Fair warning; I am on my soapbox!
I just spent my lunch hour on one of my REI pilgrimages. I was over in the tent area to pick-up some extra Fig 9s and some utility cord. The hammock rack is right next to the place where the Fig 9s were supposed to be (they were out of stock!) and I always just peek to see if anything is new. There are usually Hennessy Hammocks, ENOs, and Byer of Maine (Amazonas) hammocks. I saw something I had not seen before. Iím sure theyíve been there every time Iíve looked, but I never saw them until this trip and I wish I hadnít seen them at all.
What I saw actually offended me and, Iíll be honest, made me mad. Maybe I need to be medicated. Byer of Maine sells these little gems:
The package labeling looks identical to that image. A heavy steel biner attached to an eyebolt THREADED INTO A TREE! WTF!!!! I thought, surely this is just a bad picture. I picked up the package and turned it over to see what looked to be a 4Ē long eyebolt with big gnarly thread flights. Itís one thing to sell them, itís another thing entirely to show their Ďproper useí as being screwed into a tree. That should really help hangers convince folks that hammocks are LNT, huh?
Granted, Byer of Maine isnít the first company most people think about when selecting a camping hammock. But, they are being sold at outdoor retailers! I understand the thin cord that they and many others sell; I donít like it, but I understand it. However, this bolt-into-the-tree package is simply heinous and I wonít stand for it. I own three Byer hammocks currently.
I will not own any more.
I will not purchase anything from them in the future.
I will not set-up their hammocks at Meet-Up events.
I will suggest people avoid their products at every opportunity.
I canít decide if Iím more mad at Byer for offering them, or at REI for agreeing to sell them. Iím still Ďfreshly pissedí, so possibly some clarity will settle in after some time. Iíll give it a little time and then Iím firing off a letter to both companies that will adequately express my displeasure. Wonít do me a lick of good, but just like posting this little rantÖ.it will be therapeutic.
Boycott Byer of Maine and tell people why!