Everything Else

Rock Climbing + Hammock = AWESOME

Rock climbing is better with a hammock! Check out this great picture posted by Trek Light fan Benji Barton over on our Facebook page:

There seems […]

Trek Light Picks: The Best Albums of 2010

Last year’s post on my favorite albums of 2009 got a lot more traffic than I expected and amazingly I started getting asked about the 2010 edition pretty much as soon as December rolled around.  As I said last year, music plays a big role in my life and is a big part of the Trek Light lifestyle for many of you.  Since I was listening to many of these albums while working, creating and shaping Trek Light Gear this year I’m sure there’s a strong chance they’ve in some way influenced the brand whether I know it or not.   So, here you go, the artists and albums that have been in constant rotation and stood out the most for me in 2010….
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
In Memory Of Loss – Nathaniel Rateliff
“Like an old time revival
Shake your hands
And shake your hips.
Put up all my armor
Let me stand bare
With just two fists.”

In Memory Of Loss is a polished gem, an old jacket that gets better as it ages, a late-night slow burning cigar that forces you to stop and just be for a while.  It’s intimate, finely crafted songwriting and Nathaniel Rateliff’s delivery gives you no choice but to feel what he feels and believe every note.

“It’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play” – Miles Davis

In Memory Of Loss is an album that will have you thinking as much about the production – the mixing, the arrangements, the sound – as the music being played.  And it’s not because of what’s there, it’s because of what isn’t there.   I’ve seen Nathaniel Rateliff a number of times live and all of his songs work great as a full-band production, there’s no question he and his band (formerly known as The Wheel) can rock when they want to (see below).   In any other hands, this album could have been an entirely different beast, but Brian Deck (Califone, Iron & Wine) makes In Memory Of Loss what it is by stripping it all down to the point that would make old Miles smile: the raw, empty space is so potent it becomes as much an instrument as any other.

Do yourself a favor and get this album right now.  Let it grow on you.  Listen to it while swinging in the hammock.  Listen to it with those good headphones you only break out for special albums.  Sip some whiskey and let it burn slowly – In Memory Of Loss is that new desert island album you’ve been looking for.

Brakeman – Nathaniel Rateliff
You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy – Nathaniel Rateliff
Whimper And Wail – Nathaniel Rateliff

Here’s Nathaniel Rateliff in a live setting, playing with a mix of his own band and Delta Spirit:

The rest of the albums on this list come in no particular order since trying to rank them is much too difficult.  I chose to highlight a few and tell you what I love about them, which is followed by a list of about 20 more albums that I loved this year.

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A Way To Get A Little More Under The Tree

Just wanted to let you all know about a quick and fun way to make the holidays a little better this year.  If you receive […]

Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

One of the things I love most about running Trek Light Gear is the fact that even with a small product line, we’ve managed to […]

Hammocks Are In Heaven (And Pop Culture)

Happy Friday!  I came across this comic the other day which gave me a laugh…

Since I started paying attention, I’ve noticed that hammocks tend to […]

The Hammock Angle: How To Relax (And Sleep) Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper

Relaxing or sleeping in a hammock is easy, right? Chances are you've been doing it wrong. The secret to the best sleep of your life is to hang your hammock the right way & lie flat at an angle across it - find out how in this incredibly eye-opening guide.

A Win-Win-Win: Help Us Help You And Win LOTS of Free Trek Light Gear

If you couldn’t tell from the last newsletter I sent out, one of the things I love most about Trek Light Gear is the community […]

A Small School With A Big Hammock Problem: A Trek Light Gear Solution

While most universities are fighting to regulate student problems like underage drinking and drug abuse, there’s at least one school with a much different problem on its hands: the students at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA are into hammocking in a big way. Enough so that the school has had to write hammock guidelines into is campus policy, more than once.  (Read the full article here) The problem it seems is not so much that students are setting up their hammocks on campus, but that they’re leaving them out for others to use: “It’s a great scene to see a group of kids hanging out on hammocks with someone strumming the guitar, but they can’t end up flopping in the wind the next day.” – Brad Voyles, Dean of Students When the hammock tradition originally began, the school deemed it necessary to incorporate the following guideline into their school policy: Hammocks must be removed when they are not in use, or they will be confiscated by the Grounds Department. Failure to comply will result in loss of privileges and can include a fine. The school has been pretty lax in enforcing that policy over the years, which led to the current ‘hammock village’ that has become somewhat of a fixture on campus.  It appears the school has finally had enough though and recently sent out the following email to students: “One addition to the [hammock] policy for this year is that we will not be allowing hammocks at any time in front of Carter or any other part of our ‘front yard.’” They did go on to say that hammocks could be setup in other areas around campus as long as the take-down policy is adhered to.  Needless to say though, the new policy and the enforcement of the existing policies has upset a large number of students who see their ongoing hammock community as a sign of brotherly and sisterly love – a lesson the  Christian college preaches daily in its classrooms. A Trek Light Gear Solution I can certainly understand the desire to have a clean and presentable campus environment but it seems to me there are much better ways for the school to accomplish that while embracing this amazing aspect of their culture.  Instead of cracking down on an incredibly healthy and positive activity and forcing the students to set up their hammocks in the more hidden areas of campus, a little bit of regulation and support from the university could easily turn this ‘problem’ into an official part of their school culture.  I mean, how awesome is it that their student base is so passionate about hammocks and sharing that experience with their classmates that they’re finding they have to enforce hammock policies that are upsetting the students?  Here’s my easy solution: Covenant College just needs to setup a simple hammock loaning station for the students.  You sign out a hammock when you need it and return it when you’re done.  When it’s time for you to leave and someone else is ready to use the hammock you can either switch the name on the sign-out sheet or trust that they’ll return it with the responsibility remaining on your shoulders.  A student could probably even have an iPhone app designed in a week to simplify the process for those with iPhones.  Fines or loss of hammock renting privileges could easily be enforced if the hammock is not returned without the current problem of figuring out who’s responsible for a hammock left hanging. […]