I went for a hang last night in a local state park (developed) campground last night. Since it was getting dark, I randomly picked a campground at the self registration since I didn't want to have to drive around aimlessly more than once.
I lucked out with my choice and found 2 trees the right distance apart (minimum distance, actually) even though they were on a slope covered with gopher holes. I staggered through holes all evening like the party-hardy group across the way but without the hangover! Saw no gophers. Perhaps they were at the party.
Items I was testing/playing with: a shiny new Caldera Cone, a version of whoopie sling suspension, my new JRB 11x10 cat tarp, my not-really-new-but-who-is-counting JRB Shenandoah quilt, and finally the over-the-tarp ridgeline idea.
Even though I drove up to camp, I did load everything on my Molly Mack Pack (all of 17 pounds - I'm getting lighter - the filter and umbrella I did not bring would add just a little bit to that. As would the water I did not carry - so probably 20? Way better than 40!).
The low was 43 degrees. Discovered that I am (at least last night) a cold sleeper! I was perfectly comfortable in my 30 degree down bag and wool longjohns and a wool hat, but just the 40 degree Shenandoah as an underquilt was not quite enough. So I slid my Oware (very large very thin) insulating pad between the layers of my DIY hammock and was toasty warm all night.
At the midnight nature call I added my fleece vest under my shoulders since they were feeling just a little cool from the shifting breeze: the wind had picked up a bit and shifted around to blow in over my head. Grrr. So I ran around closing off the ends of my JRB Tarp. Very well designed piece of equipment - lots of possible places to stake to the ground and it is long enough to enclose my excessively long hammocks.
I slept in an hour later than I normally do: not too warm, not too cold, just right. Difficult to pry myself out of the hammock in time for my rehearsal (trombone/euphonium quartet for Christmas). But bribed myself with tea on my spiffy new Caldera Cone stove (I had made an add-water meal the night before). I like this stove system (I use Esbit tabs), and since I already have a plastic tube as part of my Molly Mac Pack system, I already have a place to carry the cone.
Love Love Love whoopie slings and toggles. I'm going to bring my own toggles next time - was utterly unable to find appropriate sticks especially in a well-used public campground in the dark, so I rooted around in the car for a ballpoint pen which I disassembled for toggles. Worked fine.
My tree huggers are on the long side, so even after wrapping 'round the tree an extra time, I had a lot of hugger left, so my whoopie slings were as short as they could be.
I probably could have raised the foot end of the hammock more (hard to judge on sloped site) but was comfortable enough.
I like the over the tarp ridgeline: I used Marlow Excel Pro (2mm sheathed polyester sailing line) for both the prusiks and the ridgeline. I discovered that, as I suspected, the line did not hold well to itself, so I took the core out of the two lines prusiked to the tarp and that made the line soft enough that it gripped the intact ridgeline just fine. I did try the reefing line idea that Shug shows in his video, but I prefer net tubes to contain the tarp. I'm going to leave the tarp on the ridgeline between times.
Now I've just got to get out and backpack!