Hi, I´d like to announce an even on October 14. – please mark your calendars, share and even more important – come. 🙂
You will have the chance to try the most advanced “pro” camping hammocks on the marked in real live conditions.
Hammock camping has gained more and popularity in the last years, not only amongst backpackers and hikers. Pretty much everybody from the aforementioned hikers to those travelling on two or more wheels to get closer to nature and the amazing views and experiences only camping in the woods can provide. It just make sense to get off the ground and sleep hanging between the trees. The benefits are many, some are very factual – others are more based on feelings and the experience involved. Looking at the stars while being soothed in a slightly swinging hammock generally results in a very comfortable and refreshing sleep.
There are several hammock concepts on the marked of we´ll show the best tow – the Lawson Blue ridge Hammock and the Amok Draumr 3.0. Both Sytems will be on display and you have the chance to try them both. The event is meant to be very informal and casual. We´ll light a campfire, cook coffee, maybe fish a little bit and have definitly have a good time.
Hammock camping has gained more and popularity in the last years, not only amongst backpackers and hikers. Pretty much everybody from the aforementioned hikers to those travelling on two or more wheels to get closer to nature and the amazing views and experiences only camping n the woods can provide. It just make sense to get off the ground and sleep hanging between the trees. The benefits are many, some are very factual – others are more based on feelings and the experience involved. Looking at the stars while being soothed in a slightly swinging hammock generally results in a very comfortable and refreshing sleep.
There are several hammock concepts on the marked – two of which we endorse and use ourselves. There is no better than these two systems we believe. Your mileage may vary of course – but hey – it´s all a matter of taste an personal preference but some facts need considering when choosing an overnight full metal jacket camping hammock.
The focus of this article is on hammock systems which are meant for staying overnight and are geared to be used pretty much all year round. Please do not read this with a casual “hangmat” in mind. For this “day” use you find all sorts of hammocks starting at a few “bucks”. The only requirement for those is to support your weight.
A “proper” over night 3 to 4 season hammock and/or tent needs to be sturdy, reliable, waterproof and offer good isolation against the cold. It needs to keep the bugs off too, of course. Many find that one needs to have the ability to change the sleeping position. Being locked up in one specific “hang” isn´t everybody’s cup of tea (or banana shake for that matter).
To that you´d need to add the cost of a good sleeping bag which I´d budget with at least 2.000 kr.
As you can see the systems run pretty much head to head. The Draumr without TAK is a bit cheaper, but you do not have the rain protection from the tarp. However, it is included for the case you already own a tarp or want to use a different one than the one offered by Amok. There are much larger tarps available. I personally own several.
Of course there are cheaper systems out there, but you as so often in life – you get what you pay for. In the case of an outdoor sleeping systems the worst you pay is a cold and miserable nights sleep and in worst case the end of your holiday due to the cold you got.
There is no clear winner really. Both are head to head in terms of manufacturing quality. They score similar in points and you should try both – heck maybe even own both. One thing is clear – these type of “proper” camping hammocks win over tents any time … as both can be used as a warm and comfy chair for the morning coffee. You just need to find someone to serve the breakfast 😉
We at outdoorshop.no do believe in customer service and our goal is to provide you the best gear around so you can relax and be sure you have good and tested equipment at your disposal. We try and test everything intensively and only sell things we approve for own use.
The summer is coming to end here in Norway and the fall season started with a bang. We went for a weekends fishing trip to a lake in Østfold. The lake was very nice and so was the weather. The conditions were fantastic and we managed to trick a few fish to our flies. Not as many as we´d liked, but it was good enough for a healthy breakfast.
Konstanse went for mushrooms and quickly filled her basket.
Sunday morning was picture perfect so we used this opportunity to take a few pics of the new love – the Lawson Hammock. We heard from many that they are afraid to fall out of a hammock or even have experienced this with standard hammocks, we (as in me and myself) decided that Konstanse should try to turn the hammock upside down.
See for yourself what happened. Here´s a short video clip on how to roll back and even sleep on your side.
You find the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock and the LightSaver by PowerFilmSolar in our shop.
3:30 am … my left shoulder hurts caused by that big rock which crawled under the tent all by itself during the night. When I chose my campspot I did not notice it. I scanned the area I was to put the tent visually and with my feet. Heck, I even crawled around and smelled the earth. Nothing but as smooth and soft underground for my tent.
