If you have followed my blog for any length of time you undoubtedly have figured out that I spent a lot of time in the outdoors. Over the last 2 years I have been working towards starting an outdoors based business, and after a year and a half of testing I have recently launched my new company – Hemlock Mountain Outdoors – https://hemlockmountainoutdoors.com
With Hemlock Mountain Outdoors I will be selling handmade hammocks and outdoor gear made to order. Currently offering stand-alone hammocks, camping hammock systems (with hammock, tarp, bugnet and suspension included), suspensions, bugnets, tarps and rain flys all available on the website. I am also offering Hemlock Mountain Outdoors T-Shirts available on Amazon.com
Stop by and check out what we have to offer. We are based in North East Pennsylvania and strive to use all American made components and fabrics. All hammocks and gear are proudly made in the U.S.A.
Yep… you read that right, a Kurt Shirt. Why? Because I get bored sometimes, that’s why…. and, I can get these made and shipped by Amazon (Prime). So, if you like my site or my YouTube Channel and you want an awesome shirt to boot, then check these out. I will have more styles available as I can, but for now… here’s what I got. You can also find these by searching Amazon for Kurt Zitzelman Outdoors or from the Kurt Shirts link at the top of the page.
Go Outside and Do Something!
Get my Big Ol’ Dumb Face Logo on your back… this is for the true, die hard KZO fan! You’d have to be in order to be seen in this thing! Only $19.99 and processed by Amazon!
Inspired by the sunrise on a recent trip to the Catskill Mountains during which I saw absolutely no one else on the trail for 3 days. The new Solitude shirt has a lot less of the Big Ol’ Dumb Face logo and more… well… solitude! Only $19.99 and processed by Amazon!
I had the opportunity to pass through the Allegheny National Forest about three years ago while on a road trip to north west Pennsylvania. All I had the chance to do was look though, as I was driving home and needed to make time. I wanted to head back and check out the Allegheny Reservoir and found that not only can you kayak here, but you can camp. (more below video)
I decided to take a few days off of work and make the 4 hour drive, I launched from the Elijah Run Boat Ramp and due to weather concerns I made the Morrison Campground my first stop. At just under a mile from the ramp it allowed me to have a relatively quick escape should the weather turn (and it did).
Although, surrounded by a national forest, it didn’t feel as remote to me as say Lower Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. Maybe because there were more people at this campground, and the campsites were closer. Speaking of which, I have seen many videos of people going to Allegheny Reservoir and setting up in primitive campsites anywhere along the water. As it turns out, this is a good way of getting yourself kicked out and fined by the Forest Service. It always pays to do your own research. While I was out on a night paddle I did see a Forest Service boat out spotlighting around non official spots, glad I went with the official campground,
If you are a hammock camper and like to make your own gear, check out my video below. I made a top quilt a few months ago and had messed up on the length. So this time I decided to document my process. Let me know what you think.
The end of the year is always so hectic, with holidays and weather pecking away at spare time. It feels like I just posted about returning to Overlook Mountain last week.. but it was in October! So, here is what I’ve been up to.
Another Maine Road Trip
In 2015 I did a solo October New England road trip, and loved every second of it. In 2016 I wanted to return to Maine and spend more time in Acadia National Park. At first, I planned on going with a friend of mine. Continue reading
The summer just flew by. Even though I’ve been out hiking, kayaking and camping all year, it feels like I haven’t done much! So, since I worked on Labor Day I took my 3 day weekend this past week. With my normal days off being Fridays and Saturdays I decided to take Thursday off and head out late Wednesday to Frances Slocum State Park in Luzerne County Pennsylvania. That extra few hours on Wednesday makes it feel so much longer, probably because there’s no need to rush the following morning.
I got to the park and headed to camp site 95 in the walk-in tent section and got my hammock up and grabbed a bite to eat just before the Sun set. I was eager to test out some gear… some new and some I just hadn’t had a chance to try out yet. I recently purchased a new Paria Outdoor Products Sanctuary SilTarp after my recent backpacking trip. I was looking to shed weight in any gear I could and this tarp is only 15oz packed. So I got to test that out. I also gave my DIY emergency blanket under quilt a try… still needs some work but it’s a good start. Early in the year I found a steal of a bargain on an Exped Scout Hammock Combi for $68, usually goes for more than $200. This was the first time I used that, for 1 night anyway, I switched back to m ENO Doublenest for nights 2 and 3. I also gave my new Fire Knife from Light My Fire a good test… took a lot of practice to get the hang of, but I’m getting better with it. Continue reading
This was supposed to be the year I got out and did some multi-day backpacking trips. I thought by this point I would have 3 or 4 under my belt. Unfortunately, the weather never panned out for the days I could go… that is, until this past weekend.
My normal days off are Fridays and Saturdays, a friend took Friday off and wanted to get out and do something… no need to try to plan anything out, I already had several trips planned that I could never get to. We decided to do part of the Quehanna Trail out in the Moshannon State Forest, Clearfield County, PA. This
A little Elk watching before we hit the trail.
was the first multi-day trip with the new gear, so we didn’t plan on huge mileage. There is a 20 mile loop we wanted to complete, starting at Parker Dam State Park, taking the QT to the West Cross Connector and then back to the park. Continue reading
The original plan was to head to the Catskills and disappear on the trails for a few days… the weather had other ideas. I decided to head south west instead to Huntingdon County, PA and explore Trough Creek State Park, Raystown Lake and a little bit of the Rothrock State Forest… weather was still an issue.
Also, here are some photos of the trip.
In 2015 I started doing a lot of 3 day adventures. I did 1000 miles in April as a road trip to Virginia, Assateague Island in Marland and Delaware, I did 3 separate 3 day trips to various Pennsylvania State Parks throughout the summer and then in October I did 9 days planned as 3 segments – 3 days to Acadia National Park, 3 days in Acadia National Park and 3 days from Acadia National Park as a New England road trip.
So far in 2016 I hadn’t done or planned any 3 day trips. The fact that the weather turned this most recent trip into 3 days was a happy accident. Right now you may be wondering why 3 days? Well, it’s just long enough to have time to do a lot and still short enough to cause some urgency… Continue reading