A big part of back country escapes is not only to see new sights, challenges ourselves and our vehicles – but also to have a little downtime and relax at the campsite. There are few things in the world that conjure images of relaxation quite like a hammock (queue the Corona commercial…)
Fortunately for all of us, there are great hammock options less than $100 that help you kick back wherever you chose to turn off the trail. We’re a fan of the offerings both from Eagles Nest Outfitters, Inc. and Grand Trunk. Both offer a diverse line of hammocks, mostly made of parachute nylon. They pack small, set up fast, and are damn comfortable for hanging around camp! We busted ours out recently on a weekend in Monongahela NF in West Virginia. Looks relaxing, huh?
I personally use a Grand Trunk parachute nylon hammock, which comes in both a single-person version as well as a double-size version (if you like sharing and/or cuddling). Mine is the the single, and while I don’t remember at all what I paid for it (bought it a couple years back at L.L. Bean in Maine – on the way to Acadia), they retail for about $55. Depending on the week, that equates to slightly more (or less) than a tank of gas for most of us.
Hammock Sleep Systems
If you want to go headfirst into hammock-land, there are several options for sleep systems that allow you to completely skip the tent on your next expedition. We haven’t made the full-night commitment (yet) to a hammock, but maybe we’ll give it a shot in the future (in a deliberate way – not in that “I drank a little too much and passed out in the hammock” way). The Eagles Nest Outfitters sleep systems start at about $200 and the Grand Trunk systems are a little less expensive, starting at about $150. Both are designed to keep you dry in the event the weather turns sour.
Photo credits: Grand Trunk and Eagles Nest Outfitters
Whether you want to lounge more comfortably in camp, or try out an ultra-light sleeping solution, go ahead a give a hammock a try!