An old newbie in South Carolina
Greetings from SC. In my much younger years I loved to camp, mostly 3 season canoe camping as far north as Ontario. Sometimes in winter - not western mountain above the tree line in howling blizzards type camping, just mid-Atlantic winters with far more 35 degree rain and sleet than beautiful dry snow. Gear weight wasn't especially important - dry and durable mattered.
Then came responsibilities and children, and the outings became day trips with toddlers. We were always planning to get back outdoors but the camping gear mostly just gathered cobwebs. Now I'm an empty nester and retired from corporate life. After too many years staying close to home, I spent a week canoeing with scouts last summer and realized that (a) it was a lot of fun and I need to get back outside more, and (b) my old bones weren't real happy about sleeping on the hard ground.
Several scouts had hammocks and kindly allowed me to enjoy afternoon naps. I was intrigued - found this site and began to read. And read. And read.
With another scout trip in view I shopped locally and minimally. Trying for proof of concept before investing much effort or cash. Labor Day weekend I headed for the mountains near the GA/NC/SC border with a whole lot of scouts and a brand new Grand Trunk single hammock, heavy plastic 10x10 tarp meant to cover hay, DIY no-sew underquilt per rjcress from a fleece summer bag I had, my beloved North Face Cat's Meow for top insulation and whoopie slings from 3/16" amsteel since that was what West Marine had in stock. And my tent and Thermarest - just in case. The tent wasn't needed except for gear storage. I happily hung out cozy and dry despite TS Lee's downpour.
Now I'm really hooked and ready to upgrade some gear. The hammock is hanging on the back deck waiting for improvements. Time to order silnylon for a cat tarp, NoSeeUm for Pipsissewa's TED bug net, and recycle a couple of Moonstone 25+ bag liners for a lighter UQ. Might even order some smaller Amsteel and a couple of descending rings.
My Svea 123 is about to hit the half century mark. Yeah, it is noisy but has faithfully made my morning coffee in many settings. I'm looking forward to sitting in my hammock and enjoying many more mornings outside.