“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts” (John Steinbeck)

dog_hammockCamping with a dog in the jungle is new territory for me and I thought it would be interesting to document the process.  There are number of potential problems: wild animals are all around so the dog needs to be on a leash and may spend the whole night barking manically and also the rain and bugs can make your canine friend miserable.

In  a good camp spot with fair weather, shelter for the dog is not an issue – he can simply sleep beneath your hammock – but, as anyone who has spent time in the jungle will know – when it rains it pours and the ground beneath your hammock can quickly transform into a large puddle, possibly riddled with leeches that will turn your dogs’ paws into a bloody mess.

Sometime ago I saw the idea of a double decker hammock – this has the advantage that two people share the same tarp (thereby saving weight) and rig their two hammocks one beneath the other; with both attached to the same trees.  This gave me the idea of making a hammock for the dog and I dusted off the sewing machine and got to work, the video shows the first prototype:

This concept of a double decker hammock could also be used if you have a young child you want to take in camping and don’t feel confident with them sleeping too far away from you.

The other thought in my mind was that this process – of gradually getting the dog accustomed to jungle camping and taking it step-by-step – is also a good approach for a newbie to the jungle to take.  Rather than starting off your jungle experience by signing up for a hard-core, two week expedition deep into the heart of the jungle, it is a far better idea to start off with a single nights camping (maybe not far from your car) so that you can get used to your equipment and find out what works and what doesn’t.

As the joke goes:

Q: “How do you eat an elephant?”

A: “One bite at a time”