My son and I got to field test our gear this past weekend ..... and what a test! The weather was outstanding. It was near 20*C during the day and sunny and was getting down to 7*C at night. Made for bright cheery days and spectacular sunsets!
Because we didn't canoe or carry our stuff in this time (used a motor boat), the gear was a bit bulky. We even brought a game of Risk for the night time around the fire. Both hammocks, ridge lines, stakes, Dutch clips, tree huggers and tarps fit into an old tent bag I had laying around.
I kept the hammocks close together because we both wanted the view of the lake at night. Ryan won out and got to sleep closer to the water. His bug net uses velcro along both lengths, which I am not fond of, but it works. His was the first gathered end hammock that I did and it turned out well. He doesn't know he is the guinea pig for my gear. You can see him poking his head out of his hammock. He is quite a trooper for an 11 year old. He has been on a spring trip (early May) and a fall trip (late Sept) every year since he was 5. He will NOT entertain the idea of a tent anymore .... strictly a hanger now
My hammock is a gathered end 1.1oz ripstop. I liked the idea of the bug net that is attached to the head and foot with short lengths of velcro but uses the weight in the side pockets to keep it from lying around. I've opted for the Dutch clips at the tree, 1-1/2" rings at the tree huggers and a larkshead at the hammock. Easy to attach everything and quick to adjust.
Finally, because I got started so late this year and the budget got cut, I had to use what was available for tarps. The one on the left is an old tent floor (I hate throwing anything away) and the one on the right is a $6 poly in camo. I added some tie outs to the tent bottom and it turned out OK. They got tested on a vertical rain on the last night. If there had been any wind, you can see we would have been a bit wet. They also worked well to protect us from the onslaught of pine cones being pummeled at us from the 5 or 6 red squirrels on the site. I have to say, when a pine cone hits a poly tarp from 30 ft above ..... it is LOUD!
Lesson's learned :
UQ are required. Both of us complained of cold feet every night.
Lightweight tarps that will reach to the ground might be a good option, but the warmth may come before this.
This years trip was a sucess. I am already looking forward to the spring for another trip with my son. Thanks to all the contributers, comments and DIY's who give an endless amount of knowledge and experience to this site. It made it easier for me to get involved and start making my own gear.