The first obvious thing to state is that you are carrying whatever you choose so size and weight are essential in your decision making.
I am not speaking from experience on this one so this is researched and I will be able to try mine out for real hopefully at some point this year. One of the most popular Hammock systems is the DD Hammock and as DD the company state on their website, the benefits are:
- Watch the sun setting while lying in your bed, then the stars at night and see the sun rise in the morning when you wake. And if you’re lucky maybe some wildlife too!
- Create minimal impact to the environment and leave no trace.
- Reduce your pack weight and size by opting for a hammock over a tent – as well as cutting down your set-up time.
- Camp over water, above rocks, or on a hill! Hammocks – unlike tents – don’t require you to look for a level campsite.
- Experience ultimate comfort: hanging in a hammock puts none of the pressure on your body that you’d find lying on flat ground.
- Customize your set-up in countless different ways to find your favourite gear combination.
- Camp with friends. Chat, cook and watch the world go by together – with the added luxury of your own personal sleeping space.
- Hang out wherever you like: you aren’t limited to trees! Suspend your hammock between two vehicles, from beams, or even a mixture of points!
- Stay elevated from ground insects as well as snakes and, depending on your location, poisonous creatures.
- Use hammocks as comfy seats during the day! They can even double as an emergency stretcher or light sleeping bag if needed.
The DD Jura 2 sleeping bag is recommended as a part of the DD system, the benefits of this bag over standard versions is the waterproof foot of the bag allowing you to step out of the hammock in the bag without getting the base wet.
More standard equipment can be used offering more choice. Sleeping on the ground can be uncomfortable and cold, therefore using a sleeping mat provides a certain amount of comfort and insulation. These vary from foam to self inflating (air / foam) versions – These will probably get you more bed thickness for less weight as the foam inside is less dense and used primarily as the spring to draw air into the valve, once locked of the valve traps the air creating a thin Foam Air Bed.
Additionally pillows can be obtained in the same materials, however if required the use of an inflatable pillow would be lighter and more compact.
When it comes to sleeping bags the are several features that you need to consider. Insulation is key, the aim is to keep you warm during the night so just like when we looked at clothing, choosing the right material is essential, air-trapping insulation within the bag is usually one of two types, down provided the most efficient insulation and is therefore lighter and more compact but loses effectiveness when wet, whereas synthetic insulation performs better than down when wet and lower in cost, conversely these are usually heavier and bulkier.
Other features to consider are the Hood, Zips, Shape and Temperature rating I found an interesting post linked here for further information on bag specifics.
Sleeping bag liners
Are used on the inside of the sleeping bag, they serve several purposes, to keep the inside of the bag clean, keep you warmer in colder climate but also means you can part zip down the bag and still be covered.
Bivi Bags (Bivvy / Bivy)
Bivi bags are not something that I have experience with and probably wont suit my dislike of confined spaces. The bag provides a waterproof cover for your sleeping bag and can be used by itself, with a hammock, tarp or Bivi tent.
For more details please check the link
Space foil blanket
More of a back up than a specific intentional sleeping equipment, but for the additional weight, the space foil blanket can provide a additional warmth should you or anyone else need it
Overall there are choices to improve comfort, in general the more expensive the product usually results in a better quality, but do your research and look for positive feedback.
Next time we will be looking at Health as a principle for wild camping and camping in general.