Hang Time Hook has been produced!

I am really excited to announce that my friend Eric Johnson’s Hang Time Hook has come out of development, through production and is now in distribution to vendors.

Eric was 3-D printing the prototypes of this in his basement, and everyone I know who saw them got one.

They are a niche product for those who use a hammock. However, if you hang in a gathered end hammock this is the balls.

The HTH allows you to hang your phone [or anything else you want] from the large clip, which then can be swiveled to whatever angle you need. [I mostly just use mine to keep my phone up and out from under me, and so I can conveniently touch it to check the time n the dark. It also works great with my GoalZero USB fan for hot nights!] Earbuds and glasses can hang off the tabs, and the large hole at the top will accept anything with a button sewn on. The whole clip can be slid along the ridgeline of the hammock and then “fixed” in place with a cordlock, but can still easily be moved as need dictates.

I suspect everyone who is going to the group hammock hang this coming weekend will be looking to pick up a finished product… I’m just hoping he brings enough in black.

 

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The Return of the “Mystery Lake Paddle-In and Hang” ~trip report

Obligatory Flash’s Feetz Photo…

 

I was lucky enough to be able to go up to Flagstaff Lake early and get out across to the site on Thursday afternoon, so I got to enjoy some “quiet” time before the rest of the crowd arrived on Friday. This photo was taken up by the fire pit out on the cliff and much closer to the water…  we didn’t use that one last year because of the heavy winds. This year it was the perfect site.

 

I was able to set up in a nice spot… back from the edge, but with a great view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and then got my little “day-hanger” set up out closer to the lake for chillin’out with a view.

 

We ended up with an even dozen folks coming out this year. It was split quite evenly between the gang who came last year and the new-to-the-lake guys. Of course, people hung in the usual wide variety of hammocks. I can’t tell you what each one is right off, but we had Dutchware Chameleons, a couple of Warbonnets, some ones from Papa Smurf at Dream Hammocks, and probably a couple that I didn’t catch.

One of the greatest parts of a group hang is that you can see and try out all of the rigs that other people have brought long. It is the easiest way to keep from having any kind of buyers regret.

Primo though were the two DIY jobbies from our lady “FizzBee”. She was rockin’ a purple top quilt in the Dragon Scales fabric from Ripstop By the Roll  and a mosquito net made from a mesh with gold lamé llamas on it… and her hammock had built-in edge lighting LEDs!

Also worth mention is that the two dogs along were each housed in their own “puppy tents”.

 

Our flotilla consisted of my two Wilderness Experience PUNGOs [the green ones], three sea-kayaks, my old aluminum Grumman canoe, and another much nicer canoe with wooden thwarts and woven seats.

Despite this, we again faced the problem of those “boatless refugees” who needed to get across at widely different, and needless to say, inconvenient times [up to 10pm and well into most of our crowd’s Caipirinha hour].

 

In this however, we got really lucky. Our new friend Brenden had a power boat, and made a couple of mercy runs across and back between beers to fetch in the late-comers.

He actually cleared out of the site up on top to make room for us to use the tree-pairs up there.

This is his wonderful family and friends who made us so welcome… Brenden being the one in the plaid with the big grin!

THANKS, big guy!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard not to enjoy a setting like this… some folks went for a paddle up the lake, some folks broke out their Kindles for a read, and listened to the loon calls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This group are all pretty experienced campers, and we all keep a pretty clean site, but I have never seen anyone successfully keep up with the chow table!

That’s what happens when you like to cook and to eat as much as we do.

 

Pancakes, bacon and ham, steak tips, potato/zucc/asparagus/sausage foil paks on the coals, smoked salmon and crackers, MREs [mine, of course], a wide selection of freeze-driedz, and much, much more crossed the table and into our mouths.

BTTLHangChow

We had incredibly great weather with highs pushing 80° and lows in the 50°s… nearly perfect hammocking weather. Bright sunlight, nice sunsets over the lake and the distant mountains, a crescent moon, great star-viewing nights, kingfishers, loon song, the honk of the Canadian geese, and an eagle sighting. The only real sad part was that on Sunday it was headed for 90° and would’ve been the first “sunburn day” in Maine this year… and we were packing to get off and away.

We’ll be going back again next year fer sure….

Back To the Lake Hang 2018

By this time next week some of us will be on our second night hammocking back up at Flagstaff Lake above Rangley, Maine, and we’ll be sitting around the fire waiting for the late-comers who couldn’t get Friday off to call from the landing on the opposite shore so we can hang a light out to steer by [Relax!… the landing is off to the right of this view and is only about a half-mile paddle].

This was my friend, Brian’s setup right down by the waters edge last year. The weather forecast is looking really fine for us to have a wonderful pre-Solstice hang. There are 12-15 friends planning to be there… and I’ve never had a bad time out with this crowd. Way too much food and fun with others who love being out in the woods as much as you do is a fine recipe.

This time I will try to take photos instead of just hanging around forgetting about you visitors passing through Moosenut Falls.

[here’s a link back to my post from a few weeks ago>> https://moosenutfalls.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/flagstaff-lake-hammocking-trips/ ]

Flagstaff Lake Hammocking Trip[s]

Several years ago I posted about a kayak paddle & camp that my bud Ed, and I did out to an island in Flagstaff Lake just above Eustis, Maine and Ed’s cabin that we call Upptacamp.

I am not sure that I mentioned it at that time, but we also discovered a much nicer site over on the mainland, and we have been back out across the lake to it several times since then.

