Back in Stock… YUHAN LED Multi-Color Rope Lights

I know THESE rope lights get a lot of hits here on the blog, so, if you’re interested, they are finally back on Amazon at $15.99 these days [Aug 16th, 2018]

5′ long, sturdy, and you get 20 color changing options…. the image is the link>>

I still love mine. I’ll have them up again this weekend out on the lake for hammocking with some friends… they go just about every trip!

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Big Guys Rejoice ~ Pt2 ~ Shug’s Review of the AMOK Draumr XL Prototype

[Also a quick thanks and propz to Shug, who generously sent along some “Shug Swag” for our Lighthouse and Lobster Hang Charity Raffle that will benefit the Lighthouse Preservation Society. He signed a tee that ought to draw a bunch of tickets!… many thanks, Noble Mon!]

Cape Cod Rail Trail~ Bike & Hang [and eat! obviously!]

This last weekend, a bunch of my hammock hanging cronies did a second annual bike trip along the Cape Cod Rail Trail from Dennis to Wellfleet, and then onward on surface roads to Provincetown at the far tip of Cape Cod.

 

Looks like they had some fun, and saw some sites, but the hammocks seem to be sadly missing…

 

 

 

 

Our friend Eric’s sweet ride and handy little trailer. He’s a professional “bike wrench”… whadya want…?

And here’s Snaggletooth’s YouTube of the adventure. Seems like the food took top priority on this trip… with this crowd that’s a “DUH!”

I can’t go on one of these because of my age… I’d fall off my bike laughing at how absurd I knew I looked in one of those silly helmets, and ain’t NObody, NOhow want’s to see my saggy a$$ in bike shorts or a windshirt. Besides, I’d be ambulanced out after the first 600 yards anyway.

 

 

TRAIL BARS~ HuppyBar/ Kate’s Real Food/ GutseyBar

As we were building up for our group hammock hang last month down at the Harold Parker State Forest outside Boston, I approached several trail bar vendors and requested donations for a “trail bar sampling” to be conducted while everyone was hanging around. Lyndsay Hupp from HuppyBar, Elisabeth Hooks from Kate’s Real Food, and Carrie Forbes from Gutsy were all kind enough to send along contributions of all the flavors in their lineups.

Together with what they sent and what I scrounged on my own we had an awesome pile of bars to sample….

I wish I could say that the sampling was an equally awesome success. Unfortunately, it was a total disaster. We had loads of hungry-hungry people, but we had so much other food coming out of the smoker, off the grills and out of the cast iron that no one was interested in a snack.

Who would be when you can stuff yourself on ribs, six kinds of smoked sausages, venison roast, brisket and umpteen types of side salads.

We only got around to trying two or three bars in all. This left me with the daunting task of eating all the rest myself in order to form an opinion. You know how it goes….sometimes you just have to “take one for the team”.

 

As I explained to each of these three vendors when I solicited their contribution, I have no intention here of doing a “review”, or even a comparison. I simply wanted to get some opinions on what people liked in a trail bar. I am not out to pick a winner. Rather, this is a look at what’s there, what they are, and [as it turned out in this case] mostly what I thought of these individual offerings. I will end up with an overview of all the bars I sampled at some point, but for now I wanted to cover the donated ones.

I stumbled on the HuppyBars and those from Kate’s over on the GarageGrownGear site where they are being sold [in addition to the individual vendors own pages]. I don’t know where I first saw the Gutsey Bars.

All of these selections are intended as energy bars. They don’t pretend to be meal replacements, or protein bars. They just mean to give you that boost of energy along the way, however, they all also do a great job as a dessert or “reward” at the end of the trail.

 

Huppy Bars

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HUPPY BARS

In the words of her site, “the perfect bar: delicious, nutrient dense, and satisfying to the core.” Lyndsay [Huppy] Hupp started making these bars for her own use as a river guide in the Southwest. When everybody else on the trips started sneaking them out of her pack, she segued into commercial production. Check out her story on her site.

Huppys come in six flavors. All are indeed nutrient dense, being a various mix of nuts and seeds together with tapioca and spirulina… no soy, dairy, gluten, corn or cane sugar. No preservatives or GMOs. And, per Huppy herself, “Shelf life is 9 months. Best stored in a cool, dark place, but the ingredients are all shelf stable. They do well in the heat (field tested in summertime Grand Canyon many times), the chocolate flavors hold up and do not become gooey (like a snickers, etc). “

The first one of the Huppy Bars, and which we did get to try at the hang, was the Pecan Orange Spice. People were impressed enough to go “Wow!”. The general comment I remember was that it nailed the spice-thing without venturing off into the ubiquitous pumpkin spice trap. When I had first asked Lyndsay for a chance to try out her products, I mentioned that as an old guy my teeth were just not up to the super-crunchy or super-chewy kind of bars I had previously checked out. I like a more cookie kind of consistency. She assured me that she was sure “they will be the perfect median for you on the chewy factor” … they were. Firm and dense, a nice “chew” from all the nuts, etc, not too sweet. I was grabbed by the HuppyBars from that first bite.

