Monday, April 5, 2010

Camping Hammocks: Grand Trunk Lightweight Hammock

So, a pair of Grand Trunk Lightweight Hammocks arrived from, about a week earlier than expected. Eager to try out the new camping hammocks, we carefully cut open the box lest we shred the enclosed treasure. The GT Lightweight Hammock is a good choice for an ultralight camping hammock. The hammock comes packed in a zip lock bag and folded into the hammocks own side pocket. Two hammock suspension ropes were also enclosed.

We immediately grabbed the ENO Slap Straps Micro and set out into the yard to test drive our new camping system. We attached the straps to an apple tree and a post and connected the hammock using the two hooks provided. Carefully we lowered ourselves onto the hammock, holding on to the edge as directed in the instructions. Lots of creaking and stretching, but everything held.

The GT Lightweight Hammock consists of a single layer of strong, yet thin nylon. We found ourselves enveloped in smooth nylon. The hammock is plenty wide, so there is little opportunity to flop out.

We made a trip to the local outfitter to purchase some low stretch 2mm rope and some elastic cord. After tying a figure 8 knot in one end of the 2mm rope, we measured out 93 inches and marked the rope. The GT Lightweight Hammock is 113 inches long (9.5 feet) so 93 inches was about the magic length of 85% for a ridge line. Tying the second figure 8, we forced the hammock end of the attached S hooks open enough to slip the ridge line on to both ends. Rehanging the hammock, we found that while there was slack, a shorter ridge line would allow us to lie even flatter. A quick, retying of the second knot and we found ourselves lying relatively flat.

We then located a bug net that we had purchased for use with a cotton garden hammock and discovered the shorter ridge line allowed us to connect the bug net to the S-hooks with no extra stretching - a perfect fit. All we needed now was a tarp.

After a quick trip to Harbor Freight to pick up an 8 X 10 camo tarp, we busied ourselves with tying a nylon line between the two points, attaching two prusiks made from the stretch cord, and clipping the tarp beneath the tarp suspension line to the prusiks. We jammed our hiking poles into the corner grommets and ran a length of cord to the ground at about a 45-degree angle to ensure we would have enough tie down on the trail for various tarp configurations.

As it was a weekend evening, we tossed our short air mattress and sleeping bag into the hammock and went hammock camping in the backyard. The GT Lightweight Hammock performed well as a camping hammock. No tears, good support, plenty of room for a big guy. We did have a few cold spots due to the short and narrow air pad. We'll repeat the experiment this coming weekend with a longer and wider military solid foam pad.

Overall, we'd recommend the GT Lightweight Hammock as a camping hammock to others. The price is right at less than $20 per hammock. Amazon tossed in free shipping, making the deal even sweeter.


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  2. That sounds like a great idea, I'm going to definitely look into those hammocks. I have been using a hennessey hammock for a couple of years. I like it alot, but it's just getting worn down and it's time for a new one. I just recently picked up a evernew alcohol stove from a site, so maybe I'll check and see if they carry the Grand Trunk lightweight hammocks. Thanks for the post!