The Dog And The Hammock.

I was sat at home on Saturday morning and a sudden urge came over me to have an adventure of some kind. I Got in touch with Skelly who said he needed an adventure too. Then I looked down at Opie the dog, and wondered if it was time for his first overnight trip. The thought of taking a four month old puppy into the woods for a night filled me with a mixture of excitement and nerves.

And also considering taking a dog changes your packing somewhat, I needed to pack all of my own things but then the dogs stuff too. Towels, food, water bowl and an extra jacket to act as his duvet. I also wanted a way to see him easily in the dark in case he wandered off, so I invented the puppy illumination system, which is really just a glow stick attached to his harness. I have to say it worked a treat and I could always see where he was.


After Skelly and I had visited the shop to stock up on steak and beer, we headed into some local woodland. I chose a spot close to home in case I needed to evacuate an unhappy dog in the middle of the night. It only took us about ten minutes to walk into camp, and Opie watched and sniffed around while we setup our hammocks. I had chosen the Hennessy Jungle Explorer because of its built in bug net to help prevent midnight dog escapes!

Opie was slightly restless at first, trying to get to know the area and having a good sniff around, but as soon as the fire was going he settled very quickly. he calmed down so much that I regularly let go of his lead so he could wander and get closer to the fire. When we discovered him sniffing around the uncooked ‘Adventure Steaks’ we remembered it was time to eat! Opie loved the smell of the cooking steak but sensibly stayed away until it was time for him to have his share. It’s safe to say he loved his very first taste of steak!

Skelly, Opie and I sat around the fire after dinner. The grown ups had a few beers and chatted whilst the puppy played down by the fire and gave us both a cuddle to keep us (or himself) warm. He eventually drifted off on my lap and we decided it was time to hit the hammocks. This was the bit I was concerned about, would Opie settle down away from his own bed. Well, the answer was definitely yes!

With his lead clipped the the hammock ridgeline I climbed in and got myself sorted. Then Opie hopped in and found a comfy spot on my lap. I had him outside my sleeping bag with a jacket over him because he would’ve been too hot inside the bag with me, I am little bit like a radiator when I sleep! It didn’t take us long to fall asleep. I woke up twice in the night, once when Opie wriggled and then again for my standard 3am wee break. Funnily enough Opie needed a 3am wee break too. After that we slept through until morning, when Skelly hopped out of his hammock and woke us up for breakfast. We all enjoyed some pastries for breakfast and then packed away ready for home.

After all of the concerns I had about Opie’s first trip I was blown away by how well he dealt with it all. He was calm and slept fantastically, and I will definitely be taking him on all of my future one night adventures! I also think I would feel better about solo hammock trips with my guard dog around!

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Happy Hammocking!

Scorching Scotland Part 3: Attack of the ticks

Catch up with part two here!

We pick up the story on day 3; the first full day of paddling.

I started off my morning with a quick dip to wake myself up (and I do mean quick as it was warm outside but not in the Loch!) Some other people started their morning with the realisation that they had acquired a few ticks. This was something I knew you had to be aware of in Scotland and I was a bit nervous because I had never had one before and I was worried that I wouldn’t recognise a tick if I did have one on me.


I had to get over that pretty quickly as a quick check found a few straight away, including one right on my bottom. I had to call in the cavalry to remove it for me which was a highly amusing and humbling experience.

Breakfast had and ticks removed, we paddled our way to a beautiful, ancient burial site. It was another amazingly sunny day but we  were warned to cover up before exploring the site as it was notorious for being tick infested. A few of us braved it and had a look around, counting the number of McDonald headstones we could see. I can’t remember the tally but it was a lot.


The wind proved favourable enough for us to rig our boats together and sail our way to a nearby town for some lunch. We split into two groups and as my boat was in the front of one set up I took on the essential role of being the figurehead for our boat.

We had a bit of a race and sang the Pirates of the Caribbean theme tune relentlessly until we could pull up for lunch.

We all took the opportunity to have a meal that we didn’t have to clean up after, stock up on water and use the facilities. It was at this point that I discovered my second lot of ticks. Needless to say, I removed these ones myself.


After lunch we paddled on and found ourselves an irresistible swimming hole before pulling up to a lovely castle where we stopped to have a look around.


Camp that night was on what seemed like our own private island where we created a bit of a hammock village. We enjoyed stunning views with our dinner and campfire waffles to finish off a spectacular day. I even got to spend the night with my tarp off. Ace!


