My biggest space and weight saver I discovered was when I learned just how comfortable camping can be in a hammock.
I’m a middle aged man with the back of a nintey year old mine worker, so camping for me has always been a delicate balance of equipment, ibuprofen and whiskey to ensure a good nights sleep. Then, after years of ground-dwelling misery, I found that sleeping in a hammock after a long days ride was not only comfortable but better for my back than my bed at home. (my guess is the curve stretches it out). Anyway, enough about pampering my decaying carcass and on to the gear.
I own two hammocks. First is the outdoorsmans favorite, the Hennessy Hammock.
What is not to like about this all in one mosquito net hammock? It comes with a rain fly and built in ropes all in one easy to store bag. The following for this hammock online is boarding on a cult. Get a set of “snake skins” and start Googling and you will find no end to the amount of information and modifications you can do to this hammock to sleep like a Nyquiled child in any weather.
My second hammock, while not as small to pack, is my favorite. The ENO double nest hammock. This is pure luxury.
Wide enough for two people and a puppy but packs down into its own self-contained pocket no larger than a softball. The packing difference comes in when you add the rain fly ( I pack a multi purpose tarp) and the ENO mosquito net. The Eno bug net costs a little more but is well built, with two zippered exits, and also packs onto its own self-contained pocket that is a little smaller than the hammock. All three items, while slightly larger than the Hennessy, still pack smaller than a one man tent and, in my humble opinion, gives you a much better nights sleep.
Oh slap!! I can’t forget the “Slap Straps“. These wrap around a tree and give you an easy loop to attach the ENO hammock carabiner to for the fastest setup and take down in camping history! Seriously, I can hang or take down my hammock in 3 minutes. Try that with a tent after a long ride!
I use an inflatable air mattress to keep my ample back side warm during the night. If the temperatures really drop you can attach an emergency blanket (or as my dad called them, a space blanket) to the underside of the hammock to reflect your heat back on you and keep you cozy until that first cup of fireside coffee warms you up in the morning.
So long story short, pick the hammock that suits your style and leave the ground dwellers behind!