Why You Should Pack a Camping Hammock in Your Backpack

Why You Should Pack a Camping Hammock in Your Backpack

Camping hammocks are not just another way of obtaining shelter.  They can become life-saving resources if you encounter one of many mishaps out in the field.  Let's look at a few ways that you can turn your hammock into an important survival tool, and why it's important to pack one in your backpack before you head out.


First Aid

Hammocks have a few important first aid applications worth mentioning.  First, they make for a great stretcher if someone needs to be carried off-site.  Not only can the hammock make it easier to carry someone, but with a few adjustments, it can be used as a way to limit their movement in order to prevent further injury.  In certain circumstances the hammock can also be used as a sled to pull someone or their gear as well.   


Hammocks also contain cordage and an awful lot of lightweight material that can support a lot of weight.  Consequently, they can be cut into pieces to make anything from an improvised tourniquet to a simple sling or a way to secure a bandage to a wound.  Strips can also be used as padding to compress wounds or to elevate limbs. 



Aside from being used as a sled or a stretcher, hammocks can be used as a lifeline in situations when enough cordage is not available.  They can also be used to help lift someone from a ravine or crevasse when other options are not available as well. 


Emergency Shelter

Packing a camping hammock in your backpack, even on short day hikes gives you the added insurance of knowing that you have a form of shelter if needed.  You never know when you may become lost, delayed, injured or otherwise unable to get back to the trail head or civilization as planned.  Having access to a hammock that can be deployed almost anywhere in just a couple of minutes helps to ensure that you have an immediate form of shelter at your disposal.


Gear Carrier

Imagine losing your backpack or getting it damaged during your hike.  You can stuff the hammock with gear, bundle it closed, and use it as a way to carry your stuff back to civilization.  The material can also be used to make repairs to damaged backpacks as well. 


These are just a few examples of how a camping hammock can come in handy when we encounter some unexpected surprises or setbacks when we're in the field.  Considering the fact that they are so inexpensive, compact, lightweight and easy to transport, a hammock can turn out to be a valuable resource to have at your disposal that you never want to leave home without.