Tune in soon for part four of this great adventure!

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The Adventure Dog

By Hammocker.

I am very happy to introduce you all to my new adventure companion, Opie. Before you ask, he is named after a character from a TV show and it’s pronounced ‘Opee’ not ‘OhPie’. He is A Jack Russell cross Border Terrier and he is currently thirteen weeks old.


He has been at his new home for nearly a month and he is settling in very well. His daily walks are quite small at the moment but when the weekend arrives, we take him on some lovely adventures. And as you may have guessed, our most recent adventure, definitely involved a hammock and dog trial run!

We headed up to a wonderful spot by a little reservoir to let him have a proper run around and explore. But before he could get too muddy, I setup Old Tango, my Rogue Hammock, for him to sit in with me.



I was dubious at first, as he looked a bit restless, but after a minute or two he soon settled down and even had a little nap. After a little relax, he went off to splash in the bogs and have a good run around. He even pretended to be ‘king of the hill’!



Opie and I will hopefully be heading out on our first hammock adventure soon. But we will probably wait until after winter for his first attempt at an overnighter. I have plans afoot to make him a doggy hammock, that sits above mine on the ridgeline so he doesn’t overheat in my down sleeping bag.

I would be incredibly interested in hearing about your hammock/canine adventures, and to know what worked for you and what didn’t. Because we all know that sometimes it’s funnier when things don’t quite go to plan.

Heres to many Opie and Hammocker adventures!

Happy Hammocking!

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Scorching Scotland Part 2

By Kiwi.

Get up to speed with part one here.

We pick up the tale on the first day of paddling.

After the necessary car shuttle and packing of the boats, we waved goodbye to the rail bridge, that the Hogwarts Express can be seen zooming over in Harry Potter. With the scenery that followed, it wasn’t hard to understand why the area would appeal as a filming location. The brilliant blue sky and the rolling, green hills made for a magnificent backdrop.

We had the wind at our backs making for a leisurely paddle. Spirits were high as comparisons were made to last years trip, as we surpassed the first days distance with ease.  We even managed to stop and throw up our spare hammock for a mid afternoon chill.


We had to take it a bit easy because due to a last minute dropout, SKelly was paddling solo. For the last few kilometres he made a sail out of our blue hammock with some degree of success and joined up with another boat. At the very least they enjoyed themselves, belting out the Pirates of the Caribbean  theme song at full volume.

We had our pick of campsite spot for the evening as we had made such good time. We decided on a beachy spot with enough grass and trees for the whole group. I took myself off towards a little stream that was away from everyone else but was absolutely stunning.



We made pizza nachos for tea so I could get rid of them from my barrel.  It basically involved melting some cheese and chorizo over some corn chips. Anything with melted cheese on, is a win in my book.

Our guide took most of us a for an evening paddle into a little inlet. I always feel like Pocahontas when there’s reeds and small channels to paddle through.  It was very serene but extremely midgey at this point, and we paddled hard back to our spot to stop them from eating us.

We finished off our evening with some cheesecake prepared at camp and set in the loch. It was quite a sight to behold, with Nadams elbow deep in butter and a crumbly base mixture, and Sheep vigorously whisking the cheese mix with a fork. Using a dry bag to set it in the cool water was pretty genius and they even presented it with a plastic bag apron and dry bag chef’s hat! We all agreed that it was an impressive feat and tasted amazing. Who knew that camping cheesecake could be a thing?




As it came time for bed, I rectified my mistake of the previous night and cinched my midge-net as tight as I could and settled down for a wonderful sleep in preparation for a full day of paddling ahead.

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Like Father Like Son.

I am Hammocker’s Dad, sometimes known around these parts as Mr Bikepacker. I am often found riding bikes long distances and camping wild during the course of the trips. My usual camp arrangements consist of a 3/4 size self-inflating sleeping mat, sleeping bag, bivvi bag and a tarp rigged using my bike as the “poles”.


Hammocker gave me a DD Superlight hammock for my birthday last year and has since sought to teach me the art of hanging. Up until now, he has always been with me when I have used a hammock, and he is keen for me to use my hammock on my rides instead of ground dwelling.


This weekend I was away with some friends competing in a national off road comp safari racing championship. In simple terms, this involves driving a specifically designed and prepared vehicle over a pre-defined course as quickly as you can. You have a set number of timed runs around the course during the meeting and once all of your times are added up, the team with the shortest accumulated time, wins.

