To misquote Wind in the Willows: there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in hammocks.
We love hammocks here at Outdoor People, in fact the shop is full of them, so we're pleased to announce that we’ve just had a big restock of DD’s technical hammock range. From the simplest super-lightweight slings to full-blown camping hammock packages replete with mosquito nets and under blankets, to keep you comfortable all night, whatever the climate.
We take our hammocks with us whenever we go away and conduct as much office business from the one outside the shop as business law allows.
Hammocks can make a great alternative to tents, especially when you’re in a forest and there’s not an inch of ground that isn’t covered with fallen branches or beasties. The problem is that if you’re not prepared for hammock-style sleeping it can get very cold, very quickly.
In a tent, lying on inflated roll mat you have lots of air trapped between you and the outside world, but when lying in your hammock you’re pressed right against the fabric beneath you, which means all the heat from your body is going directly into heating up the air in the forest, not great on a cold night. So what’s the solution? You need to find a way to trap the air between you and the air.
The DD Frontline hammock does this through its double-layered construction, allowing a roll-mat or blanket to be inserted between the layers, keeping you warm all night. It even has an underblanket that clips on in all the right places! If you're keen to see it in action come and visit us and we'll get one rigged up in the yard.
But it’s not all about grizzly adventures into mosquito-ridden backwaters. Hammocks are great when you’re just chilling out, wherever you're just chilling out: with a little bit of prep any balcony, decking, public park, terrace or car park can be turned into an isolated paradise slung out of the reaches of reality. And there’s no better way to make friends at festivals than by sharing a chill out session in a hammock while the rest of the world gently goes crazy around you.
For these more serene moments the Ticket To The Moon hammocks are hard to beat: bright colours, soft parachute silk fabric, and extra large sizes, makes it possible to lose whole afternoons to what was supposed to be a ten-minute nap. They pack up nice and simply into their own pouch so can be stuffed into day packs and taken to the park without any rigmarole.
It always seems, to the uninitiated, that setting up a hammock is laborious and technical process but the trick is just getting the right straps, no need to faff around with fancy knots then. The proper tree straps make the process so easy and are so versatile they will fit around nearly anything. If you need further instructions were happy to run little demonstration here at Outdoor People HQ or if you just fancy a little trial lie down do come and see us.
Finally, I’d just like to put a quick word in for my personal favourite hammock: the Grand Trunk One Made Double, absolutely the best lightweight hammock on the market. I’m one for travelling, proper slow travelling, camping in a new spot each night, normally by bike, carrying everything with me. And despite my love of sleeping in a hammock it really is too risky to take a camping hammock on tour – what if there are just no trees en route and you end up sleeping on the floor. And it would be ridiculous to take a tent and a camping hammock on a light weight trip right? So I’m stuck with my tent for now, but I still always find room in my panniers for my super light Grand Trunk One Made.
After the day’s ride, when the tent’s up and dinner’s on, I love setting up the hammock and settling in for the evening. There’s nowhere better to chill out, eat pasta out of a frisbee and watch the stars come out. You’d miss the sights and sounds of the evening coming on if you head straight into the tent and sitting on the damp floor can be miserable after a hard ride.
The Grand Trunk is the perfect hammock for this lifestyle, it fits, along with a set of Grand Trunk Tree Straps, into a little pouch the size of a classic Nalgene waterbottle. It weighs nothing, so you don't notice having carried it around and not used it for a few days, and when you get it out you can’t believe how big it is, plenty of room for two. Another big selling point for me is that it’s made in the USA, out of very high-end materials, which means it’s going to last and last (I can’t stand semi-disposable camping gear). This little guy really has changed my tour routine, making each evening a magical chill out session rather than just an exercise in fighting off cramp while you sit on the floor.
And you can see the entire Hammock collection here
Happy Hanging Out!