Edward W. is an avid hiker who had always dreamed of completing a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the California/Mexico border, all the way north to the U.S./Canada border.
Edward began his hike in California in 2017 and had completed similar previous hikes, so to some degree, he was prepared with all the gear he thought he would need.
However, over time Edward quickly realized that this 2000-mile hike was unlike any other he had done before. In other words, he found out this hike was different because he hadn’t properly packed his gear with efficiency and long distance in mind.
Along the way, Edward began discarding items that he deemed were unnecessary and were simply taking up space and creating weight. Some of the items that he got rid of were deodorant, pen and paper, extra water bottles, extra clothing and eating utensils.
The fact is, these are all items that Edward didn’t really need and he was obviously still able to complete his hike without this unnecessary gear.
My point is, whether you are planning a hike similar to Edward or are preparing a bug out bag, you need to put a lot of consideration into the gear you are packing in your bag and how much it weighs.
In fact, some hiking experts of the Pacific Crest Trail claim that they begin packing their gear 6-8 months in advance of their trip so they have time to constantly evaluate and change the gear they are planning on taking.
Similarly, when you are preparing to bug out, some of the largest items you will probably be taking are your tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. The reality is, these items can be heavy and bulky, meaning they will take up a decent about of space in your bag.
When bugging out, your most important factor is weight because you can’t use what you can’t carry. Typically, your gear for shelter and sleeping tend to add the most weight.
With that being said, hammocks offer a versatile sleeping solution in a very compact package, allowing you to sleep comfortably. Hammocks are easy to set up, comfortable, and provide a sturdy place to rest.
Plus, many hammocks also provide shelter from the elements, as well as nets for keeping insects away. The only thing you need is a couple of trees to get your hammock up off the ground and in a bug out situation, your safest place may be a heavily wooded area so finding trees won’t be difficult.
With that in mind, I want to share with you some hammocks that you may wish to check out for a bug out situation.
Hennessy Expedition Hammock. This all-purpose hammock is great for any need from backpacking to camping to bugging out. The hammock is over 6 feet in length, with a weight limit of 250 pounds.
It is made from 70D oxford nylon and features a heavy-duty black double slider zipper, polyester mesh netting, a rain fly and a suspension system. There are two entry options to choose from, bottom entry sealed with Velcro and side entry with a strong YKK zipper.
Hennessey is known for making premium survival gear, and this hammock is no exception. It’s a leave no trace shelter, with the asymmetrical angle offering plenty of support to your back.
Each Hennessey hammock comes with additional features such as a mesh gear pocket, glove hooks, carabineer loops, and webbing straps.
Clark NX-270 Four-Season Hammock. The Clark NX-270 is an all-season hammock designed for use in four feet of snow or blazing hot sun. The mosquito netting has a breathable Weather Shield layer that zips over and turns the hammock into a tent, so it’s ideal for cold weather when you need extra protection and warmth.
In addition, the insulating pocket system also keeps you warm even without insulating pads. The insulating pockets have zippers on the inside of the hammock.
These pockets also serve as storage space. Six pockets are located underneath the hammock and two more inside the hammock. The hammock’s ropes are made from water-repelling polypropylene.
The hammock has a weight limit of 300 pounds and is best for people under 6’9″. Clark Outdoors also provides repair services for a small fee; so if your hammock ever needs to be fixed, simply send it in.
Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock. This hammock is a versatile hybrid tent-hammock that has been rated as one of the best by National Geographic Magazine. The design of this hammock lets you use it suspended as a hammock, or on the ground, as a tent, so you are never limited by terrain conditions, or lack of trees to hoist the hammock.
Unlike most other hammocks, this one spreads flat because of the spreader bar and arch pole, so you don’t have to find the right angle to lie in. Plus, it doesn’t cave into the center like most camping hammocks.
The hammock also comes with an attached bug netting and a rain fly. The hammock is made of waterproof ripstop nylon and polyester, with a weight limit of 275 pounds.
Given the versatility of this, it can be used anywhere, whether you go camping, hiking, or are stranded in the woods. The sleeping pad and the rain fly can be detached, and there are also two interior storage pockets as well as two ceiling O-rings for hanging a reading light on.
The reality is that leaving the tent behind and switching to a hammock isn’t about roughing it or going without protection from the elements. Sleeping in a hammock is oftentimes more comfortable, since you don’t have to worry about what’s beneath you. Next time you review your bug out gear consider adding a hammock.