About Us

Testing my Coyote 10' this past winter.

Testing is a rough job!

A little ice never hurt anyone.

Hello. My name is Kurt Zitzelman and I am the founder/owner and I love the outdoors.

I started Hemlock Mountain Outdoors to bring handcrafted, American made hammock gear to you. Gear that I am not only proud to make, but proud to use. No gimmicks, no "stacked" hammock photos, just well crafted gear designed to last you for many adventures to come.

I first got interested in hammock camping towards the end of 2015. I have camped all of my life and like most people new to hammocks, I gravitated towards big name manufacturers. I liked the idea of modular design: a separate hammock, suspension, bug net and tarp meant I could take only what I needed for any given trip.

 I used my big name hammock setup for 5 months and was as careful with it as I could be while camping, but I was already seeing signs of wear in the stitching of the hammock and the bug net was developing holes. After spending close to $300 on all of the gear (not including quilts) I was pretty upset with the durability.

That is when I decided to start making my own gear. I bought a sewing machine, taught myself how to sew and made a few prototype hammocks. I used them each a couple times before reaching the conclusion that simple is better. I then made the first set that would become the Coyote System, using what I learned with the prototypes and introducing ideas that, I think, improve what I had with my big name setup.

I tested for 1 1/2 years in sun, rain, wind, snow and ice almost exclusively with my original Coyote, occasionally taking a new prototype towards the end of testing. Aside from some dirt and a little sap on the suspension, that original Coyote is still in terrific shape and still my go to hammock! Read more about the testing here.

Thank you for considering Hemlock Mountain Outdoors, and regardless of whether you buy one of my hammocks or not, be safe and explore gently.



Kurt Zitzelman