Check out the full video review here
What do you think about when you hear the word Hammock? It’s probably coupled with words like solitude, relaxing, and comfort. Hammocks seem to be on the rise as a great backpacking addition or replacement to a traditional tent. All over YouTube you’ll find outdoor gear channels talking about camping with a hammock and how to sleep comfortably in a hammock. Are all hammock’s the same? Will you get the same level of comfort from any hammock you choose?
These and other questions are something to think hard about when it comes to whether or not your body is going to be able to recover after many miles of hiking. Here at Backcountry Exposure, we’ve been doing a lot of research on the various popular hammock systems available. We’ve been able to spend time with a few options, and have set our hearts on the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost Hammocks and the included Litespeed Suspension System. For the price and what is included, you just cannot beat the setup that Wildhorn has put together.
Lets face the facts here people. A camping/backpacking hammock made from nylon is the standard across all companies whether it’s Hennessy, ENO, Grand Trunk or any other. They all feature high quality triple stitching at the seams, and have a gathered end with a loop of some kind of cordage or dynema material with a biner or loop system. Then there’s various tree strap suspension systems that are available, whether it’s simple 1 inch webbing you purchase on your own, or sophisticated straps like the Atlas straps from ENO. All of the options on the market though don’t hold a candle to the ease of use and simplicity that is the Litespeed System.
The Litespeed tree straps and suspension system is so easy to use it takes what feels like seconds to setup. The gathered end of the hammock is put together with Amsteel and wrapped around a metal cinch buckle. 200 pound rated nylon straps, 11 feet in length are fed through the buckle making it a simple grab and pull to tighten. So easy that you may question if you did it right, but don’t worry, it’s right and it’s awesome!
The Outpost hammocks come in two sizes, the Outpost 1 a single and the Outpost 2 a double. Both of them are 11 feet in length but are different in width, with the Outpost 2 being 6’4″ wide, it’s plenty big for two people to hang, or for sleeping.
If it we’re me buying a new hammock or my first time buying a hammock, my recommendation would be the Outpost before looking at any other options. It’s a great product at a great price!
The Wasatch Mountain Range that towers over the Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley may seem like something that just sits to the east and holds the best skiing on earth, but there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Although not as tall as the famous fourteeners of the Colorado Rockies, the Wasatch Range holds many technical and prominent peaks that are incredibly rewarding. One of these peaks/mountains contains some of the busiest trailheads in the area. Mount Timpanogos has a prominence of over 5000 feet and towers over Utah Valley, and may be one of the busiest mountains in the states. With a total elevation of 11,753 feet, it’s a test piece for the average hiker to see what they are made of. On any given weekend in the summer, dozens to even hundreds of people are seen on the summit and trails of this peak. But Timpanogos is just one of over 30 peaks along the Wasatch Front that exceed 11,000 feet. Some may only see a couple people on the summit each year, but the level of solitude found just a few minutes from the front door makes the Wasatch Range a coveted peak baggers dream.
On October 8th, 2015 my wife and I welcomed our beautiful daughter, Maylin, into the world. Katie and I in our life together have always made getting into the backcountry a priority. Now that we have a family, we have made sure that the added effort and time to get into the mountains doesn’t stop us from that passion we share. Quickly we talked about a goal that we could do as a family to prove that we can conquer the complacency of not getting out, and in the same breath, create a memory for our little family.
Although still in the planning phase, as soon as the snow begins to die off, we will begin our ascent of the many peaks in the Wasatch. The best way to follow the adventure will be here on this blog and also through video on the Backcountry Exposure Youtube Channel.
What’s trending… How do we remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle, screen time, and our constant need to be connected. Steve Jobs may have been the mastermind behind the iPhone, but indirectly, was also the mastermind behind the mobile screen addict, or as Louis C.K. put it, the “forever empty”. We have a constant need to be connected and when alone, we find ourselves instantly looking for gratification from our cell phone. Im guilty of it, we’re all guilty of it. Like Wall-E, technology will inevitably make us more and more lazy. It’s already happening, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to disconnect and be present with our families and ourselves.
