Why your camping hammock needs a bug net and rain fly
Camping is a rewarding experience that gets you closer to nature, but when you are trying to get some sleep after a long day on the trail, it’s best to keep some natural elements OUT of your hammock.
Mosquitos and rain may seem like small annoyances, but they can make your outdoor experience miserable if you don’t have any way to protect yourself.
Especially if you are using a hammock, which offers less coverage than a tent.
Don’t take a chance and let easily avoidable nuisances ruin your adventure.
By using a bug net and rain fly combo, you can ensure that you will stay protected and comfortable in your hammock.
Hammock With Bug Net And Rain Fly
A hammock with both a rain fly and bug net is necessary for almost any camping enthusiast.
Rainfall and pesky insects are basically guaranteed to be a factor in literally any climate on earth, so it’s best to be prepared.
Rainfly and bug nets have greatly increased the popularity of hammock camping.
Previously, you could only get that kind of protection from the elements by using a tent, but not anymore.
There is nothing worse than trying to drift off to sleep after a long, grueling day on the trail, only to have your slumber interrupted by dozens of mosquitoes.
The relentless biting and buzzing in your ears can practically drive you insane.
Hitting the next trail day after a hellish night of slapping bugs, attempting to hike on zero sleep and covered in itchy bites is literally the opposite of what you probably intended for your weekend getaway.
Not having a rainfly is even worse. Even a light rain can soak you through to the bones in a short time, and trying to sleep wet and cold is a miserable experience.
It’s also extremely dangerous. Exposure is a major health hazard, even in temperate climates.
It’s important to make sure you are prepared for the elements, even if the forecast calls for clear skies.
Hammock Bug Net
A hammock bug net is a sheet of mesh netting woven to encase your sleeping bag.
The netting is woven tightly enough to keep mosquitos, spiders, and no-see-ums out of your hammock while you sleep.
After setting up camp next to a swampy area a few years ago, I found out just how irritating these creepy-crawlers can be.
No amount of bug spray could keep the mosquitoes and ants from invading my hammock, and that night nearly ruined a long-weekend excursion I had been looking forward to for months.
All of it could have been avoided with proper preparation, though.
Insects such as mosquitos and ticks not only leave itchy bites but can be vectors for serious diseases as well.
We highly recommend a bug net for this reason.
The best hammock bug netting will have a mesh tight enough to keep out the smallest insects, attach to your hammock in a way that leaves no spaces, and be as lightweight as possible.
Make sure that it is made from a durable mesh netting, because if there is even a small hole, insects can sneak in, and even a couple mosquitoes can really get on your nerves.
Most hammock bug nets slide over your hammock and tie off at each end.
Many have either guy lines or spreader bars to keep the netting separate from the hammock, creating a “tent” around you.
There is usually a zipper or a drawstring entrance.
Hammock Rain Fly
A rain fly (sometimes called a hammock tarp) is a similar concept to the bug net.
It is a sheet of waterproof material used to cover your hammock in case of precipitation.
A rain fly will cover the top and sides of your hammock.
Using the tie-out grommets around the edges, you attach the rainfly to the trees above your hammock at the midpoint, and corners to stakes in the ground.
This will form a tent and should keep you dry during a downpour.
Some rain flys only cover you from above, others are more elaborate and provide 360 protection.
The right choice for you will depend on your needs.
Keep in mind that even a small gap in coverage can cause a lot of discomforts if it really starts raining.
Trust us, it’s better to be over-protected than under protected.
The more anchor points you can use to fasten the fly, the stronger it will be.
Also, make sure that it is made out of a durable material with ripstop so that it does not become tattered.
A rainfly that can’t handle being on the trail without getting holes in it is going to be pretty useless.
From least to most coverage offered, the different hammock tarp styles are asymmetrical, diamond, hexagonal, rectangular, and all-season.
The amount of rainfall you expect, and how light you want to keep your pack will determine the best fit for you.
Another factor you will want to consider is how much sun and wind you may be getting.
It’s called a rain fly, but this type of equipment is also very useful for making sure you don’t get too much sun if you are camping in the desert, for example.
It can also block the wind, which many people do not think about, but if you are going to be up at higher elevations, the wind can be a real issue.
Alternately, you will need to be sure that your rain fly is sturdy to handle whatever gusts of wind without blowing off.
A hammock tent splits the difference between a traditional hammock and tent.
This style of shelter is becoming more and more popular in the camping world.
This style combines the easy set up of a hammock with the durable protection of a tent.
They are suspended from trees like a hammock, but typically have more room from the use of spreader bars or extra guy lines.
Hammock tents also often have built-in rain flys and bug nets.
Having these feature integrated into the hammock itself is convenient and offers great protection against these nuisances.
Ultralight Hammock Bug Net
Ultralight hammocks are specially designed to reduce weight and be as efficient as possible.
For ultralight camping enthusiasts, hammocks must easy to carry as well as effective.
Luckily there are some products that provide all the essential features, including rainflys and bug nets, in packages that only weigh a few pounds.
As technology and materials improve, these ultralight products are becoming more mainstream, and even regular campers are starting to enjoy the benefits of these light-weight options.
If you are trying to keep your pack as lean as possible, one of these options may be ideal.
2 Person Hammock Tent
A two-person hammock tent is a great way to experience the outdoors with someone you’re close to.
Sharing a sleeping space in a beautiful location can be a wonderful bonding experience.
And that’s not confined to romantic situations either.
Just sharing a hammock with a buddy can help cut down on pack space and help you move more efficiently.
Also, some solo sleepers may actually benefit from a two-person set-up, if they prefer extra room while they snooze.
Sign up for our mailing list for our FREE gear and trail guides