A paraglider, a climber, and a hammock camper walk into REI.

Posted by: Rebecca Chen

Last Thursday, June 15th, our friends over at REI Gateway in Austin hosted a night dedicated to Elevated Adventure. As we reflect on the night of sharing stories, we want to introduce you to the panel - three experts in the elevated outdoor industry.

Nick Heller

Nick Heller: Certified paraglider & REI employee. Nick’s avid paragliding adventures range from Grindelwald, Switzerland to Northern New Mexico.

Adam Mitchell: Professional climber & climbing instructor. Adam has been in the outdoor industry ever since his solo 1,200 ft climb in Mexico.

Henry Parker: Lead product designer at Kammok. Henry studied industrial design at the University of Michigan with a focus on outdoor gear.

(Left to right): Nick Heller, Henry Parker, Adam Mitchell

Free tips from an expert hammock camper

According to Henry, most people are surprised by how small backpacks are. The ultralight trend in the hammock industry seeks to address this challenge by pushing boundaries for lightweight and compact packing. Henry is constantly motivated to try new ways to save space and weight and to make camping even more of a fun adventure. At Kammok, the Roo Single and Python 10 Straps set up weighs under 20 oz, outperforming other sleeping setups that weigh up to a few pounds.

Some words of wisdom from Henry:

“Best way to get involved and to find resources on hammock camping is through mentorship. Choose mentors wisely and claim them. Kammok is a great resource, and we are always open to anyone trying hammock camping.”

Best recommendation from a pro climber

Seek out certified and qualified instructors. There are way more people seeking to get into the climbing scenes than there are qualified instructors. For Austinites, “Austin Climbing Group” is a great Facebook group to connect with locals who love climbing.

Insider info on the paragliding community

The paragliding community is inviting and fantastic with roughly 10,000 active paragliders in America, which is ten times more than Europe. Ever since Nick set off on his first paragliding adventure he was hooked. Afterwards, he got certified, and his mentor encouraged him to pursue it as a serious hobby. He’s been paragliding ever since.


Many thanks to all who came out and to Ivey at REI for moderating the panel. At Kammok we value the conversations and panel discussions designed to enhance community in our industry. Miss this event? No worries - we will have events in our Austin Gear Shop all summer. Be sure to check out REI’s event page as well. See you soon!