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Adventure Tips

If I had a Hammock

If I had a Hammock

I’d hang it in the morning

I’d hang it in the evening

All over this land…

It’s entirely possible that Pete Seeger was inspired by the thought of the uncomplicated joys and freedoms of hammock camping when he wrote his iconic lyrics. If this was the case, clearly he dreamed that he would be able to travel the length and breadth of the country, presumably hanging his hammock wherever he might find a couple of handy trees. Morning, evening, whenever – the text suggests that he would be able to get that hammock set up or taken down quickly and easily.

The 1960’s were a time of unbridled optimism. People marveled as men built machines that would take humans into space and ultimately to the moon. A person from the early Sixties would have doubtless been convinced that a hammock purchased in the 21st Century would be compact, functional and would deploy quickly and easily. They might be disappointed. Many hammocks currently available turn out to be pretty bulky in your backpack, have fiddly tarps and bug nets and are quite time-consuming to pitch. You might find yourself resorting to whistling ‘We shall overcome’ as you grapple with the supplied hardware.

It’s, therefore, a shame that Pete didn’t live long enough to see the introduction of Sea to Summit’s new range of hammocks. They are so light and compact that you really could pack them in your bag and take them all over this land (or any other land for that matter). And they are so simple to pitch that hanging one in the morning and again in the evening is the work of a couple of minutes (including getting accessories like the Bug Net and Tarp deployed). Had Pete Seeger lived, there would probably have been a verse or two about high-quality materials or Sea to Summit fit and finish (although he might have struggled to find a rhyme for ‘monofilament nylon’).

The range includes the Pro Hammock (Single and Double), the Ultralight Hammock (Single and XL), Suspension Straps and Tree Protectors, a Bug Net, Tarp and Gear Sling.

What would cause any potential hammock camper to burst into song is how quickly you can hang up any of the three hammocks using the brilliantly simple, infinitely adjustable Suspension Straps, as this video shows.

The Bug Net can also be deployed with ease: pull the sleeve over the suspension strap at one end of the hammock and cinch the drawcord tight, slide the bug net to the other end of the hammock and tighten the second drawcord, then slide the spreader bar into the pole sleeve.

As you might expect from Sea to Summit outdoor gear, the hammocks and hammock accessories are not only really functional, they are made of very high-quality materials. The most uncommon of these is the monofilament nylon used for the Ultralight Hammock, which would have had Mr. Seeger reaching for his thesaurus. This amazing material results in a hammock which will hold 300lbs, yet which weighs a mere 5.4 ounces. Like all of the hammocks, it comes with its own integrated UltraSil® Compression Sack which has space for Tree Protectors and Suspension Straps.

If you find yourself in an outdoor store, about to purchase one of those ‘conventional’ hammocks, you should definitely heed Pete Seeger’s advice: turn, turn, turn.

Look for the shelf where the Sea to Summit hammocks is displayed in their incredibly small compression sacks. Your efforts will be rewarded by a better way to hammock camp; one which fulfills the promise of freedom and simplicity.

Goodnight, Irene – I’ll see you in my dreams.

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