If you’re just sleeping and relaxing in your hammock, you’re doing something wrong. This simple piece of fabric strung between two trees has far more potential than anyone gives it credit for. Use it as a wedding dress! Fix your car with it! Treat pneumonia with it! Fight sharks with it! Hammocks are great for lots of things and adding new uses to the list is beneficial to hammockers everywhere.
When you get home from a relaxing palm tree vacation, or a brutal ultra-light trek, you normally pack up your ENO into a tight ball until your next adventure. But, with a few reinforced ties on the wall, that hammock can get strung up to serve as a loft for miscellaneous gear that isn’t easily placed on a shelf or in boxes. You’ll maintain quick access and who’s to say you don’t take a quick nap in it every once in a while either.
If you need a quick makeshift bear bag on the trail, wrap up your treats in your hammock and tie the ends to a long piece of cord. Toss over a sturdy tree branch and hang at least 20 feet off the ground and preferable 6 feet away from the tree’s trunk.
No trees? No problem. If you’ve got a rainfly and a few sticks or makeshift supports, you can turn your hammock into a tent. Lay the hammock on the ground and tie the ends to sticks you’ve erected in the ground. You’ll lay on the ground inside the hammock, but tying the ends up will create a shallow barrier between you and anything crawling around. Set up your rainfly as per usual and you’ve got a tent that any backpacker would be jealous of.
In some situations, like kayaking or skiing, you can turn your hammock into a makeshift sail and effortless travel through the outdoors. Tie long cords to the ends of your ENO and carefully let the wind fill and lift the hammock. Hold on to the lines once they’re airborne and you and your kayak or skis will get swept away with the breeze.
If you’re in survival mode, your hammock can be incredibly useful for catching fresh rain water. Keep the hammock up while it’s raining and place a fist-sized rock at the lowest hanging point. Rain will gather there for drinking. If it starts to soak through, the rock will guide it in such a way that it drips out in one place. Set up a container underneath the rock and let your ENO serve you a cold glass of H2O.
Lots of ENO hammocks incorporate bright, stylish colors to make sure you look good while swaying in the outdoors. If you find yourself in survival mode and no longer care about looking good, you can use those bright colors to help signal to rescuers in planes and helicopters. Stretch it out and hold it down with rocks or wave it around to catch even more attention. You’ll still look good, just in a different way.