How to Bug-Proof Your Camping Hammock
Hammock camping has a number of advantages over using tents, which is one of the reasons that it keeps growing in popularity every year. However, bugs can be a bigger problem because hammocks can leave us more exposed to the environment. The good news is there are a few options available that can help us avoid getting eaten alive while we sleep or relax.
Choose the Right Hammock
There are so many hammocks on the market these days that it is easy to find ones that are designed for specific conditions. One option is to purchase a jungle hammock. A jungle hammock has a built-in mosquito net, along with a design that keeps it from flopping over your body once you're inside. However, it's important to choose one that has netting that is durable and less-likely to tear through the course of normal use. You may also want to bring along a small patch kit in order to make repairs in the field as necessary.
Choose the Right Net
You can also purchase special netting if you don't want to buy a new hammock. This type of netting can usually be attached by using your existing cordage or straps, and it will often have a sturdy zipper that makes getting in and out easy. Best of all, they are shaped to form a cocoon around the hammock in a way that still gives you space to move around without getting tangled in the net.
Treatment and Adaptation
Another solution is to apply permethrin to your hammock, clothing and gear. This is a special compound that is derived from the chrysanthemum flower, which is well-known for it's insect repelling properties. You can also apply insect repellent and wear clothing that covers as much of your exposed skin as possible if you can't or don't want to use a net.
You can also move to a site further away from standing water or swarms of insects that are nearby.
Finally, you can do a little bit of research to see what pests may be a problem in the area where you will be camping, and this can help you to tailor your insect control efforts more effectively.
While these may sound like generic answers, the reality is that there is only so much that we can do to control nature. It's up to us to adapt and take appropriate steps to protect ourselves in order to avoid being eaten alive as we sleep under the stars.