Fresh Air

Trail Days 2017! Life is better on the Appalachian Trail.


We absolutely could not wait to get to Damascus, Va for Trail Days this year!    For those new to this event, Trail Days is a hiking festival held each year celebrating thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  For over 30 years, the town of Damascus, Virginia has grown the event to feature live music, local craft vendors, exceptional local food and opportunities for manufacturers and brands to interact with their customer; the thru-hiker.  Typically all of us outdoor companies come in on Thursday to start setting up and by Friday late morning the show is live.  Things get busier in the afternoon and by Saturday, a beautiful symphony of thru-hikers and locals convene for outdoor fun.

As we're in the middle of Spring, our Yukon factory is jumping with hammock production and nearly every staff member was wanting to make the annual pilgrimage to the lush mountains and valleys of Southwest Virginia.  But, lots were chosen and only a few of us could pull away from our stations in West Tennessee and make the trip to Trail Days.

Another reason for this excitement was that this event was going to be the maiden voyage of our new Yukon 'Bear Cage' Hammock Dome!  It took a little math on Friday morning to get it together, but once assembled it was awesome..  Able to hold 12 hammocks 'fully loaded' and loads of room for displaying more, the hikers in attendance and general public had a great opportunity to see all of the new Vista hammock prints, Featherweight hiking hammocks and our Patriot doubles.  

Thru-hikers loved being able to try out new gear the free 'Hobo Sacks' made from scrap hammock materials.  The best use of one of these earned top billing on this blog post... a hiker made that sack the new home for your pet Chihuahua!  Next year we'll be sure to bring more Hobo Sacks as the response was phenomenal, and it was great to find a use for material that would have been discarded in the manufacturing process.  

If you come to Damascus in May, you better be prepared for rain, and the rains came!  We took it all in stride though, finding time to play with rainfly and tarp configurations on the Yukon Dome.  Above, are a couple of quality folks staying dry during gone of the afternoon downpours on Saturday.  

Another added benefit to being part of this festival was being able to visit with fellow manufacturers both big and small, cottage makers and other companies who are about Made in USA products.  Plus, near the entrance of the thru-hiker campgrounds you can find an army of some of the best gear repair workers in America today.  Seriously, we saw Allyn 'Fix it Man' Morton repair a high end boot (who's brand name won't be revealed) in about 10 minutes for FREE.  In 2 days his team of sewing wizards repaired over 200 pieces of gear for the hikers. 

Come Sunday morning, in a heavy rain we said our goodbyes and packed up the Yukon Dome to head back to West Tennessee.  Can't wait to get back next year to do it all over again. Do yourself a favor and put Trial Days on your bucket list.  We promise that you won't regret it.

See you on the Trail,

Team Yukon, #hammockgamestrong

A hammock collaboration of epic proportions!

Ask anyone at Yukon Outfitters, and you'll learn quickly about their appreciation for good design.  Ask anyone at Sweaty Brands and you'll learn about their respect for makers who build solid product.   Today's product collaboration spotlight is about the story of how two companies worked together for today's unofficial outdoor holiday - National Hammock Day

  "It all began with a simple phone call to the Sweaty folks back in the spring regarding our appreciation of their solid designs for their headbands." Says Preston Powell, President of Yukon Outfitters.   "Being a category leader in Fitness headware for the better part of the last decade is due in large part to their focus on innovative colors and designs in their headbands.  It was a no-brainer to ask if we could collaborate by making a super strong, lightweight hammock that was printed with a unique Sweaty Bands design".  
But would a hammock with a Sweaty print work?  Until today, the majority of hammock offerings you see out there are in solid colors. But we're expecting these styles to be a hit. 
    "We've been friends with the Yukon guys for a while now and I loved the idea about collaborating on a hammock." says Doug Browning, President of Sweaty Bands. "If this was something that we were going to do, we definitely wanted to be working with a company that was making their product here in America, with a solid track record in this product category."  
Donna Browning, Founder and Creative Director of the Brand was also on board;
    "Our customers have come to expect our brand to innovate and deliver exceptional product.  Hammocks are a natural expansion and the perfect canvas for our headband designs and colors.  So many of us have hammocks now, but now they can be as beautiful as a something you would want to wear."  
The hammock industry has grown tremendously over the last several years and doesn't show signs of slowing down.  It's exciting to see how two different brands can come together and deliver quality product with an innovative design.  
The Sweaty Brands / Yukon Outfitters hammock currently comes in 2 designs:
1.  'Home of the Brave' - A Patriotic design featuring the red white and blue.
2.  'Tie Dyed' - A psychedelic design featuring best of ROYGBIV.  
Each hammock includes:
1 pair of Yukon Outfitters Tree Straps - 10' each in length
1pair of pair of Yukon carabineers.  
Hammock dimensions:
118" long x 60" wide
Individual hammock weight:
Gathered End Construction:
Double bar tacked X box webbing stitch
Weight rating: 
Fun Rating:
Off the charts!

