Mail Call – What is this thing? | HangTime Hook

In this episode of Sintax77’s Mail Call, I open a package containing an item that I can’t quite figure out at first…

At first glance, I could at least devise that it was some sort of hammock camping gear accessory.  Specifically what it was though, was confusing the heck out of me to be honest.

All that written on the envelope was a face book page, which cleared things up pretty quickly.   https://www.facebook.com/myhangtimehook/

Apparently it’s an early production run prototype for an accessory that allows you to easily hang your cellphone from your hammock ridgeline.  It also appears to be useful for mounting other items such as a light or USB charger as well, by using the various attachment points or the main clamp.

HangTime Hammock Ridgeline Cellphone Holder weight: 52 grams (1.83 oz)

Hiking Big South Fork Pt 2 – Tennessee Hammock Camping & Backpacking Trip

Join me for 3 days of hiking & hammock camping on a backpacking trip in Tennessee’s Big South Fork Nat’l Rec Area.

For this backpacking adventure, I’ll be breaking the hiking trip into two parts. BSF Part 1 is mostly in the woods and at camp and is more of a hanging in the woods, conversational type video. Part 2 covers days 2 and 3 where I traverse into the higher regions of Big South Fork, hitting the ridges for views of the Cumberland Plateau’s sandstone bluffs and Big South Fork River.

For more details on the first day of this trip, check out my Big South Fork Pt 1 blog post and video.

GPS Data for this trip is available on the Trip Data Page, or via this link for direct download: Big South Fork Backpacking Loop 2017 GPS Data – Sintax77

Big South Fork John Muir John Litton Backpacking Loop Route Overview – Sintax77

Trailhead and Parking Location

Bandy Creek Visitor Center, 151 Stable Rd, Oneida, TN 37841
N36° 29.275′ W84° 41.837′

Topics discussed and things that happen in this episode

  • Place Holder

Trails Used Day 2

  • Break camp along the Laurel Fork Creek Trail
  • Continue north on the Laurel Creek Fork Trail
  • Make a left (east) onto the John Muir Trail (the next 2 miles will cover the bulk of the elevation gain for the day)
  • Make a right (west) onto the Fall Branch Trail
  • Setup camp along the Laurel Fork Creek Trail (less than a 100 meters after crossing the creek / bridge.  There is a campsite immediately next to the creek as well)

Day 2 Total Mileage: 15.2 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 1,616 feet
Day 2 Gross Elevation Loss: 1,266 feet

Big South Fork Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Trails Used Day 3

  • Break camp along Fall Branch Trail
  • Continue south on the Fall Branch Trail
  • Make a Right (north) onto the John Litton Farm Hike Loop Trail (heading south will ultimately bring you back to the parking lot as well).
  • Continue south onto the road (gravel, then paved) until you arrive back at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center Parking Lot.

Day 3 Total Mileage: 6.1 miles
Day 3 Gross Elevation Gain: 600 feet
Day 3 Gross Elevation Loss: 313 feet

Big South Fork Day 3 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Trip Grand Totals

Total Mileage for Trip: 28.4 miles
Total Elevation Gain for Trip: 3,076 feet

The gear list used for this trip along with discussion on each item can be found in my accompanying 2017 Ultralight Backpacking Gear List Blog Post and Video.

Olight HS2 Headlamp for Running & Hiking – Review

A Review of the Olight HS2 Headlamp for Running & Hiking.

In this gear video I go over my personal experiences with using the Olight HS2 rechargeable headlamp system, specs, features, and operational procedures to access the Olight H2R Nova’s light modes and charging functions. As a backpacker more so than a runner, I also go over my thoughts and experiences with using this as a running headlamp vs a hiking and camping headlamp.

HS2 Specs, as per the Manufacturer

  • Beam Distance Max: 279 feet / 85 meters
  • Max Performance (lumens): 400
  • Charge type: Micro-USB
  • Compatible Batteries: Customized LiPo Battery
  • Light Intensity (candela): 1,800
  • Light Form: Wide/broad hotspot. Perfect for up close illumination.
  • Lens / Reflector Type: TIR bead lens (wide/broad beam)
  • Mode Operation: Side Switch
  • Size Factor: Small size (Car key / Zippo Lighter)
  • Series: Series H (Headlamps, Multitasking)

Unique Characteristics

  • Can be powered directly from any USB power source – never run out of battery.
  • Dual LED system for long range and up-close wide illumination.
  • Audible beep at 10% battery capacity to alert the user to charge.
  • Compact and lightweight at only 4 ounces.

