A Converted Camper
WHAT A FUN-FILLED WEEKEND AT CAMP KAMMOK WILL DO TO YOU
by Anna Andersen
Photographs by Ashley Chinni
I LOVE THE OUTDOORS, but I would not call myself an avid camper.
I’ve never been a big fan of all the stuff that accompanies you on a camping trip. I don’t like packing, cramming all those many bags into the car, lugging said bags to the campsite, and pitching the tent. I don’t like sleeping with spiders. I don’t like feeling dirty. And don’t get me started about taking the tent down and trying to stuff everything back into those bags it miraculously arrived in.
You might even call me a bad camper.
At the same time, I’m not one to turn down an adventure and I’ll try just about anything once, so when I was invited to spend the last weekend of April sleeping in a hammock at Camp Kammok, I didn’t hesitate to say, “Sure, sign me up!” And, I’m glad I did.
Camp Kammok, put on by the Austin-based company that specializes in making hammocks, is an annual all-inclusive camping experience at Reveille Peak Ranch, a beautiful 1,300 acres near Burnet, about an hour’s drive from Austin.
I arrived on Friday afternoon, early enough to lay claim to the perfect couple of trees on the banks of a 20-acre lake. As a hammock camping newbie, and not just a lazy camper, I solicited help from one of the many friendly Kammok crew members, but in retrospect, I didn’t need to; hanging the hammock and mosquito net was as easy as it gets.
Sleeping in it was also surprisingly easy. After enjoying the open bar, dinner, camp games, and live music at the central pavilion area, I happily climbed into my cozy, creepy-crawly-free hammock, and mostly slept through the night.
From the comfort of my hammock, I watched the sun come up behind a steaming lake before heading to the pavilion, where Neighbor Coffee Co was already serving coffee.
Between organized meals for everyone, there was also a jam-packed schedule of activities—yoga, biking, fishing, paddle boarding, hiking, rappelling, rock climbing, and swimming—to participate in, or not participate in.
I had grand plans when I arrived, but after paddle boarding and attempting to fish on Saturday morning, nothing sounded more appealing than relaxing in my hammock, where I spent a few hours reading a book. Meanwhile, my labrador ran back and forth hunting dragonflies, having about as much luck as I did with the fishing.
I just managed to squeeze in a refreshing swim at Quarry Lake, a spring-fed pool located elsewhere on the ranch, before it was time for round two of drinks, dinner, s’mores, and entertainment—more live music, a screening of The Goonies, and a silent disco party.
After an even better night of sleep, I painlessly took down my hammock, packed my bags, ate breakfast, and headed back to Austin, happy to have enjoyed an entire weekend outdoors before temperatures soar and we’re officially deep into summer.
If camping could always be like this, then call me a converted camper.