First of all, a big thanks to the members. I have learned a lot from you during the last couple of months, hanging around these forums.
My story (short version): born in Venezuela and attended a large catholic school that had a hiking club. Did many weekend hikes in El Avila National Park, which has peaks reaching about 9K feet. Great memories. I moved to USA several decades ago.
In my early twenties I spent six months in a remote farm in southeast Venezuela, where I lived on the porch of a rundown mud shack, and slept all that time in a cotton hammock. Weather was very hot so a thin blanket was enough to keep warm at night. No notion of top quilts or under quilts. The hammock hung under a (tin) roof, so rain was not a problem either.
Recently did a five-week trip to Mexico. It wasn't a hiking trip, but I spent most of the time in remote villages, where I mostly slept in very humble quarters, and often went cold and hungry. The memory of my hiking days came back, and I decided to return to it, get some equipment and knowledge, and be more prepared for any other trips that could involve roughing it.
I don't remember where I came across the idea of using hammocks instead of the more traditional tent and sleeping bag combo, but the concept made a lot of sense to me. Now that I am older, sleeping on the hard ground is not as easy.
I am in the process of making my own hammock and perhaps other gear, but if I botch the job, I know where to go to get professionally-made equipment, thanks to the good people of this forum.
Anyway, I find this community to be well-informed, practical and civilized, and I hope to be a good citizen, and eventually contribute my small grain of sand.