Monday, July 29, 2013
Who needs a tent? Minimalist camping with a Grand Trunk hammock!
So, if you didn't hear, last Monday the 22nd was "National Hammock Day". I was asked by Grand Trunk to help them promote the day, and also to give their double hammock a try. We have one of those wide canvas hammocks that we use in the back yard to relax in during the summer with the kids, but I'd never tried a true camping style hammock.
First off, their double hammock comes in a bag that is 9" X 5.25" and weighs only 20 oz. So.. based on that, how big or strong could the hammock be? How about 10.5 ft long, 6.5 ft wide, with a capacity of 400 lbs!!
The double hammock is strong parachute nylon, and includes strong nylon rope, and nautical grade carabiners. When you open the bag, there are only 3 parts to it... the complete hammock with carabiner clips on each end, and two nylon rope that are looped and pre-knotted.
The really cool thing is that the carry sack is attached to the hammock so you don't lose it. AND, it works as a great little storage bag for your odds and ends while sleeping in it. I thought this was really great.
Here is what it looked like the first time I strung it up between trees in our yard. Inside the hammock in this pic are two little boys who had a great time trying it out..
As I had noted, the cords that wrap around the tree had a few knots in them, but I found that I could easily move them, or put additional knots in to adjust the tension. Even with years of Boy Scout activities with my oldest son, I am still knot tying challenged, so it was a relief to see such a simple knot that could hold all that weight!
So, how does it sleep? Well, the first night I tried it was on Monday, National Hammock Day, and under a beautiful full moon. I wasn't sure what I would need to stay warm, so I just had two fleece sleeping bag liners that I thought would be adequate. As opposed to sleeping in a sleeping back on top of a Therma-Rest, I found that my backside got pretty cold! I think it was in the low 50's out that night, so I thought it would be fine, but eventually around 2 am I decided to go in (didn't feel like rooting around for a sleeping bag). This was a bonus of testing this in the yard!
Ok.. so maybe it wasn't as cold as this, but anyway. So Friday, the boys and I camped out all night, and this time I grabbed a good sleeping bag and stayed plenty warm.. What I love about the double hammock is that you can overlap the sides and basically close out the cooler air etc. It becomes like a mini-tent inside, and the storage bag helps keep it closed down when you flip it over the side.
And, once I got the tension of the hammock right, and got situated, it was really comfortable! Granted, it took some getting used to, being wrapped up, however I found that in the double hammock I could still sleep on my side if I chose to etc... And, it was really easy to poke my head out and see what wildlife may have been lurking around in the wee hours of the morning. The best part? The gentle rocking of the hammock after moving around was very soothing... loved it!
The bottom line is, I would much rather take this with me on a camp out or backpacking trip, versus a tent, and a sleeping pad. Less to carry, super fast to set up, and really comfortable. The only thing extra I would bring would be a small tarp or rain shield to string over the top if the weather called for any precipitation.
Anyways, Grand Trunk makes a terrific hammock, and I would guess that all of their other products are equally great. Check out their website for all their great products at http://www.grandtrunkgoods.com/
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Grand Trunk Hammock for free from Grand Trunk as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.