Guide to Emergency Shelters and Hammocks for Hiking, Bike, and Canoe Touring.


Are you a hiker, bike, canoe, or kayak tourer? Sometimes a tent adds just too much weight, or you’re not planning to sleep outdoors. Either way, having a lightweight emergency shelter or hammock might be the answer.

Do you love the great outdoors and spending time in nature? If so, then this guide is for you. We’ll teach you everything there is to know about emergency shelters and hammocks. You’ll be able to find out how they work, what types of products are available on the market today, and which ones we recommend most highly. And once you have your shelter or hammock picked out, we’ll even show you some tips on how to use it properly so that it lasts as long as possible!

If all of this sounds good to you – if being prepared when disaster strikes sounds like something that might interest you – then keep reading! This guide will give step-by-step instructions on choosing the best shelter or hammock for your needs.

What are emergency shelters and hammocks for hikers?

Emergency shelters and hammocks for hikers are mainly used for backpacking and camping to protect them from the elements. It’s also an excellent option for anyone out touring on a bike and wanting to keep weight and volume to a minimum.

Sleeping in a hammock, whether it’s at home or on an adventure, can be incredibly comfortable, whereas sleeping on the ground can be cold, clammy, and generally unpleasant. Emergency shelters and hammocks for hikers are also light, durable, easy to pack away, and often come with an array of different features that make them versatile in many different situations.

What qualities do you look for when buying a quality emergency shelter or sleeping bag?

One of the primary considerations when choosing a quality emergency shelter or sleeping bag is the intensity of use. Some people take their tents with them on day hikes, so they have a place to retreat to in case of rain or darkness. Others are full-time campers with a tent set up at every campsite they visit. How often you will be using your emergency shelter or sleeping bag is also something to consider, as it will determine the materials used in its construction and what features are available.

Types of emergency shelters

Bivouac sack

A bivouac sack is a sleeping sack designed to keep the wearer warm with minimal insulation. In some cases, they can also offer protection from the environment with waterproofing and windproofing. They are designed to be compact, lightweight, and easy to transport.

You can think of a bivouac sack as light and packable variation of an emergency shelter that doesn’t require stakes or carved wood pegs. They’re very versatile.

Mylar emergency shelters are a great choice if you are looking for a lightweight option for your survival kit. They can really help in a pinch but aren’t the best for long-term use. They keep the wind and elements out and have some radiant properties to stay warm.


Tarps are an emergency shelter often found in hiking kits, emergency backpacks, and disaster kits. They are lightweight, easy to transport, and can be set up quickly in various ways. Tarps can be used to protect your bedding or your food supply during rainstorms. They can also be used to create a makeshift shelter for the night if you need it.

Super Lightweight Bothy

A lightweight bothy is a type of emergency shelter used on the trail. They are designed to be small, light, and easy to transport. Due to their small size, they generally offer less protection from the elements than a traditional tent would provide. A lightweight bothy can still provide some cover from sun, rain, wind, and snow – but they’re not going to make you completely safe. They make it easier for you to go further and faster on your next hiking adventure!

Types of hammocks

Gathered End Asymmetric Hammocks

Gathered End Asymmetric Hammocks are the most popular hammock suspension method. They are easy to use and come in a variety of sizes.

The gathered end is what gives these hammocks their name. It means that the fabric comes together at one point on one end of the hammock or in the middle for a double bed or XL size hammock. These hammocks generally have adjustable lengths for different size users and can be set up asymmetrically, allowing for more sleeping positions options.

Bridge Hammocks

Bridge hammocks are essentially made to be backpacking hammocks. They’re lightweight, compact, and easy to set up, perfect for adventurers who want to keep their packs light. Bridges offer less protection than gathered end hammocks but do provide some degree of ventilation, meaning that you can still use them during warmer months.

MonoRail Hammock

MonoRail Hammocks are the most basic type of hammock available; they do not come with bedding or integrated bug netting features. The hammock is suspended by two ropes (hence the name) and has one layer of fabric, meaning they can only hold up to 350lbs. MonoRail Hammocks are usually made of nylon or polyester, generally suitable for three-season use.

How to choose an emergency shelter or hammock

The first thing to consider is the size of the person. If you’re looking for an emergency shelter for your child, it’s important that they can get in and out of it quickly. The same will be true for adults that are elderly or close to 6’4″. Then, think about how often you’ll be using the shelter; if it’s just once or twice a year, you may not want to spend too much money on top-quality materials. If you’re using it every day, though, quality material will make all the difference in the world.

Other considerations to make when choosing an emergency shelter or hammock include what weather conditions you’ll be facing; what time of year your trip is taking place; whether you’ll be sleeping alone or with someone else, your age, weight, height, and other factors. You can read more about what to consider before making a purchase here.

How are emergency shelters different from regular backpacking tents?

One of the main differences between an emergency shelter and a regular tent is that they’re not designed to be used every day. Emergency backpacks and shelters are lighter, making it easier to carry them for longer distances without getting too tired.

What makes high-quality emergency shelters?

High-quality emergency shelters tend to have some or all of these qualities:

Waterproofing – Most emergency camping shelters come with built-in waterproofing and resistant materials, but some are even designed to be completely waterproof.

Windproof / Breathable – These two qualities go hand in hand; shelters should be able to keep the wind out while still allowing for airflow through the shelter itself.

Why having a camping tarp is important when camping outdoors.

Having a camping tarp is important because it will protect you from the rain, sun and provide you with shelter. This is one of the most crucial tools to have if you plan on doing any type of camping or hiking out in the wilderness. As mentioned before, having a good quality tarp will allow for more protection than just using regular old pieces of cloth that can easily get blown away or torn up.

A camping tarp comes in many colors to suit your style’s color scheme. They also come in different sizes to suit whatever size person needs coverage. Many of them also come with their own stakes so that they don’t blow away while you are sleeping or put them up so that they don’t blow away during a storm. The best part about having one of these is that they are much lighter than carrying around a shelter which means you can pack more on your back before getting too tired to even go any further.


In the end, it’s important to remember that as much as we might romanticize our idea of a rugged wilderness adventure, things can go wrong. There are many dangers, and you should always be prepared for both planned and unplanned emergencies. Your emergency shelter or hammock may not only keep you safe from dangerous weather conditions but also provide a sense of security in what seems like an unpredictable world. If you want more information on how best to prepare for your next excursion into the wilds (or if you’re just curious about some cool gear!), let us know! We are always looking for new ideas for articles.

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