There was a time, Not too many Moons ago, when camping and hiking were a lot more work.
First of all the tents were made of canvas and an 8’ x 10’ could easily weigh 50 to 80 lbs. and came in big bags with lots of long aluminum poles. The cots were either aluminum fold outs that were bulky and had a tendency to collapse during the night if you rolled over too quickly (that always came as a surprise) or were canvas army surplus cots that squeaked with every move, and if you pulled 2 together there was still a hugh hump between them. All canvas had a pungent odor about it especially when it was wet. Uggh. Also no one ever used hammocks for their primary sleeping quarters. Those were only for lounging during the daytime…Well not anymore.
The tents are lighter and easier to set up, the cots come in doublewides if you want, and hammocks are a whole new study in comfort, fun, and convenience. There are many models of hammocks to be considered but I am going to discuss three particular brands that work great for hiking as well as camping.
Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock: This nifty number is a self contained multi-unit that comes with its own Bug Net and Dry Fly. Once tied to the trees, attach the Spreader Bars and Aluminum Shock Cord Arch Poles and on these you fasten the Bug Net and Dry Fly. You will be totally enclosed but still able to catch the breeze and see out all the way around you. Inside there is a storage pocket and a ceiling “O” Ring to hold a Reading Light. The weight including the carry pouch is 4.25 lbs. Its 72” x 22” and holds up to 250 lbs. The price range is approximately $ 170.00. (Tie Ropes Not Included)
Stanport Nylon Mailbu Hammock: Now this is for “extremely” lightweight and economical travel. This hammock comes in several bright colors and is contained in its own pouch that is small enough to be tucked in a coat pocket. It weighs under a pound, is 85” L X 59” W and has a 185lb. weight limit. The nylon will dry very quickly if it gets wet. Costs is aprox. $20.00. (Tie Ropes Not Included)
ENOS---- Eaglesnest Outfitters Inc. Now here is a number that is going like hotcakes! The choices available in this hammock are fun. They come in many colors including Khaki, Olive, Blue, Orange, and Red. Also they are Single Nest (9’4” L x 4’7” W) weighting 18 oz. and Double Nest (9’4” L x 6’2” W) weighting 21 oz. Each comes in a handy carry compression bag that’s approximately 6” H x 4” W. The prices on these are approximately $60.00 for the Single Nest and $70.00 for the Double Nest.
The attachment straps are separate and come in 2 sizes. Slap Straps are 7’6” x 1” wide and weigh 11oz.and Atlas Suspension Straps are 9’ x 1&1/4” W and weight 12oz. Prices are$ 19.95 and $29.95.
Also for purchase are a Bug Net which is 9’5” x 4’5” that goes all the way to the ground and can be staked out, and cost $60.00, and a Dry Fly, Rain Tarp that is 10’6” x 5’2” and costs aprox. $80.00.
All of the ENOS carry a 2 year guarantee. They are made of woven Nylon with Triple Nylon stitching.
Here’s the catch to a hammock. One must practice and take caution when climbing “Aboard”. Like as always been the nature of a hammock, it can get a little tricky if you don’t approach it gingerly. I’ve heard tales of folks being turned upside down and sometimes falling off, and other times just getting stuck in a cocoon of hammock, suspended in air. Makes for a good camp side laugh. Here is another pointer, it’s not wise to consume large quantities of liquids or libations before bedtime, as jumping out of a hammock in the dark multiple times during the night is a sure plan for disaster.
But once settled in, it is very comfortable and also assuring to be up off the ground. So Happy Camping and remember: Practice makes Perfect.
Alicia Ray-Camping Dept.
Bass Pro Shops
Little Rock, Arkansas