If your idea of the ideal camping trip involves rest and relaxation, don't go portaledge camping. This form of camping, in which you attach a deployable cot from a single point on a cliff face so you can sleep mid-climb, isn't new, but it's quickly becoming the adrenaline junkie's ultimate form of accommodation. Relaxing on a portaledge — Photo courtesy of Modération Article
The first portaledge system was used by mountaineers hiking the Dolomites in the 1950s, but today, you're much more likely to see these suspended cots on the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This infamous peak rises 3,600 feet above the valley below, and a typical ascent takes anywhere from seven to 10 days. Those climbers need to rest somewhere, right? Portaledge tents make such ambitious multi-day climbs possible.
Unseasoned climbers may wonder how it's possible to even sleep when all that's between you and a several hundred or thousand-foot fall to the ground is a layer of fabric, but enthusiasts insist that climbing these cliff faces is much scarier than sleeping on them.
If you're intrigued by the idea of sleeping in a suspended tent but aren't quite ready to do it 2,000 feet in the air, try a night at the Waldseilgarten Mountain Resort in Germany, where guests get their own portaledge tent suspended from a tree branch.