After the hang though, I had to take on the other offerings by myself. The Chocolate Java has a fine espresso taste… a bit light on the chocolate flavor, but I think that just helped carry the java tone out longer on your tongue. Same good chewiness from all the seeds and nuts… these are bars to make last, and not just shove down your pie-hole.

The Apple Cinnamon Raisin carried off all three flavors really well, Big plump raisins, good apple flavor, and a firm dose of cinnamon without going to far off to the spice-thing.

Coconut Date Ginger again hit all the described flavors spot on. I like ginger, and in this one it gave a fine dose of snap to the bar. I also am fond of dates and they offered a great, sweet smoothness to the chew.

Chocolate Berry Love did bring home the chocolate that I missed in the Java bar. Blueberries and cranberries together with walnut in the nut/seed mix made this another good one to savor.

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Finally… the “odd man out”… the HuppyBar AZT Wild Mesquite ~ The Official Energy Bar of the Arizona Trail [check out the link] This one gets its own photo.

Don’t let the mesquite thing scare you… this doesn’t taste at all like the mesquite BBQ flavor. It is unique, subtle, and really GUD!

I’m not even going to venture any other opinion on this bar, other that to say “You gotta try it !”  Once you do you can easily see why this flavor spends a good bit of time showing, “Sold Out” on the HuppyBar site. So different that it is easily my fav.

The AZT photo is also a good representation of what the Huppys look like overall. All have a coordinated packaging theme with small changes of color on the turquoise background design for each bar. The bars themselves are just a couple of inches square, but they pack a lot of flavor and nourishment into that small package… good things DO come in small packages. Their density also means that they travel well… they aren’t gonna go all crumbly in your pack or pocket.

Huppy Bars sell for around $2.29 each [or $25.99 per dozen~ your choice] on the HuppyBar site.

However, right now, you Moosenut Falls readers can use the code FLASHBOGO to “buy one-get one”… AND until Aug 22rd, the shipping is free!

 

Gutsey Bars

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GUTSEY Bars

Gutsey’s lineup is only three flavors deep right now, all tied to the New England area [the company is based out of Portsmouth, NH], and like so many things in New England that useless “R” has been dropped from the pronunciation… these ah trail bahs, Ayuh.

Off their site, “Our bars contain only good fats and organic ingredients. No GMO’s, no grains, no gluten and no added sugars. The bar recipes are sinfully delicious, nutrient-dense and downright crave-able.” Gutsey Bars advertise as “2 Servings” and offer 200-240 calories per bar. The bars are about twice as large as the Huppys, and much denser [similar to the more widely available “LUNA” bars]. This means that they hold up really well to abuse in pack and pocket, and also don’t go mushy in the heat.

I started my tasting with the New Hampshire bar, Quinoa Cookie w/Chia & Cherry. The name is sadly lacking in the descriptive vein. The “bah” was pretty good, I just didn’t get any of those particular flavors jumping out at me. [I guess I had hoped for a bit of a cherry blast… most other bar offerings miss out on using that delicious flavor, and it seems such an obvious one. Cherries have not only the flavor, but are sticky enough when chunked or ground up to be a good binder.] Anyway, the only profile here was really just “cookie” in a kind of generic way… not a bad way, just a generic one. If I had named it I would have gone with something along the lines of Nut-Butter Cookie Dough… those were more the tastes that came through to me.

The Maine themed bah went the same way… the name, Coconut Cookie Dough w/ Cacao Nibs seemed disappointing as a description of the reality. Again nothing really wrong with the bar, just not a great description. What came through was that same nutty-butter flavor and a nice cookie dough/ chocolatey goodness from the cacao nibs, but almost nothing from the coconut.

However, despair not. Gutsey totally redeemed things with the Boston “Wickud Strong Bah”, their Double Chocolate Brownie.

As you may know, I am older than dirt. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s with 5¢ candy bars as the norm… and these were candy bahs 5 inches long, and with f.l.a.v.o.r.! High up on everyone’s favorites list was the Tootsie Roll. And not the MEH!-anemic glue stick they give you these days… the old-timey Tootsie Rolls had bites that lasted through minutes of chew, and actually tasted chocolatey. Gutsey’s Double Chocolate Brownie bar nails this perfectly. All that’s missing is the little lines that were cast into the old Tootsies to show the “bite-size”.

I was blown away. I made that DCB bah last for three days, so that I could go on enjoying it… just a bite here and there. All gone now, but the memory lingers on.

