This Ain't Your Outer Banks Rope Hammock
I've always been a little skeptical of hammocks for camping or other outdoors activities. When I was younger, the choices were pretty much limited to the traditional rope hammock, or the Vietnam jungle hammock with the mosquito net and cover. The rope one was too bulky and heavy to tote into the boonies, and the jungle hammock just looked terribly uncomfortable for anyone who was on the larger size.
Last Christmas my wife gave me the Double Nest Hammock from ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitters). I'm ashamed to say that I never got around to setting it up, but I took care of that this past Sunday afternoon. It was about 65 degrees, a light breeze, and nice and sunny... an amazing November afternoon. I carried the hammock in its compact stuff sack out to the woods behind the house and found a shady spot between two stout trees.
I was a bit concerned not to find any directions in the sack, but took less than five minutes to get it set up. Now that I've done it once, I am fully confident that I can do it in just a minute or two next time. Basically, you wrap a web strap around each tree. The straps are adjustable for various size trees and distances. The ripstop nylon hammock unfurls and has a caribiner on each end that clips into the strap, and that's it. You're ready. The Double Nest is nice and wide, and rated for 400 pounds. It's available in a huge range of colors. I sunk down into it like a cocoon and settled in for a nice 45 minute nap.
It was comfortable, secure, and easy to set up and take down. It is compact and lightweight, so it can easily go in your backpack if hiking, or in your bug out bag. Whether for naps in the back yard, or camping in the wilderness, the ENO Double Nest is going to be a great Christmas present for that special person.
The Devil's Waters
I've known renowned novelist, David L. Robbins, since I was about 7 years old. Probably his best known book is War of the Rats, which the movie, Enemy at the Gates, was based on. Today his latest novel makes its debut, The Devil's Waters. It is an exciting look at the USAF parajumpers and takes place in the heart of pirate country off the coast of Africa. David strives for realism in his novels and painstakingly researches them. For this novel, he actually hitched a ride on a merchant vessel going through those dangerous waters and also spent time with real PJs. If you like well written literature and fast paced adventure, I think you'll really enjoy this book.