Hanging in the tropics

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by Christian

For our travels to the Philippines this year, we brought our two hammock setups with us:

  • Exped Scout Hammock Combo
  • DD Tarp with DD Frontline Hammock

I’ve written about them before but it was certainly interesting to use the hammocks in a tropical environment for a change. Whereas in this part (Europe) of the world insulation is of utmost importance, especially when you’re out hanging in the air, it’s the opposite near the equator.

Well, obviously, you might say. But still, it was surprising how much better I slept in the hammock. I spent day and night in the hammock, because it was the only place that was somewhat cool. No wonder hammocks are and have always been quite popular in regions with hot climates.

If it is a constant 30 C those mesh inner tents of all the american tents make a whole lot of sense, too, all of a sudden (I’ll come to that).

The Philippines –and the tropics in general– swarm with bugs (flying or crawling), cockroaches, snakes, spiders and outright nasty stuff like scorpions, painful biting centipedes or fire ants.

Just hanging in the hammock gets you away from most if not all of those critters. Absolutely marvelous to swing in the breeze and not be pestered by these crawlers, and still be able to enjoy the view.

Surprisingly mosquito netting wasn’t needed

One thing that I didn’t use much was the mosquito netting, though. Wouldn’t have thought so before, but for once the netting was blocking the breeze if there ever was one and it wasn’t really necessary anyway. Granted, I was using a bit of OFF (bug spray) at night time, but it really was too hot inside the hammock if the netting was deployed. So mostly I didn’t bother with it.

This also got me thinking if I really need the netting for use here at home or around europe, and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t. Long sleeves, light gloves and head net will shield me against bugs if it’s the season around here.

Enter Exped Scout Hammock (regular without bug netting)

If you don’t really need the bug netting, why carry and pay for it? Exped also sells the regular Scout Hammock and it weighs just 300 grams!

For someone who is thinking about getting a hammock, this is the one I’d recommend, especially since you can get a bug net as an extra if you like. The price for the regular Scout is a very reasonable €50,-.

You’ll need to buy a tarp, though, but most any tarp will do, just like the affordable DD Tarp.

But there was also the one night I was very grateful for bug netting

With the hammocks we didn’t use it, but with our beloved Shangri-La 3, where everybody seems to want a solid inner for, I was so glad to have the standard mesh inner with us.

Shangri-La Mesh Inner on the beach

One night We stayed on a small uninhabited island and camped right next to the beach. Although it was rainy season and much cooler than during the “hot months of summer”, it was hot. Coconut trees shielded us from the wind that was blowing on the other side of the island and the air didn’t move.

It's so great to wake up to a 360 view

In nights like these a complete mesh inner makes perfect sense and that’s how we slept. During day time the fly was deployed, so we could change clothes in private as there were other day trippers and fishermen about, but later we removed the fly because it was just too hot.

Sunrise viewed from inside the Shangri-La mesh inner

Sunrise viewed from inside the Shangri-La mesh inner

For me it was very interesting to see how the kit performed in these totally different conditions to what I normally experience.

P.S. The Shangri-La 3 inner also performed very well one night where I didn’t really expected it to.. We were spending a night in a .. let’s say budget-oriented hostel and I slept perfectly fine.

Yours Truly after a tough day on this wonderful island

  • Zach Frey

    Do you have any idea what type of scorpion that was? I just recently saw one on the island of Saipan that looks identical, and I had no idea if it was poisonous or not. Write me back at zfrey09@gmail.com if you can. Thanks.

    • christian_s

      I am sorry, I don’t know. Don’t think they are that poisonous. People handled them carefully, but not overly so. I was warned about the very painful bite of the Centipede, though! Maybe that puts it into perspective.  

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