and respect for the forces involved. Done right, the rewards of sky camping can be revelatory.

Key Sky Camping Safety Considerations

Safety Measure Description
Proper training Extensive climbing, anchoring, and gear experience needed
Quality equipment Use top-grade gear specifically designed for sky camping
Gear inspection Double-check every anchor, rope, carabiner – leave no flaws undetected
Careful site selection Seek out optimal stability, shelter from elements, reliable anchors
Backup systems Have contingency plans and backup gear in case of equipment failure
Caution Move slowly and carefully at all times; don’t take unnecessary risks
Situational awareness Continuously monitor conditions; exit early if hazards arise
Risk acceptance Understand inherent risks can only be mitigated, not eliminated

What Equipment Do You Need for Sky Camping?

Sky or high camping or cliff camping requires specialized equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

Outfitting for the Skies: Gear for Sky Camping

From portaledge tents to carabiners, specialized equipment is vital when camping in the clouds. Here’s what sky-high campers need to safely and comfortably bed down on their vertical perch.

Harnesses and Helmets

Sturdy climbing harnesses securely attach campers to lifeline ropes, while helmets protect from falling debris. For sky camping, prioritize lightweight but durable gear.

Ropes and Anchors

Industrial-strength ropes and carabiners are essential for rigging the portaledge and campers’ harnesses to solid natural anchors on the cliffside. Resist the urge to skimp here.

Portaledge Tent

This suspended tent with built-in floor will serve as your bedroom in the sky. Seek aerodynamic, weather-resistant models specifically engineered for portaledging.

Sleep System

Just because you’re dangling from a cliff doesn’t mean you have to freeze. Pack a warm sleeping bag and insulated pad to weather the elements.

Camp Kitchen

Prepare for simple backcountry meals with a compact camp stove, cookware, cutlery, and mess kit. Bonus points for magnetic tools that won’t tumble into the abyss.

Navigation Aids

Even skilled climbers can lose their way on exposed walls and ridges. Bring a map, compass, GPS, and headlamp to stay found if darkness or weather descends.

First Aid provisions

A well-stocked kit can mean the difference between a small mishap and full-on crisis. Inventory supplies like bandages, antibiotics, splints, and painkillers.

Related: Sun-Lite Campers: Lightweight and Affordable Camping

Where Can You Go Sky Camping?

This type of camping involves setting up a tent on a high cliff or ledge, usually with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. For bold climbers who dream of slumbering on high, these breathtaking spots offer the perfect opportunities to bed down on a vertical precipice.

Yosemite’s El Capitan, California

There’s no more iconic big wall than El Cap. Experienced climbers can portaledge camp thousands of feet up this granite monolith for unrivaled views of Yosemite Valley.

Verdon Gorge, France

Europe’s answer to the Grand Canyon, Verdon’s limestone cliffs tower up to 700 meters high. Intrepid climbers can wake up to stunning panoramas over the turquoise river.

Borneo, Malaysia

Nepenthes Camp perches portaledges on towering tropical cliffs, immersing guests in lush rainforest abuzz with wildlife. Just beware the monkeys who may treat your camp like their own personal jungle gym.

Mt. Thor, Baffin Island

This remote Arctic peak features Earth’s greatest vertical drop – 4,000 ft of sheer granite. Its cliffs offer hardy souls one of the world’s most incredible spots for airborne camping.

Diamond, Colorado

With myriad routes up its dramatic stalwarts, this revered climbing area lets you wake up eye-level with sheer sandstone. Its portaledge camping encapsulates the Rocky Mountain spirit.

Sky camping deaths: Fall Risk 

here have been some reported deaths associated with sky camping:

  • In 2015, a 59-year-old man died after falling from a suspended tent structure in an amateur sky camping attempt in Utah.
  • In 2020, a couple fell from their hammock that was suspended between trees while sky camping in Washington, resulting in one death.
  • Falls are the main risk of sky camping if anchors and suspensions fail or people roll out of their tents/hammocks during sleep. The height can lead to serious injury or death.
  • Other risks include equipment failure from weather or improper setup, and inability to easily exit in emergencies like storms.
  • There are no firm statistics on annual sky camping fatalities given its niche status. But deaths have underscored the inherent dangers of suspended shelters high up without proper precautions.
  • Experts recommend professional gear, anchoring to multiple points, shelter with floors, and avoiding risky weather if attempting sky camping to mitigate major risks of falling. Caution is warranted for this adventurous activity.

So in summary, there have been some deaths related to sky camping due to fall risks, but the number of fatalities is unknown given its limited popularity. Careful setup and precautions are necessary for risk mitigation.

Considerations for Sky Camping in Mountains
Rocky, uneven terrain makes finding flat, stable areas to anchor shelters more difficult. Proper anchoring is crucial.
Rapidly changing weather and strong winds could destabilize sky shelters. Choosing protected campsites is key.
Cooler temperatures require well-insulated sleeping systems and shelters.
Lower oxygen levels can exacerbate health issues. Acclimatization is recommended.
Remoteness means rescue may be difficult if an accident occurs. Vital to prepare safety precautions.
Advantages include more seclusion, scenic views, and protection from ground moisture/insects.
Expert sky campers have set up shelters on cliffs, peaks and plateaus in places like the Rockies.
Careful planning, precautions, and proper gear make sky camping in the mountains possible. But the alpine environment poses greater risks that require thorough preparation and caution, especially for beginners.


Is Sky Camping a real thing?

Yes, sky camping is a real thing. To summarize:

  1. Sky camping, also known as tree camping or air camping, refers to the practice of camping/sleeping in suspended tents, hammocks, or other platforms that are hoisted into the air, usually among trees.
  2. While niche and uncommon, there are adventure companies, experienced campers, and outdoor enthusiasts who have practiced real sky camping in various parts of the world, including the US, Canada, and Australia.
  3. There are risks like falls, requiring careful setup and precautions, but the concept and activity of sky camping does exist in reality.
  4. Photos, videos, blogs, and news reports document people camping and sleeping in tents or hammocks hoisted high up, off the ground.
  5. So while rare and adventurous, the practice of sky camping as a form of novel outdoor sheltering and sleeping is a real phenomenon that occurs in the camping world today.


My name is Evelyn and I started Camping The Camp to combine my love of the outdoors with my background in environmental science. I hope you’ll find helpful as you discover the joys of camping. It’s more than a weekend trip - it’s a chance to disconnect from devices, reconnect with loved ones, and make memories to last a lifetime

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