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Stuff We Like: Hammock shelters

hammock-200x148I have to tell you about my new favorite camping tent that’s not actually a tent. I just returned from a weeklong kayaking trip in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. It’s the largest swamp in North America — a really wild place with tons of huge cypress trees and water everywhere, but not much dryland for camping. There are plenty of alligators there too, so I was extra keen to get up off the ground at night. My best option for camping was a hammock. I chose the Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) OneLink Hammock Shelter System ($200; www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com).

Basically it’s a hammock with a slip-on bug net and tarp to keep the rain and dew off while you sleep. The hammock is super easy to set up. Just find two trees about eight feet apart and slip a SlapStrap on each. No need to tie fancy knots. The straps have built in webbing loops so you simply snap each of the hammock’s carabiner clips in place at the preferred height and you’re ready to go. The tarp is easy to attach as well so after a couple nights I was able to pitch the whole thing in less than five minutes. Weighing in at just 4 pounds 4 ounces, the ENO is also lightweight enough for backpacking and you can even chose one pre-treated with InsectShield bug repellant for $10 bucks extra.

Now keep in mind that hammocks are best for warm-weather camping since you don’t have the insulation of the ground to keep you warm during cold nights. However on my trip the weather did get down to near freezing one night, but I just dumped all my clothes into the bottom of the hammock and slept on top of them for added insulation and I was fine.

This was the first time I’d spent multiple nights in a hammock, and I’m here to say it has to be the most comfortable way to camp. No rolling off your sleeping pad. No rocks and sticks poking you from below. No pinched nerves and dead arms. Just a gentle rocking motion lulling you to sleep like a baby.


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13 Comments on Stuff We Like: Hammock shelters

  1. It is the best way to camp in the summer,spring,fall.

  2. Lawson Hammock makes the best/most versatile one in my book and I’ve tried virtually all of them. Their Blue Ridge Camping Hammock is hard to beat.

  3. Hennesy Hammock cheaper and whole lot tougher and lighter

  4. hammock man // May 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm // Reply

    these hammocks look nice but i don’t know were to get? can you help?

  5. HammockHanger // April 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm // Reply

    ENO hammocks are the most versatile hammocks. I personally have two double nest hammocks with a pair of slap straps pro. Being able to set up in the dark helps campouts go so much easier. If buying a hammock from ENO then take a look at the rain flys that they offer. The prices may be high, but so is the quality. Got questions?? Just ask.

  6. Hammocks are great for ultralight backpacking.

  7. ultralightest // September 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm // Reply

    check out the “Hennesy hamock”, even quicker set up. Plus it has a cool entrance in the bottom of the hammock.

  8. Bayport lover. // July 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm // Reply

    I’ve had my hammock for a while and love it!!! BTW Today I just got back from bayport. It’s awesome.

  9. Trail 2 Eagle // June 29, 2009 at 10:25 am // Reply

    I pesonly have this and its amazing!!! I got mine on sale at a boyscout camp called Bayport. Ever since I got it i’ve never slept in a tent at summer camp. But, if you do decide to buy it then you NEED to buy a bug net from E.N.O.!

    Thanks for reading!

  10. Wayward Wanderer // June 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm // Reply

    Yea, beacuse a gator cannot get you if you are 3 feet off the ground?

  11. hammockman // June 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm // Reply

    hennesy also makes high quality jungle hammocks

  12. HammockCamper // June 4, 2009 at 9:29 am // Reply

    Also check out the hammocks made by the Colorado-based Trek Light Gear. I’ve been camping with their hammocks for years now and would have a very hard time going back to the ground!

  13. This is so cool!

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