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DD Frontline Hammock

DD Frontline Hammock

So the weather and my snuffles improved today, to the point where I could get out and try my new hammock in surroundings it was meant for.

For anyone unfamiliar with the hammock I'll begin with a few quick specifications.

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Name: DD Frontline Hammock.
Size: 2.7m x 1.4m.
Weight: 850g.
Colour: Olive Green.
Features: Dual Breathable Layers (Velcro fastenings, both sides), Mosquito Net (zip fastening, both sides), Internal Pockets/Loops (for storage), Webbing & Elastic Cord (for hanging it up), 2 x Collapsible Poles (For giving the mosquito net a rigid ceiling).

FIRST IMPRESSION

This hammock packs up small, really small, a lot smaller than I expected which made the unpacked size all that more impressive, it was much longer than I had expected. So far I am very impressed.

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TRIAL RUN

It was raining cats and dogs on the evening that I got to play with my new toy so being a rather impatient fellow, to get a good look at it, I decided to set the hammock up indoors.

Employing knots that were heretofore unknown to the world of camping, I managed to hang the hammock, the webbing for the base layers and cord for the mosquito net in under two minutes. Fairly idiot proof so far.

I then spent a good minute trying to get the little fibre glass poles to sit properly in place atop the mosquito net, clearly not completely idiot proof. I stood back and had a good look-see, this is an impressive looking hammock, considering how small it packs down, it is big and sturdy looking.

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To see just how sturdy the Frontline is, I threw caution (and potential household repairs) to the wind and tried sitting in it. Ensuring one side was fully unzipped, I slowly, tentatively leaned back into the hammock, trying to gage if my weight was being supported by the hammock as I approached a near seated position (while also listening for any sound of snapping from the attachment points).

It was (and the attachment points remained thankfully silent) so when I was fully in the seated position, I lifted my feet, did a bit of a comedy roll back, recovered manfully and was soon swinging happily in a seated position. Once I was content that the anchor points were not going to give way, I lifted my feet, changed position and with hardly any trouble I was soon lying in the hammock. As the hammock was hung up indoors, it sagged a fair bit more than you would want it too if you were intending to sleep in it, but even so, it was not uncomfortable.

At this point, I decided I had offered fate enough temptation to dump me on my backside and proceeded to get out of the hammock. Not a difficult manoeuvre at all, granted there was a little comedy fall forward at the end, but I'm going to put that down to lack of practice.

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Making use of hammock sleeve also included, I had the hammock sleeved up then packed up, again in around two minutes. I kept hold of the fibreglass poles and put the packed hammock into a small compression bag I have and this reduced the small packed size quite a bit further which I was rather happy about.

Field Test (Afternoon Only)

As the sun was shining today, I headed out to a little wooded river valley not far from where I live, to test the Frontline outdoors.

Although, I was unable to do a proper overnight test as I'm in work at silly o'clock in the morning, I took my overnight pack out with me, swapping out my tent and accessories for the hammock and poncho (which was filling in for a yet to arrive basha). As the valley is less than five minutes away, I did have most of the afternoon to practice my hammock hanging.

As it turned out, I didn't need that much practice.

Having very little experience with 'proper' knots, after a little googling, I found a how to hang a hammock guide that was very simple to follow. So I found myself two suitably situated trees near the river (well it is more of a stream really) about four meters apart, thick and sturdy, but not to thick I couldn't get my arms around them and checked overhead for anything that might drop and clonk me on the head.

Happy with the location, I set about hanging. Working around my shoulder height, I tied up one end of the webbing fairly quickly, then aiming to make it as level as possible tied up the other end equally as quickly. I ensured there was a little slack and the line was not too rigid, I tied up the mosquito net cordage in a similar fashion at around my head height and inserted the little poles to give the net a rigid ceiling.

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This took five minutes all in.

The moment of truth had arrived and with a bit less trepidation than at the same moment in the trial run, I leaned back into the hammock. As it was hung higher outdoors, than it was indoors, I actually leaned up and in to the hammock, while using my hands to push the hammock down and around my backside. I got to the almost seated position and lifted my legs up. Again there was the little comedy roll back, but as I was expecting this I went with it and kind of swivelled myself into a reclined position. I wouldn't say it was a fluid manoeuvre, as the hammock swung quite wildly, but as I remained in the hammock, hanging between the trees and not in a heap on the ground, it was good enough.

So I lay swinging gently in my hammock for a little while, which was nice. I had a little play with the zips, then the internal pockets, then hung a few bits and pieces in my pockets off the loops. All good fun.

I got bored and decided to have a brew. I would like to report that I exited the hammock with grace, but I kind of popped out of it and having resisted temptation up to this point, fate decided it was time for a little slap to stop me getting too cocky. I stumbled and wheeled about, not enough to lose my balance and hit the deck, but enough to appreciate that if I was not careful, the deck was where I would be.

Thankfully there had been no one around to see me flaying around like a mad person, I settled down to make a brew, gave the hammock an accusing look and realised I had not set up a ridge line to hang my stand in basha poncho over.

So, I set my brew cooking and attempted to set up a ridge line. It soon became apparent that the highest I can reach was not high enough, for the poncho to give the top of the mosquito net sufficient clearance. I set up the ridge line as high as I could reach, draped the poncho over it, secured it, then untied, lowered and re-tied the hammock accordingly.

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When I was happy and done, I still had to wait a couple of minutes for my brew to boil, so it could not have taken me that long to adjust things.

Water boiled, brew made I sat back into the hammock, avoiding the comedy roll back and sat up right swinging gently, drink my brew.

Brew drunk, I manoeuvred myself into a reclined position and let the world go by for a bit, content in the knowledge, that if I were a scout, I could now sew a hammock hanging badge on my woggle. Looking at the blue sky through the tree canopy and listening the the stream flow by, I had a little snooze.

I woke up about an hour later, as it was a warm afternoon but my underside was noticeably cooler than my top. I manoeuvred myself into a sitting position and with a lot less drama, got myself out of the hammock.

One thing I noticed was a little pull I've had in my shoulder for the last couple of days, which has been niggling at me in bed, was now not troubling me at all.

I cleaned and packed away my brew gear, then set about packing away the hammock and makeshift poncho basha and headed home.

If it took me more than five minutes to pack everything away, I would be surprised.

Conclusion

The Frontline is a cracking piece of kit and if I did not have one, I would definitely get one.

It looks the business, is easy to hang up and it is very comfortable to have a siesta in. When my basha turns up, I will take it for another test drive and if I can get away for a cheeky overnighter, I'll take a sleeping mat and bag away with me too. The were a couple of things I didn't try on this occasion, like dispensing with the mosquito net or cocooning myself within the two base layers, but they are things I can try on my next time out with it.

Final Thoughts

If you are in the market for a hammock, but like me have no experience of using one, it would be very hard to go wrong with the Frontline, so I would put this hammock at the top of your wish-list.
Author
Kernowek Scouser
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