Bug-Out Hammock: An Essential Addition To Any BOB

bug-out hammock

When bugging out, your foremost consideration (after ensuring you do, indeed, have the essentials for survival) is weight – you can’t use what you can’t carry. Many times, it is gear for shelter and sleeping that tend to add the most bulk; this is where a bug-out hammock can provide a real advantage. Hammocks offer a versatile sleeping solution in a very compact package, allowing you to sleep comfortably almost anywhere.

bug-out hammock
A bug-out hammock is a light and comfortable option for sleeping that’s easy to set up and take down.

If your thoughts turn to relaxing by the beach between palm trees when you hear the word ‘hammock,’ you are not far off. Hammocks are easy to set up, comfortable, and provide a sturdy, elevated place to sleep – there may not be any cocktails served, but a hammock can prove quite useful in survival situations.

The inspiration for this article was borne out of a recent backpacking trip where a friend of mine had brought several hammocks and continually raved about their comfort. Trying it out for myself, I found the setup simple and, yes, they were indeed quite comfortable. This got me thinking: Could hammocks make an excellent addition to a bug-out bag? I think the answer is a definite yes, and have written this article with the purpose of examining camping hammocks as they apply to survival, exploring key features to look for, and checking out the top-rated ones on the market.

Key Components Of Camping Hammocks

When it comes to hammocks, there are four main components you will want to pay attention to: Material, hardware, cordage, and optional add-ons.

bug-out hammock

Material

Generally, most hammocks you find will be made from lightweight parachute material. Although this material is ultra-thin, rest assured that it is very strong and durable. A ripstop stitching pattern is desirable as it resists tears and prevents them from growing; it also dries very quickly.

bug-out hammock
Kammok engineers material that is both super-strong and ultra light, with a comfortable soft texture.

Hammocks are typically stored in a pouch that is either sewn to the side or separate; this can double as a great stow-away area for gear you will need close at hand as you sleep, such as a flashlight or a multitool. While the full-size hammock may look impossible to fit back into its pouch, they are surprisingly easy to re-pack.

For the best hammock material, look for reinforced seams and triple stitching at the joints, as this makes for extra toughness required in a survival scenario.

Best-Survival-Flashlight-Intro2-16x9

Hardware

The hardware on your hammock is a very important component as it affects setup and the type of straps that can be used. The best hammocks will have a carabiner at either end that can be clipped to rope or webbing. Carabiners are preferred to S-hooks, as they are less likely to become accidentally detached when shifting your weight in the hammock.

bug-out hammock
Wiregate carabiners are lighter, though locking carabiners may be more useful for other tasks besides hanging a hammock, such as securing gear to MOLLE webbing.

While most carabiners are made out of heavy-duty aluminum or steel, there are lightweight versions available. If your hammock doesn’t come with carabiners, it is more than worth it to purchase them separately as they not only make setup easier, but also are versatile tools with endless survival uses.

Black Diamond Neutrino Carabiner
Silishape Outdoors Carabiner
Metolius Bravo Key Lock Carabiner
Click the image to view current price on Amazon.

Cordage

Certain hammocks do not come with a means for hanging; if this is the case with your hammock, you will need to purchase hanging cords separately. There are two basic options: Rope or webbing straps.

If using rope, you probably already have paracord in your bug-out bag that can be used, just ensure to use a heavy enough gauge to support your weight. However, tying rope may require some tinkering in order to get the tension right; if this not something you feel comfortable with, webbing straps may be a better choice.

bug-out hammock
Whether you’re hanging a hammock with rope or straps, tree sleeves minimize damage to the bark. The Fox Outfitters Neolite Hammocks come with tree sleeves.

If using webbing straps, the advantage is that there are multiple attachment points sewn in and therefore adapt easily to different trunk sizes and distances between trees. If you’re environmentally conscious, you can purchase ‘tree savers,’ which are cover sleeves that your straps can be threaded through to minimize damage to the tree bark when hanging your hammock.

Eagles Nest Outfitters Atlas Strap
Eagles Nest Outfitters Slap Strap
OxStraps Hammock Straps
Click the image for current price on Amazon.

Optional Add-Ons

The first optional add-on you will want to consider is the size of your hammock. Camping hammocks generally come in single or double sizes; which you prefer is a matter of personal preference. Even when sleeping one person, some people feel more secure with the extra fabric provided by a double-wide hammock.

