Monday, May 20, 2013

Warbonnet Traveler DL Hammock

I received my Warbonnet Traveler 1.1 DL Hammock (hereafter the hammock or traveler) and the hammock sock (more on the sock in another post) a few weeks ago. First thing I did was to weigh it and compare it to Warbonnet published weight of 19.5oz. Good news, my Traveler 1.1 DL was only 18oz! Next, I inspected the hammock and with exception of some wobbly seams here and there, the workmanship is excellent.

Of course the next thing was to hang the hammock. The first thing I noticed was how much better this hammock is to sit on/in camp chair wise. My other hammock is an ENO Double Nest and between the traveler being a double layer and made from ripstop nylon it makes for a lot less stretch in the hammock when seated.

I hung it with its structural ridgeline at the proper tension and spent the night. Interestingly the hammock was too taught. It actually felt hard, not uncomfortable but not nearly as comfortable as the next night. The following night I hung it with a deeper sag (the ridgeline was just a bit slack) and that was a fantastic nights sleep. Almost perfection, the flattest lay ever. Side sleeping was awesome. I may have to consider shortening the ridgeline for future (I like the ridgeline for hanging stuff) trips. I'm taking the hammock out this weekend and will update this post soon.

UPDATE: I took the hammock out for a two night trip this past weekend and used both the hammock and the hammock sock. I wanted to see how warm the bottom of my hammock stayed with minimal hammock inulation. It did a remarkable job of creating a dead air space under the hammock even with the top portion of the sock open. The traveler was just as comfortable as at home and a bit easier to hang than the eno because it a tad smaller. Definitely worth my investment in these two pieces of equipment.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gerber Epic Sheath Knife (first impressions)

When hiking and backpacking I always carry a multi-tool. However when you just need to quickly cut some cord or spread peanut butter on a bagel a small sheath knife is much quicker and convenient. Which is why I recently purchased the Gerber Epic. On first inspection it appears to be made well for the money. MSRP is $55. However you can buy it all day long for less than $30. It's a small knife with the blade being just under 3.5 inches and the overall length of about 7.25 inches. That ratio makes the knife heavy at the handle, more on that a little later.

The sheath is made from (I think glass impregnated) plastic. It's designed with a positive locking function to the knife. You will probably have to hold the sheath from moving when pushing the knife hard enough to "lock". This is likely an ideal knife if you're kayaking or rafting as it won't get water logged like leather or cloth and there is a drain hole at the tip. The size, weight sheath make this ideal for hanging the knife upside down from a PFD or neck lanyard. It's not ideal for wearing at the hip unless it's on a heavy thick belt that will stand up to the pressure to push into he sheath until it locks into place. Also, because the knife is handle heavy it will flop around on your hip belt unless its a thick belt. I personally will put it on my pack strap or hang it from a lanyard around my neck. Will try both and see what works best for me.

Out of the box the knife wasn't dull but not particularly sharp either. I did sharpen and hone it to a much keener edge. You will likely want a sharper blade as well. I'm going out this weekend and will update this post soon.