Author: Helen McIntosh (page 1 of 2)

Campfire Recipe No.3

Hello folks, it’s Kiwi here. Sorry it has been so long but I come bearing a gift. This gift is for the best recipe you didn’t know you needed.

One of our favourite meals to make at home is our infamous sweet potato pizza. Skelly loves pizza and I love sweet potato so it keeps everyone happy. This week we decided to test out whether we could make this meal campfire friendly, and I am happy to report that we think this is worth a try on your next adventure.

We prepared the dough in advance to reduce cooking time.


1 cup sweet potato boiled and mashed

95g of flour (can use gluten free as well)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt


Mix it all together until it forms a dough.

Chill it for an hour or so if you have time.

We then rolled the dough out on greaseproof paper and put the sheet inside the pan that we were using to protect them and make sure we had the right size base.


When you are ready to cook, you simply grease your pan (we used a cast iron skillet) and place the base on top, followed by your desired toppings. We experimented with cooking it above the fire and then down on the coals. The coals definitely yielded better results and it was worth waiting for the fire to get very hot.

We forgot a spatula or anything to flip the bases with. However the dough is quite soft, so I think it is better to just let it cook through from the bottom anyway.  To start with we weren’t sure whether we were going to end up with pizza or some kind of scramble, but even the first one which was cooked up high, was able to be eaten like a burrito.

In short it’s not the most foolproof recipe but it is something a little different from your standard steak sandwich. The end result was comforting and tasty. Skelly went with the meat lovers flavour and I had vegetarian surprise so it is something you can individualise to everyone’s individual tastes. It’s also great for using up fridge leftovers. I think it is worth doing that prep at the start if you can to cut down on overall cooking time too. Particularly seeing as you can only cook one at a time!

The pizzas were a great addition to our wonderful, sunshine filled trip. We went to sleep full and content and woke up to a glorious sunrise. I challenge you to give the recipe a go and we would love to hear if you enjoy it.

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!

And don’t forget to like Hammocker on Facebook here!

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.

Don’t forget to like Hammocker on Facebook here!

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!

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!

Amazonas T-Strap- Review

By Kiwi.

There are many different types of hammock suspension available on the market. Most people will try a few different systems before settling on a favourite, so I feel pretty lucky to have the Amazonas T-Straps as a part of my kit.

They weigh in at 400g with a weight rating of 200kg per strap. The webbing measures about 2.2m per strap. All of the materials have a quality feel about them so you can be confident that they are well up to the task of keeping you off the ground. They retail for about £30 which could be seen as being on the high end of the scale.

The best thing about them however, is undoubtedly how simple they are to use. The system uses webbing with a loop on one end, an aluminium toggle and a cinch buckle. All that is required is for you to loop the webbing behind the tree; thread the toggle end through the webbing loop; hook your hammock on the toggle and then adjust the cinch buckles as desired. It’s as easy as that.

Sometimes getting your hammock at a comfy angle is tough, so it’s really nice that little and big adjustments can be made, with minimum effort.

Suspension systems are about personal preference but this is most certainly one of the most simple systems I have come across. Some people may think they are a bit bulky or heavy, but I personally prefer the thing that is holding me up in the air to have a bit of substance to it.

If you’re a no fuss no frills kinda gal (or guy) like myself, then you won’t regret giving the Amazonas T-Straps a whirl.
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 Amazonas in any official capacity.


Amok Draumr 3.0- Review

By SKelly.

Let’s kick things off with a bit of background about me.

I’m known to most as SKelly. I’ve been mentioned in a few posts with Mr Hammocker before, as I am slowly becoming a hammocking fanatic! I love getting away from the daily life and routine that quite a lot of us sink into. Getting out into the woods with a warm fire, some great company, a few cheeky beers and a glorious bed (hammock) for the night is the closest thing to heaven for me. I’m kind of the class clown and can entertain myself in the easiest of ways. That pretty much sums me up, now let’s talk hammocks.

The Hammocker has asked me to take a crack at this reviewing malarkey, with quite an abnormal hammock, the Amok Draumr 3.0 (no it’s not from Yorkshire).