Anyway, I digress. Usual accommodation is in our kitted out team van, which has three fixed bunks. Two of these run along the side of the van, and one across the width. Despite Hammocker being about 17 feet tall, I am very short. Regardless, even I struggle to fit and sleep comfortably in this bunk. So I decided before the weekend to take my outdoor sleeping gear, and find somewhere to use my hammock. Having competed at this site before, I knew there was a large woodland that would surely provide a decent place to sleep, so whilst driver and co-driver went to sign on and register to race, I ventured into the woods to find suitable trees. It didn’t take long! Within 10 minutes I had picked out a pair and even left a pile of broken branches at the foot of one so I would be able to find it again later that night in darkness.


So, shortly after dinner, beers, a movie and lots of idle chatter, at about 11pm, I walked the short distance from the bottom of the field where our team was based and on up into the woods. I am glad I marked out the trees, as they certainly all looked very similar at night with nothing but my head torch to illuminate proceedings. Experience tells me that having your gear packed in the order that you will need it is a good idea, so I hung my bag on a convenient nearby branch and set about deploying my hammock. Bearing in mind I have never rigged a hammock unsupervised before, I had it rigged in under 5 minutes. In with the sleeping mat, bivvi bag and sleeping bag and I was already to hit the sack.


The weather was clement, and I was surprised not to have to wear my down jacket. In fact, I was on the verge of being too hot most of the night, which is a novel experience! I have been known to wake up with a bivvi bag covered in ice before now…

I slept straight through until 4.45am, which enabled me to see dawn breaking through the trees, which was very nice. I was glad I used my bivvi bag, as they there was a hint of drizzle in the air. I dropped back off and woke again at 6.30am, at which point the rain was a little more insistent, so I struck camp. Once again, this was a very quick process, so nothing got wet.


So my first solo hammock was a resounding success. Also, for the first time ever, I managed to pick trees that were a suitable distance apart. Normally I choose trees that are slightly too close to each other, which means I have to tighten up the loops at each end of the hammock up to their maximum to try to straighten the hammock out. This normally results in the hammock being too “droopy” in shape, which in turn leads to an uncomfortable night spent bunched up in the centre of the hammock.

To improve things next time I may be tempted to follow Hammocker’s tradition and include Adventure Steak(TM) in proceedings! I shall certainly be tempted to use my hammock on my bike trips in the future, now I know I can manage the hammock equipment easily.

Thank you son…

Hobo Hammocks Double Hammock- Review

Today I would like to bring you our review of the Double Camping Hammock. Made by the very lovely folks over at Hobo Hammocks. But before we talk about the hammock itself, lets talk a little bit about the company and why they are called Hobo Hammocks.


It’s very simple really. Every time someone buys one of their hammocks, they provide a meal to a homeless person. They work with organisations who already tend to the homeless and have helped many, many people have a hot meal whilst living on the streets. Now isn’t that lovely! I also have to add that Hobo Hammocks were a pleasure to deal with and incredibly friendly to talk to.


The hammock in question today is the Double Hammock. Its wider than your standard hammock and measures in at 10ft by 6.5ft, which is massive! It is made out of parachute Nylon and weighs in at just over 700g according to my scales, but that does include the two 10ft straps, steel carabiners for suspension and  an attached stuff sack. The Hobo Hammock retails at $59, which is a very reasonable price for an all-inclusive setup. The Hammock has been weight tested up to a massive 540lbs too!


I have spent many hours in the garden relaxing in the hammock, and spent the night in it recently on an adventure to the beautiful reservoir spot. The first thing I’ll mention is the material. It is incredibly comfy on the skin and feels very sturdy, with not as much stretch as some other materials that I’ve tested. The straps are plenty long enough for every normal hammocking spot, and seem incredibly well stitched and manufactured. I used two half hitches onto the carabiner to suspend it.


I found the hammock incredibly comfortable to sleep in, but of course that may be different for you. But to give you an idea, I am 6ft4 and rather wide, and it fitted me like a dream. Because it’s extra wide it does have two extra panels of material stitched to either side. I was worried this stitching would be uncomfortable to lay on during the night, but I didn’t even notice it. The join is also triple stitched with high strength thread and does not look like it will go anywhere anytime soon. And if the hammock does break, not to worry as Hobo Hammocks provide a lifetime guarantee on their hammocks.