Lighting Levels

  • Dual Beam High: 400 lumens , 2 hours 12 minutes
  • Dual Beam Low: 100 lumens , 9 hours
  • Single Beam High (wide or spot): 200 lumens , 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Single Beam Low (wide or spot): 50 lumens , 18 hours
  • Moon 1 lumens Cool White / 1 lumens – Neutral White – 45 days
  • Strobe: No
  • SOS / BEACON: Yes

Technical Characteristics

  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Weight: 4.06 oz , 115 grams
  • Length: 24mm / 0.94 in
  • Head Diameter:  23mm / 0.91 in
  • Body Diameter: 45mm / 1.77 in
  • LED: Cree XH-G2
  • Use: EDC, car, camping, fishing, household, general use, fishing, climbing, cave exploration, outdoor activities, house activitie

Package Contents

  • Flashlight Olight HS2 x 1
  • Rechargeable  2000mAh 3.7V Lipo x 1
  • head strap x 1
  • Pouch x 1
  • Replacement Cable Clip x 2
  • 1.5-meter Micro-USB Cable
  • instruction manual x 1

Other items Seen / Discussed in the Video

Backpacking Gear for Hammock Camping – Which Items to Buy First?

A discussion on deciding which backpacking gear items to buy / upgrade first when first getting started with hammock camping.

A viewer, Chuck C., recently sent me the following question:

“I have been buying my gear spread out so the wife won’t kill me. Rank these in the order you would buy:

  • Cuben Fiber Tarp
  • Down Under Quilt
  • Down Top Quilt
  • Hammock
  • Backpack

In the video I try to answer this question as well as get some discussion going on the topic of hammock camping gear in general.  Which items would you upgrade or buy first?

Two Hammocks, One Bug Net – Double Dutch and Birds Nest Bugnet Systems

Checking out two bugnet options for double hammock camping – The Bird’s Nest (for use with any two hammocks), and the Double Dutch Bugnet (for use with the Chameleon Hammock), both made by Dutchware Gear.

Both of these bugnet systems are designed specifically for use with double hammock, spreader bar systems.  i.e. Putting two hammocks on a single pair of trees for use with the same tarp. While I showed the Beetle buckle suspension (stock suspension that came with my Chameleon Hammock) for use with the spreader bar, there are several suspension options that would work with this setup as well (links below.

Gear Seen and Links for More Info

Two other suspension options (not shown) that would work with the spreader bar

Tarp mentioned in the video for use with the double hammock setups

Investing in a Cuben Fiber Tarp – Thoughts & Considerations for Hammock Camping

A discussion on Cuben Fiber Tarps for Hammock Camping (specifically, the Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp models, both with & without doors).

I recently received a message from a viewer asking for feedback / advice regarding the potential purchase of an ultralight cuben fiber tarp for hammock camping and backpacking, as well as the pros and cons related to some of the options available for these tarps.

Below are his two main questions, which Mike and I used as a jumping off point for our discussion on these tarps.  While our reference point throughout the video is HG Cuben Hex Tarp line of tarps (also know as Dyneema Tarps), this discussion is pretty much applicable to cuben tarps in general as well as cuben fiber’s properties as a backpacking gear material.

Lyle’s Questions & Talking Points

  • I’m considering purchasing the Hammock Gear Cuban Fiber Tarp, but given the price I thought I’d ask some people who own it a couple of questions.
  • 1) 11ft vs 12ft
    I have an 11ft hammock (Warbonnet – Blackbird XLX)… I’m leaning towards the 12ft length, only because I like the idea of greater coverage.
  • 2) Doors vs no-doors
    This is my biggest question … if I should order it with doors…or can get away without them?I’m primarily a 3 season camper…BUT, I would like to do more winter camping. When would you have preferred a “door” version of this tarp vs. a “non-door” version?
  • I’ve seen you use this tarp in several of your videos.  Is there anything you’d do/choose differently if you were purchasing this tarp again?

Other Topics Discussed

  • Cuben Fiber Cost
  • The advantage of cuben fiber’s lower volume in addition to the more obvious weight savings.
  • Cuben fiber strength & durability considerations for hammock camping.
  • Tarp ridgeline length and finding the right trees.
  • Tarp ridgeline length vs doors for rain and snow camping situations.

Tarps Seen in the Video (all weights are tarp only, no lines etc)

Hammocks Seen in the Video