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.

 

That Time I Hiked with a Broken Face – Backpacking the Great Gulf Wilderness

Join TJ & I for 3 days of hiking, camping & backpacking in New Hampshire’s Great Gulf Wilderness.  Oh, & I also fall on my face.  

For this adventure, we’ll be revisiting an attempt at a hike that I originally did as a solo backpacking trip a few years back.  A rather aggressive loop, chalking up 30+ miles and over 15,000 feet gross elevation gain, the plan was to give it another go while giving TJ an ultimate sampler platter of the White Mountains.  As fate would have it, things would corkscrew towards another outcome…

Great Gulf Loop Route Overview - Sintax77

Great Gulf Loop Route Overview – Sintax77

Trailhead Used: Imp Trailhead on Rt 16 – N44° 19.408′ W71° 13.016′

Full GPS track data and waypoints for various POI’s on this trip are available for download on the Trip Data Page.

Trails Used, Day 1 (in order)
Road hike north on Rt 16 to Dolly Copp Campground
Daniel Webster Scout Trail
Appalachian Trail South
Sphinx Trail
Camp along Sphinx Trail, just before junction with Great Gulf Trail

Great Gulf Loop Day 1 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Great Gulf Loop Day 1 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 1 Mileage: 12.5 miles
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 6,661′

Trails Used, Day 2 (in order)
Double back on Sphinx Trail
Appalachian Trail South
Trinity Heights Connector to Summit of Mt Washington
Have a Chili Dog at the Summit
Nelson Crag Trail
Appalachian Trail South
Great Gulf Trail
Camp near Gulf Trail along ridge

Great Gulf Loop Day 2 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Great Gulf Loop Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 2 Mileage: 9.2 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 3,658′

Trails Used, Day 3 (in order)
Great Gulf Trail
Short road hike back to car parked at Imp Trail Head

Great Gulf Loop Day 3 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Great Gulf Loop Day 3 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 3 Mileage: 3.9
Day 3 Gross Elevation Gain: 108′

 

Mileage Grand Total for Trip: 25.6
Gross Elevation Gain Grand Total for Trip: 10,319′

Maroon Bells Pt 2 – The Hike! – Backpacking in Colorado

Join Mike & I on Colorado’s Four Pass Loop for 3 days of hiking, backpacking & hammock camping.

For this multi-part adventure, we’ll be faced with two challenges.

Phase 1 (seen in the prior Pt 1 video): Driving on a substantial time crunch from the east coast to Colorado, without any hotels or road food purchases.  This will not only keep the budget low, but will also save us a ton of time by not having to check-in/out, be tempted to sleep in, decide where/what to eat, stand in lines etc.  Sleeping will be done in the car (while the other person drives) and all meals will be comprised of cooler-stored left-overs and pre-purchased beverages.  The only stops allowed: bathroom breaks and gas pumps.

Phase 2 (covered in this video, Pt 2) will be a multi-day hike of the Four Pass Loop, within the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness, located just outside of Aspen Colorado (about 3 hours west of Denver).  We chose to do the loop in a counter-clockwise direction.

Trailhead Used: Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Trailhead N39° 05.979′ W106° 56.260′

Full GPS track data and waypoints for various POI’s on this trip are available for download on the Trip Data Page.

Trails Used, Day 1 (in order)
Maroon Snowmass Trail
Camp near Snowmass Lake

Maroon Bells Day 1 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Maroon Bells Day 1 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 1 Mileage: 9 miles
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 3,202′

Trails Used, Day 2 (in order)
Geneva Lake Trail
North Fork Cutoff Trail
North Fork Trail
West Maroon Pass Trail
Camp near West Maroon Pass Trail

Maroon Bells Day 2 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Maroon Bells Day 2 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 2 Mileage: 15 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 4,488′

Trails Used, Day 3 (in order)
West Maroon Pass Trail
Maroon Snowmass Trail
Return to vehicle at Maroon Snowmass Trailhead

Maroon Bells Day 3 Elevation Profile - Sintax77

Maroon Bells Day 3 Elevation Profile – Sintax77

Day 3 Mileage: 4.8
Day 3 Gross Elevation Gain: 305′

 

Mileage Grand Total for Trip: 28.8
Gross Elevation Gain Grand Total for Trip: 7,995′

 

Catskills Hiking & Trail Pizza – Backpacking with our Dog

Join Sara, our dog Denali, & I for some Catskills hiking, trail cooking, backpacking, and hammock camping in upstate New York.

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be hiking and camping near Slide Mountain and the East Branch Neversink River in the Catskills, complete with a visit to the summit of Table Mountain and Peekamoose Moose Mountain.  The mileage will be low, but the star of this trip isn’t the trails.  It’s the food.  Good old, classic trail cooking.