Now for those who haven’t heard of this hammock before, you may be about to have your mind blown.

The Amok Draumr 3.0 is quite a unique concept. The crazy and innovative folks over at Amok, a company based in Norway, have used their engineering and entrepreneurial brains to craft an impressive design. When I first took a look at the Amok in detail I realised what a game changer this hammock could be.  Unlike “normal” hammocks the idea behind the Amok Draumr 3.0 is that instead of laying from side to side along your tree line, you instead lay perpendicular to the tree line. You also lay completely flat without having to be on a diagonal.  This is achieved  by using a specific inflatable mat, one that has tubes like a pool lilo.

This helps keep the rigidity and stops you just flopping out of the hammock.

Now we’ve kind of got our head around what the hammock is, let’s get into the pros and cons.


The Amok Draumr 3.0 is designed beautifully and the stitching looks immaculate and just everything about it wants you to love it. There are pockets everywhere on this design and either side of you as you’re laying down there is more than enough room for anything you could possibly need. When we’ve been out on a few trips I shove everything from coats, extra jumpers to snacks and drinks down there. All of them are really accessible and convenient to use.

 The design of the hammock also gives you a really useful ridge-line which you can clip anything and everything onto. I found clipping head lamps and water bottles to it works a treat. The Amok Draumr 3.0 also comes with a built-in midge net that has a little crab you can clip straight onto your ridge-line to keep it out of your face, which is a nice touch.

 The hammock is quite simple to put up, as even the suspension is included and already attached. I love the laser cut crabs with the Amok logo on them, style points!

 The adjuster straps are awesome and in my eyes, the best part of this hammock. You can pull on some straps on the inside of the hammock which raise your hammock up into a chair position or if you loosen the lay you down flat into sleep mode.


Now for some things that I think took away from the beauty of the Amok Draumr 3.0.

The whole set-up is quite bulky for all you gram nuts out there. The full set-up tops in at about 2kg, but that does include the tarp and pegs, which all pack down inside the main stuff stack, which measures about 14 x 6.5 inches.

Getting in and out of this set-up is a little bit of a nightmare. Even after using it on multiple trips I still haven’t perfected it. The material the hammock is made out of is far too slippery for you to enter it the way that Amok intended. You are meant to fold up the bottom of the matt and hold the ridge-line tight and try to sit down on the hammock without sliding out. It’s just not the easiest, let’s leave it at that.

The tarp, it’s just not big enough. Not to cope with the blustery sideways rain of the UK anyway. They have included an extra piece of material for your head and feet which is a great idea but still not big enough for the hammock. You can see from this photo that even with no-one in the hammock the head end pushes up against the tarp, which results in a difficult sleep.

PIC 14

The final consideration of the hammock is what it’s like to sleep in. Bear in mind I’m only 5ft 10” and weigh just under 11 stone (not exactly the biggest lad out there). I just couldn’t have a single decent nights sleep in it. Either the rain would blow in from the sides or it would hit the tarp and I would end up swinging back and forth because my feet touched the tarp when I was sleeping. Now, a gentle rock in a hammock, I actually quite like, but let’s just say, it wasn’t quite a gentle ‘rock you to sleep’ kind of deal. Think more like a swing set!


To sum up, I wanted to love this hammock and use nothing but this kit ever again. I wasn’t even put off by the size and weight or the fact I had to fork out an extra £90 on a specific inflatable mat, which isn’t even included with the Amok Draumr 3.0, but you need one to use it. When I saw that the hammock came with a beer bottle holder (other beverages are available) I looked everywhere to buy one, as I had to have it!

Now that I own one, I’m a little upset as it’s not really a sleeping hammock. It makes more of a perfect chair than a hammock. If you’re looking for a totally amazing chair, that hangs off the ground or for a spot of fishing then look no further, just don’t expect a good nights sleep.

PIC 14

PIC 13

Cheers for reading,


Don’t forget to like Hammocker on Facebook by clicking here.

