There are some things you can bring camping to maximize your comfort. There are also things you can bring that most of us would consider mandatory. On this list, you will see some of both.
This article is dedicated to my 21 favorite accessories to bring Hammock Camping.
I’ve decided not to include the hammock itself and the food that you may be bringing. Because this list is about Hammock Camping specifically you will see a lot of items that hang, you already know how much I like ridgelines (see my post on that here). Without further ado here are my picks for the 21 best accessories for hammock camping
Top Accessories For Hammock Camping
1. Soft Shackle
I’ve talked about soft shackles before, in the article about stopping your hammock from squeaking. I think that soft shackles are great for more than just the fact that they don’t make any noise. Soft Shackles are also light and easy to carry. They really are a great option for ultralight campers.
The one thing that can be frustrating about a soft shackle is that they are a little bit harder to find than a carabiner and can be frustrating to make for someone new to ropes. You can find them online but you probably won’t come across them in stores.
2. Hanging Bag Shower
The first item that we can hang is the infamous hanging bag shower. If you are an outdoor enthusiast you have probably seen these before. It’s basically a waterskin that you use to hold shower water instead of drinking water. Many of them are black so it warms up from the sun during the day.
Having a hanging shower at your campsite is great and although many people would not consider showering to be necessary during a camping trip, it adds so much comfort. This gadget is easy to carry and all you have to do is add water once you get to your campsite; you can carry it in empty. There was a time when no one thought it would be so easy to stay clean while you’re camping!
3. Hangable Bluetooth Speaker
The next item on my list is the hanging Bluetooth speaker. Bringing a Bluetooth speaker camping is not uncommon, in fact, it seems like more people than not are doing it these days. Many people haven’t even thought of this but it’s easy to find a speaker that you can easily clip to one of your lines around camp.
There are a couple benefits from clipping your speaker to the line; for one it keeps it up off the ground free from being stepped on or getting wet. Another benefit of hanging your speaker up is that it will be up high where everybody will be able to hear the music coming from it clearly. In general, the Bluetooth speaker was one great invention.
4. A Lantern That Can Be Hung
Have you seen these solar charging lanterns that can be hung from a clothesline or ridgeline? Well, I haven’t just seen them, I’ve tried them and they’re pretty amazing. It’s pretty awesome to be able to have a little lantern hanging right off your hammock setup without having to lug in anything heavier than a few ounces
Probably the best thing about these is that they’re fairly cheap. You can usually get these for under $20, don’t think one will last forever though. Another cool thing to note: If you have access to a USB you can also charge these that way!
5. ENO Fuse Hammock System
Have you ever wanted to set up two hammocks between two anchor points but have found yourself lost at finding a way to do it. Sure you could always set them up one on top of each other, but what about side by side? well, there is a product on the market to help you do that.
The fuse tandem hammock system is made by ENO. it is a simple system that works from a brilliant idea. Basically, the system is a bar that you place on either end that, between the hammocks, that gives them some distance between each other; that’s it, it’s that simple.
6. Steel Cup with a Clip
Stainless steel cups are classic around a campsite. You can drink out of them, eat out of them, and even cook directly in them. These cups really are the best; there’s really no better mug that you can get.
One great thing is that you can find mugs like these with carabiners for handles. Now you can store this above your head without even having to attach a carabiner. It doesn’t really get any more convenient than that. If you are looking for something ultralight then checkout titanium mugs.
7. Lightweight Camping Stove
For people who go car camping a bigger George Foreman Style Grill might work fine. For people who are hiking an ultralight camping stove makes all the difference. If you have the mug that I had listed at number 16 then you are already set you have all you need as far as a stove and a pot go.
As far as comfort goes having a stove is a must. If you are having a bad day on the trail there is nothing worse than having to settle for a cold meal. One thing about camping stoves is that people often assume they are expensive however there are great options in all price ranges.
8. Dry Bag
Some people think that because they are not planning on going anywhere near water while they’re camping that they do not need a dry bag, however, I always feel that it is smart to bring one. You should always be prepared in case of rain but also you are going to have to put things on the ground most of the time.
One great thing to do with the items that you can’t keep in your hammock with you is to keep them in a dry bag below your hammock. This is my preferred method for what to do with my shoes. I like to put a mat below my hammock to protect my feet too.
For us, it’s really hard to picture a situation in which a dry bag would not be handy. you can use it as a bag even when you don’t need to keep your things dry!
9. Headlamp With a Clip
I have owned plenty of headlamps both cheap and expensive but my favorite ones are always the ones with Clips on the back. This is because they are easy to use as stationary lights as well as, well… headlamps. This one that I have is made to go on your belt.
it makes all the difference to be able to hang your light up in a spot over your hammock and depending on your setup you may even be able to use it as a light for reading. I know you can just buy a light that clips onto your book but why do that when you already have a headlamp. A word of warning; you will go through batteries quickly!
10. Wide Mouth Water Bottle
Wide mouth water bottles are already one of the most popular types of water bottles today so you may already have this item at home. the great thing about these bottles is that they hold lots of water and are VERY durable. The downside is that they are usually fairly heavy; at least they can hold a lot of water!
The reason that I selected this particular type of water bottle is that you can open the lid, put it around your line, and close it. Now your water bottle will just hang in place. You don’t have to worry about losing it on the ground or having it spill all over you while you’re sleeping in your hammock; it will be safely above you hanging from the line.
There are other types of water bottles that are able to be hung on the line without buying extra clips to; find whatever you like best!