What’s on our backpacker’s menu?  Well, Sara had a craving for some trail pizza in the middle of the woods somewhere, and I was up for the challenge.  Were we successful?  You’ll just have to come along and find out.  Either way, it’s bound to be an adventure.  😉

Full GPS data for this, as well as all of my other trips, is available on the Trip Data page.

Trailhead Used:  
Denning Rd Trailhead  N41° 57.924′ W74° 27.144′


Trails Used Day 1, in Order

Pheonicia East Branch Trail
Peekamoose Table Trail
Set up camp after second bridge (the double log one) at N41° 58.474′ W74° 25.734′
Continue up Peekamoose Table Trail towards summit of
Table Mt and Peekamoose Mountain
Lunch / Snack at summit and
Return to camp on the East Branch Neversink River

Day 1 Mileage: 7.8 miles, including summit round trip (about 3 miles each way)
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 2,130′

Trails Used Day 2, in Order

Peekamoose Table Trail
Pheonicia East Branch Trail
Return to vehicle at Denning Rd Trailhead

Day 2 Mileage: 1.8 miles
Day 2 Gross Elevation Gain: 
146′

Trip Total Mileage: 9.6 miles
Trip Total Elevation Gain: 2,276


Trail Pizza 
Ingredients

Boboli Pizza Crust, Individual Size – 2 Pack
Boboli Pizza Sauce Individual Pack (comes in 3 pack box)
Cabot Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded – 8 oz package (2 cups volume)
Hormel Pepperoni, pre-sliced – 6 oz package (enough for 2 pizzas, plus snacking)
Camp Cooking Gear Used for Pizza

Pair of cheap aluminum tongs (from dollar store, or whatever)
Coghlan’s Camp Grill  – rack used to hold pizza
Fozzils Bowlz (used as a plate / prepping dish / cutting board)
Sea-to-Summit Alpha Utensil Set

Train to Trail – Harpers Ferry Winter Backpacking Trip – Hiking in Virginia

Join Mike and I for for a “Train to Trail” Winter Camping, Backpacking, Campfire cooking, & Hiking adventure in Harpers Ferry, WV.

We tried something a bit different for fun on this winter camping trip – instead of driving, we decided to take an Amtrak train directly to the trailhead.  This is actually and idea that Mike and I had been kicking around for a while now.  The first challenge was finding an interesting trail that was actually close to a train station, without a need for secondary transportation or an excessive walk.  After a bit of research, we determined that Harpers Ferry, West Virginia fit the criteria quite well.  The train practically dumps you right on the Appalachian Trail.  We booked our tickets, packed our bags, and hit the trail, er, I mean, train station.

With 4 days and 3 nights off, we had a decent amount of time to play with on this trip.  The challenge however, would be that we needed to plan an out and back trip that didn’t put us to far away from the train station on our final morning, rather than doing a loop like we normally prefer.  Fortunately, we quickly realized that to be a perfect excuse to do a a laid back, more camping, less hiking  kind of trip.

The plan?  After leaving the train behind,we would hop on the Appalachian trail for a few miles – just long enough to feel the seclusion of the deep winter woods, and set up a base camp for the duration of the trip.  Other than that, we really had no hard set plans, other than relaxing, having a good time, and brushing up on our campfire cooking skills.  Did we succeed?  I guess you’ll just have to watch and see…

Trailhead:  Harpers Ferry Amtrak Train Station

GPS Data for this trip available on the Trip Data Page.

Harpers Ferry Winter Route Overview Sintax77

Harpers Ferry Winter Route Overview Sintax77

Trails Used
Leave Harpers Ferry via Appalachian Trail South
After around 3 miles, bushwack West to unofficial campsite.
Return via Appalachian Trail North

Notable Gear Used on this Trip by Mike
Gregory Palisade 80 backpack
EMS Down Parka
EMS Ascent Hard shell Jacket
MSR Whisperlite International stove
Dream Hammock Thunderbird Hammock
Hammock Gear Burrow 20 top quilt
Hammock Gear Incubator 20 underquilt
Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp with doors
Portable bluetooth speaker with fancy lightshow
GSI cookset

Notable Gear Used on this Trip by Sintax77
EMS Longtrail 70 backpack (2011 version)
Montbell UL down parka
EMS Ascent Hardshell
MSR Rapidfire stove (see my video on it here) *no longer manufactured – modern equivalent is the MSR Windpro.
MSR Flex Skillet
Dollar Store tongs and turner for cooking
Sea to Summit Alpha Cutlery Set
Fozzils Bowl / Plate
Dream Hammock Darien Hammock
Hammock Gear Burrow 0 top quilt
Hammock Gear Incubator 0 underquilt
Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarp (standard model, no doors)
Pocket Chainsaw
SOG Flash I tanto blade pocket knife