Recently i’ve been inspired to make a change in myself. This year, James Lawrence aka, The Iron Cowboy, completed 50 Iron Man’s in 50 days in 50 states. Obviously a true feat of human endurance, and he’s inspired a lot of people to set goals that seem crazy, but push the mind to its limits. But what does that mean for me? Let me give you some background.
I grew up in a family that loved being in the outdoors. We camped many times a year as a family, and I attribute my love and passion for the outdoors to my parents for those experiences. I also had an amazing friend and mentor at a young age that also took me camping that helped me discover why I loved being outside. I was just like any other 90’s kid. I played Nintendo to my hearts desire, I had a TV in my bedroom, I sat on my floor and played with Lego’s. But I didn’t have 2015 technology at my fingertips either. I am sure my childhood would have been a little different had there been iPhones and 2015 technology. With all of those distractions though, I loved being outside. I spent many summer days with my brothers fishing along the Provo River, riding my bike all over, and building forts in an empty lot down the street from my house. I loved being outside!
A few years ago I read a book called, Last Child In The Woods. In quick words, the author talks about how we’re slowly losing our ability to appreciate the outdoors and how we as a society have made excuses for not allowing ourselves and children to play outdoors. Slowly we have become the inside people. We fear being outside, and we fear each other. Sending my child outside to play is viewed as dangerous now. Really, it’s pathetic and ridiculous how sensitive we as people have become to each other and what we do with our lives. The lack of authentic social interaction is quickly deteriorating into self absorbed personalities that don’t know how to communicate and disconnect from devices that keep us from being natural humans, a natural need to play. But this begs the question, will it ever change? Will society ever go back to what we knew in the 90’s and before? I have to argue, that no it will never be the same again. So instead of sitting around complaining about it, make a decision to change and be different from society. Let your kids go outside and play,
Which that then leads me to my commitment. I spoke about The Iron Cowboy briefly. I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with him and his family at Momentum Climbing in Lehi, where I work. James and his family have been spending some time at Momentum each week as a new activity for their family to do. In many people’s minds, he’s like this super human that no other person can touch. He’s become a celebrity. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a person. He had to make a choice to be who he is, and work hard to accomplish the goals that he set.
For the last year, my wife and I have been looking forward to bringing a child into our home. We’re excited to be a family and excited for the new adventure. With an adventure like this, comes a dedication to new goals and lifestyle. I’ve been pretty unhappy with my level of activity over the last year, and from the outside it appears as though i’ve been fairly active. Katie and I had one of the best summers of our time together, and I was able to get some backpacking in that I have been wanting to do for a long time. We loved all of the time spent adventuring this summer. But part of that was because we knew this baby is coming and we wanted to get some trips in, just the two of us.
This has caused me to reevaluate my level of activity, and make some goals that involve keeping my family active. I know that a baby is going to be a difficult change for our family. This little girl is going to be our world though. We’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time, and now that she is here, we’re just smitten.
So here’s my commitment, to myself and to my family. Just because it’s hard, or inconvenient, doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. I want to be the person and father that my children look up to as a mentor and as someone that inspired them to try hard things, and take chances on life.
I want Maylin to see being in the mountains her way of decompressing, enjoying life, and escaping the hustle and bustle. I want to see her love being in the sun, seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, cherishing simple moments of solitude only found when deep in the backcountry.
Before Maylin turns 1, Katie and I have a goal to summit all of the 11,000 foot peaks in the Wasatch Range. That’s 36 peaks in total. We are calling this adventure, 11k With May and will be captured through video and blog posts as we accomplish the goal.
The moral here is, get out and enjoy the outdoors! Make goals and achieve them! Teach yourself and your kids the good that comes from being active and spending time in the backcountry.