The next day was miserable because I was tired, sore and grumpy. Fishing sucked of course with such a start.
Cool soft spot. Brilliant sleep. However – it rained. Heavy. Good I had this super modern “let-no-water-in” tent because the soft spot I found was in a bit of ditch, which now looks like a swimming pool with a small tent in he middle ..
Have you been there? I am sure you have and like me, sort of gave up tenting … tent camping is now a last resort for me.
But than came the change — hammocking. Lawson style …
Through Paul Arden I was introduced to Wes at Lawson Hammock. He was so kind get me one of their Blue Ridge Camping Hammocks and I’ve been using it this summer. None of the above has happened and I am convinced that this tent hung between trees is a small revolution. It works much better than a traditional tent. At least for those who only need shelter for small tours and sleeping.
Lawson’s Blue Ridge Camping Hammock also keeps the bugs away and lifts me up above all the rocks, roots and other nasty things disturbing my sleep.
I am convinced – actually so much that I decided to import and sell it. Just so you know ….
So what do you need …
a Lawson Hammock (rainfly and netting is included)
2pcs 6mm thick rope, 8m each – you don´t need any shakles and fancy hammock hanging “stuff” – you can of course, but better to save that money
tent plugs/stakes & tent ropes in case you want to use the Lawson like a conventional tent. This gear can also be used to stop the hammock from swinging. Useful in very windy conditions.
Fastening the hammock is very simple. As you have two rope ends you can simply tie the hammock with an overhand knot. Make sure the knot sits uniform on side of the knot of the hammock´s attachment point. No shackles and other “stuff” needed. This makes the hammock´s hang very adjustable.
Than it´s time to fix the bugnet which is included with the hammock. It´s kept upright by tentpoles.
Attaching the rain cover
There are several attachment point on the rain cover. A hook at each end, two clips at each end and velcro points which fit to their mates on the bottom of the hammock and two bungee cord loops each end.
Inside the Lawson Blue Ridge
The hung tent does not feel closed-in or tippy at all. It´s roomy and ariflow is very good. There are pockets for small stuff as well as a point each end to attach a lamp or similar. Along the “bottom” there are a number of velcro attachment spots for a insulation mattress cover.
it´s a tent too
using the Lawson in a traditional tent arrangement is very simple. Just fix the attachment point to the ground with tentplugs.
It´s a love hate relationship with action cams … mostly because these things are like another hand in your wallet … once having a hero one needs tons of other stuff … sounds familiar – well — clamp it 😉
clamp it ….
Something else – we need one very essential thing —- water. Without clean water there is no fishing, period. No scientific proof needed. It is a fact. Everybody knows that water is life, and without clean water there is no life. It seems like there are some people out the porposely unaware. They don´t care. Their only interest is money. They need the water – our all water – to dump mining spoil, chemicals and so forth in it.
One would think that at least in countries where the gouvernment is elected by the people, would prevent the industry moguls from spoiling live for all. Spoiling in the literal sense. We see now that this is a naive hope. Some don´t care. They use the power they got from the people to make themselves and their buddies richer – they want want money … not life.
The logical consequence is that these in danger and with their backs against the wall – I´m talking about you – you – you and yes you – have to fight and take the power back.
Water does not know borders – and so should not our fight have borders. It´s an international alliance we have. A natural alliance based on the water we all need to live.
Leaders seems to be on the menu lately. I learned from my old friend Bernie – who sadly passed away this year. That he was pretty old (over 85 or so – nobody really knows) does not ease the loss. I really miss him. He was quite a character.
Back in the days we worked on a leader which allows very precise control. The rivers Kyll and Ahr we fished together in Germany, were small and we did not want the loop to open until the very end of the leader. Otherwise the fly ended up in the bush above – we are talking tunnel fishing here.
the video is a documentary about Bernie
… my first proper flyfishing teacher (nevermind the clown with the microphone)
Generally speaking (in fishing-lingo that is) a leader is the piece of line between the hook and the main line. This piece of line is normally somewhat smaller in diameter than the main line. Various sorts come into play, level line monofilament for bait fishing, wire (for pike and the like), a shock leader for fishing in the sea – and the so-called tapered leader for angling with the fly.
