Jungle Hammocks: All In One Or Separate Mosquito Net?


Having travelled, lead expeditions and lived for several months at a time in some of the worlds most primitive jungles, a reliable, safe, dry, lightweight and comfortable sleeping system in tropical jungle environments is essential.

Our weapon of choice? A jungle hammock.

When choosing a hammock it's important to consider the environment you are travelling to, and the type of wild camping you will be doing. In most cases, you will want insect protection, particularly if you are visiting an area in a Malaria zone.

The Snugpak Jungle Hammock is a one stop shop, with a mosquito net built into the design. This saves setup time, and reduces the need to find additional supports to hang your net from.

The Snugpak Jungle Hammock

If you're not spending all your time in the wild, you will want to consider a separate hammock and net option, which will allow you to use your net whilst sleeping in hostel beds or hut floors. I usually travel with a Thermarest Slacker hammock and separate Life Systems Boxnet for flexibility.

Thermarest Slacker hammock
Thermarest Slacker Hammock

Life Systems Boxnet
Life Systems Box Net

When finding a spot to rig your bed, you'll need to find suitably strong supports at a good distance apart to allow your hammock to pull tight and flat, unlike 'lazy' curved hammocks. Check for loose debris and signs of potential 'dead fall' above your chosen sight. This biggest killer in the jungle are large branches or rotten trees falling in the daily storms.

You'll also want to watch out for wildlife, as you won't want an army of ants matching across your hammock in the night. You particularly wouldn't want leaf cutter ants, which have a habit of nibbling hammock cords!

Get protected from the next downpour by first hanging your Basha. Again, you'll want to consider the kind of jungle you'll be staying in. Dense forests will allow for the Terra Nova Competition tarp, which can be hung high between your two main supports and pulled out at each corner to four smaller trees.

The Terra Nova competition tarp
The Terra Nova competition tarp. Photo by Chris Townsend Outdoors.

In more sparse locations, the Snugpak All Weather Shelter is shaped so that the edges are held out in the centre on each side, which with long enough para cord can be pegged into the ground in the absence of tie off points. You can later support your separate mosquito net from the corners of the basha, keeping a good distance between the net and yourself.

Snugpak All Weather Shelter
Snugpack All Weather Shelter

Next, the hammock. The Thermarest Slacker Hammock Suspender Hanging Kit ensures that the trees you select aren't harmed by tight thin cords, and allow for very quick setup, which is handy if you're suddenly caught in a tropical downpour.

Simply pass the straps around the two trees and hook on your Hammock no need for complicated knots.

Don't forget your drip stops! The Exped Smart Karabiner Drip Clips stop rain from the trees dripping along the cords and soaking your hammock from both ends - a very unpleasant way to wake up!

Snap the carabiners onto your hammock cords and tighten the straps to keep the hammock tight and flat. It's best to check your chosen trees are up for the job before jumping into you hammock, there's nothing worse then having to relocate in the dark because one of your trees was a bit too 'bendy'. The hammocks will flex a bit but provide a very cosy cocoon.

Finally, make sure you store your hammock and net in a dry bag. The SealLine EcoSee will keep your house nice and dry even if you've had to swim across a river to reach camp.

This is a guest post from Nick an Expedition Leader and customer of Complete Outdoors. Nick has been leading expeditions in various parts of the world for the past 5 years.

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