Hanging Out

Some things have settled down in my life, and I finally got the chance to hang my brand-new AMOK Draumr 3.0 hammock out in the little backyard nook I had created.Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 9.41.21 AM

The photo was obviously taken after I had rigged the tarp…  but that was only after I spent the night open to the the sky and gotten rather dew drenched. I had forgotten how heavily it could settle this time of year, and how quickly.

With the Draumr you insert an inflated sleeping pad from back to front in a pocket at the bottom of the hammock.The pocket is close enough fitting that there is no room for the pad to move from side to side. It provides structure, and allows you to sleep as completely flat as you wish. That structure makes it perfect for people like me who are “side sleepers”.  [I had found I just really couldn’t get all that comfortable, at least not for overnight, in a standard hammock because of the way it pinched my shoulders]

The comfort level on the Draumr is truly amazing.  I had no trouble at all sleeping on either side, or in turning from one side to the other. The gentle “rocker” motion, as opposed to the cradle sway of a regular hammock, takes a little getting used to, but is very soothing. Additionally, the Draumr allows you to raise the back, or head-end of the hammock and drop the footbox so as to create a Barcalounger position… X-cellent!

As you can see in the photo, there is a great deal of additional space on either side of you inside. AMOK included a built-in mesh bottle holder, and two mesh pockets for your phone or e-book reader. I found that it was very easy to attach something like my range bag or other pouches to some of the interior webbing using carabiners. The result is that you can have a lot of gear inside with you once the integral bug net is completely zipped up and it’s inconvenient to get in and out.

I can have the hammock out of its bag and hung in a minute and a half. The tarping takes a couple minutes longer, because you have to keep running around more and more guylines. The tarp allows for excellent coverage, both of the sides, and front to back.  I will not have much fear of getting wet in most ordinary rain. [You just have to face it, no matter what kind of gear you are using, in any sort of real storm you are probably going to get wet… A little discomfort is part of camping.]

Everything the boys in Trondheim have included on this hammock is absolutely first rate. Climbing grade carabiners, no-stretch polyester webbing, Glo-line for the tie-outs, real Line-Loks™. The noseeum mosquito netting stuffs up into its own snap pouch on one shoulder of the hammock, and has double two-way zippers, so deploying it is quick and easy. The stuff sacks on both the hammock and the tarp are attached to the webbing and give you a place to store small items like unneeded rigging gear. They even provide a little flap on the back of the tree straps to help prevent the carabiners from chafing on the bark. Also, when I emailed them with questions, they responded within 24 hours. Great customer service.

Right now, I am at about an 80% approval rating on this unit. I will most likely end up keeping it,  but if I change my mind, AMOK has a great 30 day return policy. I have plans to get out with it [out of the backyard] over the next couple of weekends. That’ll let me have a decent feel for how it performs in the real world.

More later… Onward Thru the Fog.

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“…And the Wild is calling, calling . . . Let us go.”

Eagles_Nest_Wilderness_Area 

The Call of the Wild 

Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there’s nothing else to gaze on,

Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,

Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the binding sunsets blazon,

Black Canyons where the rapids rip and roar?

Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it,

Search the Vastness for a something you have lost? 

Have you strung your soul to silence?

Then for God’s sake go and do it;

Hear the Challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.

 

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sage-brush desolation,

The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze?

Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of creation,

And learned to know the desert’s little ways?

Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o’er the ranges,

Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through an through?

Have you chummed up with the messa? Do you know its moods and changes?

Then listen to the Wild – it’s calling you.

Have you known the Great White Silence, not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver?

(Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies.)

Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river,

Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize?

Have you marked the map’s void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races,

Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew?

And though grim as hell the worst is, can you round it off with curses?

Then hearken to the Wild – it’s wanting you. 

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory,

Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?

“Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story,

Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul?

Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders?

(You’ll never hear it in the family pew.)

The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things –

Then listen to the Wild – it’s calling you. 

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,

They have soaked you in convention through and through;

They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching- 

But can’t you hear the Wild? – it’s calling you.

Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;

Let us journey to a lonely land I know.

There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,

     And the Wild is calling, calling . . . Let us go.   

                                    

R. Service

thanks to “DuctTape” for reminding me of this old favorite….

[Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.jpg image from WikiPedia]

New Gear To Play With…

AMOK Draumr 3.0 hammock and tarp.

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Recently, I have had to confront the simple fact that I’m getting too old to tote a heavy backpack out into the woods, up the mountains, and deep into the backwoods. At 65 years old, even though I’m surprisingly fit, it’s just too strenuous… And it’s getting really hard to find any other geezers who want to go “roughing it”. I am better served finding someplace that’s an easy walk-in, sticking to the canoe or the kayak, or just plain settling for car camping. All of these mean that I need to be a little bit less worried about total weight. [This really sucks because I had just found a guy on Craigslist who was willing to sell a 3-lb, like-new, Osprey Aether backpack for around $75…. Always check Craigslist if you’re looking for gear.]

Enter the hammock and tarp. It gets you up off the ground, and cuts out fiddling around with a tent. I have heard some really great things about this Norwegian made, AMOK Draumr. It is a horizontal hammock, in that you lay in it back to front, rather than side to side, and it has an integral ‘skeeter-net that is deployable while you are already hanging.IMG_1098

Mine just came yesterday, so the jury is still pretty much out, but the first impressions are pretty good. Give me a couple of weeks to play around with it, and work out the kinks, and I will get a review up.

In the meantime you can check out Shug’s awesome YouTube review of his own unit. He brings a whole new meaning to “rainmaker”.

[ …just for reference: the colors are actually the much darker green seen in the first photo, and that plain, flat black… In the second photo I think the off color probably had to do with the intense blue of the sky yesterday]

Right place… right time.

This is about 7 miles from my home, and is actually taken about 30 feet off of a federal highway. It’s at a cut down below a highway bridge where we throw the kayaks in to float on back down to the village.

I raced the clouds up the road in the hopes that they would still be in the right position… and grabbed a really lucky shot.

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Got in a quick night up on the mountain

Found a lovely place to hang with a 20 mile view, and just after 9PM the [almost] full moon rose bright orange right off my shoulder.  About 30 feet out in front, the ledges/cliff falls away about 60 or 80 feet, so the view out into the night sky was sensational.

Awfully nice for the first night in the hammock.

hangview  

There was another great spot just a few yards away to set up the FireAnt. Also with a view.

I only ended up using about 20% of the wood that I prepped. That was enough to boil 16 ounces for the meal, and another burn for 8 ounces for a cup of tea. I left the rest neatly piled by the flat rock for next time… Or for somebody else to use.

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