11. Sleeping Pad
If you’re new to Hammock camping you might not have figured it out yet but it can get pretty cold at night. That’s because your back is usually coming in contact with the fabric, which in turn is coming directly in contact with the air. This isn’t as bad as sleeping directly on the ground but it is a whole lot worse than sleeping on a pad on the ground.
If you’re sleeping in a hammock you may want to bring a sleeping pad. You could get one of the fancy ones but the blue ones work fine. if you really want to get a pad designed for hammock camping ENO makes one called the Hotspot, it has wings to make it so that you won’t fall off the pad very easily, this is sometimes the biggest complaint about using a pad in the hammock.
If you want to get the best in the best gear then forget the sleeping pad altogether. If you were really want to stay warm in a hammock then you should look into getting an under-quilt. An under-quilt is basically like putting a puffy jacket on your hammock. It adds another layer to your hammock so you are no longer directly touching the air. You can get under quilts for only half of your hammock too.
If you’re camping in the winter they make something called a top quilt to keep the top of you warm. A top quilt is basically a super warm blanket. I have been able to get by on mild winter trips using a downed sleeping bag and an under-quilt.
13. Bug Net
Whether you are camping in the northern United States or in the jungles of South America, a bug net is a must for certain times of year in most parts of the world. Some hammocks, like if the Hennessy Hammock on my product recommendation page, comes with bug nets attached. Even some cheap hammocks have them so take a look a look at the specs and find one that works for your situation.
If your hammock does not come with a bug net and you try to camp at the wrong time of year you may be in for a nasty night. I recommend picking one up if you ever think that you might need one. The comfort that you will gain, or should I say the discomfort that you save, will be well worth it. You can find bug nets at a reasonable price if you look around online.
14. Fire Steel
A fire steel may look hard to use but trust me it’s really easy. In the past, I have been able to teach children how to use it in less than an hour. Obviously, you should have a lighter and matches when you go camping but most people don’t think about having fire steel around as a backup.
I always carry a fire steel around when I am camping in case I get into a situation where my lighter and matches won’t work. Even with a nice lighter, this happened once or twice during my portages. Hopefully, you don’t use it because everything went well but it’s fun to have and can make for a great fire-building competition.
15. Whoopie Sling
A whoopie sling is basically an adjustable cord that can be used for your hammock suspension. This is handy because you can just slide the suspension to the length that you want it. I personally do not use these for suspension, however, I do like them as ridgelines and clotheslines, it’s the perfect way to get a line tight every time.
Similar to the soft shackle these can be a bit harder to find and harder to make for a novice user. You should just pick up a couple of these at once from an online supplier, perhaps do this at the same time as you pick up your soft shackles.
16. Survival First Aid Kit
when I get excited I say that a lot of things are a must, but when I say that a first aid kit is mandatory when you are camping I am being literal. Without a first aid kit, and one meant specifically for camping, you could get into a whole load of trouble.
If you don’t already carry a first aid kit with you then you probably aren’t going to take my advice. I have used a first aid kit countless times, sometimes to fix injuries, and sometimes there are items in there that are just good for something else. There is really no good reason not to carry a first aid kit. Period.
I’ve already mentioned flint and steel but I am going to mention a lighter here. I don’t mean a cheap lighter that you spent your pocket change on, although that would usually work if you kept it dry. You should, however, make sure that you have a good lighter, specifically one that will work after getting wet. On top of this, you should have waterproof matches, but if you had a camping first aid kit you likely have these anyway.
If you are a smoker, I hold no judgment but make sure you have a lighter other than the one you use to light up your cigarettes. Too often people lose lighters that they have been walking around within their pockets.
18. Different Sized Carabiners
Carabiners can be heavy but if you can afford the extra weight it’s a good idea to bring a couple of different sizes of them. If you’re thru-hiking a trail you definitely don’t want these but in most cases, it’s not a bad idea. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of items on this list especially the ones at the start were meant to be hung up.
I really like to make use of the cheap carabiners that came with cheap hammocks this way. I use these to hang most things that don’t come with clips; with a carabiner and a little extra cord, anything can become hangable.
19. Rain fly
It’s a shame most hammocks don’t come with these but if you plan on using yours for camping then you are going to want a rain fly. You might not want one of these if you’re just using your hammock in the park on a sunny day or on your front lawn. This is another thing that the Hennessy Hammock that I suggested earlier comes with.
Many times if you’re camping and you do not have a fly you will still get wet even if it doesn’t rain, this is due to the morning dew. If you do not want to buy a rainfly you can always rig up something with a tarp, however a properly sized rain fly we’ll save you a lot of hassle.
20. Extra Cord
Extra cord is something that you should always bring camping. You can use it to set up lines around your campsite, set up a shelter in an emergency, and for a whole load of other uses. You never really know when this will come in handy but I find myself using it on almost every camping trip. I really cannot recommend bringing an extra cord enough. For hammock suspension I do not recommend paracord; check out my post on that here.
21. Reliable Knife
This is another one of those items that is considered by almost everybody who camps as essential; you should have a reliable knife that is appropriate for the type of camping you are doing. If you are camping beside your car a multi-tool may do the trick however if you are doing more rugged camping then something bigger might be a good idea.
if you are going for a multi-tool I would suggest a Victorinox or a Leatherman. When it comes to bigger knives, there are so many different types that you can get that I suggest finding the sturdiest most solid knife that you are able to clip to your belt. It usually doesn’t have to be huge but needs to be effective. One of the biggest brands of outdoor knives is Gerber.
There You Have It
There you have it, that’s my list. As you can see there are many items that you can bring or should bring Hammock Camping. What do you think is missing? What would you add? If you have an answer to either of these questions feel free to leave a comment below.