SUNCREAT - July 11 2022

#What We Create: Blaze Family

Blaze family, known as @ourfamilyadventures on Instagram with over 100,000 followers, loved and have traveled the world with many memories. We were excited to know their colorful experience and opinions about travel and outdoor activities!

Here's our interview:

Hi, we've followed you on social media, but please introduce yourself to everyone, especially new friends.

We are the Blaze family! I’m Tiffany, and my husband is Jacob. We have 3 kids: Taylor (23), Ocea (7), and Cedar (5). We typically travel 4-5 months of the year, but our home base is in Franklin, TN.

What countries and cities have you been to? Which place do you like best and why?

As of this month, we have been to 48 states with our two littles. We just took them to Minnesota, and we loved it so much we are already planning our next trip back. My husband and I have been to several countries individually, but we’ve taken the little ones to Canada, Iceland, and Mexico so far. We are dying to get them to Ireland because that’s been our absolute favorite.

What made you want to take a camera to record your life and post them on social media? 

I naturally love taking videos of my kids to have when they’re older. Combine that with a love of photography, and that’s how we ended up here. It’s also been really fun to share our story and remind others that it is possible to travel with kids. It’s actually super enjoyable!

What does outdoor life mean to you? What is the most memorable time you spent outdoors? 

We believe an outdoor life is a life well-lived. From the fresh air to the scenic views, it’s a perfect place for our children to explore God’s creation. I’d have to say one of our most memorable days would be the day we took a boat out on Lake Powell. I remember our whole family being in awe the entire time.

SUNCREAT - July 31st 2023

How to Protect and Maintain Your Outdoor Hammock: Essential Tips for Longevity and Comfort

Outdoor hammocks are wonderful additions to any backyard or outdoor space, providing a relaxing and comfortable retreat for those seeking tranquility amidst nature. However, exposure to the elements can take a toll on your hammock, leading to wear and tear over time. To ensure the longevity and comfort of your outdoor hammock, it is essential to adopt proper protection and maintenance practices. In this article, we will discuss valuable tips on how to protect and maintain your outdoor hammock, enabling you to enjoy countless hours of blissful relaxation.

1.Select the Right Location

Can You Leave Your Hammock Outdoors? Yes, but it requires careful consideration. Choosing the right location for your outdoor hammock is crucial for its protection and longevity. Follow these specific guidelines to ensure you set up your hammock in an ideal spot:

(1) Shade and Protection:

Look for an area that offers ample shade, especially if your hammock is made of natural fibers like cotton, which can be vulnerable to UV rays. Direct sunlight over an extended period can cause fading and weaken the fabric. Additionally, consider a location with natural barriers such as trees or a nearby building that can shield the hammock from strong winds and heavy rain.

(2) Consider Elevation:

Avoid placing your hammock too close to the ground, as morning dew or rainwater might accumulate and cause moisture damage. Opt for a height that is comfortable for getting in and out of the hammock, but not too low to the ground.

(3) Check for Sturdy Support:

Whether you choose to hang your hammock between two trees or use a hammock stand, ensure that the support is stable and reliable. For trees, use tree-friendly straps or ropes to avoid damage to the bark. Make sure the trees are healthy and strong enough to bear the weight of the hammock and its occupants.

By carefully selecting the right location and following these specific guidelines, you can protect your outdoor hammock from the elements and enjoy countless hours of relaxation and comfort.

2.Invest in a Hammock Cover

One of the best ways to safeguard your outdoor hammock from the elements is by investing in a high-quality hammock cover. A hammock cover acts as a protective shield, shielding the hammock from rain, dust, UV rays, and bird droppings. Ensure the cover fits your hammock snugly and is made from durable, weather-resistant material. Here are some specific points to consider when selecting and using a hammock cover:

(1) Weather-Resistant Material:

Choose a hammock cover made from durable and weather-resistant material, such as polyester or waterproof nylon. These fabrics are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including rain, sun exposure, and wind.

(2) Snug Fit:

Opt for a cover that fits your hammock snugly to ensure complete coverage. A well-fitted cover will prevent water from seeping in during rainstorms and protect the hammock from dust and debris.

(3) Ventilation:

Look for a cover with proper ventilation features, such as mesh panels or air vents. Adequate ventilation prevents the buildup of condensation inside the cover, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.

(4) Easy Installation:

Choose a hammock cover that is easy to install and remove. Ideally, it should have adjustable straps or drawstrings to secure it tightly around the hammock.

(5) UV Protection:

Check if the cover offers UV protection. UV rays can cause fading and deterioration of the hammock's fabric over time. A cover with UV protection will help prolong the vibrancy and lifespan of the hammock.

(6) Secure Additional Accessories:

(6)If your hammock has attached accessories like pillows or spreader bars, make sure the cover can accommodate them as well. These accessories are often vulnerable to weather damage and should also be protected.

3. Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential for maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of your outdoor hammock. Depending on the material of your hammock, you can either machine wash it or hand wash it with mild soap and warm water. Follow these specific tips for effective hammock cleaning:

(1) Check the Manufacturer's Instructions:

Before cleaning your hammock, carefully review the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. Different materials may have specific cleaning requirements, and it's essential to adhere to these instructions to avoid any damage.

