Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grand Trunk Hammock Review 08-11-2013

This blog post is dedicated to the fine folks at Grand Trunk Goods for adding a whole new dimension to my day hikes!  As I've discovered, hammocks are convenient, compact, comfortable and surprisingly easy to set up.  My gear closet now has a Grand Trunk Double Hammock that can't wait for an upcoming trek along the Lake Ozette Loop.

This last weekend was a great opportunity to test out the hammock while hiking from Twin Lakes to High Pass in the heart of the rugged North Cascades.  It was quite an adventure - one that I'll share in a future blog post after I catch up on a few other lingering trip reports.

Generally speaking, the proximity of trees with one another hasn't really ever been on my radar screen while hiking.  Throw a Hammock in the pack and viola!  Tree spacing becomes incredibly important.

The Grand Trunk Double Hammock is about 10.5 feet long.  While the length of the hammock is indeed a fixed length, the use of ropes at each end allow a much larger variation in tree spacing - affording you more options in selecting a location for your hang.

Despite numerous camping sites around Twin Lakes it took us a bit of searching to locate a suitable spot to test drive the hammock.  Part of the search was simply due to our inexperience of course and more experience will result in easier site selection.

We found a number of awesome spots very close by with great views.  Perfect places to drop your packs, kick back and relax for a bit!

After a significant amount of napping  product testing, here are the highlights of the pros and cons based on our experiences with this hammock:

 PROS:
  • This hammock came with carabiners on each end, plus two pre-tied loops of cord for tying around trees and for connecting to the hammock's carabiners.  I'm not a knot expert and I don't have a lot of rope/cord laying around the house so the fact that Grand Trunk's hammock came with everything I needed in one package was simply fantastic!
  • The hammock, carabiners and additional cords all easily fit into the stuff sack.
  • The stuff sack serves as an easy to access side pocket when you are in the hammock.
  • The stuff sack is actually part of the hammock so there is literally no way to accidentally set it down and have it blow off in a gust of wind. Seriously... thank you Grand Trunk!
  • Since this is a 'double' hammock, there is plenty of material here.  Sitting in it sideways like a chair is an option, as is laying down and having the excess material fold over the top of you helps keep heat in or bugs out.  Keeping the excess material out of the way is easily done by sticking your elbows out to the side.
  • An extra rope and a tarp can quickly provide protection from the rain.
  • Sleeping in a hammock (under a waterproof tarp) can help you stay dry all night... no more waking up in puddles!


 CONS:
  • Watch out for Tree Sap when you put your ropes/cords around trees.  We obviously weren't thinking clearly when we wrapped one cord around a tree where there were obviously a lot of sap blisters under the bark.  When we took the hammock down we realized the cord was completely coated with fresh sap in MANY places.  My hands were immediately covered with sap too.  Not wanting to get all that sap all over the hammock and stuff sack, we opted to rub the sticky cord with lots of dirt from the trail to eliminate the stickiness.  Of course, now the hammock will be a bit dirty/dusty next time I use it, but that's much better than being covered with sticky sap.  NOW I realize why tree slings may be a very wise purchase. Those are going onto my wish list!
  • Bring More Rope!  Who knew we'd have to search for trees the proper distance apart?  Millions of trees in sight but only a few met our space/distance needs.  Having additional rope/cord with you allows more flexibility with your site selection.  Let me refer you again to the tree slings which have an extra 20 feet of cord with them.
  • Napping is easy, but sleep might take practice.  I put in two good faith efforts at sleeping overnight in the hammock in my backyard.  A combination of too much caffeine and too warm of a sleeping bag made me retire to the couch by 2 a.m.  It would have been totally possible to stick it out, comfortably, if I was in the back-country, but since I had to get up for work bright and early it seemed prudent to get at least 3 decent hours of sleep.  Hoping to give it another couple chances in the next few weeks before the weather starts cooling off for fall.

 

CONCLUSION:
In my opinion, hammocks are awesome!  The Grand Trunk Double hammock is comfortable and reliable, easy to pack, easy to carry, easy to set up.  I'm looking forward to making frequent use of it on future hikes!

The Grand Trunk website offers a wide selection of hammock options from Doubles to ultra-lights to Hammock Sleeping Bags and Mosquito Net with a floor.

Feel free to comment with your hammock experiences or with questions regarding this review.  I personally shot the photos and added the text of my own accord based on personal opinion and experience.

Happy Napping!

~E

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Parachute Nylon Double Hammock for free from Grand Trunk Goods as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.

2 comments:

  1. Grand Trunk Hammock Review update 8-24-2013: Took the double hammock to Lost Resort at Lake Ozette / Olympic National Park. Found a perfect shaded campsite to set up the hammock. Sister and my Brother-in-Law tested it out together and it held up with ease under load testing. Dad tried it out and gave it a thumbs up! Neither are ready to give up the RV or the tent yet though. :)

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  2. Reviewer Note: Yes, this is a real review that I wrote & took photos of. Some of you expressed the opinion that you thought it was a copy/paste of someone else's review... Not True!

    ~E

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