Dutchware Double Chameleon Hammock & Spreader Bar System

Hanging Two Hammocks & One tarp on a single set of Trees using the Dutch Chameleon Hammock with Beetle Buckles and Spreader Bar.

Click here to visit the Dutchware Chameleon Kickstarter Page 

For this video, Sara and I will be experimenting with our new double hammock system by Dutchware to hang both of our hammocks side by side without the need to find 3 or even 4 trees in order to set up without having the two hammocks bump into each other.

The key pieces of hardware that make this possible are the Dutchware Spreader Bar pole with end pins that lock into the holes on the new Dutchware Beetle Buckles suspension system.  When attached at the head end, the spreader bar will keep the two hammocks at a comfortable distance apart.  For the video, we’ll be using a 36 inch spreader bar pole, shorter poles can be used as well, or you can even cut down your existing poles to shorter lengths.  This can help minimize see-sawing, as well as create opportunities to use narrower tarps,

Speaking of tarps, one of the very attractive points of using this system is the ability to pack just a single tarp to be shared by two hammocks.  However, you’ll have to keep in mind that you’re required space will be a bit wider than usual.  This is especially compounded by non-rectangular tarps, such as those cut in the popular hexagonal shape.  Because tarps of those kind are only at their full length along the middle seam, you may find that you’re hammocks don’t quite fit underneath anymore, due to the tapered sides of the tarp.  My 10’x12 Hennessy Deluxe Hex Tarp is a hexagonal cut and suffered this symptom.  For future trips, I may experiment with a narrower spreader bar, or I may just get a dedicated rectangle shaped tarp for use with this hammock system.

Link to Sara’s Instagram: @SarasGreatAdventures , as mentioned in the video.

 

Dutchware Chameleon Hammock – Up CLOSE detailed look

A close up look at the Dutchware Chameleon dual hammock system.  On kickstarter now.  Field test to follow in part two.

Click here to visit the Dutchware Chameleon Kickstarter Page 

Hammock Length:  11 foot for flatter diagonal lay.
Hammock Width: 58 inches

In the video I’ll give a close up table top look at all of the components of the Chameleon hammock.  The Chameleon is a modular hammock system, allowing customization depending on specific needs such as lay direction, top coverage (bug-net, sold winter over-cover, or netless) and various storage accessories.

The feature that interests me the most though, is this hammock’s ability to be set up with two hammocks connected to the same single set of trees, using an aluminum spreader bar combined with Dutch’s new Beetle Buckle suspension system.  This could come in particularly handy for hammock camping trips with my wife.  Stay tuned for the field review!

Product overview from Dutch

“The Chameleon is a full-featured hammock designed from the ground up. Each of the components that go into the Chameleon have been developed by us to create a versatile and modular light weight hammock that adapts to its environment. Because you can remove and change out components, the Chameleon will be the only hammock you will ever need.”

Link to Shug’s video that I mentioned: A Peek at the Dutchware Chameleon Hammock

Link to Sara’s Instagram: @SarasGreatAdventures , as mentioned in the video.

 

Aukey 30,000mAh Portable Charger Review

A Detailed Review of the Aukey 30,000 mAh USB Battery Bank. 

For this gear review, I’ll go over the specs, operation, and my own personal experience using the Aukey USB charger.  My primary perspective for this charger was from that of a backpacker looking to keep his gear running in the woods on backpacking and hunting trips, but I have also found the AUKEY 30000mAh Portable Charger with USB C Input & Output charger to be quite handy even for just around the house or on outings away from home.

Specs and Features, as per the Manufacturer

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
    Engineered to refuel devices up to 4x faster than conventional charging. Powered by INOV (Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage) Technology for fine-tuned power output and more optimized charging cycles. Up to 45% more efficient than Quick Charge 2.0 & compatible with a full range of USB connector types, from A to C.
  • Turbo Recharge at 5V 4A
    Simultaneously plug into the micro USB and a USB-C input on the PB-Y3 to recharge the Power Bank in about 8 hours with a combined current of up to 4A. Large Power Bank capacity doesn’t have to mean long wait to recharge.
  • AUKEY EntireProtect
    Advanced circuitry and built in safeguards to protect devices against excessive current, overheating, and over charging.
  • Universal Compatibility
    Designed to work with all popular USB powered devices from iPhones to Android phones, tablets, photography gear, Bluetooth speakers, headphones and more. Whatever USB powered gear you’ve got, we’ve got you covered.
  • 24 Month Warranty 
  • Battery Indicator Light
    Press the power button once to check the remaining battery level. Battery level is indicated by the color of the LED indicator light. green battery indicator light means your Power Bank is charging, when it reaches 100% the light will turn white.
    Red 0 – 30%
    Green 30% – 70%
    White 70% – 100%
  • Technical Specifications
    Capacity: 30000mAh
    Micro-USB Input: 5V 2.4A
    USB C Input / Output: 5V 3A
    Output 1 (Quick Charge 3.0): 3.6V-6.5V/3A, 6.5V-9V/2A, 9V-12V/1.5A
    Output 2 (AiPower): 5V 2.4A
    Dimensions: 5.9” × 3.3” × 1.1”
    Weight: 20.4 oz

Scandinavian Gear 65L Backpack Review

A full review of a low cost 65L Backpack from Scandinavian Gear for Backpacking, Hiking and Camping.

