Hello all. I've been lurking these forums for a few months now. I camped a lot as a kid, but only in campgrounds. I joined the Army right out of high school and learned to love "the wild". Now I (usually) do two week-long camping trips in the summer and as many 1-2 nighters as I can fit in. (I'm a single father of two kids - 5 and 2 - and finding time to get away can sometimes be hard.)

I'm going to try hammock camping for a couple reasons. First, I need to replace my tent so the timing is perfect. Second, it seems I can make one fairly easily - and I LOVE DIY projects. Third, I'm starting to get older and I am just not that comfortable on the ground anymore.

I hike/camp almost exclusively in the Sierras surrounding Tahoe with my trusty trail dog, Arrow. He normally sleeps in my tent with me, so I have some slight reservations about how he'll cope with the change. I know he'll be fine - and I plan on making a large tarp so he gets some cover, too.

I'm getting closer to having enough courage to begin making my hammock. Since I mostly camp in the summer I think I should be able to get away with a fairly basic setup - hopefully just a hammock and tarp and the necessary accoutrements. I have a fairly nice sleeping bag that should last me my first season, I hope. I know top and underquilts are the preferred method - but my money tree is not blooming so well.

I already want to thank everyone here for having such a great community and for offering so much advice. I hope I can return the favor.