That’s it. There’s not much more to say, is there? Well if it were all so simple you’d not be on this web site, would you?
Presenting the fly to a fish (tossing a hook with fluff around onto or in the water – in simpler language) is a rather complex affair, which should not be underestimated. So let’s look at the problem from the start, the feeding fish in a stream, Mr. fish is looking upstream, feeding. He grabs a bite whenever the big conveyer belt-like flow brings food downstream- either on the water surface or in the water body. Therefore the fish is looking upstream virtually all day.
A rather boring life. Well fish don’t know that, so… However, being in such a position for extended periods of its life imprints some very well-defined patterns in that little fish brain. For instance, the fish has never seen a mayfly with a v-wave in front like a boat, so you (the clever angler) needs to avoid this happening. Sounds simple.
Presenting a fly like that is called dead drift. OK, there are other forms, the famous running sedge or the little bait fish escaping for example, but in imitating all such behaviour one must have good control over the lure.
I guess you start to get my point. Let’s continue looking at dead drift. Drag (that tiny, tiny v-wave), is caused by a taut line. Therefore you need slack line between you and the fly. The trick is to have just enough slack in the line to avoid drift, but enough contact to hook up with fish. The flowing current does not make this any easier.
So that’s the problem in a nutshell. The more natural your presentation looks to the fish, the more you’ll catch, particularly the wild ones.
The system consisting of fly line and precisely matched rod tapers all the way to the end point. At the end of the line a leader is attached.
Casting this system is done with subtlety rather than power, as it is manoeuvered to develop a loop. This loop gains great speed, even when cast with the most minimal power. This power needs to be spent so the fly lands on the water with natural elegance. The more precisely such behaviour is mimicked, the more fish you catch.
Landing a dry fly softly also increases its tendency to float. This allows you to use sllimmer and more natural fly designs. Likewise for Nymphs, which you can drop into the water precisely where you want them. When you can control the amount of slack in the leader and tippet, a nymph can sink without being hindered by the line. The flies don’t need much or even any weight added to them.
There are tapered, furled or braided, and knotted leaders. All have pro and cons. In my opinion the knotted type is preferable for the type of fishing described above. So I looked deeply into this kind of leader.
My very first book on Fly-fishing was “A fly fisher’s life” by Charles C. Ritz – ASIN: B0007EI4CU which had some information about knotted leaders. As this was „an old“ book I smiled arrogantly and went ahead tossing hard-earned money out of the window by shopping for all these fantastic things one gets offered by the „industry“. You guess the outcome. The fishing never really worked. Through contact with some other anglers and reading more in books and the „net“ I frequently ran into advocates of the hand-tied leader.
So I searched for my first book again to look for the detailed recipes for knotted leaders. Charles C. Ritz describes three main parts of a leader.
power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
taper – 20% of the total leader length
Tippet – 20% of the total leader length
The total length is in Ritz’ book is never really more than 2,9m. I suspect this is because of shorter and different action of the cane rods of the time.
From other sources I heard that a leader should be 1.5 times the rod length. I found others advocating a similar ratio so I applied this to the Ritz 60/20/20 system and experimented. With modern rods and lines I concluded that a leader of 1.35 times the rod length worked best for me. I tied a few for some friends as well and the reactions were all more than positive. As this system seems to work for my friends from Lapland to Nevada, that is why I am sharing it with you here.
On to the technical bit. The single pieces of monofilament line are tied together with blood knots, named after their inventor Mr. Blood. These knots are ideal as they provide a perfectly straight connection without any bends and turns. I mostly use Maxima camo for the leader and Stroft GTM for the tippet, but choice of monofilament is very much up to you. If you believe all the hype, you can even use fluorocarbon.
For the connection of taper and tippet I insert a little ring, known as leader ring. The Leader itself is connected to the fly line with a nail knot or similar. Don’t worry about having to change the whole leader often. You won’t have to.
Have fun tying the leader. It’s a little easier with using a Blood-Knot tool though.
There is quite a lot of underfur and snippets left over. I keep them in small plastic pouches and make new dubbing with it. How? …
Don´t throw it away. Keep the waste you have when tying. Why? The old is new. Dubbing specifically. Have I mentioned I use a lot of fur, mostly hare, for my flies? No? I am sure I have.
