“It ain’t got that thing, if it ain’t got that swing”

In the last article I was talking about some of the (many) disadvantages of using a tent and the preference of most people who camp in the jungle to use a hammock instead – there are many good reasons for this and once you try using a hammock you are unlikely to want to use anything else (in the tropics at least).

Another method of camping that is popular here in Malaysia is to use a shared tarp and sleep (as a group) on a groundsheet beneath.  I tried this once (with twelve of us packed like sardines on the groundsheet) and that was quite enough for me!  I like a bit of personal space when I sleep and if one of your companions in a shared shelter snores…well, it can get very aggravating…and then there are the leeches too…

If you are new to hammocks this video sums up some of the main points to bear in mind if you are going to use one – from the knots to use, to the types you can buy.  If you are on a budget, you can adapt a standard mozzi net to fit a hammock and take a standard hammock and open it up to make a wider, more comfortable one – both of these require finding someone who is handy with a sewing machine but it can save you a lot of money.

I also cover the problems with using a leather belt in the jungle and a suggestion regarding disposable lighters for use during prolonged and heavy rain.

The hammock/tarp/mozzi net combination really comes into its own in the jungle – it keeps you dry, off the ground, protected from biting bugs and, when set up right, comfortable enough to ensure a very good night’s sleep!

For those who simply cannot get into the swing of using a hammock, the video also shows how to set up a lightweight camp bed (see photo below).