Jungle Slumber: RYPs Tips And Essential Equipment to Keep You Comfortable

Jungle Slumber: RYPs Tips And Essential Equipment to Keep You Comfortable

February 09, 2019


Sleeping in the jungle is probably one of the most unpleasant parts of tropical travel. Like clockwork, the rain pours at night along with some insects that go off at 6:30pm sharp, later on rodents, insects and all manner of large and unnamed species will crawl, flutter, slither and hop into your life. 

Pelton says of jungle sleeping arrangements: "Although I spent years sleeping directly on the ground usually with a tarp, I would not recommend it for the squeamish. In some jungles, you can actually drown if you don’t pick your spot wisely. Worse is the relentless pursuit of biting or stinging insects to explore every inch of your body. Not to mention how miserable it can be to unglue yourself from the mud at dawn."

RYP rests during the 1992 Shell Borneo Safari - a 4x4 rally that circumnavigates the island

The ideal method of sleeping is to copy the locals. Use a hammock but one that has a bit of western technology thrown in. I now swear by the SAS style jungle hammock with built in bug screen and an overhanging tarp. All you need is some rope and carabiners depending on the location. A cheap fleece blanket and your headlamp and you are good to go.   


Once you find a comfortable spot that has water but is high enough not to be flooded (look for signs of flooding, which include silt, and vegetation brushed in a downstream direction), you should build a simple platform.  Make sure you are not along any pig trails or wallows which guarantee ticks….and hundreds of pigs moving at night. Keep your headlamp and footwear ready in case something comes crashing through the brush (like elephants in places like Borneo) and be prepared for stinging wasps and slippery conditions. The one dry, one wet rule works well. Sleep in your dry clothes and slip into your cold damp clothes during the day.  I am not a fan of insect repellant but even if you sleep on the ground it doesn’t hurt to bring a small head sized tent. I have been on at least three expeditions in which others came down with malaria and I didn’t. Mosquitoes can kill if they are vectors for disease.  

Mosquitoes usually don’t venture above twelve hundred meters but they will be your constant friend along with biting ants, stinging caterpillars and leeches. 

If you don’t feel like using a hammock but have a tarp, you can run a single stick underneath it and keep it directly above you and tuck it underneath you. The weight and intensity of the tropical rains are such that your tarp should be as low and as steep as possible to effect runoff and avoid puddling.  Built a platform of leaves, ferns and dirt to add a little separation from the mud. 











Reuben Bolieu uses his DPx HEFT 12 CHOP to chop bamboo & make a jungle bed in the Phillipines.

Follow on Instagram @reubenbolieu

The ideal method of sleeping is to have a jungle hammock that comes with a built-in mosquito net and overhanging tarp. It is advisable to also provide some shelter via thatched palm or branches to break the force of the rain above your hammock.

As far as a combo hammock/mosquito net is concerned, this Jungle Hammock is my recommendation.  It is made from 20D Polyester - a parachute nylon, has a fine "no-see-um" mosquito mesh and has a hefty weight limit of 400 pounds.  It is super easy to use and comes with hardware to mount it to trees.


The basic tools for jungle travel should always include a cheap local parang (a machete used not for slashing your way through the bush but for building campsites), a large-capacity water container with built in water filter, a proper pair of jungle boots (cheap canvas with deep lugs and water drains) coupled with a pair of rafting shoes for use around camp, a form of disinfectant, malarial prophylaxis (doxycycline is my favorite) , and, of course, a good guide who will carry your gear, regale you with almost true stories, and make your trip enjoyable.

The DPx HEFT 12 CHOP Grey with Kydex sheath

For those who spend a lot of time on expeditions or in the bush I designed theThe DPx HEFT 12 CHOP as the perfect camp knife. Not a cheap piece of Toyota spring steel but 12 inches of razor sharp Sleipner steel. Built to slice food, cut down poles, clear  brush and even shave. The CHOP is a must have. I also recommend a smaller work knife for eating or fine work. The DPx HEST 6 or HEST Original are perfect. Remember to bring rope, carabiners and real fire starting materials for the wet fuel. 


You might enjoy a jungle story from one of my earlier expeditions, "Into The Lost World of Borneo" from The Adventurist. 

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in News

Dark Alliance Firearms & DPx Gear: Start With Our Heirloom Knife Built For A Lifetime, Then Make It Your Own
Dark Alliance Firearms & DPx Gear: Start With Our Heirloom Knife Built For A Lifetime, Then Make It Your Own

January 18, 2020

When it comes to lifetime heirloom knives, some of our customers want more.  They want it to be completely unique to them.  That's where Dark Alliance comes in.  When they are in the market for a one-of-a-kind spin on a high end knife or gun, the place to go is Dark Alliance Firearms in Las Vegas, Nevada - one of America’s hottest customizers of weapons and tools.  Co-founder, Jeremy Schmierer is one of the most meticulous and unique firearms engravers out there and he digs DPx Gear.  

Read More

The Importance of Being Tough
The Importance of Being Tough

September 17, 2019

The folding knives I design for DPx Gear carry a similar look. Beefy, utilitarian and thick. A number of customers that are used to more traditional knives are surprised when at the heft and feel of their first DPx product. Imposingly well built and yet balanced when used. It is not by accident.

Read More

The Baghdad Bar and Grill: Remembering The Days When A Beer Run Was A Blast
The Baghdad Bar and Grill: Remembering The Days When A Beer Run Was A Blast

August 09, 2019 2 Comments

There was a special time in Iraq after the invasion and before the insurgency really set in. A strange place of Hescos, blast walls, and drinking Belgian Coronas on the roof while watching fire fights and car bombs. It was Baghdad at its worst - and best.


Read More

Get 10% Off Your First Order.

Sign Up For DPx Gear Updates and More Special Discounts.

Not only do you automatically get 10% off your first order, as a DPx Gear Dispatch Subscriber, you will gain access to new product information, free content and exclusive DPx Gear offers. 

Check your email for your exclusive code.