What the hell do you do with that old coffe grinder I am often asked – when people find it on my tying desk and not in the kitchen. Honestly – I buy ground coffe, even though I have a very nice hand driven grinder. Anyway – coffee is essential to fly fishing. Cooked in a small pot over campfire. Brilliant. Nothing beats this. I do not understand when people call it a fishing trip and do not have the very essentials with them … a coffepot and coffe that is.
That is maybe the main reason I emigrated … ze Germanz allow campfire only with permission and whatnot …. different here in Scandinavia. However, Grunde has a good life hack for places with limited allowance for campfire. Some very special pot which has the fire inside and the water in som sort of tube around the fire inside. Very very technical. It envolves a lot of blowing too – but his coffee is among the best on this planet. Must be his company as well.
OK, back to the coffee grinder on my tying desk … I have an old electric grinder I use to blend dubbing. Just give it very short burst. Watch your fingers … and oh – of course keep the lid on when “grinding” your dubbing. Only use small amounts and check your result after a “burst”. You do not want to shred the stuff to dust.
So nature has to really prepare the animals living under such circumstances. They need real high outdoor clothing. The area I fish in summer is that cold. They hit minus 40 and below every year. This created a very special breed of hare …
Ice. Snow. Cold. That is what one thinks when hiring the word “arctic” – the record in Norway is minus 50 or so C. That is technically speaking damn cold. Unimaginable cold. I was in minus 27. That was cold. But minus 30 and below is really way too much for me. Call me a wimp if you will.
The hares of Lierne grow really big. I call them “jurassic hare” … the T-Rex of the “Lepus” family. They are very strong and fast and have very good meat. This is why the people up there hunt for them in fall before the temps get too harsh.
Really tough men these hare hunters. Hard shelled and soft hearted amazing human beings with a real good sense of humor. However, when I presented them with the request for hare feet they laughed. They couldn´t see the connection to fishing. It took a few years until they started to take this serious and were so nice to keep the feet for me. They are of course compensated generously for their efforts.
The hare feet are huge. Twice or three times as much material one normally finds. The fibres are really long too. I use it for a lot of flies. It floats well and has a very interesting shine to it. – by the way – you can use thesearch function on sexyloops for “hare” so you find all the patterns.
Since I also had few front feet I dared to dye them. It worked really well. Thanks to all the good advice from the “seals fur guru” Claus Damsgaard Jensen. Thanks again for all the help.
Drop me a note if you are interested in some of the feet. I have few “on stock” now. This is really special stuff.
Hey honey, what are you in bathroom so long for. — Oh, erm … no nothing. — But what´s that noise? Is all alright — (the man comes out of the bathroom with a pair of pliers in his hands and a guilty look on his face) — what did you need the pliers for ?? — Oh, I just fixed something. —- OK, I got you – you stole the chain for sink lock again. Give it back ….
….. such and similar scenarios happened in many flyfishers homes back in the day. Now the tackle industry has saved us fly-tiers (and future generations of tiers) from such embarrassing moments. However, I still fancy chains found in hotels.
Always carry pliers or better a Multi Tool like a LeatherMan 300. I have lost mine in one of these completely useless and stupid security checks at the airport … what is all this 100ml nonsense about for example? Utter BS if you ask me. And what could you do with a pair of pliers or a pocket knife? Pauls socks are allowed in the cabin … they are more dangerous. Believe me. Anyway, I go along with French Airlines banning swedish canned herring known as surströmming from airplanes. That´s a bomb this stuff. However, it doesn´t taste as bad as it smells … herring … right — sorry – back to the actual topic. Fishing.
So in previous article we covered the topic of legs. Now something similar – eyes. There´s many who believe eyes are important on streamers and such. The easiest way is to use the above mentioned «chain eyes»
I like them because one can balance the fly with them, meaning they «turn» the fly in the water the way you have intended it to. Hook up or down for example. Very easy to use and not expensive (heck even free should you dare to take them from that hotel bathroom).
How to attach the eyes is very simple too, and even easier if you do not cut the the chain before them «eyes» are secured with thread wraps.
Next week we´ll do a fly with them .. I promise. And how about discussing «eyes» on streamers on the board? I´d like to hear all the pro´s and cons.