In conclusion the Hobo Hammock is a great bit of kit. I love the fact that one purchase can get you hanging and off the ground. And when you purchase you know you’re helping out a homeless person by providing a hot meal! An all round great product, within a good price range. We recommend the Hobo Hammock to anyone who intends to camp away from bugs!

Happy Hammocking!

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 The equipment featured in this review has been sent to Hammocker Ltd in exchange for this post. The review contains the honest and truthful opinions of the Hammocker team at the time the post was written. Hammocker Ltd is not affiliated with Hobo Hammocks in any official capacity.

Scorching Scotland Part 1

By Kiwi.

The company that Mr Hammocker and I work for gives us the opportunity to sign up for an expedition adventure once a year.  This time I opted for the same canoe trip that was chronicled on here  this time last year: a journey around Scotland beginning at Loch Shiel.

All great adventures begin with an early start and a long journey. This particular trip offered up a 7:30am start and a 7 hour drive up to Fort William. We took it pretty easy, with many food and rest stops. It was a beautiful day, so it was a shame to have to spend it in a car. I was worried we were missing the best weather we were going to get. I needn’t have worried.

We knew we’d made it to Scotland when one of our party introduced us to Iron Bru  ice-cream. After a few last-minute items were picked up, we made our way to our campsite in Fort William.

Three of us set up our hammocks in the woods at the back of the campsite. All of us were in Rogue Hammocks which meant we got to put a lot of kit through its paces. We were glad to have finished our midge net design, because we sure needed them!


We soaked up the rest of the evening sun and prepared our evening meals. Myself and Skelly were determined to not the be the victims of food envy, so started off with a good old adventure steak. We treated ourselves to a loaf of tiger bread and some avocado because we would be eating them on the first night, so we didn’t have to carry them far. I packed us a few small Tupperware pots of sauces and things that make camping meals feel a little more luxurious. That and our new cast iron pan gave us the most tasty steak I can remember eating.

My already happy tummy was then treated to some sticky toffee pudding. We had been given the task in our boat pairs of coming up with a dessert to feed half of the group. As it turned out we all over-catered and one dessert tended to be more than enough for everyone.

Once the sun finally set, it was time to escape the midges and head for our hammocks. We were trialling our new removal midge nets and I found getting in without letting any midges in to be a little bit of a challenge. Once in though, I had a marvellous sleep until about 6:30 in the morning, when I woke up to midges having breakfast on my face. I realised when I was packing down that I had foolishly underestimated the determination of the Scottish midge. It turned out that one of the ends could have been cinched a little bit more as it left a tiny gap big enough to let a few families worth through. I can assure you I didn’t make that mistake again!


Pack down in the morning was super slick thanks to our new snakeskins. We made them big enough to hold our tarps, midge nets, hammocks and underquilts. This makes them pretty heavy but it still speeds set up and take down hugely. This left us with enough time for a leisurely breakfast, ready for a day of paddling!


Tune in soon for part two!

Happy Hammocking!

Emberlit Titanium Backpacking Stove- Review

I was over the moon when the kind folks over at Emberlit sent me one of their stoves to test and review for you guys. Like lots of outdoor folk I like to try to minimise weight in my kit. And a lightweight stove is a great way to start!


The market for lightweight, packable wood stoves has boomed in the last five years and Emberlit offer some fantastic options. The Titanium backpacking stove is designed as a wood burning stove, which means there is no need to carry extra fuel, just the means to light a fire. It is made from five pieces of machined titanium sheet, and clicks together like a very simple jigsaw. It has holes machined into the design for good airflow and has two small lengths of titanium that slot together to make a really sturdy pot stand.

The stove weighs in at around 225g including the case that it slots nicely into. It retails at $84.99, which does seem quite expensive for a stove. But the quality makes up for that. It comes with a handy case which has setup instructions printed on.

I found the stove incredibly easy to use, after lighting a small fire inside the airflow holes did their job spectacularly, although be aware of them clogging up after extended use. Easy to fix by poking the ash out-of-the-way with a twig. Once roaring it’s very easy to stock up the fuel by using the hole on the front, which is perfectly sized for the right amount of fuel. Once going I would say that sticks with the same girth as your index finger work best. It doesn’t matter how long the sticks are because you can feed them in slowly as they burn away.


The stove is so light and easy to put together and dismantle that it’s a winner in my eyes. And on longer trips that could potentially only provide very wet sticks I would take an alcohol burner to put inside as a more reliable source of fuel. It works fantastically with a Trangia style burner.