The GUTSEY Bars go for around $3.50 in the stores and $35.99 for the “New Englander Sample Box (4 of each flavor) [SOLD OUT right now]. The other flavors and smaller sample packs are available on their site linked above and HERE

 

Kate’s Real Food Bars

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Kate’s Real Food Bars

From the Kate’s site: “At Kate’s, we don’t skimp. Our wholesome energy bars are small batch made from organic ingredients.” This means they are all non-GMO, all natural honey, and gluten free [in addition to the organic]. The secret ingredient here seems to be organic brown rice crisps… think healthy Rice Krispies. All these bars have them, and they add an incredible “c.r.u.n.c.h.” to every bite!

The other thing that sets them a dite aside from the others is that they are larger sized, and definitely more cookie-like in texture. These may not stand up as well in your pocket, but they sure can be enjoyed as a dessert treat. Represented as two servings per package, they give you a total calorie count of 240-280. Rich and tasty.

I started sampling with the Mango Coconut. “Great fruitiness” is the first line of my notes. I know the mango carried thru, but I don’t remember if there were other fruit flavors like orange as well. The rest was “great crunch/ good coconut/trace of “spice”… I do know that I liked it right off the bat.

Next was the Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate bar. I later found out that this one is labeled “Staff Pick” on the GarageGrown site, and I can see why. It gives the nearly ubiquitous pairing an upgrade to what you always hope other bars will be. My notes just said, “++++”.

The Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate bar was the same… just daaahk. Like the GGG gang, I think I would pick the milk over the dark here.

Peanut Butter Hemp & Flax carried the nut butter thing well, just without the chocolate. A good blend, and again with the great crunch.

I am holding out on the Dark Chocolate Cherry & Almond for this weekend’s trip out onto Flagstaff Lake. The Kate’s bars have delivered so well that I can’t help but feel this one’s worth taking for Saturday night dessert…. needless to say, I am hoping for that “cherry blast”.

Lastly we come to the Lemon Coconut. I like me a slice of Coconut Cake or one of Coconut Custard Pie occasionally, however I seldom use coconut for much in my own cooking and baking. And LEMON? …Ahhh, I’ve just never been a lemon fan. Maybe a little juice squooze out with some butter and pepper on a swordfish steak, but not much use for it otherwise.

So…? What’s that over  there…?  I STILL HAVE A ONE INCH SQUARE OF Kate’s Lemon Coconut that I am treasuring! [although it will get eaten tonight]. This bar is my favorite out of all the Kate’s offerings I sampled. The snappy lemon flavor is that of lemon-rind rather than juice, the coconut is complemented and supported by it, and that crisp rice crunch carries it over the goal-line.

The Kate’s Real Food Bars are priced at $2.99@ and $34.99 a dozen on their site.

 

I liked all these trail bars, and it was a fun project to munch my way thru them all. I asked for these samples because I was already fairly certain that these were quality products that I would enjoy, and that Moosenut Falls readers might enjoy hearing about. My thanks to the generous vendors for providing samples for my evaluation, and for the hang crowd to taste test, even it that failed to fulfill expectations.

 

BOILERPLATE Disclaimer: Any and all posts on Moosenut Falls are my own work. I choose to cover what I wish. My evaluations of various products are not meant as a recommendation, only as my opinions and experiences.

  • I have NO business relationship with any vendors.
  • I am not seeking to monetize Moosenut Falls, even to paying for internet charges, etc. 
  • I do not solicit products often, and when I do it is with the understanding that I do not do negative or comparative “reviews.
  • I will simply choose to pass on posting about an item that I feel is “not up to snuff”. I see no reason to disparage products just because they do not appeal to me personally.
  • Also, I lack the expertise in most things to feel my opinion is worthy of recommending one item over another.
  • When I solicited these products for evaluation on the Moosenut Falls Blog, I made it clear that the posts would be my opinions ONLY… uninfluenced by whether an item was provided, and just as though I had bought it on my own.

A Look At the OGR Singled Out Hammock

Nathan Nieri down in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania has a startup gear company called Out Gear Recreation featuring his in-house made “Singled Out” hammock, and some sourced accessories like suspensions and a bugnet.

I was given the chance to try out the “OGR Singled Out” hammock in a Charcoal Grey. I approached Nathan after I saw his gear on “GarageGrownGear”  when I was first planning the “Day-Hammock Armada” for our last group hammock hang. He was kind enough to take Moosenut Falls seriously, and let the Château Moosenut GearLab boffins and I have one to use and evaluate.

I also took advantage of having my lady friend from Carolina around for a couple of weeks and we went out several times and set ourselves up in various locations. Taken together with the couple of days it was up with the others at the hang, and I’ve had a decent chance to try it out. Right now, it is hung out in my hammocking nook here in my own yard.