Additionally, while two adults can sleep in a double hammock, you need to be cognizant of the weight limit and always test out your hammock for comfort beforehand. In the case of a long-term sleeping arrangement, you may be better off using two single hammocks.

bug-out hammock

Protection is another consideration, with the main concerns being mosquitos and the elements. If you will be bugging out in an area where mosquitos will be a concern, choose a bug-out hammock with an integrated bug net. A bug net features a zipper closure as well as additional guy lines to keep the net suspended above you while you sleep.

bug-out hammock
Standing water attracts mosquitos so try to hang your hammock a good distance away from any large puddles.

If you want to use the hammock without the net, simply flip it over and it becomes a regular hammock. To prevent mosquitos biting through the bottom of the hammock, plan to line the bottom with a pad or blanket. To keep wind, rain, or other elements off your bug-out hammock, you can add a custom tarp.

ENO ProFly Rain Tarp
Kelty Noah's Tarp Shelter
Ultimate Survival Technologies 1.0 BASE Tube Tarp
Hammock Bliss Mosquito Net Cocoon
ENO Guardian Bug Net
Ohuhu Lightweight Sleeping Bag
Click the image to view current price on Amazon.

How To Use A Camping Hammock

Sleeping in a hammock is actually quite comfortable – the fabric is supportive and generous enough to fully encase your body. The experience is preferable to sleeping on hard ground where stiff backs and sore hips can result. Aside from comfort, they are also very easy to set up as you don’t need to spend time scouting around for level ground or worrying about whether or not rocks will poke you as you sleep. To set up a hammock, all you need are two vertical supports (typically trees) spaced roughly 10 feet apart.

bug-out hammock
Wouldn’t you rather sleep up off the ground in a sturdy hammock?

Setting Up

To secure your bug-out hammock for sleeping, make sure the end where your head will rest is only an inch or two higher than where your feet will be; this ensures a comfortable pitch but isn’t steep enough that you will slide down. You can hang your hammock anywhere that suits your needs, however keeping the center near waist height will make it easier to get in and out of.

If you’ve decided to use rope to hang your bug-out hammock, check out the YouTube video below that demonstrates how to tie strong knots that release quickly when you’re ready to take down the hammock.

If you’re using webbing straps, make sure to wrap them around the tree and pass the end through the loop at the other end. This way, the tension of your weight will tighten the strap around the tree and keep it firmly in place. To achieve your desired height, simply clip the carabiner onto one of the loops along the strap.

Extras For Utility And Comfort

Oft times, sleeping in a hammock can be colder than on the ground as air flows freely all around you. When bugging-out in colder temperatures, it’s a good idea to use a sleeping bag or a mat, or even slip a mylar emergency blanket in the storage pouch. However, when bugging-out in extreme heat, a hammock provides an effective way to cool down as the parachute material is very breathable.

bug-out hammock
Pair a hammock with a lightweight sleeping bag for cooler climates. Add a tarp for a complete sleep shelter set up.

Having a bug-out hammock on hand also provides for a quick way to sit down and have a rest. The setup and takedown is so quick and easy that it can be used anytime, such as stopping for a water break or tuning into your emergency radio for updates. For those with kids, it also provides a great way to give them break after a long hike.

bug-out hammock
Camping hammocks are kid-friendly and make a perfect place to let them rest anytime they need it.

Additionally, hammocks can also double as an emergency blanket when sheltering from a storm and offer another rather unexpected advantage – they are great for toting bulky gear! I found this out haphazardly as I needed a means to carry sleeping bags and pillows over several miles back to my car after a backpacking trip. I piled the items into my hammock, crisscrossed the ends over my shoulders, and fastened the carabiners together around my waist; it worked fabulously and held up just fine.

bug-out hammock
Chilly morning? Just unhook your hammock and bundle up in it! The ENO DoubleNest is generously sized.

Our Top Picks For Bug-Out Hammocks

Here are our tip picks for the best camping hammocks that can double as bug-out hammocks, along with their key features. For more details, please click the image to be taken to Amazon.

