Even the other "old timers" I'll introduce me.
I'm Doctari. I have been called that for over 25 years, since my days at the first aid department at the Cinti Zoo. This is well before getting into backpacking.
FWIW, Doctari is a bit quieter than Gary, the "real me". I real life, my two jobs require a,,,,,,,,, strong personality, out in the woods, those guys get to take a break & chill.
Job #1: Ive been an EMT for over 28 years & a Paramedic for 15 of those years.
Job #2, or as I like to call it, my fun job: I'm several characters at the Ohio Renaissance fest and I'm 1/2 of the first aid department there. When on the street, I'm usually "Adam" the Lord Mayor's man servant (predecessor to what is now known as a "man's man" or "butler") but most patrons know me as "the guy in Pink" I have several other characters, all quite over the top! Great fun!!
My true passion though is hiking & other outdoor activities like Bicycling (& bike camping) & canoeing. A few years ago on a overnighter at a local park, I decided to give up backpacking because it was getting harder & harder to get up from the ground & out of my (very small) tent. "I just can't do this anymore!' I said to myself. I had heard of hammock camping, but remembered the misery of being in a net hammock for long periods & didn't seriously give it any though as a viable way to camp. But after that last tenting trip, I sent Hammock engineer (Now "Coffee") a PM: "Hey, can I try your hammock for just a few minutes? PLEASE!!!" so the following week, he came over & we set it up in my back yard. I know you have all heard & or had the story, but it WAS: Love at first lay! I knew then & there that this was what would save my hiking life. So, I sent $18.00 to someone (I forget who I ordered it from) & got my first hammock. WOW, what a good nap, sadly, the hammock & the ropes I used all stretched A LOT & I woke up laying on the ground
Well, after about a year of trial & error (HF didn't exist yet, we all were on wB & a small side forum back then.) & some help from WB members, I finally got it nearly right. NOW it was time for my first long distance hike with a hammock, boy was I nervous: I was sure that I wouldn't find any place to camp. Yea, I had a underquilt, but only tested to about 40, so I was sure I would freeze to death. Yea, Hammock Forums was now a "Power" in the world of hammocks, & I learned a lot from that, Still,,,,,,,,,
Anyway, I always found a good site to hang, sometimes I found a GREAT site to hang. A few times places I could not have tented at, that was so fun!
I got cold ONE night, below 32 because there was snow on the ground & the ground was frozen in the morning, but 1 night in 22, yea I was stoked!!
Because I slept well every night the hiking was the easiest ever, I did more miles & had more fun than I ever had when tenting.
I was so hooked. I will never sleep on the ground again! Well, that isn't exactly true, I took a nap early afternoon on day 2, it was supposed to be a 30 minute nap (to the tune of "A 3 hour tour") & as I took it in my hammock, it turned into a 4 hr nap. So, now I "nap" on the ground or I don't get any hiking done. I can lay on the ground a max of 30 minutes, & as I prefer to take only 30 minute naps, this is a good plan.