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Our first day on the Butterfield Hiking trail was definitely the hardest day of our backpacking trip. More than once we questioned our abilities to complete the task but found certain comforts in falling asleep together under one tent. While Syfy slept like a baby, the Hippy Hubby and I were up nearly all night long trying to find comfort on a very hard rock for our bed. I had made the mistake of not buying us sleeping pads, and we both paid for it with bruises lining our hips and dark circles under our eyes. I wouldn't make that mistake EVER again.
With dawn brings a new day and a new hike
As soon as the sun began to rise on the second day of our hike, the Hippy Hubby wanted to get up and get things going right away, so I began to boil water for our homemade oatmeal packets while he went to go filter water and refill all of our packs. Syfy looked so comfy and warm sleeping in his sleeping bag that I let him sleep in a little longer until I had the oatmeal and hot cocoa ready to enjoy. It felt like yesterday's difficulties had washed away with the rainstorm overnight, and today was going to be a totally different day than yesterday. After packing up, we headed out to from the shelter of our first camp.
We walked through the mist towards the unknown
In the cool foggy morning, it seemed like a brand new day with a totally different hike than the day before. As we slowly descended in elevation, we seemed to fly through our miles, hitting Rock Hole Camp (7 miles) by 10 am. Having planned to be there by noon for lunch, I was pretty stoked that we were moving much faster than I had anticipated for Syfy's first backpacking trip. Rock Hole Camp was amazing and the perfect place for us to stop for our early lunch. Someone had stacked large rocks on one another, forming caveman-like couches and chairs around a well-used fire pit. This site was right next to the overflowing creek, making it a very tranquil place to eat our lunch. While we ate, we only saw one group of backpackers pass us by. Other backpackers on this trail seem to be sparse!
Our last 3 miles for the day
After eating our early lunch in such a beautiful spot, it was hard to put my heavy pack back on and hit the path again. We planned to camp for the night at Junction Camp since I had read online that it's the best of the two camp spots. The rest of our hike for the day proved to be a little bit tougher than our morning, with some more climbing in elevation. Keeping our same pace from our morning hike, we booked it to the junction in the trail, surprising ourselves with how fast we made our miles for the day. It was only 2 pm! The trail that leads off the BHT to the official campsite was a very steep and rocky downhill climb. We were going to have a hell of a time starting our next morning climbing a mile back uphill to the trail. I put those thoughts off for tomorrow and excitedly climbed down the hill to assess all of the available spots.
The early bird gets the worm
We were so early getting to Junction Camp that we had the pick of the litter when it came to all the available campsites! We picked a spot that was further down the trail and the trees opened up to overlook the overflowing creek below. Just like Rock Hole Camp, each of the campsites had stacks of large rocks around the fire pits, making wonderful benches and chairs that sat around the campfire. The first thing we did was to strip down and check each other for ticks. I carefully removed a few off of both the Hippy Hubby and Syfy, and waited patiently while the Hippy Hubby checked me too (I only had one, whew!!!).
Playing on our own private rocky beach
After setting up camp, we decided to all go down to the rocky beach that our campsite overlooked Overjoyed at another chance to play in water, Syfy ran down the short path to the creek. This part of the creek was much calmer than others we had encountered, so we all stepped into the creek to cool ourselves off. Silas ran up the rocky shore, looking for flat stones he and the Hippy Hubby could try skipping. While they skipped stones, I laid on a large rock and sunned for a bit. Listening to the sounds of my guys playing in the creek and nature all around us, I was nearly lulled me to sleep so I got up and made my way back up to camp to set up my sweet new Kammok Roo hammock! If I was going to take a nap in the wild, it might as well be in comfort and style!
The Kammok Roo hammock and Python straps that we are talking about came from the good folks at Kammok (You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram). I was generously given these Kammok products to review, but my opinions are my own! I will only share with you products that I myself love and use personally!