Single HammocksKey FeaturesMax. Wt.Wt.
Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Hammock
• Mosquito netting provides full protection when needed
• Flips over for use without netting
• Quality construction with triple stitched mesh and nylon
400 lbs28 oz
Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock
• Reinforced seams for durability
• Aluminum wiregate carabiners are lightweight and strong
• Packs down to the size of a softball in the attached stuff sack
400 lbs16 oz
Neolite Trek Camping Hammock
• Quick dry fabric is strong yet breathable and very lightweight
• Solid steel carabiners
• Includes two nautical grade hang ropes with protective tree sleeves
400 lbs13 oz
Himal Hammock
• Breathable 210T nylon is comfortable and supportive
• Includes 0.31mm diameter braided nylon rope and stainless steel carabiners
• Mildew resistant fabric also dries quickly
500 lbs18 oz
Kammok Roo Hammock
• Specially engineered fabric is stronger, lighter and softer for better comfort
• Includes 2 Dyneema slings for suspension
• Water-resistant pouch
500 lbs23 oz
Double HammocksKey FeaturesMax. Wt.Wt.
Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock - LNT Special Edition
• Sturdy aluminum carabiners easily connect to any type of strap
• Triple interlocking stitching for strength and durability
• Compression stuff sack is attached for convenient storage
400 lbs19 oz
Fox Outfitters Neolite Double Camping Hammock
• Generously sized for two people
• Includes tree saver sleeves and two lengths of hang rope
• High quality reinforced construction is durable and ultra lightweight
400 lbs19 oz
Trek Light Gear Double Hammock
• Parachute nylon is rot- and mildew-resistant
• Over six feet wide, allowing for multiple sleep configurations
• No-flip design prevents accidental spills
400 lbs20 oz
Eagles Nest Outfitters JungleNest Sleep System

• Complete sleep system includes insect net, rain fly, straps, steel carabiners, and aluminum stakes
• Full length side zipper for ease of getting in and out
• Internal ridgeline adjustment
400 lbs32 oz
Click on the image to view current price on Amazon.

A Closer Look At Top-Rated Hammocks

Eagle Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

  • Generously sized and very comfortable
  • Enough fabric to wrap around yourself; can fit two adults or one adult and one child
  • Rated for up to 400 pounds – fabric is very durable and has triple interlocking stitching
  • Aluminum wiregate carabiners are lightweight but strong; makes for easy set-up
  • Packs down to about a five inch ball
  • Attached stuff sack has a belt with a side release buckle, allowing you to clip it onto the outside of your pack, MOLLE, or hang from a branch when not in use
  • Only drawback: Tree straps need to be purchased separately
bug-out hammock
The attached stuff sack on the ENO DoubleNest serves as bedside storage for a flashlight, map, whistle, or any other gear you want on hand.

Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Hammock

  • The Skeeter Beeter offers a great solution to mosquitos (which are not only annoying, but also carry deadly diseases) – an integrated no-see-um mesh net
  • The net is fully attached, with a zipper on one side for getting in and out
  • Long ropes are included for holding the netting up and away from your body, affording freedom of movement
  • Can be used without the net by flipping it upside down and laying on the bottom surface
  • Made from durable parachute fabric with triple-interlocking stitching
  • Carabiners and rope included.

Kammok Roo Hammock

  • Has a maximum weight of 500 pounds, making it a super strong camping hammock
  • The Lunar Wave ripstop nylon fabric is engineered to be even stronger, lighter, and softer than typical parachute fabric
  • UV and mildew resistant
  • There are several utility loops on the edge for clipping gear to
  • Attached stuff sack provides additional storage close at hand
  • The stuff sack is water-resistant; especially handy if it starts to rain when your hammock is clipped to the outside of your bug-out bag
  • Included are two climbing rated carabiners and two Dyneema slings that are very easy to use
bug-out hammock
Kammok Roo comes with 2 wiregate carabiners and 2 compression slings.

Fox Outfitters Neolite Double Camping Hammock

  • Very breathable fabric with heavy duty triple interlocking stitching
  • Supportive and comfortable, even for two people
  • Includes two solid steel carabiners to attach to two 5’6” lengths of nautical grade rope
  • Includes two tree sleeves to protect trees from rope damage

Conclusion

Hammocks are a lightweight alternative to traditional means of sleeping and shelter when camping and can be a valued addition to a bug-out bag due to their low weight and comfort. Camping hammocks can be used for a full night’s sleep or simply for a moment’s rest. Paired with a tarp, you can protect yourself from insects, wind and rain. Additionally, the fabric is versatile and durable and can be used for many other applications. Consider adding a bug-out hammock to your bug-out or get-home bag.

Your Thoughts

Would you trade in your tent for a hammock in your bug-out situation? Have you ever used a hammock while out camping? What was your experience? What advantages / disadvantages do hammocks have over traditional camping gear? Let us know in the Comments section below, thanks!

Chris

Chris Ruiz

My name is Chris and I created this site to help ordinary people prepare for the uncertainties of the modern day world. I believe that a well-prepared society is the best safeguard against any natural or manmade disaster.

One comment on “Bug-Out Hammock: An Essential Addition To Any BOB

  1. I am surprised that the worbonnet hammocks are not on this list. It is the best one for survival in my opinion. I spent around 350$ on mine and it is definitely worth it and i am confident that it will last as long as I need it to in my I.N.C.H. ( I’m Never Coming Home) bag.

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