Many people refer to our hammocks as 'camping hammocks'. While camping, hiking and backpacking are amazing uses for our hammocks it was obvious to me very early on that the benefits of a Trek Light Hammock go way beyond its applications in lightweight camping.
I'm sure I'll devote some future blog posts to all the different ways a portable hammock can come in handy, but as I'm starting to plan some trips home for the holidays I started thinking about airline travel in particular. If there's one thing that backpacking and airport travel (or trains, buses, etc.) have in common, it's that you always want to pack as light as possible while making sure that you've got what you need to be comfortable and to be prepared. One of the best ways to do that when traveling of course is to bring items that are multi-use, whether it's a rain jacket that will also keep you warm if it gets cold, clothing and shoes that you can dress up or dress down, etc.
So what makes a Trek Light Hammock the ultimate travel gear?
First of all, whatever you do, don't pack it in your checked baggage! It may seem crazy to you right now to carry around a hammock if you're just on a boring business trip or if you're just going home for the holidays, but trust me you'll be glad you did. Weighing only one pound, the hammock packs up small enough to easily pack it into your carry-on bag or even your laptop case. Airport delays and cancellations are commonplace these days - I'm sure many of you reading this have spent more than a couple hours sitting in airport chairs wishing you had a place to lie down or get comfortable. So why not string up a hammock? If you stop and think about it, most airport terminals are filled with pillars, poles and a million other handy places to put up a hammock. Sure, you might find some airports that aren't keen on you stretching out and getting comfortable but check out this recent blog post titled "Catching Forty Winks at the Airport", along with a quote from an Auckland Airport spokesman:
"While we do not necessarily encourage it in general, Auckland Airport is comfortable with people sleeping here for a night, as long as they are not looking for regular free accommodation." In fact they even recommend the second floor of the international terminal as the "the quietest spot, with lots of seating for passengers to spread out on ... a little darker and easier for them to get a good night's sleep"
There's even a great resource that's sprung up on the web, SleepingInAirports.net, which is gathering reviews and input from people all over to help you find creative ways to get comfortable at the airport along with pointing out the airports that are the most supportive of letting you stretch out and get comfortable. Of course, you're not necessarily planning on having to sleep at the airport, but when that delay or cancellation comes in what's better than knowing you've got a hammock with you to grab some rest? Find a quiet corner and a couple of poles and you'll be the envy of every weary traveler in the airport.
By now you're probably thinking "That's great, but didn't you say you should bring along items with multiple uses?" Well, guess what? At its most basic form, the hammock still stuffed into its pouch is actually the perfect travel pillow! All you've got to do is pick up one of our hammocks to feel how amazingly soft the parachute nylon material is. When packed into the pouch you've got a perfectly comfortable, compact travel pillow that you can use to get some rest on the plane, train, bus, etc. and it sure beats stuffing your jacket into a ball!
Even when your travels go smoothly and without delay you'd be amazed at how much a hammock can come in handy on any trip. Got a balcony at your hotel room? Set up the hammock and you've instantly turned that boring business trip in a boring hotel into relaxing accommodations that will instantly have you feeling like you're on vacation and make you wonder why you ever traveled without a hammock before. (Now, channeling my best infomercial impression): 'But wait, there's more!!!' Budget travel means you're not always staying in the nicest accommodations, right? Ever been in a hotel or hostel bed where even the 'clean' sheets make you think you'd rather sleep on the floor? Well, believe it or not the hammock can also double as a travel bed-sheet liner! All you have to do is remove the small cords at each end of the hammock and you've got a 10 ft x 5ft (or 6.5 ft with the Double!) smooth parachute silk nylon blanket to wrap yourself up in and sleep comfortably and without worry!
So, next time you're getting ready to leave on another trip and you're running through your packing checklist - remember: underwear, shoes, bathing suit, the clothes on your back and a Trek Light Hammock.
If you've got any stories of how Trek Light Gear has made your travels better, let us know in the comments!
If you're not completely convinced, I'll leave you with this: Airplanes. Parachute Hammock. Okay, no, it's not actually a parachute and it's definitely not designed to work as a parachute, but as MacGyver always said: It's better than nothing! (For the record I'm not sure if MacGyver ever said that, but I'm pretty sure a Trek Light hammock would have gotten him out of some jams. Or at least made him more comfortable while he thought of an escape plan.)