In this video we’ll take this low cost backpack out for a hike on the trail for some hiking and general discussion out in the field, as well as a full detailed table top review to go over the various features of the Scandinavian Gear 65L backpack – or as they like to call it the ’65l Multi-day Pack for Hiking, Backpacking with Rain Cover’.  But that’s a bit of a mouthful, so…  Oh and of course, there’s a healthy dose of my own personal experiences with the pack and some of my opinions on backpacking backpacks in general.

Full Specs, as Per the Manufacturer

  • Capacity: 65 liters
  • Dimensions: 5 x 17 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Features:
    Water resistant & water repellent material main body (not water proof)
    Main compartment opens from side, top, and bottom
    Rain cover included (inside bottom compartment)
    Hydration / water bladder ready, up to 4l (bladder not included)
    Emergency whistle on chest strap
    Reflective strips, front & back
    Empty backpack weighs 3.8 lbs
    Full backpack measures 26 x 18 x 17 inches
  • Adjustments & straps:
    Adjustable straps allow the backpack to be expanded by an additional 5l
    Adjustable shoulder, chest and waist/hip straps
    Adjustable torso
    Waist/hip strap with pockets

 

Backpacking Sit Pad Options & Dutchware Sit Pad Review for Hiking & Camping

A discussion on sit pad options for backpacking, hiking and camping, along with a review of the Duchware Folding Sit Pad

I this video, we’ll discuss some options for taking a seat on the trail without getting a sore rear end.  Over the years I’ve experimented with several sit pad options, but most recently, I’ve become quite attached to my Dutchware Folding Sit Pad.  Weighing in at a scant 17.15 grams, I find it to be a great balance of ultralight backpacking minimalism and function.

Check out the full specs for the Dutchware Sit Pad on Dutch’s site here.

Want more coverage?  as seen in the video, there’s always the folding full size Z-Lite Pad

Also seen: My DIY sit pad made of Reflectix.

 

Affordable Water Filter for the Apocalypse or Backpacking – Etekcity Survival Purifier

A review of the Etekcity Water Filter for backpacking, camping, or urban survival. 

The Etekcity Personal Water Purifier is a complete system containing all the components needed to start filtering clean drinking water.  A small backflushing syringe is included as well for periodic maintenance of the water filter.  In this video I’ll go over the specifications, operation, and maintenance routine for the filter.

It has a three stage filtration system (pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and hollow fiber UF membrane) making it worth a look for anyone in the market for an inexpensive urban survival filter to keep on hand or tucked in their bug out bag.  For traditional backpackers and campers, such as myself, it’s small size and light weight make it an interesting option for part of an ultralight backpacking load-out.

As seen in the video, it can be used by attaching to the included dirty water bag and squeezed into the water storage option of your choice, or you drink directly out of the water source.  This ccan be achieved by either dipping the end of the filter directly into the water, or by using the included length of 1/4″ tubing to get a bit for reach.  Speaking of the tubing though, it should be pointed out that the filter only has a 1/4″ nipple on the dirty water side.  There isn’t a hookup on the clean side, so if you’re looking to use this filter in a gravity filter configuration, that’s something to keep in mind.

I also found that the threads match up great with Smart Water bottles, so they can be used as a dirty water reservoir as well.  If you’re using other brands, make sure to check the threads for match before heading out, as the other brand of water bottle I tested it with did not properly screw onto the filter body.

One thing that remains to be seen is how often the filter needs to be backflushed after continued use out in the field.  This is the main reason I switched from the Sawyer Mini back to the original Sawyer Squeeze.  Only time will tell if the Etekcity filter  will suffer the same fate, but the flow rates during initial testing have been quite nice, and sucking water through it while using it like a straw was very easy.

Features and Specs, as per the manufacturer:

  • SAFETY TESTED: This water purifier has been tasted by the TÜV SÜD Institute and the sleeve of the water filter complies with FDA Food Contact test in accordance with 21 CFR 180.22 to ensure maximum quality and safety.
  • HOLLOW FIBER UF MEMBRANE and antibacterial carbon filter cleans to 0.01 Microns, eliminating 99.9999% of colibacillus, legionella, heavy metal ions, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOC), organic and insect contaminant.
  • FILTER MORE: This filter will provide up to 1500 liters or almost 400 gallons of safe drinking water.
  • HYDRATION RESERVOIR COMPATIBLE: attach the Etekcity Personal Water Purifier to most hydration reservoirs for increased water carrying capacity and convenience.
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: A foldable water pouch, extension tube, pre-filter, and backwash device are all included at no extra cost. Carry water with you, reach further to get water without strain or danger, get extra filtration, and keep the filter clean and clog-free.