Joy comes from hanging in the trees
Before we had even left for our backpacking trip, I knew that I wanted a hammock to camp with. After many spinal cord surgeries and subsequently a bad back, I knew my body would much prefer to sleep in a hammock than on the hard ground. I had wanted to use my hammock the entire trip, but I had no rain tarp so I had to wait for a clear night to try sleeping in it. Day two was looking to be that day! It had been cloudy and foggy in the morning, but it was sunny with blue skies that afternoon. Back at camp, I pulled out the Kammok Python straps and prepared to hang my Kammok Roo in the trees next to our tent. Being a novice hammocker, I really had no idea just how easy it actually is to set up a hammock. I had anticipated it to be a long arduous process that would have a learning curve to it, but boy was I wrong about this one! With the Kammok Python straps, hanging it was literally as easy as 1-2-3-4.
Hanging a Kammock Roo is as easy as 1-2-3-4
- Using the slip knot technique, wrap 1 python strap around the first tree or rock.
- Repeat no. 1 around the second rock or tree.
- clip the caribeaner on one side of the hammock to one of the loops on the python straps.
- Repeat no. 3 on the opposite python strap. Now lay back and enjoy!
Texas made and built to last
Made of Kammok’s proprietary diamond ripstop fabric, LunarWave, the Roo is incredibly lightweight (weighing only 24 oz. WITH the caribeaners!), tear-resistant, breathable, and roomy enough for two (It'll hold up to 500 lbs.). The Roo hammock packs easily into its attached water-resistant compression sack, getting down to the size of an angry blowfish. It also comes fully equipped with two patent-pending Kanga Claw carabiners, and two (2) Dyneema Racer Slings (that’s $34 of climbing gear).
“The Roo is a camping hammock built for life changing adventure. Inspired by the kangaroo, this camping hammock will get you off the ground in a hurry, give you a comfortable, secure place to rest, and then pack up quick so you can continue on your way. The Roo comes with climbing rated carabiners and dyneema slings, but you'll also want to grab our Python Straps (sold separately), two 10ft daisy-chain suspension systems that allow you to quickly and safely hang your Kammok Roo around any tree, rock, post, or anchor point capable of bearing their weight.”
I take my Kammok everywhere with me for instant hanging relaxation
Backpacking isn't the only place that I love to use this easy-to-set-up hammock, I've been carrying it around with me when Syfy and I walk to the park! It's so much nicer relaxing in a hammock under the trees, while he plays on the playground with the other kids. I've even noticed quite a few parents showing interest in my comfy idea. I might have started a trend here. The kiddo and I have enjoyed bringing the hammock with us everywhere, putting it up wherever we decide to hang out. We've hung in our Roo everywhere from the park to our apartment patio, and every tree in between.
Hanging heaven and it's lighter than a tent+sleeping pad
After a night of no sleep and plenty of bruises on my body, I was very excited to sleep in my Kammok. The Hippy Hubby was a little jealous that I got to sleep off the ground that night and he didn't. Poor Hippy Hubby! Next time we'll bring 2 hammocks and Syfy can sleep in the tent by himself lol! As I climbed into my Kammok Roo and adjusted myself in my sleeping bag, I let out a loud sigh of relief. Now THIS is hanging heaven! I said loud enough for the Hippy Hubby to hear. I heard him unzip the tent and saw a single finger waving in the air at me. I let out a loud laugh and said Goodnight! I love you! Tomorrow we get back to our car and get to go home! To all of us, home sounded nice. We couldn't wait to get back to our beds, our furry family members, and our toilets.
A midnight thief came to our camp in hopes of getting away with the goods
After falling asleep in my comfy hammock, I was awoken by the sounds of someone searching around our camp. I sat up and looked outside my hammock to find a raccoon searching our camp for any spare food he could steal from us. Too bad for him we hung our food from thieves such as himself. The raccoon seemed to get so close to my hammock, I practically held my breath hoping not to upset him. From the tent, I heard the Hippy Hubby stirring and peeking through the stargazing windows on the tent. We smiled at each other in the darkness, because Syfy was going to be mad he missed the raccoon. He had said before falling asleep that he had hoped he would see one that evening. It was already too late to wake him, the raccoon was gone. We whispered “I love you” in the darkness and both laid down back to sleep. Tomorrow we would walk 6 miles to the end of our adventure. We had almost accomplished our goal.
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