Hammock Hunting

The best lightweight, DIY solution to staying warm in the mountains

My son Micah and I decided to spike three miles into the national forest to bow hunt this year. This required loading up pounds and pounds of gear, much of it to stay warm.

Mid-September in Colorado can be kind of tricky. We’re known for our afternoon thunderstorms and very cool evenings, especially at 9,000 feet altitude. Staying off the ground is the key to staying warm, and heavy tents, bulky cots, or hefty floor mats are the most common solutions.

Micah thought of a hammock. What a crazy idea, right? It turned out awesome.

There are only three components to this set up, all lightweight and inexpensive:

  1. The hammock. This was as small and light-weight as a half-full water bottle. No need for self-standing anything: the mountains have millions of aspens to hook up to. Micah bought ours for $24 each at Walmart.
  2. The tarp. The video shows Micah with a 5×7 standard blue tarp, but it is cheaper than he says. It isn’t $20, but only $3 at Walmart. I had a larger brown 8×10 feet tarp that worked a little more snug from Amazon: $6.99.
  3. The sleeping bag. With the hammock underneath and the tarp above, both Micah and I were sealed from the elements, but a 0-degree sleeping bag made for the perfect cocoon. We got our bags from a Coleman Outlet Store for only $39 (a big sale the week before). Regular price on Amazon: $50.17.

You may have some of these items already. The hammock is what makes it extra special. We enjoyed the most excellent nights sleep, refreshed and ready to hunt every morning.

We didn’t harvest any elk this year, but that’s okay. We had a wonderful time together in the great outdoors. And we stayed warm!

You should try hunting in Colorado sometime. It is the most majestic experience.

You should try hunting in Colorado sometime. It is the most majestic experience.

Though we didn't harvest an elk this year, I wouldn't trade the weekend with my son for anything.

Though we didn’t harvest an elk this year, I wouldn’t trade the weekend with my son for anything.

Spiking in allows for afternoon camps in the hammock. If only a herd of elk would have walked across the field at that time.

Spiking in allows for afternoon naps. If only a herd of elk would walk across the field at that time!

Spiking in means that you park at the trailhead and walk into the forest for more than a day. We were three miles in.

Spiking in means that you park at the trailhead and walk into the forest for more than a day. We were three miles in.

 

 

Are you a debater? Join me in Colorado in July for the Training Minds Camp!