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Hammock comparison

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 makes 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).


just take two baby ….

there are two systems on the marked we like to talk about. The Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock and the Amok Draumr 3.0. We import the Lawson and sell it through our shop, whereas the Draumr is sold by AMOK  directly to the end users. By using the voucher code AMOKZULLICH you can get a 10% at the AMOK webshop.

The Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock is a very easy to use hammock which is also doubles as a ground tent. Bug net and rainfly are incorporated into the design. The construction of the Lawson allows for sleeping sideways, on your back and on your stomach.

The Lawson Hammock is n improved bar end hammock (as opposed to a gathered end hammock). This type of construction rasults in a pretty spacious Hammock with a lot of rom inside. The body is not clamped in the hammock. Lying in it feels more like sleeping a proper bed.

Insulation agains the cold is achieved by using an underquilt on the underside  inside. The Lawson Blue Ridge Kit is available in our shop.

 

The DRAUMR hammock is a a ratter unusual concept and does not exactly follow the “hammock” idea in the classical sense. Thinking ut of the box is nice and can result in brilliant products like the Draum 3.0. The Draumr is a bit more complicated to set up as it has more parts to it. For A proper setup you need the Draumr 3.0 hammock, the tarp and a good inflatable sleeping pad. This set costs around 4.500 kr.

As you can see on the picture, the body orientation is 90 degrees to the hanging points. The problem of having surface, say bed to sleep on is solved by inserting an inflatable mat into the construction. The benefit is that one can use modern sleeping pads with fibre or down insulation. The drawback is that if the pad should loose air, the system does not work at all any more So if you are one of those people puncturing inflatable things like pads and tyres often, this is not for you maybe. Inflating the pad ads to the setup time too.

Comparison

To booth  you´d need to add the cost of a good sleeping bag which I´d budget with at least 2.500 kr.

Both hammocks run pretty much head to head. The main difference i setup time. Everything else is personal preference and taste. Both are of top notch manufacturing quality, which reflects in the price.

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

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The Underquilt

It couldn’t be simpler, yet more effective. The Lawson quilt is a multi-layered textile filled with super hi tech microfibre. I could not wait to test it.

We had a lot of snow lately and the tops were around -5 to -10 at night. I had very nice sunshine during the day while I walked to a nice spot I know right by a lake.

The pitching of the hammock went quick as ever and attaching the quilt to it is a breeze. Just attach it to the bars of the Lawson Blue Ridge hammock. I tested the hammock without a sleeping bag frist to see what difference the quilt makes. And what a difference it made. The microfibre filling is super effective. It could immediately feel it reflecting my body heat.

During the afternoon the air got more humid and the wind started blowing. Not problem at all. I stayed cozy in warm.

The quilt packs relatively small and is pretty light. The whole set with hammock, quilt and rope weighs around 2,4 kg / 5pounds, which for a backpacker is on the little heavier side, but it is worth the effort to carry this extra weight. However, winter touring is often with skis or snowshoes and a pulk, a little sled for the carriage which is pulled. Using a lawson hammock with a quilt certainly makes camping in winter much more comfortable and easy.

get the hammock and the quilt in our webshop here:

http://www.outdoorshop.no/?product=lawson-underquilt

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Hammock Testing at Steinbruvannet

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.

Here´s the link to the Facebook event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/175017786408341/

 

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Late summer trip in Norway

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.

 

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Lawson hammock tenting on Sommarøy

Maybe that was the furthest north such a tent has come so far? 69°38’5″N, 18°0’46″E – I used the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock during my last 6 week travel in northern Norway and Sweden. Simply fantastic. It normally is hung between trees. However, some places did not have trees like this spot on Sommarøya (summer island) north of Tromsø. Not a problem. I used it like a normal tent than. – Check http://shop.tzflyfishing.no/ for more information and ordering. #motorcycle#motorcycles #bikelife #instabike#motorbike #photooftheday#instamotogallery #bmw #bmwmotorrad#norway #scandinavia #freedom #nofilter#travel #traveling #GSA #GSAdventure#makelifearide

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Leader Design

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.

  1. power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
  2. taper – 20% of the total leader length
  3. 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.

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leaders for trout fishing

t.z. | Friday, 4 September 2015

I dug out an older text I wrote quite some years back. I recently heard from a quite respected flyfisher from Ireland that he found my artcile in 2007 and it was an eye opener to him. I think this text should be in the s-loops archives.

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 adding 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 – 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 can guess the outcome. The fishing didn´t quite work out for me. 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.

1. power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
2. taper – 20% of the total leader length
3. 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 (I think it was Paul actually) 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 used Maxima or Stroft for the leader and Stroft for the tippet, but choice of monofilament is very much up to you. If you believe all the hype, you can even use fluorocarbon.

Here is the leader recipe for a 9ft rod – I like to start with 0,50 or 0,45 with a 5wt line

1. power transmission – 2 pieces – 116cm 0,45 and 106cm 0,40
2. taper – 20% – 4 pieces 19cm each stepping down 0,35 – 0,30 – 0,25 – 0,20
3. Tippet – 20% – 80 cm – 0,18 to 0,12 depending on fly choice

And this is what I use mostly nowadays on my 4wt HT

1. power transmission – 1 piece – 200cm 0,40
2. taper – 20% – 2 pieces 30cm each stepping down 0,30 – 0,20
3. Tippet – 20% – 80 cm – 0,18 to 0,12 depending on fly choice

For the connection of taper and tippet insert a little ring, known as leader ring. The Leader itself is connected to the fly line with a nail knot. 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 a discussion on the board about leaders – http://www.sexyloops.co.uk/theboard/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1721

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The 5 Fly Casting Essentials

Essentials of fly casting by Bill Gammel – presented by Carl McNeil
watch these vids for better understanding the fly cast … and if you like these vids get a DVD from Carl. Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

Introduction

Essential 1, Eliminate Slack line

Essential 2, Timing

Essential 3, Vary the Casting Arc

Essential 4, Power Application

Essential 5, Straight Line Path of the Rod Tip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bg6njFSKv4

BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE – tzflyfishing.no

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STORING YARN 

 

Some yarns can just be the ticket. Like this green yellow olive something I got from Staffan Lindström. It is perfect for extended bodies like the one on this sedge emerger. (Tied on a CZF hook size 16).

However, these tiny amounts – a few yards are good for a lifetime – are difficult to store. I found this to be a neat trick… just wind the yarn around a clothes peg and hey presto, you save hours untangling!

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

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DUBBING IN A STRAW 

Is your tying table cluttered and are you drowning under dubbing?

A nice method of organising dubbing (self-made or shop-bought) is simply to stuff it into clear drinking straws – thanks to Mike Connor for that tip – and then keep the collection in a mug. This has the great advantage of being extremely handy as it means you can hold your dubbing supply in the thread hand (right hand for right hand tiers). It also makes touch dubbing very easy and blending various colours becomes a piece of cake.

This means no more mess on the table, amazing! OK … dream on, maybe not quite but anyway I found it to be a nice thing.

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no