It is wicked hard to get a “good” photo of an empty hammock….

When I put up a day-hanger hammock I am much less concerned with the “30° rule” of getting a 30° angle from the ends of the hammock to the tree loop… especially since most don’t have fixed ridgeline installed. I work more from the tree pair that I have available. All I am looking for is a quick set-up and tear-down.

[These photos best show the color of the OGR/SO in Charcoal Grey … I really like the OGR logo, so simple and clean, and pretty instantly recognizable]

SIDEBAR~ When I call something a “day-hanger”, I am talking about a hammock that is intended for casual use, rather than for overnight sleeping. For me, this would necessarily include the ENO hammocks, those from Grand Trunk, and all the other [generally] Chinese-made “tripartite” hammocks sewn from three separate pieces of cloth. The greatest criticism of these is that they generally tend to be only about 9 feet long, if that…That’s pretty short for comfort if you want to sleep in a hammock overnight. The real problem with these units, and their wide availability, is that they tend to be the ones from which people form their opinions about hammocking. The shorter length means that you can not get as comfortable a diagonal lay, and the seams where the hammock fabrics are joined together cut across your body at the shoulder and calf… you will feel them. If you are just dropping into a hammock for a quick nap and some relaxation, these factors are far less important than if you’re trying to get a good nights sleep. [See my separate post on the full “day-hanger armada” for more of this discussion]

 

The “Singled Out” from OGR is a nice exception to these criticisms. It is made of a single piece of rip-stop nylon, and goes to an advertised 10’5″ length and 58″ wide… [I just tossed the tape on the one out in the yard and got 128″]. It is important to note that this is the actual fabric length.

Many of the quoted lengths for the Chinese-made hammocks include the line used to gather the sewn channel-ends together, as well as the carabiners that attach that to the suspension… This can add a total of 8 to 12 inches over-and-above the fabric, so that some of them come in at as little as 8’6″ in actuality.

In terms of weight, my Singled Out [with the full tree straps and the two ‘biners] comes in at 1.41 lbs. on my electronic scale.

 

One thing that was mentioned several times at the group hang as people played around with the Singled Out was how nice they felt the fabric to be. Everyone agreed it was the great combo of soft “hand” and feel, together with a nice stretch and “just enough give”, that made it super comfortable. I caught more than one of the folks completely zzZZ-ed out in it.

A young victim of the dreaded “Harold Hang Food Coma” in the OGR “Singled Out” Hammock [hung here on a Turtledog frame]

My lady, the Rev.ElfLiza, chillin’ at Two Lights State Park down on the Maine coast. [the photo had to be color tweaked considerably due to the brightness off the ocean in the background… this Singled Out is not nearly that dark]

 

Both my lady and I enjoyed the comfort, and the easy set-up with the 9′ cinch-buckle, poly-strap pair that Nathan included when he sent out mine… [he even included a pair of high quality carabiners to join the hammock to the suspension].

The straps are quite well made with multiple [four] rows of stitching to hold the loop for passing around the tree, and they both slip well through the cinches and hold fast under pressure [Hint~ always toss an overhand knot in behind the cinch just for safety].

Since Nathan sells his suspension separately, you can just as easily use one you already have and possibly reduce the overall weight if that’s important to you. However, I really like a cinch-buckle set-up, and this one lets you get “hung up and hanging out” within 1-2 minutes. Left up to me, I would probably pull the continuous loop out of the gathered end, and then larkshead the similar CL that comes directly off the cinch thru in its place. That would bring the hammock right up to the cinch and allow you to hang in a tighter space. The ‘biner could go on the tree end of the strap for even quicker joining of the around-the-tree-loop.

 

Here is the nearly ubiquitous feetz photo… it shows how nice and even the stitching is from the regularity of the “pleats”

Conclusion~~ I am nicely impressed with the OGR “Singled Out” hammock, and I think it could be a good choice for people who might possibly eventually be disappointed with more widely available hammocks because of their known design flaws and their shorter lengths. The “Singled Out” hammock is well made and US made! It packs down quite small even with the straps added into the pouch, the loops in the gathered ends and suspension are Amsteel instead of cheapo poly rope, and OGR’s offering is at nearly the same price point as an ENO or Grand Trunk on Amazon. Plus, with the fabric length of well over 10 feet versus the 9′ or less in the Chi-clones, it is suitable not only as it a day-hanger, but also as a sleeping hammock. It is certainly worth considering if you want a nice day-hanger to toss in the car or your day pack to have along at all times, together with the possibility of growing your kit toward overnight/sleeping use.

Check out the links from above and those on OGR’s own site.

 

NOTE: The Singled Out Hammock was provided to me for this “look at” and evaluation by Nathan at OutGearRec with the express understanding that I would be entirely impartial in my judgement. I have no business relationship with OutGearRec.