In conclusion the Emberlit Titanium Backpacking Stove is a work of art. Its simple design really, really works as it should. The airflow is fantastic and the workmanship is spot on. We highly recommend grabbing yourself one!

Happy Hammocking!

Don’t forget to like Hammocker on Facebook HERE.
The equipment featured in this review has been sent to Hammocker Ltd in exchange for this post. The review contains the honest and truthful opinions of the Hammocker team at the time the post was written. Hammocker Ltd is not affiliated with Emberlit in any official capacity. 


Big T’s Beef Jerky- Review

If you are an avid reader of this blog then you will already know that we love food. Specifically food that is suited to camping, but is still super tasty. Recently Big T himself sent us some of his organic beef jerky to enjoy, so we can share our thoughts with you all.


Big T’s make jerky from pasture raised cattle that are grass fed on Northumbrian farms. It’s made from lean meat and the fat is trimmed away by hand. The jerky is free from artificial ingredients, nitrates, MSG and GMO’s. Their main focus is the fitness market but they would like to branch out into the outdoor market, hence this review.


Big T sent us four of their flavours to try out. Smoky BBQ, Chilli Beef, Tamarind Chipotle and Sechuan Ginger. All of which tasted fantastic and were very moreish. I took a packet on a recent trip to the woods and it was a very welcome extra snack whilst out camping. The Packages only weigh 45g so you would struggle to notice them in your pack. And each 45g packet has 300 calories. They retail at £3 a packet, which I feel is a reasonable price for a quality product especially if you compare it to supermarket jerky, which doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as Big T’s.

These products would be fantastic to have in a pocket on a walk or as an extra bit of camp chow. And I could se myself buying some to compliment an expedition menu as an extra treat to keep me happy!

We highly recommend Big T’s Jerky here at Hammocker HQ and suggest you try some!

Happy Hammocking!

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The products featured in this review have been sent to Hammocker Ltd in exchange for this post. The review contains the honest and truthful opinions of the Hammocker team at the time the post was written. Hammocker Ltd is not affiliated with Big T’s in any official capacity.

The Spice of Life

By Kiwi.

I haven’t written a trip review for a wee while now. This isn’t because I haven’t been on any. Quite the contrary, I’ve made it out loads over the past few months. It’s only now that I find myself in a bit of a dry spell that I am taking the time to reflect on them.

One of the best things that has been happening lately, is a higher frequency of new hammock campers joining us out on some adventures. I’ve talked before about how passionate people can be inadvertently off-putting to potential recruits. It’s been nice to feel like that’s not the case and our hammock community is growing. I think we may have the ever-so-slightly rising temperatures to thank for that as well as the pull of our delightful company. Seeing our friends enjoying being outside in hammocks brings me a lot of joy.


Lot’s of people have called me crazy when I’ve mentioned that I’m going out in the hammock in perhaps less than ideal conditions. Yet often those trips are the very best ones because you feel so accomplished when you manage to feed and keep yourself warm in spite of the elements. Finding dry firewood has been our only major hassle as we live in a place that likes to keep itself well hydrated. Aside from that, the only barrier is mental. I am at the stage now where I know what I need to have with me to keep nice and toasty, even in sub-zero conditions!


Something struck me on a trip where we made a snap decision on our spot for the night. We ended up stopping earlier than planned because we stumbled across a beautiful waterfall. So serene, we were willing to risk the potential for a lot of wild weeing being required. The trees were a scattered clump next to the stream and it took a bit of creativity to get the four of us set up. It was as we stood there that I had my little reflective moment. I thought to myself: “Isn’t it cool that we can do this and that we have options. No one in a tent gets to change the size of the ground or add extensions to it. It’s either flat and big enough, or it isn’t. Or something like that anyway.


I love the freedom that I feel when I am swinging in my hammock. There are so few rules and restrictions, the limit is your creativity. In saying that, there is one rule that was discovered and set after a very wet trip to the Lake District. We made the mistake of leaving an established spot in search of an unknown one. I don’t want to go into too much detail because we vowed not to talk about it again. A pact was made that we would never again search for a spot in an unknown place, in the dark. Sounds obvious but sometimes these things need to be tested to be believed.


I started this post not really sure what I would write about. I was inspired by Mr Hammocker’s post about why he goes adventuring, to share with you a bit of what has been going on with me. Hopefully giving you the sense of how every trip is different which is why you need to keep getting outside again and again, whenever you can!

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