How To: Turn Your JungleNest into a Bivy Sack

By Carolyne Whelan,

Hammocks are a super easy way to secure a comfortable place to rest during a hike. With the aid of a couple of trees, boulders, posts, or other secure objects, shelter and sleep are just a couple carabineer clicks away. There are, however, a few places in the world where no such objects can be found. On my hike along the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, Canada, I spent a night in a bog. While I had more options than my tent-camping friends, those options were all further from my group and I wanted to stay close for safety and community. I was able to set up my JungleNest and HouseFly into a comfortable, warm, and dry bivy sack.

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From the limited information I found online about parts of the trail, I was nervous this might be an issue, so I had mapped out my plan ahead of time, and the gear I brought was not only useful for my hike and for the other eight nights of sleeping, but served my purpose well in the bog. Plus, it was a lot lighter than carrying a regular tent or bivy sack.

Ultimately, even on the ground I ended up as comfortable if not more comfortable than my tent-camping companions, who were also exposed to the high winds and wetness along the cliff edge.


  • hiking poles
  • waterproof, tear-resistent material to use as footprint(I used my raincoat and my backpack’s rain cover)
  • ENO JungleNest
  • ENO rain fly, optional (I used the HouseFly)
  • sleeping pad (I used the REI Flash insulated sleeping pad, which works great in the air with the ENO Hotspot).


  1. Scope out a small, flat spot of ground with soft ground cover. Lay footprint and hammock down.
  2. Insert sleeping pad, planning to have head at a point of higher elevation if the area isn’t totally flat.
  3. Place hiking poles in ground at ends of hammock. Secure ends of hammock to poles for added support.
  4. String up Junglenest paracord, tying one end to each pole, and connect Junglenest mesh.
  5. Lay the rain tarp over the parachord. Tie appropriate ends to each hiking pole to secure, then use stakes to secure rain fly close to ground to protect from wind and elements. If using the Housefly, this works great to set up just like a little house, staked into the ground with the “doors” close to each other to prevent the wind from coming through.
  6. Tuck belongings between hammock and rain fly, crawl into hammock, and appreciate the versatility of your sleeping situation, knowing that tomorrow night you’ll be back in the air.


carolynewheelerABOUT: Carolyne Whelan is an adventurer and freelance writer who usually hangs her hat in a camper. When she isn’t working as a bike mechanic in Pittsburgh, PA, she can be hard to locate without a compass but is most easily found at her blogs Lifting Weights at Midnight and Roadside Fires Burning. Her poetry can be found at