Grand Trunk Parachute Hammock

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http://www.grandtrunkgoods.com/2013/06/win-grand-trunk-gear

In celebration of National Hammock Day, July 22, 2013, I received a parachute hammock for review. Here is a chance to win your very own hammock. The parachute hammock according to the product booklet sent by Grand Trunk is as follows:

Hanging kit
Dimensions: 10’6″ L x 5′ W
Weight: 16oz
Capacity: 400 LBS
Price: $ 50

Below is the hammock in its attached stuff sack.

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Grand Trunk also has many other styles of hammocks to choose from. I’m sure one will suite your needs. In the next couple if weeks I plan on providing a full review. I can’t wait to use it and good luck on the free give away.

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Ricketts Glen State Park and Backpacking 101 with the PATC

Beginning in April I attended the backpacking 101 course offered by the PATC. PATC
The course offered a class room instruction followed by a weekend of car camping culminating in a weekend overnight backpacking trip. The entire experience was amazing. The course offered a beginning backpacker great advice and assistance with gear selection.

The overnight trip was great. The weather, company, and trail made a first experience in the Shannendoah National Park wonderful. A special thank-you to Cindy and Bill our PATC instructors for their patience and sense of humor and cooking skills.

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The course gave me the confidence to take the wife to Ricketts Glen State park. We had a great time and enjoyed the views of many waterfalls.
(Ricketts Glen)

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Planning the next trip. So many places to see so little time. Can’t wait to get out there and work keeps getting in the way.

Rapidan Camp Shanendoah National Park

On June 1, 2013, to participate in national trail day (national trail day) my wife and I joined Bill from the PATC (http://www.patc.net/PublicView/) who led the hike to Rapidan camp.(http://www.nps.gov/shen/historyculture/rapidancamp.htm.) The National Park Service as well as the PATC had booths set up with many activities and lectures for the day. The PATC also had sign up sheets for various free guided hikes for people to get out on the trail and experience the national park.

The sign up sheet for Rapidan was full and at 9:30 the task of getting 14 strangers in the same place to get instructions and directions to the trail head proved a bit challenging. With some patience and deep breaths it all came together. Once driving arrangements were finalized the group departed, we arrived at the trail head and began the hike at 10:00 am. The hike was beautiful the weather excellent, and the scenery was sublime.

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While on the trail we spotted a couple of deer who seemed to find us interesting and actually began to follow us. (Don’t feed the wildlife) Once at the camp we were able to take a self guided trail providing the history of the camp and adjacent buildings. A retired school teacher from Minesota provided a guided tour of President Hoover’s camp. His knowledge of the camp and answers to the questions was impressive.

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Prior to departure the wife and I had a light snack and then back to the trail. The trail was rated moderate but was not very long. The trail was mostly light downhill on the way in with a few stream crossings. The streams are catch and release for trout. Although I didn’t see any, I spoke to a fly fisherman on the way out and he said he had caught a few using a 16 nymph. The complete hike could easily be accomplished in three hours with time for sightseeing. We arrived back at the parking lot around 1:30 pm about 5 minutes before a heavy thunderstorm. A perfect ending to a great day. Thanks to the PATC and the NPS for a great day.