New SomniSmart™ Hammock Now Available for Pre-Order

Yukon Outfitters is proud to present SomniSmart, the industry's first parachute-style hammock manufactured in USA from fabric made of recycled materials. Hikers, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts can now make a statement about ecological sustainability every time they bed down for the night. The latest addition to our line of lightweight hammocks is constructed from Repreve® fabric.

Repreve fabric is made from recycled materials, including used plastic water bottles. The fabric in each Somni Smart hammock recycles nearly 30 plastic water bottles. Repreve, introduced in 2006 by Unifi, Inc., has established a recognized presence among outdoor and performance products consumers. The fabric is used in apparel and gear offered by such well-known brands as The North Face, Patagonia, Polartec, Swiftwick and Mt. Borah.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the SomniSmart hammock also contributes to the sustainability of the U.S. economy. The Repreve fabric is made in America by a U.S.-based company, and we at Yukon Outfitters produce each hammock start-to-finish at our facility in Alamo, Tennessee. We are proud to offer a product that plays a small part in protecting American jobs as well as the planet.

The SomniSmart is the fifth hammock in our line; other styles include an ultra-light version and one that features integrated mosquito netting. We also offers tree straps and rainflies. Three of our hammocks, including the SomniSmart, are manufactured in the U.S.

Yukon Outfitters is built on the idea of providing high-quality, affordable gear designed to help outdoor enthusiasts equip themselves for whatever they like to do out on the trail or in the woods. An eco-friendly product like the SomniSmart hammock is a natural fit for who our customers are.

Repreve® is a registered trademark of Unifi, Inc.

10 Mosquito Repellents


Have you ever been bit by a mosquito? OF COURSE YOU HAVE. Everyone has been attacked by this menacing pest at least once. This disease carrying beast can turn an afternoon in the outdoors into itchy evening of hell. If you're like me you'll do just about anything to keep these bugs from biting. We gathered a list of methods to keep these blood suckers at bay. We've also noted which ones are natural.

1. Bug Spray Duh. Mosquito spray comes in a variety of sizes and ingredients, with and without DEET. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a spray that smells good and isn't sticky.

2. Catnip (natural) According to research the essential oil found in herb catnip is about 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Careful, this may attract feral felines.

4. Garlic (natural) - Eat enough garlic so it's sweating out of your pores and you'll have a fighting chance.

5. Dryer Sheets I haven't tried this one myself, but rumor has it rubbing your body down with a dryer sheet will repel mosquitoes. Bonus: You'll smell like fresh waterfall breeze.

6. Citronella (natural) Bring a candle along, rub down in essential oil or toss a sprig of the plant in your pack. However you do it, citronella will help deter the creatures from spoiling your outdoor fun. I'm a fan of the citrusy scent too.

7. Jewelry Bracelets and anklets that are loaded with naturally derived ingredients that keep bugs away are popping up all over the place. These accessories may not be fashionable, but if they keep bugs away for 120 hours they'll be a staple in my jewelry box.

8. Black Pepper (natural) Some research shows that black pepper is effective in repelling mosquitoes, plus it adds a little zing to any dish.

9. Hammock For an overnight trip near water a mosquito hammock is a gift from the gods. Who needs a tent?

10. Soy Oil—(natural) Soy oil has a number of impressive qualities. It penetrates dry hair, moisturizes skin and now it even keep evil insects away.  Best of all, it's cheap and available everywhere.

Do you have a tried and true method for cutting back on bites. Let us know if the comments.

10 Best Camping Snacks

Hunting, fishing and hiking work up an appetite. Make sure you pack healthy snacks to keep your body and mind primed and fueled We've made it easy for you to do just that with our list of the top ten camping snacks. The snacks below are tasty, simple and healthy -- a triple threat. If we missed any of your favorites let us know in the comments.

1. Mixed Nuts

2. Jerky

3. Popcorn

4. Dried Fruit

5. Cereal

6. Pickles

7. String Cheese

8. Granola Bars

9. Celery & Peanut Butter

10. Apples

What are you waiting for? Pack your snacks in your Yukon Outfitters Dry Pack and go get some fresh air.