Kayak Hammock Camping

An Ultimate Guide to Kayak Hammock Camping

Are you excited to elevate your outdoor adventure? For your next camping, leave the car and tents to the ground as they are pierced now and take things up with the kayak hammock camping.

For the adventurous spirits who love to enjoy exploring both lakes and rapids, a kayak for your coming camping is going to amaze you with a better outdoor experience. In actuality, the kayaks suit best the hammock camping due to their compatible holding capacity.

These days, people are more loving hammock camping because they are finding it lighter, compact, and faster than tent camping. But as this camping is just emerging greatly, so you might get lots of questions about it. Surprisingly, you will never go unanswered after reading this guide.

Let’s discuss the nitty-gritty of kayak hammock camping in detail!

What is Kayak Camping?

Kayak camping is avant-garde camping in which a kayak is used to drive from one camping site to other. You can simply call it a mixture of backpacking and car camping; the major difference is the water which must be there for kayak camping.

Why choose Hammock over Tent for Kayak Camping?

Hammock kayak camping

Grounded in fact, the hammock is an obvious choice for kayak camping, which is now eliminating tents from the gears. Practically, tents are quite tricky to pack due to the reason that their poles don’t easily fit in the watertight hatches, so they don’t suit best to kayak camping.

On the other hand, the kayak paddles make excellent tarp poles and most can be separated into two halves which provides the perfect height for hammock setup.

Stunningly, a hammock acts as a comfortable chair, a place to sit and cook your food, a place to hang out around a campfire, or just a spot to relax and read books whilst the day floats by. Plus, it sets up quickly to let you sit next to the waterfall or a place to relieve when you’re exhausted on a climb.

If you’re taking kids to kayak camping, a hammock is going to be a more fun place than tents because children will find it as a swing to play in or just a place to count stars at night.

Overall, the hammock has incredibly multi-purpose abilities which are shinny enough to blow the tent away from the kayak camping.

Can you fit Camping gear in a Kayak?

The short answer to this question is “YES”. You can fit almost all camping gear in a kayak just like backpacking or car camping. But for kayak camping, try not to include much heavier gears in the checklist.

But remember, without fine packing of all gears in a kayak, you might end up in a very embarrassing moment at the boat launch where you will realize that you can’t actually put all your stuff in a kayak even the items from the solo camping checklist.

So, before setting on a trip, take all your kayak camping supplies and kayak out in the backyard and try to figure out how you should pack it all. The discussed couple of things can help you to perfectly fit all your camping gears in a kayak.

  • Keep the urgently needed gears like first aid kit, bottled water, snacks, and navigation equipment in easy to access places, so that you can easily reach them during paddling.
  • Try to secure the sensitive gears in a dry bag or a waterproof compartment to avoid any mishaps as you already got very limited items for your go.
  • Another important factor that you can’t ignore is the effective weight distribution without which your kayak will be very unstable or even hard to move. Consider even weight distribution from front to back and side to side to keep your kayak safe.
  • Lastly, double-check that the things which aren’t placed in the compartment must be strapped down to avoid the flipping of your precious gears, otherwise, you’ll lose them.

Can you put a Hammock or Tent in a Kayak?

As tents and hammocks are specifically designed for camping and kayak is the way to transport you and your gear to the camping site. So, you can put a tent or hammock in a kayak. But as they are heavier gears, so you need to be tricky while putting any of them in your kayak as they can make it unstable. 

If you put a hammock or tent on one side of the kayak, try to balance the weight of the opposite side by keeping your other heavier gears. We find it extremely easy to put a hammock in a kayak, rather than perfectly adjusting a tall tent.  

How do you transport Camping gear on a Kayak?

  • In actuality, transporting the camping gear has always been a tricky deal and when it comes to kayak camping you need to be extra careful. Follow the following guidelines to effectively transport your camping gear on a kayak.
  • Try to collect lightweight gear for your kayak camping as the heavier kayak will demand more paddling performance and you might feel tired quite easily. So, try to keep your kayak as light as possible to get operative transport of your all camping gears. 
  • Dry bags must be the best friend of kayak campers. Keep all your belongings in separate, and fully secured dry bags to save them from getting wet. Consider using small dry bags to keep your clothing, electronics, and personal items, whilst larger bags to store tent, sleeping bag, and other heavier gears.
  • To ensure the effectual transport of your packed gears, use a rod, paddle lashes, or simple paracord to secure all pieces of gears to your kayak.
  • You must utilize the hull of your kayak to store items that you don’t need your paddling such as sleeping bag, cookware, tent, etc.
  • Hatches are an excellent place to secure your gears without cluttering the deck of a kayak. We recommend you grab a hatch bag that is excellently designed to fit in the hatch and can hold all of your smaller items. Doing so will prevent those smaller items from rolling around or getting lost in the hull of your kayak.
  • To ensure smooth transport of your camping gear, try to keep those items on the deck which you need during the paddle so that you can easily access them in an hour of need.
  • Finally, you must keep your all gears organized to avoid scrambling around to find any piece of gear. Believe me, you can easily tip your full kayak whilst tossing or turning it to look for desired items.

