Hammock/kayak camping?

Looking for tips on hammock camping out of a kayak. I’ve done tent camping but I think a hammock would be better. I know you hang a tarp over the hammock but I was wondering about staying warm and insect protection. Do you just sleep in a sleeping bag in the hammock or do they have hammocks designed to keep the user warm? Also if they have something like that is it recommended? If anyone wants to toss out some quality hammock name brands I wouldn’t mind that either :slight_smile:

As for insects is mosquito netting just used around the hammock or something?

I need an avid hammock camper (whether from a kayak or not) to give me some tips!


Love the Hammock
I sleep in a hammock when kayak camping. I have a couple Eagle Nest Outfitter (ENO) hammocks. Hennessey is another big name in camping hammock systems. Both those companies (and probably others) make hammock systems. You can get bug nets, rain flys, and even a quilted insulation blanket to attach under the hammock to insulate your backside. Unless it is really warm (summer) you will need something under you or the air flow will chill you as you sleep. I just lie on a thermarest pad. That works but can shift a bit as you move. I love hammocks. For me they are more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, though you do loose space for stuff that you could fit in a tent.

These are amazing
A family member has one. Sort of a combination of tent and hammock. Super comfortable.


To answer your questions

I find hammocks impractical when there are no trees that are not spindly

Happy with my ENO

– Last Updated: May-19-16 7:11 AM EST –

I recommend you get a set of straps (sold separately) which increases your options for distance between trees.

I spent three nights in one last month with nothing but a thin fleece sleeping bag, lows around 60F though one night I wished for an extra blanket underneath me. Get in your sleeping bag Before getting in the hammock.

I also use a little inflatable Coleman pillow, greatly increases the comfort level.

Sling it so your butt is about a foot off the ground. Most people intuitively sling them about waist high wich could lead to a concussion if it drops you on your head.

I just bought a new one with a built in mousquito net kind of an impulse buy. I've been using an ENO double hammock which kind of wraps around like a cocoon and does a fair job of holding back Mosquitos, and I was using bug spray anyway.

You may not sleep well the first night but after three nights in one I was sorry to go back to my regular bed.

Thanks everyone for the information. For some reason I figured hammock camping out of a kayak would take up less room than tent camping but it seems it will take up more room. I guess it depends on how small the hammock is but with a tarp, netting, and still requiring a sleeping bag plus ropes.

I definitely don’t have to worry about finding suitable trees in my area.

Integrated Bug Net & Down Quilts
Many hammocks come with a built in ridgeline and a zippered, integrated bug net. The bug net can be zipped up in buggy weather or flipped and tied off to one side on cool clear nights when you want a great view of the stars. I’m partial to Warbonnet’s Blackbird. (We have four of them for each member of the family.) Another feature I like about the Warbonnet is that they have a a shelf on one side that is great to store light gear you want to keep in your hammock. I also like the cutout footbox that helps to lay out diagonally (how you actually lay in a hammock to help you sleep flatter). Warbonnet also provides a suspension consisting of webbing straps with a adjustable buckles and carabiners. This is the easiest, fastest suspension system to set up available. For hammocks that don’t have a built-in bug net, you get buy accessory bug nets that slip loosely around the hammock like a giant sock.

It might sound surprising, but you’ll need most of your insulation beneath you. Without it, you’ll notice a chill in temps as warm as 70*. You can use a sleeping pad in warmer weather. They tend to slide around though, unless you have a double layer hammock and slip it between the layers. They also trap moisture, so you can wake up wet and clammy with one. The best insulation is a goose down underquilt slung beneath the hammock and a goose down topquilt (like an open backed sleeping bag) on top of you. You can use a sleeping bag on top, too, but they’re bulky. They also don’t insulate well beneath you since the insulation is compressed. I prefer Underground Quilts and have used them comfortably into the low teens.

I like silnylon and silpoly tarps. Warbonnet and Underground Quilts both have excellent offerings. The best tarp suspension is Dyneema line (sold as Zing-It or Lash-It) paired with some sort of quick fasteners. I have a preference here, too… Titanium hardware by DutchWare.

