Hammock Camping is Amazing!

Why is Hammock camping so amazing?

Hammock camping has to be the most comfortable way to sleep and if you haven’t used one you at least need to try one. I’m not talking about the hammocks you get for your garden or see in photos of that remote island holiday retreat. Those hammocks are usually made from rope or cordage and look like a net, some even come with their own frame to hang them in.

The hammocks I’m referring to are the ones specifically designed for camping. They tend to be made from silnylon, polyester or a combination of the two. A friend of mine thought my hammock was, in fact, a parachute, I suppose they can look similar as the materials are usually the same.

I first thought about hammock camping after seeing Sean Emery better known as Shug on YouTube. Sean is the hammock master and I highly recommend checking out his channel. After binge watching YouTube for several days I decided to venture into the world of hammock camping.

There are lots of hammocks to choose from but I opted to take the advice of DD Hammocks as they have definitely got this subject covered. As I was venturing on a long cycle tour I wanted a versatile, lightweight hammock with a bug net. This led me to purchase one of DD Hammocks Travel Hammock and bivi with built-in bug net.

This hammock can be attached to 2 trees or suitable points as trees aren’t always required. It comes with a built-in bug net which is held away from you by spreader bars and shock cord. The hammock has a double layer base with Velcro along one side, this is ideal for placing a self inflated mat. Placing the mat in between the layers stops it from sliding around when you move in your sleep. You could also get in between these layers if the weather turned to prevent getting wet, however you may suffer from some condensation from your breath.

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The main sleeping area has 4 pockets 2 at each end so you can sleep either way. The bug net has a zip on each side meaning you can get in and out on any side. The bug net also lifts up out of the way, ideal when you’re using the hammock as a comfortable chair drinking fresh coffee. If there are no bugs you can hang the hammock inverted so the bug net is below you, this gives you a great view of the stars.

Inside you’ll find a gear hanger at each end, ideal for your glasses or a head torch and what amazed me is there is ample room. On the outside edge of the hammock are 2 looped straps. These can be used with guylines to open up the hammock a little, however I have used shock cord tied out to trees which meant the hammock was stable and gave me a lot of room to sit up and eat my breakfast in bed. Using shock cord to stake out the hammock ensures it stays taut through the night as silnylon gives when it changes temperature.

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Sleeping in a hammock is heaven but you need to set it up correctly and have the right sleeping system. I’ve set the hammock up high and I’ve had it millimeters from the ground and almost everything in between. When it was low I only woke because some wild flowers blowing in the breeze tickled my nose.

Ideally you tie your hammock to the tree at shoulder height with about a 30 degree angle, this makes the hammock look like a green banana between the trees but soon the magic happens. Usually by hanging the hammock at this height when you’re sat in the hammock your feet will touch the floor. They don’t have to but I find it easier to put my boots on in the morning or if I have to get up to pee then it’s easier in the dark.

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I’ve hung it lower to be stealthy, once behind a substation in Switzerland right next to the Italian border. There were no trees just a metal fence, so I clipped the hammock across the corner of the fence with carabiners. I didn’t even cover myself up with a tarp in case it rained and had a very comfy nights sleep.

There are lots of techniques for hanging a hammock and I recommend visiting Shugs YouTube channel to check them out. Once you have hung your hammock and setup your sleep system the trick is to sleep diagonally in the hammock. This causes the hammock to go flat like a bed except there are no pressure points, meaning you get a very comfy nights sleep.

Insulation is important in a hammock because of convection, the cold air passing under your hammock gives you a cold back. So it’s important to use an insulated mat or under quilt, again check out these videos from Shug.

This hammock is also a bivi and can be used on the ground, I’ve done this several times especially when the ground is flat grass. This feature also becomes very handy if there are no trees around. The side loops can be used to stake out the bivi and I tie one end of the bug net shock cord to my bike. This lifts the bug net up and out of the way, I have recently bought the curved poles to create a one man tent out of the hammock. This make a huge difference as the whole hammock becomes a very stealthy one man tent with bug net. I don’t need to strap it to my bike as I can just stake it out like any other tent.

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This hammock is extremely versatile and I try to take it on every tour, even if I’m only out for the day. There’s nothing like sitting in a hammock whilst watching the world go be enjoying your lunch.

The DD Travel Hammock and Bivi weighs in at less than 1kg and fits in or even on top of my front panniers. This is one item that I will carry even if it means I have extra stuff on my bike by having a tent, hammock and tarp gives me the biggest choice when it comes to wild camping. A huge advantage of the hammock is you can sleep in places others wouldn’t dream of. You don’t have to worry about what is on the floor and could even sleep over a stream. You do however need to take note of what is above you as dead branches falling at night can be deadly.

So let’s finish off with the information provided by DD Hammocks themselves. Remember they have a hammock and accessories for every eventuality.

The double-layered DD Travel Hammock/Bivi has a built-in mosquito net and a waterproof floor. With the webbing pre-fitted and wide 60cm spreader pole/elastic included to raise the net for a spacious interior space, the Travel Hammock is a versatile system suitable for users with any level of hammock camping experience.

Great on and off the ground
The DD Travel hammock’s waterproof base makes it ready to deploy on the ground as a bivi. Backpackers and long-distance hikers will appreciate this, in the event that the next campsite turns out to be tree-free!

Zip up the net for 100% bug protection, or simply unzip both sides and roll up to secure out of the way. Alternatively, suspend the hammock with the net on the bottom to lounge out in the sun! The 4 storage pouches can be used on either the interior or exterior of the hammock, all you need to do is flip them to the outside when the hammock is used with the net on the bottom!

Size 2.7m x 1.4m (comfortable for people up to 6ft 5in and 125kg)
Colour Olive green, Coyote Brown
Weight 930g (hammock only)
Includes Travel Hammock, Webbing (10m), 2 x elastic cord, 2 x spreader poles, stuff sack
Weight limit 125 kg

  • Double-layered design with Velcro tab closure – insert a partially-inflated Thermarest between the layers in cooler weather.
  • Waterproof floor layer for use on the ground Ultra-fine mesh mosquito net built-in: zips closed and protects against all insects (even the smallest!)
  • Foldable lightweight 60cm spreader poles and two 2m lengths of elastic, to suspend the net.
  • 2 x double-sided zippers for easy open and close.
  • 2 x internal hanging loops for torches, glasses etc.
  • 4 pouch pockets to store small valuables – can be used whilst the hammock is in any configuration.
  • 4 tabs on each corner of the base – to peg out, to suspend equipment from or to fit a DD Underblanket.
  • Pre-fitted with 10m strong suspension webbing (5m each end).
  • Stuff Sack

Check out my Travel Diaries website over at www.mrjolt.co.uk which includes insider secrets on the travel industry.

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