Hey, hammockforums! Hello from South Carlina. I've been reading HF occasionally since the fall of '08 and fairly religiously for the last couple of months so it's time to delurk and say hi.
This crazy hammock addiction was started after a conversation with a buddy in the fall of '08 when he mentioned that he was going to spend two weeks on the AT in the summer of '09. It sounded like a blast to me so of course I said I'd join him but all of my previous camping experience was car camping. If I were being frugal, I probably could have cut my gear's weight down to 60# before food. No problem, that's why Al Gore invented the internet. I just needed a replacement for my 22# tent and my 6# cot and my 9# sleeping bag and my 8# camp stove and and and... Easy, right? That's when I first spotted Hammock Forums and fell in love with the idea of NOT sleeping on rocks and NOT crawling into a tiny tent on the ground and NOT rolling around in the dirt.
Ok, reality check: I didn't really have much chance of actually surviving a full day on the AT much less two weeks. I wasn't sedentary, but my exercise was 100% biking and my weight was hovering right around 384#. More to the point, that also put me solidly outside the weight range of any commercial hammock so I gave up on the beautiful thought of sleeping well while camping and resigned myself to finding a lightweight tent.
Then in November of '08 my wife announced that she was going to do the Atkins diet for a month or so because she wanted to lose 10 pounds before Christmas. Atkins? That's the Flintstone's meat, meat, and meat diet, right? SIGN ME UP! Anyway, it's lucky that I hadn't bought a tent yet becuase on January 11th I was legal for a Hennessy Safari. I placed my order on the same day that the scale finally read 350#. By the time June rolled around, I was at 292#. With my full pack, I stepped onto the AT outside Front Royal with a total weight that was over 50# lighter than my nekkid weight 7 months before, but the BEST PART was that I wasn't sleeping on the ground!
My hammock was one of the best parts of those painful, miserable, ridiculous, evil, amazing, unforgetable, wonderful 10 days.
I can't say that 100% of my hammock knowledge has come from hammockforums, but I can't think of a single idea or method that didn't either come from here or come from somebody who is a regular here. So thanks for the info, folks.
p.s. on the off chance that you were on the AT in mid June of '09 between Front Royal and Duncannon and met a big, bald guy called being called Camper, that was me. Why Boris? That's another long story.