How to pack your backpack for hammock camping

Are you a pro-backpacker? New to backpacking and wondering how to pack a backpack? Are you used to carrying a tent and wondering how to adjust your pack with your hammock gear? We’ve got all the answers for you in this week’s post. 

And if you’re looking for a backpack to haul your gear, here are a few of our favorite backpacking packs!

Where to start:

We will group the pack into three sections. The bottom, the core, and the top. It is important to keep the weight distributed evenly to avoid the backpack feeling like it may tip over, or drag you down. You may not get it perfect the first time you pack, so ideally you should practice a few times at home before you hit the trail. 

The Bottom

When packing your backpack, you should start at the bottom and work your way up. The idea is to put the things you will not need access to on the trail at the very bottom. These items are bulky, but easily compressible. 

Quilts/Sleeping Bag

Whatever your preference, quilts or sleeping bag, it will go on the very bottom. You can also include any sleeping clothes, or extra layers you may need. 

The Middle/Core

This is where the bulk of your weight, and items will be stored in your pack. You should keep the heavy items closest to your back. 


These items will likely be the heaviest in your pack. This will include your food, camping stove, water, cooking kit, fuel, and bear canister if in bear country. You will want to pack these items closest to your spine. It will help keep your pack centered. 


In front of your food/fuel you should pack your hammock. This will stabilize the heavy items and fill in any space between the back and front of your pack. 

Tarp/Rain Gear

In front of your hammock you should pack your rain fly, and rain jacket. If you are expecting rain, it may be best to pack this in an outside pocket for easy access. 

The Top

On top of your pack will be items that you may need immediate access to on the trail. It should still be packed in order of use, so put the items you do not expect to need further toward the core of your pack. 


Next is your clothing. You should pack your extra warm layers, and jackets closer to the core of your pack. In colder weather you may want to pack your hat, or gloves closer to the top of your pack. 

First Aid, Hydration, Etc.

Water and first aid are some of the essentials you will need easy access to on the trail. You may also include a pocket knife, camera, and bathroom kit at the top of your pack. It can also be a good idea to pack a snack on the top for easy access while on the trail. 

The final step when packing is to tie anything bulky to the outside of your pack. This could include a sleeping pad, trekking poles, crampons, or anything else bulky your adventure requires. Make sure to secure these items as close and tight to your pack as possible. 

Hopefully this helps you determine how to pack your backpack for hammock camping. Don’t forget to check out our hammocks here and use code hhblogfollower for $7 off your order. Happy hanging and hiking! 

If you’d like to know more about packing your pack, our friends at My Open Country have posted a great article. Check it out here!