Gear Review: ENO Doublenest Hammock…

ENO Doublenest Hammock

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I’ve been talking about hammock camping a lot lately.  That’s one of the reasons I was lucky enough to review a copy of Derek Hansen’s book, The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide to Hammock Camping.  Hammock camping is something I dabbled in years ago, without really knowing what I was doing, and now have returned to exploring.  There are so many more hammocks and accessories on the market now that I’m really excited about testing out a lot of this new gear.  But what got me back in to exploring the Hang was a fluke contest win last year.  I managed to win an ENO Doublenest Hammock kit (including their slap-straps and some other accessories) on Facebook!  Now, I was looking forward to getting outdoors for some overnights with my hammock.

It took a while, but I finally managed to start planning trips that would specifically put me in locations where I knew I could set a hammock.  I’ve now had the ENO out a half-dozen times and I have to say I am really enjoying it.  The Doublenest is pretty small packed into it’s own attached stuff sack (about 4x4x5) and weighs about 22oz.  It’s not UltraLight but it’s lighter than my tent.  The size of the hammock unfolded is 9′-4″ x 6′-8″ which is a little short compared to most hammocks designed for camping.  I would admit that the ENO is designed to be an all-purpose hammock.  It’s not long enough to be considered a true “camping” hammock or “expedition” hammock but it’s a comfortable size and it’s portability means you can take it almost anywhere.

The lightweight parachute nylon material has held up well so far.  The carabiners that came with the ENO were heavy, so I have replaced those with lighter, stronger carabiners (also lightening the overall load by a few ounces).  The seams are all triple-stitched and the gathered-end design translates into maximum strength at the attachment points.  The load capacity on the Doublenest is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500lbs, making it possible for two people to sit in the hammock.  This really isn’t practical for anything more than a nap as two people trying to sleep together overnight in the same hammock will lead to two people not wanting to see each other gain.  The load capacity is effected by the angle of the hang (as illustrated in Derek’s book) so if you are planning on pushing the weight limits of the product, make sure you achieve a solid 30 degree hang.

This is a great starter hammock.  For those new to hammocks, or hammock camping the ENO would be a good place to start.  It’s versatile, light, small, packable and easy to set up.  ENO has tons of accessories on their website like the Slap-Straps, tarps, bug-nets, LED lights for your ridgeline, even speakers so you can have tunes while you hang.

Enjoying the Hang in PrescottFor me, I love the low-impact nature of hammock camping.  I also love having the ability to camp in places where you just can’t with a tent.  I will be exploring more hammock options and looking into some of the more lightweight, expedition hammocks for backpacking trips.  I’ve got a few in mind and, thankfully, Derek has been a great resource for getting deeper into these products.  But I will always love my ENO and I’m sure it will find it’s way along on many future adventures.

 

 

Campsite Impact comparison

Weekend camping with new gear…

I was fortunate enough to head up into the high country this weekend to get away from the oppressive heat of The Valley.  I camped just south of the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness area and made plans to summit Kendrick Peak (post to follow!).  The great part of this weekend’s trip was the opportunity to test out some new gear.  I will post full reviews of some of this stuff over the next few weeks and some of it needs additional testing before I can truly review it.  For now, however, I want to give a quick outline of what I got to play with and my first impressions.

Eno DoubleNest Hammock

I love hammocks!  I’ve camped in other hammocks multiple times and there’s nothing like it.  I won an ENO DoubleNest almost a year ago and I’ve only recently had the opportunity to take it camping.  So far, I really like the ENO Hammock.  It’s light, easy to set up with the ENO Slap Straps.  It takes some time to get used to sleeping in a hammock again but it’s really the way to go.  I look forward to using this one a lot and can’t wait to see how well it holds up over time.

Exped Synmat UL

One of the keys to comfortable hammock camping is a good insulated sleeping pad.  I got the Exped a few months ago and have used it a few times now.  It’s super lightweight at just over 1lb and packs down to about half the size of a Nalgene bottle.  I’ve used it now on the ground, in my truck and in the hammock.  It’s been pretty comfortable and I love the one-way inflation valve.

enLIGHTened Equipment Revelation X

I was shopping around for a new sleeping bag a couple months ago after getting frustrated with the size and weight of my old bag.  I started talking with some of you guys on Twitter about a backpacking quilt instead of a full sleeping bag.  I ended up getting myself a nice full down quilt from enLIGHTened Equipment.  The Revelation X is very nice!  It’s warm, soft, light and comfortable.  The first couple of nights I used it I was colder than I expected to be but once I got used to using the quilt it was better.  This recent trip the temps got down to about 40F overnight and I was actually warm enough to have to open the quilt a little to cool off.

GEIGERRIG 1600 Hydration Pack

I just started field testing this pack a couple weeks ago.  I’ve had it out a half-dozen times or so and it’s a pretty nice pack.  I ran in to some minor issues with one of the pieces of webbing but the issue was immediately addressed by GeigerRig as soon as I brought it to their attention.  Otherwise, the pack is very sturdy and well made.  The 1600 is their largest pack and, in my opinion, too big for cycling or trail running.  It is, however, the perfect size for longer day hikes and peakbagging trips.  The pressurized hydration system is taking some getting used to but I have enjoyed being able to easily share my water with my dog when we hike together.  An in-depth review of this pack will follow later this month.

Grower’s Cup Coffeebrewers

A few days before I headed out for Kendrick Mountain a package from Grower’s Cup arrived.  I don’t know who was more happy about this…me, or my buddy who found out we’d have quality coffee at camp.  We brewed up some coffee Saturday morning and it was super easy and faster than brewing coffee at home!  We drank it black and it was actually really good coffee.  I think I want to let it brew just a little longer next time since I like my coffee strong.

Buff USA headwear

I grabbed a couple of these after it seemed EVERYONE got to win one but me!  I used to carry a bandana on hiking and backpacking trips for all sorts of uses.  It came in handy often.  I haven’t carried on in a while and I usually find some reason why I wish I’d had one.  The Buff serves the same purpose except better.  It’s even more versatile than the bandana I used to carry.

Ahnu Elkridge Mid Hiking Boots

I just picked these up Thursday and was excited to try them out.  They were amazingly comfortable in the store when I tried them on.  I wore them all weekend and did a 9-mile peak hike in them.  My feet were sore and tired, but the boots held up well.  I look forward to putting more miles on them.

The North Face Apex Elixir Summit Series Jacket

I picked up this nice little light-weight soft-shell jacket at REI a few weeks ago.  It’s a nice jacket and has good stretch to it so it doesn’t confine any activities.  It’s wind and water resistant and fits me nicely.  I wore this jacket all day Saturday and it was light enough to be comfortable in full sun, but warm enough to keep me cozy in the shade.  It worked well in the high winds on the peak and was water resistant enough to keep me from getting soaked while attempting to get used to spraying water from the GEIGERRIG.

It was a fun weekend that allowed me to spend part of my afternoon at over 10,000 ft (something I haven’t done in close to 15 years).  Watch for my post about Kendrick Peak coming soon.