Also check out the Rogue Hammocks Facebook page here. SKelly and Kiwi’s fantastic custom hammock shop!

Amazonas Jungle Tent PRO

By Kiwi.

I was pretty excited when Mr Hammocker offered me the opportunity to write a review for the blog. I was even more excited when I saw exactly what it was.


The Amazonas Jungle Tent Pro immediately appealed to me with its bold colour and funky design. As well as being aesthetically pleasing it boasts some nifty features including reflective guy lines with velcro stowaway pockets. These are really handy for keeping everything tidy when you’re packing and unpacking. It also means you never trail guy lines about the place while you’re setting up, enabling you to work with only one at a time.

 I have noticed that the cord has shown some signs of wear already. Also the pegs that came with it proved to be a bit flimsy when used in hard ground.

The tarp itself measures 340cm across the top and 140cm from the top directly down to the ground. The diagonal sides are 168 cm and the ground edge is 150cm. It weighs in at about 800g. The stuff sack is sturdy and packs it away reasonably small.


The Amazonas Jungle PRO is designed to be used in conjunction with some of their own hammocks. I have tried it out with one they recommend, as well as with one of my own, and discovered that the size is a limiting factor. Because of the curved, almost hexagonal design, the tarp felt like it was only just fitting over both hammocks that I used. The cut outs made me feel a bit exposed and although I won’t fault the waterproofing of the fabric, the design leaves you vulnerable to the sideways rain that is not uncommon here in the UK.

I have used the Amazonas Jungle PRO on one very wet trip and on one cold and clear night. I did get a bit wet on the first outing but I very much enjoyed having it on the second. I will use it in future on nights that aren’t forecast for heavy rain.

The Amazonas Jungle PRO retails at about 55 euros or 49 pounds depending on where you purchase it from. This makes me a bit disappointed that the pegs and guy lines are not sturdier. I would recommend it more as a summer tarp rather than a winter tarp, as in the cold, wet weather, you want maximum coverage.

In short, Amazonas offer a good product with some cool features but lacking in a bit in practicality making it unsuitable for use all-year round. But it makes for a solid shelter for spring, summer and autumn use, particularly when the rain isn’t going sideways!

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 Amazonas in any official capacity.

Reservoir Bliss

By Kiwi.

It rains here in the UK a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean all the time.

Lancashire in particular, has a really special talent of putting on the worst display of whatever weather the rest of the country has to offer. I’m sure if you viewed it from space you would just see a permanent grey cloud hovering over it.  This is my second UK winter, and I have been treated to more flooding than snow this year. The problem with that is, getting yourself warm is much easier than getting yourself dry, once you’re out in the woods.


This last week however, there has been a rare respite, and I believe we’ve had almost a week without any rain.( Excuse me while I go and touch all of the wooden surfaces I can find). Needless to say, it didn’t take any convincing to get myself, Skelly, Mr Hammocker and a new recruit out in our hammocks. This newbie shall be known as Princess C-B (Friend’s fans may get this reference).

We chose to head to the reservoir spot which was found by Mr Hammocker and AC, but new to the rest of us. I say new, but Skelly and I had scouted it out earlier in the week, but ended up in a different section of the woods, which didn’t have ideal spacing . It was amazing how different the two sections were, with Mr Hammocker’s being perfect for our group size.


We all relished the opportunity to set up in dry weather. We could actually tinker with our set-up rather than just trying to whack it up without getting everything wet. I chose to use a tarp, as did everyone else in the end. The fact that it was even a question though, was a foreign, but welcome scenario. It also meant we could show Princess C-B how everything worked, so she could begin to get a grasp on how to do it herself. I felt pretty pleased with myself personally because for the first time ever,  my first estimate of height and angle was spot on. That has to be a milestone in my hammocking career.

We had a lovely fire with an endless supply of dry wood available to us. We cooked a range of different meals with myself and Skelly going for the traditional steak. Our only difficulty was attempting to find a comfortable position on the ground that didn’t leave you with a cold backside and kept you out of the smoke. We settled with standing up and rotating slowly to get an even heat going. Some of us decided to take it a step further with some dangerous fire squatting going on. Eventually, the lure of our comfy hammocks was too much and we headed for sleep town. I had a decent snooze, waking up quite early to the chorus of the forest.


