115: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017 Report

Show Notes: Episode 115

Today on the First 40 Miles, Heather is back from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City with tales of what she saw!  Next,  today’s SUMMIT Gear Review features a buttery soft, ultrastrong + ultralight hammock.  For today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, you knew that a hammock had to do more than just rock you to sleep—and we’ll confirm your suspicion with today’s hack.  And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from a guy who has some wise insight about backpacking.


Highlights, weirdlights and cool stuff Heather saw at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017.

Top 5 Things I Saw at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2017

The Insulation Revolution

  • Primaloft Thermoplume (blown insulation, similar to down)
  • Mixes of wool, down, synthetic insulation

Boy Scouts of America

  • Stronger than ever
  • Had a visible presence at the show

Market Crossing

  • Brands that were in one market segment (like construction, logging, fracking) are coming over to the outdoors!
  • Fortress Clothing

The Anti-Stink Revolution

  • Polygiene Treatment on Clothing
  • Wool has anti-stink properties

The Outdoors will be America’s Healing Salve

  • It just may be the one thing we can all agree on: being outside is good for us and makes us feel happier, calmer, more centered and balanced.

SUMMIT Gear Review: Kammok Wallaby Hammock (with Python Straps)


  • Kammok really tries to focus on biomimicry as an inspiration for their gear
  • An ultra-portable and ultralight hammock
  • 40D diamond ripstop fabric is strong, packable and silky soft (Gravitas™ Fabric)


  • Strong
  • 400lbs / 181kg
  • 13 kN Carabiners Included 13 kN Mini Kanga Claws and Racer Slings provide superior suspension
  • KiloNewton: 13 kN =2923 pounds-force
  • All the stress points are reinforced
  • 6 Points of gear loops


  • Weighs 10 oz
  • Packed size: 3.5” x 4.5”
  • Kammok Wallaby is 4’ 2” x 8’ 4” / 127cm x 254cm
  • To have a reference, ENO Single Nest is 9 ‘ 4” long x 4 ‘ 7” wide and weighs 16 ounces


  • Hand wash
  • If it’s not entirely dirty, just use a damp cloth to wipe off some dirt spots.
  • However if you need to wash the entire hammock, remove the carabiners and slings
  • Soak the Wallaby in soapy water, ring out, and then rinse in cold clean water
  • Do not use fabric softener, bleach, or stain removal products
  • Hang to dry – the Wallaby will dry quickly in warm/dry environment
  • Hand washing your Wallaby hammock is best, but it can also be cleaned in a washing machine (front-load machines are best because they don’t have an agitator and conserve water)


  • $65 for the Wallaby Hammock
  • $30 for the Python Straps


  • Feels like Play-Doh…the best thing is how this hammock feels…
  • Shorter than most hammocks, which cuts the weight, but it might cut comfort for taller folks
  • Python Straps by Kammok ($30) and have 18 connection points and come two to a package (one for each tree!) , they weigh 12 ounces, hold 500 pounds total.
  • Python straps have reflective material –which we love!
  • Gear loops are great

Backpack Hack of the Week™:  Improvised Hammock Shelter

If you brought a hammock on a backpacking trip, and you’re wondering if your hammock can do double duty, then this is the perfect hack for you!

On many hammocks, you can remove the loops from each of the gathered ends.  Now, your hammock is now one large rectangular piece of fabric.

That means you can turn it into a privacy shelter, a shelter to block the wind, a temporary sun shade, or a simple tarp shelter—although it won’t be waterproof.  Most hammocks don’t have grommets, so you’ll have to get creative about how you secure your hammock without damaging the fabric.  One ways is to add makeshift grommets to your hammock.  Put a small, smooth stone under a corner of their tarp, and then tie a knot over the material and stone as kind of a makeshift grommet.  This is a temporary, short term hack.  If you have it up too long, it could stress the material.  The Wallaby that we just reviewed has six straps—which could easily be used to tether your temporary shelter—no rocks necessary.

Be careful not to put too much wear and tear on the hammock as you try this hack—or you could be sleeping on the ground faster than you think.

(This may not work on all hammocks—some have loops that are sewn—like our Yukon Outfitters hammock.  The Kammok Wallaby has loops that are removable.)

Trail Wisdom

“There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail, knowing that everything you need is on your back. It is a confidence in having left the inessentials behind and of entering a world of natural beauty that has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are a dead weight. The person with the fewest possessions is the freest. Thoreau was right.”

–Paul Theroux, The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, 1992