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Trekking Treez backpackable hammock stands

After years of development, today we release our Trekking Treez hammock stands. Trekking Treez function as trekking poles on the way to camp, and then as your hammock stand once there. (Bring your own “trees.”) Weighing not much more than the trekking poles you’d normally carry, and packing to just 20 inches long, they are truly ultralight backpackable — something few if any other hammock stands can claim — and will accommodate almost all camping hammocks out there. Hammocks aside, they are probably the strongest trekking poles on the market by a large margin. Also probably the heaviest, but still pleasant to use!

On granite at Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada

The first backpackable stand we know of was the Handy Hammock stand, now apparently discontinued. Its poles were impressively light. These worked with shorter hammocks than Trekking Treez, involved a delicate trussing system, came with 12 ground stakes weighing more than the poles, didn’t support tarps at higher than the level of the hammock, packed to a longish 28 inches, and did not function as trekking poles. Still, they inspired Tensa Outdoor’s Todd to buy a set before ever meeting me, Cheryl. Me, I like to make things, especially if I see a better way.

Backpacking in summer 2014, uncomfortable as often in my tent, I got mad and bailed out to my day hammock for the night. I have not slept on the ground since that eye opening (or eye shutting) night. I joined Hammockforums.net as Raftingtigger, and started devouring information on hammock camping. I saw quickly that a holy grail of hammock backpacking was a trekking pole that doubled as a hammock stand. After several more trips marred by worry over finding the right trees, making such a thing became a project. Then in July 2015, poster Sirenobie posted a prototype mashup of standard trekking poles and a trussing system like the Handy Hammock. Out to the shop, and soon I was hanging from my hiking poles.

This worked for a few nights, but it soon became clear that standard trekking poles aren’t strong enough as a hammock stand even at my 135-lb weight. The adjustment clamps would slip, de-tensioning the critical truss lines. I added hose clamps, and then the smallest diameter segments failed. One night I fell and repaired things three times before dawn. I needed purpose-built poles.

I built those poles from aluminum in small batches, and started a company TiggzCraftworkz to share the fun. I called them NoGround Trekking poles. They were taller than the Handy Hammock, so would accommodate 11-foot hammocks with proper sag and enough room for the underquilt. NoGround poles also used a trussing system similar to Handy Hammock, but the anchors were simpler and lighter. These were also an idea found on Hammockforums.net, now available as our Tensa Boomstakes. I spent an inordinate amount of time handcrafting every single pole, pre-tensioning the lines, turning many parts on my lathe. By the end of 2018, with Tensa Outdoor running, it was time to retire NoGround, or rather reinvent the product in carbon fiber, the only material strong and light enough to work in trekking-pole diameters without fussy trussing.

Trekking Treez have been in prototype for about a year now, and have gone on many of my adventures. They are now ready for prime time. Is there still room for improvement? Of course: we’re always improving everything. But we think we’re already close to the limits of material science on the basics, so don’t expect major changes soon.

Above the treeline on Mt. Hood

Why three hammock stands?

We now offer three distinct hammock stands: Tensa4, Tensa Solo, and now Trekking Treez. Is this really necessary? Which one to choose?

Broadly, our mission is to keep hammockers aloft, off the ground and even beds unless they choose, regardless whether trees or rules cooperate. Seen this way, three stand designs might not be enough.

Trekking Treez (TT) as lightest and most compact is the best backpacking choice among our stands, especially if you already use trekking poles, which makes part of the weight “free.” It is otherwise functionally similar to the less expensive Tensa Solo, which began its life as a budget version of the former “NoGround” predecessor to TT.

Tensa Solo remains the budget choice, lacking trekking pole functionality. It’s heavier than TT, but certainly manageable in a pack, especially if you bring only one to pair with a single tree or other hanging point.

Tensa4‘s design does not depend on strong ground anchoring, so it’s the most reliable choice, working even indoors. It is also the heaviest, and intermediate in cost between Solo and TT. While people have hiked for miles with Tensa4, its weight around 12 pounds makes it better for car or motorcycle camping, at home or in hotels.

As a table:

Deployability Portability Cost
Tensa4 Almost anywhere: tiny footprint, indoor/outdoor, level or sloped ~12lbs/5.5kg, carry-on luggage, easy to move deployed $$
Trekking Treez Footprint is ~1.5 parking spaces, outdoor only, most soils ~2.9lbs/1.3kg more than typical trekking poles (no tree; half if 1 tree), carry-on luggage $$$
Tensa Solo Footprint is ~1.5 parking spaces, outdoor only, most soils ~7.3lbs/3.3kg (no tree; half if 1 tree), carry-on luggage $

Hang Safe, and don’t Go To Ground.

Cheryl aka Raftingtigger

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What happened to the Tensa2?

As we have expanded our product line it was apparent that our naming schema was inconsistent and causing confusion on what the stand really was and what its function was. The major part of this confusion was with the Tensa2 single pole (each side) support. As a result of this we have come up with a consistent way of naming our products.

Another issue is the product transition from only offered at TiggzCraftworkz.com to a Tensa Outdoor product. Cheryl is the solo owner of TiggzCraftworkz and both Cheryl and Todd own Tensa Outdoor. The goal is to eventually transfer all the hammock related TCW items into Tensa Outdoor products. The products themselves have not changed.

TCW has offered the NoGround series, plus a variety of support items such as lines and anchors. The 2 stands are the NG Trekking, a backpackable set of purpose built trekking poles and hammock extensions and trussing to support up to 250 pounds. This is the lightest weight system we offer. Currently this is only available through TiggzCraftworkz.com

TCW has also offered the NG CarCamp tele. This is a light weight 5-section telescoping hammock support that needs no truss lines. Like the Trekking it requires 2 strong anchors per pole, and 2 poles are needed to fully support a hammock without other supports (tree, post, etc). It is almost as light as the Trekking, but all of it would go into your pack. Both TCW and Tensa Outdoor currently offer this as “CarCamp” and until a few days ago “Tensa2” respectively. TCW will quit selling these when the current stock has been sold. Thereafter they will be available as the Tensa Solo at www.TensaOutdoor.com (this site).

Tensa Solo is a 5-section telescoping pole with 4 sections usable for hammock support and the 5th only for tarp support. It uses common parts from the flagship Tensa4 plus a few unique parts to the Tensa Solo. The Solo is composed of 4 of 28 sections from the Tensa4, and therefore is not practical to build a Tensa4 from the Solos.

Our new naming schema is easy to understand. Tensa is for the company. The number following Tensa is for the full 7-section struts used. Our flagship product is the Tensa4 and it consists of 4 7-segment struts. You can take 2 struts and a fixed anchor (tree, post, etc) and make a functional hammock stand. This is now referred to as a Tensa2. Neither a Tensa1 or Tensa3 has any practical use. However a Tensa7 is a stand with 7 struts that should hold 2 hammocks. I say should – we have not yet tested that. A Tensa10 (10 interlinked struts) would hold 3 hammocks, etc.

Currently the only place to get the NoGround Trekking is via TiggzCraftworkz.com

The Tensa Solo (and NG CarCamp until sold out) are available at both websites. Same product, same builder, different color guylines.

The Tensa4 is available as pre-orders on this site.

Anchors and lines and replacement parts are also available. Just ask.