Derek Hansen is a lightweight backpacker, Scoutmaster, and author of The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping. Being asked to be a Scoutmaster while living in Virginia, Derek began buying gear he remembered using as a youth: a five-pound external frame pack, a five-pound two-man tent, a five-pound synthetic-fill sleeping bag, and a thin closed-cell foam sleeping pad. It didn’t take many trips to realize this was a heavy, uncomfortable way to explore the outdoors. Derek’s quest for comfort and lighter gear led him to his first official camping hammock, the Hennessy Expedition Asym, and his first ultralight pack: an early edition Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. He has since tried nearly all de facto camping hammocks on the market (those with integrated bug netting and tarps), but he most often uses basic, gathered-end hammocks for their simplicity, lighter weight, and modularity.
By using a hammock as part of his shelter, Derek reduced his pack weight and bulk but increased his comfort and enjoyment of the outdoors. He now uses lightweight internal or frameless packs, down-filled sleeping bags, tarp shelters, and hammocks that bring his weekend pack weight (including food and water) to 17 pounds or less.
Author and illustrator: The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping
Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and iTunes formats.
Home: Flagstaff, AZ
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Scoutmaster at Boy Scouts of America
Favorite Training Grounds: Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Tonto National Forest, Grand Canyon National Park, and the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Flagstaff is located at 7,000 ft (2,100 m) in the middle of the Coconino National Forest so I am most often in the backcountry within a few hundred feet from my home.
Current Plans: Section hike portions of the AZT; paria canyon; sycamore canyon; Havasupai; Grand Canyon; and wet beaver creek.