ABOUT OUR COMPANY
A Clark NX-270 hangs in Norway. Clark’s patented flexible poles and insulating pockets take hammock camping to the next level.
The original 1967 model, photographed in 1996. This hammock would compete well in today’s market, more than fifty years after being sewn.
OUR FOUNDER, GARY CLARK: INVENTOR OF THE LIGHTWEIGHT CAMPING HAMMOCK
When Gary Clark invented the lightweight camping hammock in the 1960s, he had no idea how far ahead of its time it was. In fact, it is still heads and shoulders above most camping hammocks on the market.
The story begins in Salt Lake City in the 1950s. As a scout, Gary was part of troops who hiked the Wasatch and other ranges in the Rockies. It was not unusual to see World War II era jungle hammocks in those days. These sturdy ancestors of the Clark hammock had been designed by the likes of Cresson Kearny. As comfortable and useful as these hammocks could be, they were also cumbersome, heavy, and easy to tip.
At the age of 17, Gary was made Scout Master of a large troop. He was entrusted to take dozens of boys on great adventures in the mountainous areas of Northern Utah.
In his twenties, Gary became interested in hot-air ballooning, eventually starting Clark Balloon Company. A string of adventures followed as he piloted the first balloon licensed to fly over populated areas. Gary’s interest in camping and ballooning came together when he realized the potential of using nylon fabrics, such as those used to make his balloons, to also make lightweight camping equipment. Soon, Clark Balloon Co. was sewing innovative tent designs under the Cary-Lite brand name.
Although the tent line was short-lived, the little shop in Salt Lake City did produce some very interesting designs, including prototypes of a lightweight hammock tent that included storage pockets, rain tarp and full mosquito-netting. Years passed and Gary started a family and another business. The jungle hammock prototypes were all but forgotten, mostly sitting in storage. The hammocks were only brought out of storage to bring along on family outings and the scout camps of Gary’s children. In the mean time, Gary would serve as a Scout Master once again in his community.
In the 1990s, Gary became interested in the idea of producing jungle hammocks again. He had found out that his son was being offered money by other kids who wanted to sleep in the old prototype hammock during a camp with a church group.
In 1997, patents were awarded to Clark’s revamped designs. Popular Science Magazine featured the hammock that same year. Soon, junglehammock.com was off and running.
Gary made a decision very early to strive to only use American-made materials to build the hammocks. He also decided that the hammocks would only be manufactured in the United States. These two decisions have cemented Clark as the most respected name in top-quality camping hammocks.
Clark headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah
Today, Clark Outdoor continues to grow and thrive as more and more realize the importance of purchasing a quality product that is built to last. Since 1997, Clark has developed the only mosquito-proof hammock bed fabric and received a patent on the only two-person camping hammock.
When you call Clark Outdoor, you are still likely to get Mr. Clark on the phone as he continues to oversee the production of every hammock that is built in our Salt Lake facility.
Thanks for supporting our family business. We want to prove to you that Americans still make great stuff.
THE CLARK DIFFERENCE
Our mission is to produce camping hammocks that are better than they have to be. We never sacrifice the integrity of our products by skimping on materials. We expect your hammock to last a lifetime.
We believe in “open hammocks.” The zippered netting of a Clark allows you to enter or exit the hammock easily, and usually from both sides. When not needed, the netting unzips to fold away and create an open-air hammock. In a Clark, getting up in the middle of night is just like rolling out of bed.
We provide storage for your gear. Only the Clark Jungle Hammock has models that provide storage in pockets which hang underneath your hammock bed. Your boots and gear are protected and within arm’s reach.
We provide cold-weather features. When winter temperatures arrive, you’ll be glad to have a model with a WeatherShield which allows you to enclose the hammock like a true tent. Four-season models include insulating pockets that shield you from frigid winds and restore some of the insulation that is lost when you compress your sleeping bag.