A Hammocking Good Newbie
OK all you hammock hanger's out there. Just what you have been waiting for, a newbie wannabe hammocker out here wanting to be convinced that hanging is the way to go.
This summer, as every summer since 2000, I did my section of the AT and encountered a couple at a shelter. Husband slept in the shelter while the wife was a hanger. Both in their early 60's and she had a number of physical limitations (i.e. broken back and neck, bad knees, etc) that limited their ability to hike many miles in a day. But, none the less, were out there giving it hell. She said that her hammock was the only way she could go as it allowed her a good night's sleep that a hard surface or the ground wouldn't.
I didn't really get into what type hammock she had but from my recollection, I'd bet it was one of the Hennessey models. So, this pretty much sold me and convinced me that this was a direction I needed to head in.
Now, what do I need from you? Wish I knew exactly what to ask. So, I'll start with what do you think is a good hammock to start with? Consider that due to job commitments, I'll pretty much be hiking a two week stretch anywhere from the last week of July up to perhaps the first week of October on the AT and I am presently in Central Virginia and headed North.
Secondly and knowing that practice makes perfect, how long after you decided to go the hammock route did it take you to get proficient at set up/take down, so that when you set it up, you could sleep all night comfortably without dragging the ground and/or getting wet in a rain storm.
Lastly, anything you might want to throw in there that experience taught you.
Thanks to all and I am looking forward to your responses.
Fat Man Walking
VA to VA - 07
Start by making a Risk TestHammock www.imrisk.com. It takes about 10 minutes and $10 just to see how to get comfortable. If you like it, upgrade. Hennessy and Speers seem to be the most popular high-end models, and there are a few mid-range models like Claytor and Byer. Depends on how much you want to spend.
I think it took me 5-10 hangs to figure it out. You can do that in a day just to get the knots and stuff down. After that, it's just experience in choosing the good sites. There really isn't a time limit on that...after one or three "real-world" sites you'll probably see how everything works well enough to be creative when you have to work around a less-than-ideal site.
Best experience - test your exact setup (or very close to it) at home or somewhere with a bail-out plan before you're in the field with no other options.
Really study this forum as well as White Blaze on all aspects of hammocking. I'm kinda a newb myself but I feel as if I have much more experience than I really do from studying what others are doing. Test out your gear at home. Welcome to the hangin mafia.:eek:
There is a wealth of information here and whiteblaze. Also check out Jeffs site, Sgt Rocks site, JrB site, and all the other ones I cannot think of right now. And don't be shy about your questions there is more than enough experience here to answer most any question you may have.