Grand Trunk Ultralight Travelers Hammock

I have been toying with the notion of trying out a hammock for quite a while now. And while I will admit, I would love to get my hands on a Warbonnet Blackbird (WBBB), at this time I cannot convince myself to drop the $$$ for one of these just yet. Before I do that, I think it would be wise of me to simply find out my general thoughts on hammocks in general.

Then the Jolly Green Giant posted about his “secret piece of gear” (not his secret “weapon”, as I say in my following video) in a recent blog post over on his site, Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking. Without spoiling ALL of the post, I will tell you that he list’s one of his secret pieces of gear as a Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock. When I followed his pluged-in link, I found myself drawn to this hammock…and to be quite honest, it was the $19.99 price tag that did it… Well, that and of course, the Green Giant’s recommendation!

Looking around on the site I found that the hammock was roughly $20, but the suspension  or tree slings, needed to be bought separately for $17.99, unless of course one suspension or another was already owned. In my case, this was not the case, so I needed the suspension as well. Although $38 (+ tax and s&h) is not necessarily a load of money, it was more than I needed to “ask” for at the moment…so I let it go (but stored safely in my mind).

Then just a few days ago I happened to come across a for sell thread on Whiteblaze.net in which a certain poster was selling this exact hammock, with the tree slings for $30, shipped. I immediately took it as my sign, and PayPal’d him the money! Then just a few short days later I found a box waiting for me to come home from work…

So, as usual, I will hit up some of the specs from the video, as well as some that I picked up off of the Grand Trunk site that I was not sure of:

    • Measured Hammock Weight: 11.6 oz
    • Listed Hammock Material: Polyester taffeta
    • Listed Hammock Weight Limit: “up to 250 pounds”
    • Listed Hammock Length: 9.5 x 4.5 feet
    • Measured Tree Slings Weight (In Stuff Sack): 7.9 oz
    • Listed Tree Slings Material: Synthetic 5 mm Cord
    • Listed Tree Slings Weight Limit: “up to 400 pound loads”
    • Listed Tree Slings Length: 20 foot cords each (this will vary though due to number of knots tied in cord)

So, a few initial thoughts…

The first time getting into the hammock I will admit that I was a bit nervous. I was expecting the rope to snap, or the bottom to fall out, spilling me out…or more so, for the hammock to flip around and like in the cartoons and send me flying fast as a bullet… 🙂 However, once I got in it and realized that it was going to hold me up (at least for a little while) I managed to relax my grip a little and begin to move around a little… you know, just feeling it out…

From reading about hammocks, it seemed that many achieve a flat lay by simply lying on a diagonal, so I tried laying at a diagonal. I found that it was fairly simple enough to get shifted over and lay in a diagonal position, but actually managing a flat lay was not as easy. At the top, I felt like the material was trying to roll me over, and at the foot end the center was so tight that it made it hard for me to get my legs flat. So, I decided I would try to hang the hammock just a little tighter and try it again.

By hanging the hammock a little tighter (but still not stretched across) it did seem to offer a little better lay, however, I do realize that it will take me a while to get it figured out like I want it. So, I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend while I am on call and stuck at the house…

I will admit though that laying in the hammock was pretty dang relaxing. I could gently rock myself and it seemed as if I would rock for quite a while. Talk about getting rocked to sleep at night… but I have not laid in it near long enough to determine if I could actually completely fall asleep in it and then stay that way. Once I figure out how to hang the hammock a little better to my liking I will then give it an overnight trial…

Some of the obvious benefits of using a hammock is the ability to easily choose a camping spot. With a tent, or a tarp (for sleeping on the ground) it is obviously not always so easy. The 2 biggest obstacles for a ground sleeper is (1) finding a flat spot and (2) finding a flat spot in a large enough opening to pitch a tent. Of course with a hammock, this process is made much easier. It doesn’t matter if a spot of land is sloped, or even has vegetation growing on it (to an extent). All one needs, is 2 trees, or other objects in which a rope can be tied to about 6 feet off the ground, and anywhere from 8 to 15 feet apart (depending on suspension). Although, on the other hand, if one should find themselves in a place without these objects, well, then it doesn’t really matter and that person should hope that they brought a sleeping pad to use on the ground…

However, a hammock system could quite possibly be heavier than a ground system, especially in colder temperatures. Due to the hammock being suspended in mid-air, the user is much more subject to being cold, which means more weight may be spent in carrying insulating layers. While one on the ground can get away with simply using a pad, a bag, and a tarp; the one in the air needs all of this, plus extra insulation beneath them.

Let me add to this that I have not explored all the areas of hammocking, and especially not in cold weather, so therefore I am not familiar with all the options, or general overall weights. In my mind though, it does seem like more, although I am not trying to say it is true. I will go as far as making an assumption though that to get a hammock set-up as light weight as some ground set-ups, a lot of $$$ would have to be spent on high quality down items as well as other items I am not sure about… So, I will just leave it at that…

Anyway, as I have somewhat alluded to, there are lots of things to consider about using hammocks, and as for myself, I am looking forward to hanging out for a while and figuring some of them out…

So, until later, thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment…

~Stick~

2 Responses to Grand Trunk Ultralight Travelers Hammock

  1. Pingback: Whoopie Slings, Single Line Tarp Ridge Lines and Bug Socks, Among Other Things… | Stick's Blog

  2. Pingback: Whoopie Slings, Single Line Tarp Ridge Lines and Bug Socks, Among Other Things… | Stick's Blog

Leave Your Comment Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s