What type of Kayak is best for camping?

Out in the open, from the hundreds of different available kayaks, you might not be able to evaluate one as the best for camping. But don’t worry, we’re here to teach you that what type of kayak can better suit your camping needs.

  • Firstly, you can simply call a stable kayak the best camping kayak on a longer run. No matter how lighter gears you try to pack, they will add up to the overall weight. Regardless of placed weight, you must have to freely move around the deck without the fear of tipping the kayak. That’s why a stable kayak is proved best for camping.
  • Along with the stability, you must take into count the speed of the kayak. Most camping trips comprise double-digit mile days, so your kayak must be speedy enough to land you at the destinations within less time.
  • If you wish to carry heavier gears, a wider kayak will be an excellent choice for camping. Whilst, if you want to carry lighter items but your camping sites are too distant, then a longer kayak will do the right trick for you.
  • Moreover, a spacey kayak is also considered an excellent choice for camping as it helps to hold all your gears with greater organization.

Difference between Canoe and Kayak?

People often called the kayak a canoe, but in actuality both are different from each other in many aspects. As we know that kayaks sit lower in water compared to canoes, so they come with higher sides. Let’s look at some other differences.

  • The biggest and most obvious difference between the canoe and kayak is the boat they use. Canoes are based on open-top boats which are specifically designed to seat two or more people. Whilst, the kayaks are usually closed deck boats and they could be used by only one or two people for better sitting.
  • In the canoes, you can sit with the legs bending at the knee. While in the kayak the travelers usually sit on the floor of the boat with the legs nearly straight or stretched straight put in front of them.
  • Another major difference is in the paddling techniques. Canoes come with one bladed paddle and the kayak has a double-bladed paddle with one on either side.

Tent camping vs Hammock camping

Tent camping vs hammock camping

On the clear ground, a tent has become a universal symbol of camping just like the rod for fishing. But hammocks are now widely replacing the tents, but why? Let’s look at how they are different from each other.

  • Most people prefer a tent over a hammock just because they want a better place to sleep which can be doubled with the aid of a tent cot. But the latest hammocks can equip you with a better sleeping experience than you ever have at any camping. This is because a hammock enables refreshing and comfortable sleep. Whilst, in the tent you might feel congested or exhausted. 
  • Another thing is the clarity of ground which really matters when you’re in a tent. Most people toss and turn at night in a tent due to badly placed tree root or rock that you didn’t even realize while setting up your tent. But with the hammock, you even don’t need to keep an eye on the ground as you’re not going to touch it by any means. 
  • Moreover, if you have a hammock, you can camp anywhere, even on rocks, stumps, roots, snow, or wet ground without compromising your comfort.
  • After waking up in a hammock, you will feel that you have been shutting yourself in a thinner, lighter, and cramped mobile home compared to the tent where you can’t breathe fresh.
  • Practically, tents are a safer place to change your clothes as they keep you hide from the outside. But if you set up the tarp around your hammock, they can not only offer you privacy but also allows you to stand up and change your clothes comfortably.
  • When it comes to the cold weather, tents can keep you safe from harsh weather conditions. On the other hand, the advanced hammocks now come with a rain fly that can reflect heat just like a tent.

Is Hammock camping lighter than Tent camping?

It’s widely considered that hammock camping is lighter than tent camping, but that’s not always true. The truth is that a hammock alone can provide less protection than a tent. To stay dry in a hammock, you must need guy lines, larger taro, and stakes as per the camping in the rain checklist, and to stay warm, you’ll need a foam-based sleeping bag or under a quilt. 

When you add all of these extra gears, the weight of the tent and hammock will become almost the same. But if you don’t need to add any of these gears, then you can say that hammock camping is lighter than tent camping.

Does Hammock Camping save space?

Rooted in, most hammocks are far lighter than traditional tents. Although to keep yourself, safe, dry, and weather resistant in a hammock, you need to pack relevant gears, but the benefit is that you can pack all those gears separately. That’s why hammock camping saves lots of space compared to tent camping where you need to pack heavy poles, and stakes altogether which surely occupy more space.

How to stay warm in Hammock while Kayak Camping

One of the major concerns for hammock campers is how to stay warm, especially when you’re on kayak camping. You can utilize the given ideas to stay warm in a hammock even during deadly cold nights.

Modify your Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are actually beneficial to keep you warm as they use their thickness to prevent the escape of your body heat. The thicker the bag you got, the more heat it can retain inside. But when you lay in a hammock, the pressure points of your body like hips, shoulder compresses the insulation and can reduce the loft. 

