OPINION: ENOugh sitting around inside: a rise in outdoor culture

Nolan Hovell


Given the current social media climate, all the new and passing trends and the outdoor technologies of today, one that stands in contrast to the rest is the surge in hammock usage, specifically the Eagle Nest Outfitters, or ENO, brand.

ENO is one of the most recognizable hammock brands and was even honored as “top vendor partner of the year” by REI, an outdoor retail company, in 2014.

Along with purchasing a product like this comes the desire and encouragement to spend time outside. The relaxing, swaying motion is something everyone can enjoy anywhere they can tie their straps up. Hammocks can even be shared or stacked up for group outings.

Camping trips, music festivals, vacations and anywhere with trees or supported structures are great opportunities to hammock up and grab a book to read, write your thoughts down in a journal or even doze off while the wind rocks you gently to sleep.

ENO began in 1999 and gained a respectable reputation by selling their hammocks at music festivals across the east coast. Its presence in festival culture has been prominent ever since. The 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, held annually in Manchester, Tennessee, featured a forested area that was populated by people laying in hammocks. Among the web of hammocks there was music playing, great conversation and people slack-lining.

Air bags and slacklines are also increasingly popular instruments for enjoying the great outdoors. A slackline is a flat tight rope, otherwise known as webbing, that is walked on by slackliners. Like the ENO, slacklines can be set up between any two supported structures. Mastery, however, takes longer than your first try. Air bags are inflatable lounge chairs that one uses, much like a sofa, to stretch out and refresh one’s mind.

The site at Bonnaroo was only the beginning of what could be a hammock sensation at greater outdoor events.

ENO hammocks are also a great way to relax and de-stress without lying in bed all day. So grab a book and maybe a friend and get outside. Unwind and lose track of time. Try spending an hour without a screen in your vision. You’ll find that when the sun goes down, you’ll feel better about yourself than if you had just decided to stay indoors.