There are several things I really like about the hammock camping community. First, everyone is very helpful and friendly. Second, the atmosphere on http://www.hammockforums.net is very kind and family friendly – they won’t beat you down if you ask a question that has been asked a bizillion times before. Lastly, everyone is very supportive of what is called “cottage industries.” Most of these companies are started (and still performed) by just one person (or maybe a few people) in addition to another full-time job and other family responsibilities and become a second job for the owners. There are a few that have grown to be so successful the owners now do the “second job” full-time.
The cottage vendors are awesome. When you email or call, you most often get the owner who will answer any (and all) questions you may have. The customer service is beyond anything I have ever experienced with mainstream retailers. But the biggest bonus (to me) is that all of the products are made right here in the U.S.A. I try to support the cottage vendors as much as I can because they make GREAT products they stand behind. So, on to my review….
DISCLAIMER: I purchased this product and was not given any compensation by Lawson Outdoor Equipment. I am conducting this review solely to pass the information to others that may be interested.
One of the companies I use is Lawson Outdoor Equipment LLC (http://www.lawsonequipment.com/). I have purchased several items from him including the Titanium Tent (TARP) Stake- UL Long, and Black Glowire. The tent (TARP) stakes are pretty simple so I’ll just say they are high quality and I have used them for around a year and they are great as they stay in the ground and don’t bend easily. I was looking for a small diameter (but strong) line for my tarp tie-outs. I wanted something reflective so I and others would see them to reduce tripping over them in the dark.
I chose the 100′ 2mm Black Glowire (http://lawsonequipment.com/Reflective-Glowire/Reflective-Glowire-2mm-3-32-p1024.html) for my purposes and it was only $25 (no shipping). Lawson Outdoor Equipment products are made one spool at a time with a professional rope braider. He is passionate about making quality products. I have been using the same pieces on my tarp(s) since the Glowire arrived. This is what I like about it: It’s strong, abrasion resistant, and does not tangle easily. It has not failed me and I do not foresee it failing anytime soon. I appreciate the black color because during the day it “disappears” as I like muted colors when I’m camping. You are able to see a real close up picture in my previous blog post about the pole mod.
Here is a picture taken during the day. It is tied to my corner tie-outs as well as attaching my tarp tie-outs to the poles over my tarp. As you can see, the line is visible, but not eye-catching. After this picture was taken, I did trim off the line hanging down from the pole mod. IF you like eye-catching, the Glowire is offered in yellow, lime, orange, lime, and blue as well as the black in the picture.
The magic of this line happens after dark when a light is pointed directly at the line. It does not glow in the dark and the reflection is very directional. Here is a picture of the same tarp in the same location after dark from a slightly different direction. The picture was taken with a camera flash from approx. 30 ft. away. I did crop the picture to take out the flash reflection on the grass and to zoom into the tarp.
As you can see, it is named Glowire for a reason! I NEVER have an issue finding my tarp after dark and I often set up off trail and try to blend in with my environment. I was so impressed with this company and their products, that I sent an email to the “contact us” link on the website including the “night” picture above and describing how much I appreciated his product. The very next day, I received an email in return. It was very enlightening, so I thought I’d share.
Here it is:
This is great to hear. Thanks so much for the kind words about the Glowire and thanks for all the word of mouth promotion. Every bit helps. Cool photo! Isn’t it amazing how reflective the 3M tracers are? One thing most people don’t know is how the tracers are made. The reflectiveness is coated on the both sides of a piece of .002″ film and then slit to 1/69″ using extremely high-tech equipment. I buy the tracer material from the supplier this way on spools that are 7200′ long. The company is the only supplier in the world that makes these tracers for 3M. What’s even more unique is how delicate the “yarn” is before braiding. It is more delicate than the finest piece of silk which makes it extremely hard to braid and such the machines have to be set up to exclusively braid the Glowire but it is extremely abrasion resistant. So much so, that over time this tracer actually cuts the guides on the carriers of my braiding machines. These guides are made with a carbide coating or hard chrome. Once braided though, the tracer is supported by the polyester jacket fibers and it becomes extremely durable so the cord should give you years upon years of good service as we take added care to make sure the jacket is as smooth as possible.
Thanks again for the business and support.
Do you remember how I said the owners respond? This was another great example. So, I may not totally understand all of the technical talk, but I know I won’t use anything but this line for my tarp tie-outs. If you are looking for a reflective line, I highly suggest the Glowire from Lawson Outdoor Equipment. Here is the description from the website (WARNING: more technical talk):
Never trip over your guy line again when you use our highly reflective Glowire. It is specifically designed to be used as a guy line for low stretch applications such as guying out tents, tarps and shelters. The cord is constructed with a UV Resistant Polyester Jacket, Super reflective 3M Scotlite tracers, and a High Tenacity Parallel Fiber Polyester Core. This results in a finished product that is strong, low stretch, UV resistant, and very tangle resistant as its relatively stiff due the tight braid and reflective yarns. The reflective tracers work like a road sign, when you hit it with a light, they shine right back at you. Review after review says it’s the best reflective cord made. Period. This cord is manufactured in house on our braiding machines using the best quality yarns available. Diameter: 2mm (3/32″), Weight: 1.75oz per 50′, Break Strength: 225lbs, Made In USA