So, it can be challenging to keep those parts warm when the temperature goes below expectations. Here, you can use inflatable mats to insulate your body from cold air.

Shield your Ends

Another practice to keep yourself warm in a hammock is by covering your ends. In actuality, your head, feet, and hands lose heat quite faster, so we recommend you cover them with cuddly warmth. Get some good winter caps, warm socks, and padded gloves to stay warm for longer.

Use a Sleeping Pad

You can also consider using a stiff sleeping pad as it can add another layer of insulation under your tush. But try to find that sleeping pad that can be molded or cut into a small strip to equip you with your desired sleeping pattern.

Eat Handsome

Regardless of your dinner time, try to eat food rich in carbohydrates such as snickers bars as they keep on your body to burn the fuel to stay warm. Also ass some ginger to your bites which not only helps to keep you warm but also boosts your immune system to keep away the winter bugs.

Grab an Under Quilt

Under quilts are much similar to sleeping bags but they can keep warm underneath and around the body. Actually, they efficiently tarp in heat pockets which allows you to reuse your body heat to stay warm for longer. Moreover, they can give you peace of mind from the risk of loft compression.

Insect Protection while Sleeping in Hammock

As the weather gets warmer, most insects come out to play which can disturb your sleep and some can bite you badly. So, it’s really necessary to keep your hammock bug-proof to get a better camping experience. To do so you can opt for the following methods.

Get a Jungle Hammock

Stunningly, a jungle hammock is a newly designed hammock that comes with a built-in insect net. So, they are excellent to provide full protection in any buggy conditions. They can act as a complete shelter against almost all kinds of insects. But make sure that the net on chosen hammock must have a strong textured feel with strong individual fibers to bear any tears.

Modular Bug Net

If you aren’t ready to buy a new hammock to keep away the insects, then you can modify your hammock by just installing a netting which is specifically designed to keep away insects from a hammock. This separate net prevents the insects from landing directly on the outer layer of a hammock. So, the chances of insects biting through the fabric will be greatly reduced.

Treat Hammock with Permethrin

If you feel uncomfortable due to the bug net or want to sleep under the stars without any net, simply treat your hammock with the permethrin. In actuality, permethrin is a natural compound that not only repels insects but also kills all buggers that come in contact by overloading their nervous system. Stunningly, it’s completely non-toxic for humans and completely safe for any longer usage.

Do you need a tarp for Hammock Kayak Camping?

As the hammock is not as closed as tents, so you might be more prone to weather conditions. That’s why you must need a tarp when planning for hammock kayak camping. Practically, they are needed because they can

  • Protect you from rain
  • Keep away the wind
  • Protect you from insects
  • Offer privacy
  • Keep away the tent burglars
  • Used to make a raft
  • Help to set up a sheltered kitchen
  • Help to hide your gears in an hour of need
  • Be used as a ground sheet
  • Excellent to make a sail for your kayak
  • Use to eat lunch in a shade
  • Keep it as a backup shelter

How to Attach Tarp to Tarp Suspension?

On the clear ground, attaching a tarp-to-tarp suspension is quite tricky. You need to go through the below-mentioned steps to do the trick.

  • Use a sturdy cord to make the prusik hitch by giving a double fisherman’s knot.
  • Perform an overhand knot on one side of the tarp cord and then wrap the cord around the tree quite above the hammock strap. Next, string the unknotted end of the cord via the loop on the knot and pull it tightly.
  • Never forget to maintain a perfect tension on the knot as you need to walk the remaining strap to the other tree.
  • Tie the standing end of the cord to the tree and keep the working end unattached. Now, tie the prusik hitch to the working end of the line.
  • After connecting the prusik hitch, clip some carabiner on the standing end and try to clip the prusik’s loop with the same carabiner.
  • Continue to pull on the working end while shifting the prusik hitch towards the tree until you get a tight cord. And you’re done!

Do I need a pillow for sleeping in the Hammock? 

The very precise answer to this question is “NO”, you don’t actually need any pillow for your hammock camping. Some people find comfortable sleep only when they have a pillow under their head but it might not be easy to adjust a pillow in a small hammock. 

Believe me, if you find the right sleeping angle in a hammock, you will never need a pillow for comfy sleep. Overall, the choice of having a pillow or not greatly depends on your preferences.

Final Thoughts on Kayak Hammock Camping

On the final note, kayak hammock camping is going to overtake almost all other camping, but just for the water lovers. As kayaks got less secured space to hold your gears and you are limited to put heavier items as you need to paddle it, so a hammock camping is the best combination. So, you can better pack your kayak when opted for hammock camping. 

In the guide, we tried to answer almost all your questions related to kayaking and hammock for the camping tour. Hopefully, you’ve got what you visited us for. Happy Adventurous Kayak Hammock Camping!

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