When you hang your hammock, you’ll want your feet a little higher than your head. They take a little bit of fiddling to figure out, but I think they are infinitely more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

Not necessarily

– Last Updated: May-19-16 9:24 PM EST –

Unless you shell out for a $$ backpacking tent. Hammock goes into a stuff sack 1/3 the size of a tent and you don't need a bulky sleeping mat. Sleeping bag is going either way, and the tarp is either going over your hammock (optional) or a ground cloth under a tent

Hammocks just require a bit of
Pre planning

I gave up . Either my trips have one open area or boreal spindly blackspruce or Arctic willow or open beach or krumholz between me and suitable trees (Lake Superior)

Warbonnet Blackbird

– Last Updated: May-19-16 11:53 PM EST –

I started hammock camping about 5 years ago. My now ex-wife had back issues that made camping harder and harder on her. We tried a number of thicker backpads and inflatables (Thermarest, Big Agnes, etc.) but they didn't cut it for her. It almost got the the point where her back pain took all of the fun out of camping.

So upon the advice of a friend who was a backpacker with back issues, we invested in two Warbonnet Blackbirds and have never looked back. Even when camping in public campgrounds we hung our hammocks next to others with massive tents and campers. We were so out of place that other campers would come by our site to check it out. I gave a number of passersby a chance to feel the comfort of the Blackbird and they were without exception impressed.

Another benefit of camping hammocks is not worrying about the ground. Roots, rocks, slopes, etc. Just hang it over them.

As with many camping hammocks, there is a built in bug net in the Blackbird, which can be moved out of the way if you don't need it. The Blackbird is different than a lot of camping hammocks in that it has a roomy foot box that allows you to sleep diagonally across the hammock, virtually flat, instead of the banana position that can be tough on the knees.

The Blackbird also has a small shelf where you can store a water bottle, a book and flashlight.

A really nice thing about the Blackbird is that you can set it up in less than 2 minutes if you have the strap suspension with carabiners (I timed myself once at a minute and 17 seconds).

The negative about hammock camping is that they sleep cold. You may find yourself needing a heavier sleeping bag than you might in a tent. A Thermarest easily slips between the layers in the "double" Blackbird and I've slept comfortably with the Thermarest and my zero degree rated sleeping bag down to about 15 degrees. Below that you may need to invest in an expensive under-quilt (or if you have sewing skills, make one out of an old quilt or sleeping bag).

The WB Blackbird is a bit pricy. It's about $190 with the double layer bottom. If you add their extremely light weight Mamajamba tarp it will be another $100. You can however use any tarp you have, though I highly recommend the Mamajamba. It weighs ounces and holds up to high winds and heavy rain (been through both in it...get good spikes to hold the tarp down in high winds).

And if you are going light, on a rainy day you can pull the hammock out in LT a minute and hang out under the tarp, then when it is time to go to sleep, pitch it again quickly under the protection of the tarp.

Here is a pic of our setup at a camground in the Berkshires. If you look at the hammock in the background you can see the Warbonnet's "shelf" stocked with all kinds of stuff. The hammock in the foreground has the Mamajamba tarp pitched.

A pretty good review here

My camping hammock and the the tarp in their individual bags are smaller than a loaf of bread. Put them in a compression sack and they will be tiny.

Maybe it would be smaller then. My tent is just a two person tent and the package it goes in is about 2 feet long and 3/4ths of a foot wide. I don’t use any sort of mat to sleep on, just sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag.

Thank you!
Thanks for the great information, I really appreciate it!

You’ve sold me
on that brand, looks like that is what I will do. That brand sounds good to me, thank you very much for the information! I’ll look up exactly which one that will suit me but you have made my life easy.

want to look at Clark Hammocks too

Best Wishes


I have camped in a Clark jungle hammock and prefer it to every other camp. there are always trees where I camp(ADKS). yes insulation underneath is a must in all but hot weather-lots of ways to do that. I sleep better and have fewer back problems than with my bed at home. Another advantage, at least with the clark, is having a panoramic view while laying in bed-watching sunrise/set wildlife ect. I have a standard and jumbo fly I use depending on pack weight desired. Another big advantage is the ability to set up the fly first when it’s raining and doing the rest of the setup/takedown out of the rain.