Monday, April 27, 2009

Camping by Hammock

I took a camping trip this past weekend in order to try out my new hammock tent before hitting the Appalachian Trail next month and I'm already sold on the versatility of this lightweight wonder. Weighing under two pounds, the hammock tent, complete with mosquito netting and rain fly, sets up in just a couple of minutes, allowing you to recline in comfort in places where conventional tents can't be put up. The hammock tent worked so well, that later that evening as I lay watching stars, I was able to glance a shooting star traversing the heavens, and all without enduring a single bug bite.

The hammock tent packs down into its own built in carry pouch so there's no chance of ever losing one or the other. It takes up very little space in a backpack and is so lightweight that I'm kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner. I'm leaving the 7 lb tent with its cumbersome poles at home for the next hike and I'm just taking my hammock tent. It won't be long before I've got the ultralight backpacking thing figured out. I've already ditched the camp stove for a super lightweight alcohol stove. The heaviest thing in my pack is my must-have water bladder.

It was very relaxing to sway gently with the trees and just listen to the night sounds. I slept so comfortably that I didn't want to crawl out in the morning, but finally I did. The hammock tent packs down just as quickly as it sets up, allowing you to be on the move in no time. I can tell you this, I won't be leaving home without it on anymore hiking trips, and now that I've got it, I'm going to be doing quite a bit more combination hiking/camping trips.

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