Tonto Forest - Wifes first hang!
We set out to do a couple nights of camping this labor day weekend and take advantage of the cooler temps up north from Phoenix. It was the first time we were going to overnight "for real" in the hammocks, and it was a success!
The first night we found a spot at the end of a rough trail with lots of trees and no other campers nearby which was hard to find this weekend for sure. We found 3 trees to hang from but pitching the tarp was a bit weird in the space. It worked good, even got a little light rain in the morning and it worked great. We were at about 5500ft near Tonto Creek outside of Payson Arizona.
I slept pretty good, I have been practicing as much as I could with the stand, so I knew how I wanted to sleep for the most part. I was crazy warm, sweating a bit until the early morning when it cooled down to about 55 or so. The wife slept good, but got a little cold in the very early morning, nothing too bad, but she's a cold sleeper. We both were sleeping with Thermarest Pro pads wrapped in a thin fleece liner (better than sleeping on the plastic). And for a blanket we had some thicker fleece sleeping bag liners. Eno bug nets did their job and kept us bug-free all night. I brought my Kelty 12x12 tarp.
This was the first time pitching it all together in the "wild", it took a bit more time than I expected trying to figure out lines etc, but it worked good.
Used some poles to widen the sides a bit for some more room underneath, it was a weird pitch because of the tree right on the side.
The second night we headed to a favorite fishing spot just off the Mogollon Rim, Lower Canyon Creek. This spot was about 6500ft and we expected to get about 5 to 8 degrees cooler being a bit more in a valley than the previous spot. With lessons learned from the night before we found a nice set of trees with good room for the tarp to pitch up nicely. I used a few of the side tie outs on the kelty to pitch with 3 lines to make a nice room underneath but still give us some rain protection if it decided to dump that night. I set up the same as the previous night as far as the hammock went, the wife opted for one of the sleeping bags we brough as a top quilt. The cooler temps kept me sleeping better with less sweating, and she said she was toasty the whole time with the extra bag, never getting even the slightest cold.
Our daughter slept in her little tent next to us each night, I think next time I'm going to get her setup with a hammock as well.
Weird pitch gave lots of room underneath.
The little gear hammock I got from lymphocytosis worked great between us for shoes and other things. Kept the creepy crawlies from getting in the shoes, and kept things at hand if needed during the night.
It was a great weekend, learned a lot about hammock camping. We brought way too much gear "just in case", next time we can cut about 75% of what we brought. Before this we always camped in the tent with air mattress and never really had a decent nights sleep. Even the first night in the hammock was 100% improvement over the old way, and by the second night there was no way we will be going back to the air mattress/tent setup. It was also the first big trip in the new weekend toy (Xterra), it was a lot of fun getting offroad again.
Big thanks to the hammock forums here for setups, suspension, etc... We were able to go out and make good decisions to have a very successful trip, I can only imagine if we had to figure it all out on our own.