Hammock Camping with Dog: How to Make Sleeping Secure?


Of course, backpacking is an overwhelming adventure!

Tag your dog along, and it will be more amazing! My dog Kal stays with me all the time. Yes, it is possible to have a fun experience with your dog, even during hammock camping.

The first time I hit the trails with my dog, I worried a lot. I wasn’t able to sleep a wink for fear my dog may run and never come back. Not only me, but a lot of backpackers who wish to bring their dog are hesitant too.

I’ve had helpful tips from my fellow backpackers. After several trips, I learned how to sleep safe and sound at night. Hammock camping with my dog is always a blast!

Don’t get too excited, dog lovers. I will go through several ways on how to sleep secure during hammock camping with my dog. Before that, it’s my turn to share with you some important factors you need to consider before going outdoors with your pooch.

If you pay attention to these, your hammock camping will be a breeze.


Practice Makes Perfect

During the first time, it took a while to make Kal ready for camping. I had to provide him a few rounds of practice to give him an idea of what is going to happen. The nearest park was a big help. Not that similar to the wild, but close enough to train him on the basics.

Kal has his dog bed at home. He is not used to be sleeping in a hammock or seeing me using one. It helped out when he saw me sleeping on it while he was nearby. I was even surprised to discover he loves to sleep on it too.

Practice will familiarize your dog with the everyday routine. Exposing your puppies to something new makes them depressed and nervous. Trust me, bringing a scared dog to the open, could be so stressful.

Practice-make-perfect (1)

The Importance of Grooming

I never forget to trim my dogs’ nails before going. Sharp nails can rip the fabric of the hammock. If it happens, that’s going to be a disaster. And also, long nails gives pain to dogs, especially during hiking.

Well-groomed dogs are comfortable and happy dogs.

It’s significant to ensure that the dog is well-groomed and healthy before bringing to camping. 

Taking care of a sick dog in a remote area and fixing a ripped hammock at the same time is not a joke.


Consider the type of dog you have.

It is essential to check the weather before camping. My dog is a Husky. Huskies love cool days. His thick coat is designed to survive winter. Hiking during summer will kill him.

You should know that if you have a dog with a thick coat, it’s best to bring him during cold weather. For dogs that have a thin fur, they’re perfect for warm days.

The size matters too. Large dogs can’t sleep with you inside the hammock. Mine stays underneath my hammock. But if there are enough trees to set up a hammock, he can have his own.

I don’t think there is an issue with small dogs. It can fit right beside you and snore! However, some dogs choose where they like to sleep, and there’s no arguing about that.

Better think about your dog’s survival when planning for hammock camping.


The Right Equipment Needed when Hammock Camping with a Dog

I have my old checklist when going backpacking. However, the time I decided to bring my dog, I have to add more to the list for his sake. Below are additional essentials that your dog needs.

1. Hammock

It would be convenient if there are enough trees close enough to tie hammock straps. An extra hammock for my dog is useful. Kal likes sleeping in his hammock.

2. Hammock Tarp

Tarps became a need to protect me from natural elements. Since my dog sleeps under or beside my hammock, I have bought a bigger one. It’s large enough to cover both of us even when he walks around the hammock.


3. Leash/harness/collar

I envy campers who can let their dog run free while hiking. But for my dog, I use a harness to control him. Maybe when he’s so used to the trails, I can let him loose. But backpacking is not always the same place. That’s the fun of it.

4. Food

I pack my food enough to last the duration of the escapade. But with my dog, I need to bring an extra bag of nibbles and treats! Food helps to calm him down or get his attention.

5. Blanket/pads

I make sure to put a blanket underneath my hammock for my dog to use when sleeping. Since he got thick coats, pads for him is optional. Tarp, hammock, and blankets are enough to keep us warm at night.

6. Poop Disposable Bags

Some think that when in the wild, it doesn’t matter. But no, for me everything has its proper places.

7. Dog ID

My backpacking route usually is new for me. My group tends to go from one place to another. So, I can’t let my dog get lost without an ID. It is easier to look for him with it.

Several ways to settle down with your dog during hammock camping. How to make sure it’s secure?

How can I slumber with a dog behind? Numerous reasons race through my mind why I’m scared to sleep.

The first trip to the woods that I had with my dog was full of worries. I was scared that he might become too excited about the different sounds, he might run and get lost.

I have concerned myself about bugs that may bite him as we sleep. I frequently asked myself during the night, “Was it too cold, or too warm?” Or, what if there were bears in the area?

Backpacking with a team of dog lover friends taught me several ways how to settle down at night or for just a short relaxation during a long hike.


1. Letting my dog sleep with me inside the hammock

If you have small dogs, this could be easy. The dog can snuggle beside you and sleep. When you think your dog’s nails can still rip the fabric of your hammock, you can use a quilt under for extra protection.

Socks for your pooch to wear may work too. Just a bit of training and they will get used to it.

In this situation, you can try taking out the leash. You would know what your dog is about to do since you are sleeping close enough.

But if you’re not sure without the leash, you can tie the other end of the leash to your wrist. No matter how frequent your dog jumps off the hammock, you are sure it is secure.

There is no better sleep during hammock camping than having a dog warm you at night.

I found a video of a camper who sleeps with her pooch. Take a look to have an idea how it is.


2. Letting my dog sleep using in a separate hammock

There’s no surprise here. I do it all the time. For a large breed, it is uncomfortable to let dogs sleep with you inside the hammock. Since mine is big and hefty, it’s either my dog or me.

I set up his hammock as close to me as possible just so that the tarp can cover him too. That is if there are suitable trees around. Better, do you know that you can let your dog sleep in his hammock under your own?

You need to tie your hammock a little higher though. Nevertheless, it is remarkable and convenient. Here is a video to give you a glimpse of the idea.

Inside his hammock, I placed a pad for him. The pad served a firm surface to make it easier for him to go up and down. It also protected that fabric from ripping because of nails.

I also thought to use a longer leash that was enough to make him move around comfortably even when jumping in and out of the hammock. I either tie the other end of the leash around my wrist or to the nearest tree I can find.

The only downside with the leash is the possibility of being tangled or stuck with objects around. I need to go down and fix it over and over again.


3. Letting my dog settle down under or beside my hammock.

I guess this is the most common way of spending a night with our dogs.

Placing their mat or pads under will keep them warm and cozy. My dog does not spend much under, but I placed it anyway. When he gets exhausted, he either sleeps under or near a tree where his leash was tied.

For you to be aware of what’s going on, tie the other end of the leash around your wrist. Knowing this, you can sleep relaxed and secure.

And with the leash, the longer length works well. It gives my dog enough room to run around as far away from me.

And with the leash, the longer length works well. It gives my dog enough room to run around as far away from me.

Take a look at this video to see how to tie a leash properly. The video shows how to look for a perfect spot for hammock camping along with some other tips!

I have been doing hammock camping with my family and dogs every holiday. It serves as a short break for the kids from using gadgets. Using hammock is much comfy than tents and a lot easier to set up too.

Just remember that our dogs need to be exposed to the outdoors first, and must be in good health before hitting on hammock camping.

After all the tips I gave you on how to spend overnight securely with your dogs, you can now say goodbye to heart aches every time you leave them behind. Just a little bit of patience, and you will be there.

About the Author

Lauren Reese

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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