I have mentioned our new hammocks a few times, and what better time to briefly talk about them than during a post about our time walking through the beautiful, serene oak hammocks along the Florida Trail.
To clear any confusion:
hammock – a hanging bed or couch made of canvas, netted cord, or the like, with cords attached to supports at each end.
hammock, also hummock – an elevated tract of land rising above the general level of a marshy region.
These oak hammocks are beautiful, peaceful, shaded, dry reprieves for humans, cows, and wildlife alike (read – watch out for cow patties while stopping for lunch break). After getting back on trail from Billy Goat Day, we made our way through pastures, prairies, and hammocks, with Steve moo’ing at the neighboring cows any chance he got.
We passed through several hunting sections unscathed, since it was mostly small game season, and thankfully we are pretty distinguishable from squirrels and raccoons. We visited with the hunter check-in station volunteers mid-day, sitting around the fire, chatting about the area. If we’d stayed the night, I may have gotten a lesson on preparing squirrel. But now, I guess I’ll have to YouTube it. [Standby for future hunting and cooking shenanigans, lol]
So, realizing we had been carrying our hammocks 150 miles and only used them 3 times, we made a strong effort to use them more to make our effort worthwhile. Steve researched and created these two ultra-light hammocks while we were preparing for trail in the Florida Keys. We weren’t sure how much flat, dry ground we’d have in the swamp area, so we agreed having the option to tent or hammock would be most beneficial for our journey. We lucked out, having many locations to tent, which is the easier option, so we didn’t need our hammocks at all. But having a complete individual shelter weighing in at 1 pound gives us a lot of flexibility for future outdoor adventures. In the mean time, we are using them for relaxation whenever the trees and time present themselves.
The hammocks themselves are made of sil-nylon, same thing as parachutes. He then added a custom made bug net that can slip on and off the hammock, depending on the bug situation. Then for complete protection, he added a cuben-fiber/dyneema tarp, which is similar to what sails are made from. Overall, materials have advanced over the years to become more durable, more lightweight, and more waterproof, all in one!
The suspension system is versatile to allow for different distances in the trees. You can hang from just the tree straps, like you see me in my light blue hammock. Or for further apart trees, you can hang with the straps & suspension, like Steve in the royal blue hammock. (Next 4 photos)
We also now have our summer sleeping quilts that Steve created before, to use as an under quilt. An under quilt is a down blanket that hugs the hammock from the underside, keeping your underside warm and protected from mosquitoes. If the blanket was in the hammock, like a mattress, the down would get compressed, and not be warm. So the under quilt hangs under, then our normal sleeping quilts are our blankets on top, under the bug net. We are quite a little burritos when set up for sleeping. I’m excited to see our set-up improve and change over the next few seasons. Until then, we’ll keep hangin’ and swingin’.