Maintained by the local community development corporation, it is situated up on a bluff about 20 feet above lake level, and adjacent to a nice sandy beach. About an acre of piney woodland has been cleared, and the trees limbed to 20 feet above ground level… It’s as good as if someone had decided they wanted to set up a dedicated hammocking site. It even has a kludgy… but you have to bring yer own TP.

Last June, I sponsored the first “Mystery” Paddle In and Hang. No one was told the destination until a few days beforehand, just that they would drive about three hours after they passed the Maine-New Hampshire border. Only about a dozen people came, but everyone there agreed it was possibly the best hang they’d ever been on.

For our “group hangs”, we most often get together in state parks, or commercial campgrounds [just for convenience and space] and they simply can’t hold a candle to camping in the wild. At the Savage Farm site, as it is called, we were able to spread out, and be so scattered that no one felt like they were being crowded or really camping with a group.

 

We hung up, hung out, ate well, and found an absolute trove of “fatwood” that we harvested for firestarters.

We took a group paddle up the lakeshore on Saturday, people went bushwhacking, two people who had never been out in a canoe or kayak before developed their skills to the point that when the weather blew in nasty just as we were getting geared up to leave, that they were the ones who made a double trip across to the landing to get everyone out. We both “sat out” some occasional crappy weather and reveled in some that was really great… including the fabulous Saturday evening sunset. It is hard to beat camping right around the Solstice. The bugs even weren’t bad.

Our 2017 “Mystery” Paddle and Hang was such a huge success that I wanted to get something up about it before we go back to the Savage Farm site in mid-June for “Return To The Lake”… After everyone talked about it at every other hang the rest of the ’17 season… telling everyone how wonderful it had been and how much they had missed out by not embracing the “mystery”, the interest was up and, so, we have another one planned.

You can follow the thread over on HammockForums.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Timey Scouting

This a bit vintage even for me, but this is pretty much where I started, too. Army surplus two-piece canvas tents with no floor [and no blue plastic tarps to put down under you], hemp and sisal rope, wooden pegs, jerry cans, neckerchiefs with hand-carved slides, wool, and whatever shoes you owned.

We.Had.A.Ball!

What’s A Hang?

A lot of eating, and we sleep in hammocks.

For this one at Harold Parker SP in Mass, we had three stoves, two grills, a gas smoker, ten pounds of mixed sausages, three racks of ribs, short-ribs, pulled pork, steaks, hot dogs and burgers, “cooler” corn, corn chowder, five salads, potato pie [with bacon], bacon apple pie, dutch oven pizzas, dutch oven “dump” cake, 35 year-old aquavit, three dogs, twenty-five people [ranging in age from 20-74]… and a whole buncha fun!

[Oh, yeah… we gave two newcomers the chance to try out nearly every hammock made, together with other gear, so they can make considered choices when they get ready to spend some money]

At the next hang, we eat lobster!

[Both “n00bs” are already planning on being there, too!]

I Am Bald !

….Really, really bald. I claim it is just a solar panel for a sex-machine.

Most days I wear a cap. When I sleep out in the wild, my head tends to get chilly, so I mostly wear a toque.I have a couple, including a sweet down version from UGQ that pulls way down over your face and eyes for the really cold nights. Last weekend I didn’t take one, and I ended up with a tee pulled over my head and tucked into the neck of my shirt when it got windy and wet. I looked even more dorky than usual.

 

When I got home, I found a deal on “buffs” from Amazon. Rather pretentiously, they call them “Outdoor Multifunctional Sports Magic Scarfs”…. Great color selection though [35 different sets of nine patterned buffs each], and way cheap… $7.99 up the bunch. I got the “Totem2” set. Buy a set, get a free buff, so I ended up with 10 total. [As a note: The center left one in the photo wasn’t in  the set… I got some light green one that I don’t like as much] Anyway I’ll be taking a few extras to the next hang and up my karma by giving them away to the others.

If you don’t know what a buff is… look it up on the net. In short, it is a sleeve of stretch fabric that you can “wear” a whole bunch of different ways. Neck gaiter, dust mask, balaclava, headband, beanie, Foreign Legion neck cover… etc. Since it is a super lightweight poly-microfiber, you can also wet it down and use it for evaporative cooling when it gets hot. As well, one of them weighs next-to-nothing. Perfect in the pack.

I turned mine inside out, twisted the center part and pulled both halves back over my head to make a beanie. Perfect for summer night when there is a bit of a breeze, and I can pull it down over my eyes for a daytime snooze.

I really like these, especially at the price. Soft, light, colorful… just loud enough to make a statement [“This guy has NO taste!”].

They come nicely flatpacked, so it is easy to toss one or two into a pocket or in your clothes bag just to have on hand.

 

 

 

At the same time, and from the same maker [Kingree], I picked up one of the Shemaghs that the troops have adopted over in the Middle East to keep themselves both warm and cool. [Again… look it up for more detail].

My buddy Iuri (@brazilianguy) and his lady, Fey (@chinesegirl), both love theirs and bring ,and wear, them at every campout. Last weekend I thought longingly about what a difference having one would have been making to my comfort.

 

I have to work out the stylistic details of tying/wearing one without looking like an even more complete dork, but a lot of the others also have them and vaunt their usefulness. Again, multi-use, in that they can be used in a number of ways.  A bit heavy, since they are all cotton, however, that means you can also wet these down and get the cooling effects, or use them as a camp towel.

[$14… be sure to get one that is “heavy weight”. The light ones are like tissue, and fall apart quickly. Some also reportedly smell like chemical solvents and aren’t colorfast… read them-thar’ reviews first, folks]