Apr
28

How to view the Solar Eclipse while camping

On August 21st 2017 the first solar eclipse will be occurring, and be viewable throughout the United States. Many hotels are already booked in the path of totality as people scramble to see this once in a lifetime phenomenon. So, what is the best way to see the eclipse in the path of totality now? Camping of course!

Most campgrounds that allow reservations are booked completely up, but there are plenty of first come first server, and rural camping spots that you can get to. I am not going to go over everyone in this article since the path of totality goes over many states, counties, and cities. The best way to find these rural sites is to look up Bureau of Land Management land along the path of totality. You can also look up state and county parks along the path as well.

Once you find a spot it is time to plan your trip. Make sure you bring all your camping essentials, including your hammock. I feel a hammock is ideal for viewing the Solar Eclipse specifically. It will get you off the ground, looking up, and cradle you in a comfortable position.

Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

The alternative is looking straight up for several minutes, crooking your neck at an odd angle, and likely giving up on watching the whole thing.

I do have a couple of specialty recommendations for your hammock though. It is difficult to see through trees and shrubbery if you are looking at the solar eclipse. So, make sure you have long and sturdy hammock straps that will pull you away from the canopy above. I recommend the Eno Atlas Straps since they are 9 feet long each, and can support up to 400 pounds.

The atlas straps also have 30 different anchor points. So, while you are trying to figure out a custom configuration to give yourself the best view of the solar eclipse you have many options available to suspend your hammock. These straps will also last for years to come, and would be a perfect addition to your standard hammock gear.

For the hammock itself I would recommend the ENO DoubleNest Hammock This hammock is large enough for 2 people, but made to be extra comfortable for just one. It is easy to set up, and carries in a compression bag. Attaching it with the ENO Atlas Straps is a breeze as the products are developed for each other. The weight limit on this hammock is 400 pounds, and it comes with plenty of accessories to make sure you have the best hammock experience out there.

Now that you have your hammock and accessories taken care of it is important that you consider viewing safety. It is still dangerous to look directly into the sun and you will need to take care to either make a punch card, or purchase some commemorative Eclipse Viewing Glasses.

I have searched around and managed to find a set of glasses that comes with a commemorative poster. It comes in a 5 pack so get with your friends, and view in style! Eclipse Glasses. Here is the product. They are lightweight, inexpensive, collectible, and properly protective. These will protect your eyesight while allowing you to witness history!

The next problem you need to overcome is your camera. I am sure you are going to be taking photos and possible video. But the sun will wash out your photos even during the Eclipse. So you need a filter that can allow your device to take a good photo.

I found a Solar Filter Sheet available for cameras, telescopes, and binoculars. This is a custom solution. Using tape you attach this to your device. It will allow the camera to take photos without washing out. You need to make sure to tape all edges though. If you are using a phone or smaller device it is fine to cut the filter to size. This filter also allows you to view the sun safely through a telescope. Remember that any unfiltered viewing of the sun is dangerous to your eyes and can cause severe and permanent damage. You can attack this filter directly over the front of your telescope and it will work the same as the camera, it will filter out some of the light, allowing for safe viewing. The filter can be taped on, but again all edges must have tape to prevent light from entering from around the outside of the filter.

Anyways those are the specialty items I could think of for experiencing the Solar Eclipse this coming August. Remember safety must come first when viewing the sun, but you can easily enjoy this rare phenomenon first hand if you follow the proper safety steps.

So start planning now, and check out our other guides on hammocks, straps, and set ups so you are prepared prior to your trip.

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