(2) Spot Clean as Needed:

After each use, inspect your hammock for any stains or spills. Spot clean the affected areas promptly with a damp cloth and mild soap. This will prevent stains from setting and make the overall cleaning process more manageable.

(3) Air Dry Properly:

Hang the hammock in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Avoid direct sunlight, as excessive exposure to UV rays can cause fading and weaken the fabric. Ensure the hammock is fully dry before storing it to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

(4) Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals:

When cleaning your hammock, refrain from using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. These substances can damage the fabric and compromise its integrity over time.

4. Store During Harsh Weather

During extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, storms, or snow, it is advisable to store your outdoor hammock indoors. If you have a hammock stand, you can easily dismantle it and keep the hammock and stand inside a shed or garage. This practice protects your hammock from potential damage caused by strong winds or debris.

5. Rotate Hanging Positions

Regularly change the hanging positions of your hammock to prevent overexposure of a specific area to the sun and rain. Rotating the hanging points also ensures balanced wear on the hammock's fabric and ropes, extending its overall lifespan.

6. Inspect for Damage

Frequently inspect your outdoor hammock for any signs of damage or wear. Check for fraying ropes, loose knots, or tears in the fabric. Address any issues immediately to prevent them from worsening and causing irreparable damage. Small repairs can be easily done using a repair kit designed for hammocks.

7.Avoid Sharp Objects Nearby

When setting up your hammock, make sure there are no sharp objects nearby that could potentially snag or puncture the fabric. Be cautious about nearby branches, rocks, or any other objects that could compromise the integrity of your hammock.

8.Be Mindful of Weight Capacity

Respect the weight capacity of your hammock and avoid overloading it beyond the recommended limit. Excess weight can strain the fabric and ropes, leading to premature wear and tear.

9. Remove Stains Promptly

Accidental spills or stains can occur, especially if you enjoy snacks or beverages while relaxing in your hammock. Promptly remove any stains by spot cleaning the affected area with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

10.Seasonal Storage

If you live in an area with harsh winters or prolonged rainy seasons, consider storing your hammock indoors during these periods. Properly clean and dry the hammock before storage to prevent mold and mildew growth.

In conclusion, protecting and maintaining your outdoor hammock is not just about ensuring its longevity; it's about cultivating an oasis of relaxation and solace in your outdoor space. By implementing the tips and strategies discussed in this guide, you can take the necessary steps to safeguard your hammock from the harsh elements and unexpected challenges.

Remember that the choice of the perfect location sets the stage for your hammock experience. Whether it's nestled between two sturdy trees in your backyard or suspended from a hammock stand on your patio, the right spot provides not only comfort but also a captivating view of the surrounding nature.

Routine maintenance is the key to extending the life of your hammock. Regularly inspecting for wear and tear, performing cleaning rituals, and addressing any issues promptly will keep your hammock in top condition and ensure a safe and enjoyable resting spot for years to come.

Rain protection is essential to shield your hammock from the unpredictability of weather. Investing in a reliable hammock cover, setting up at the proper angle, and storing it indoors during heavy rain will preserve the fabric's integrity and maintain its overall appearance.

Moreover, beyond the practical aspects of protection and maintenance, your outdoor hammock symbolizes a sanctuary for relaxation, meditation, and contemplation. As you sway gently under the shade of trees or the open sky, the stresses of daily life seem to melt away, replaced by a profound sense of peace and harmony with nature.

Embrace the tranquil lifestyle that your outdoor hammock provides. Read your favorite book, indulge in a daytime nap, or simply lie back and stargaze in the evening hours. Cherish the moments of solitude and connect with the natural world around you.

In the end, your outdoor hammock is more than just an accessory; it's a personal retreat where you can find respite and rejuvenation. By embracing the art of hammock protection and maintenance, you're ensuring that this humble piece of furniture will continue to be your cherished haven, enveloping you in comfort and tranquility for many seasons to come. So, take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, close your eyes, and let the gentle sway of your hammock carry you to a world of serenity and relaxation.

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When was your last backyard makeover? What updates did you make?

We are actually working on that now since we recently moved. I love creating an inviting space that says, “Psst, it’s more fun out here than inside.” I want my family and friends to want to hang outdoors when they visit. 

What originally made you want a hammock? Why did you finally choose SUNCREAT?

I really enjoy snuggling up with the kids and reading books to them. We also love finding shapes and pictures in the clouds. It’s one of my favorite memories from my childhood, and I want to share that experience with them. I did some research on hammocks and loved the SUNCREAT’s reviews and styles. We are loving our hammock and so happy with our choice.

When do you find yourself using the hammock most often? Weekend or weekday? At your leisure or after a busy day? 

Our absolute favorite time to lie in the hammock is just before dinner time. I take each child out individually for a one-on-one, and we lie in in it searching the clouds and chatting about their favorite part of the day. They almost always say, “right now.”