My favourite part of the trip had to be the morning. It was the first time in a long time that we didn’t have to rush off for something. We made the most of this by having our morning coffees in our hammocks, chatting and mucking around. We reflected on the fact that it’s a shame in the winter when you need a fire, you end up forgoing the comfort of your hammock in favour of the heat. It was decided that next time we go out we should try for a configuration that allows for the fire to be between all of the hammocks, rather than off to the side.


This trip has made me unbelievably excited for summer. Lighter packs, longer days. Daylight savings will allow us to not have to rush in the evenings and if we get some sunshine, well that will just be perfect. Although I did enjoy the little sprinkling of snow we had in the morning. It always makes you feel extra smug if you’re warm in spite of the elements.

I’m really glad that I got to share this trip with such great company. It was great to feel like there may be an end to this seemingly endless deluge that’s been going on here and I’m already mentally marking off on my calendar when I can get out next!

Rookie Gear List.

By Kiwi

I’ve been thinking about what could possibly put people off getting out and enjoying the beautiful surroundings we have access to. Drawing from my own experience, new hobbies can be intimidating when they require skills and equipment that may be foreign and seem unattainable. Unfortunately sometimes people who are really enthusiastic can put new people off with this seemingly different language.

Now I’m not promising that if you get into hammocking that your amazon wish lists won’t take on a life of its own. What I am promising is that it’s possible to do it with less equipment than you think. Also, those scarily enthusiastic people love talking to new people about their passion and are great people to borrow things from.

First thing you need is something to put your stuff in. Most hammocking spots require some kind of walk in. It’s the eternal battle to try to compress kit down to reduce space requirement. This is one of the factors contributing to Skelly’s pay being allocated to a new item of kit most months. At the moment I use a 65L pack that I bought second-hand for a grand total of 10 pounds. I always have plenty of space with this even including food and water and I am a person who when it comes to packing believes that more is more.IMG_20160202_111704

Aside from the obvious hammock and tarp if you are in the UK, the next most important items make up your insulation. For me this is my sleeping bag and mat. If you are likely to be out in any other month than August or September then this is where I would invest. A good sleeping bag can last you for years and a down one is great for those winter nights. This is one of the few things I myself have had to purchase and after that first night I spent in a two season sleeping bag I consider it money well spent. I found mine on eBay for around forty pounds. The sleeping mat I use is just a fold up foam thing. I keep looking at other more compact ones but keep putting off buying one when my foam does me fine even if it does take up a bit of space.


Your cooking kit is completely negotiable. There have been nights where I have taken a self-service salad from the supermarket but of course having a hot meal is a treat in the woods. If you’re out with a seasoned camper then chances are they will have something you can heat something up on. I have only just purchased my own stove because I had a voucher and I liked the idea of having a proper kettle to heat up water in. The set cost me a whole thirty quid. Mess tins and a fire are also a great option. To save space you can pre-prepare A meal and just heat it up when you’re ready for it. My favourite morning meal is a pot of porridge that I just add hot water to. Skelly’s on the other hand is some kind of pastry.IMG_20160202_111753

Equally as important as what you take is what you wear. You can save on space in your pack if like me your jacket can double as a blanket and you wear ski socks in your wellies. I tend to layer up with a couple of thermals, a warm jumper and my down jacket. I read somewhere that down jackets are a trend that are on the out in 2016 because they look stupid. I don’t think anyone that owns one cares though because they cannot be beaten for warmth. They can be expensive although I was lucky enough to find mine in a charity shop. As well as being a financial commitment they also shed as much as I imagine a sick cockatoo does, but I forgive it because it really is super toasty.IMG_20160126_190611

With a bit of thriftiness and making friends in the right places, hammocking doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Disclaimer: the spending loads of money comes once you’ve fallen in love with not sleeping on the ground and at that point you will be lost forever. Enjoy!

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