I'm brand new to the hammock camping concept (a total of 1 week researching the net) and because of this knowledgeable and interesting site my wallet is a little lighter. I started out looking at ultralight tents and stumbled across a video by Shug. That's all it took. From there to here to Google, I was trying to learn everything I could about hanging from the trees. We had planned a camping trip this weekend, so I wanted to spread my new found knowledge with all my friends by camping in hammocks. I bit the bullet and got my wife and I two hammock setups to hang in this weekend. Yup, I'm a little spontaneous.
The big challenge was finding hammocks that were in stock that could be overnight shipped so that we could have them by this weekend. A few emails and phone calls and I had two setups on order. An hour or so more online and I had the 'extras' that you fine folks talked about here on order as well. Carabiners, stakes, cord, etc.
Monday was filled with Shug videos, Professor Hammock, this wonderful site and anything else I could find for my research. Fast forward to today, and the UPS man gave me an odd look as he stacked boxes at my door. He sure didn't look like Santa, but it felt like Christmas.
This afternoon was test time. For the wife, it's an ENO Double Nest (she likes bright colors) with a guardian bug net, dry fly and slap straps. We set hers up first and had some troubles figuring out the ridge line and the tarp ridge line. The hammock seemed to swallow her and was tight at the shoulders. More research needed and sag adjustments.
For me, it was a Clark TX-250 with XL rain fly. I had emailed Clark and let them know my time constraints and they told that even though the TX-250 is a new item for them they could get it to me by today and they did. I got some great customer support from them and even though the price was higher than the others, I decided to go with them. This one seemed simpler to hang than the Eno, not sure if was because we hung the ENO first, but the Clark went up a lot quicker. I used the Clark Tree strap and some petzl Attache biners as the suspension. The poles were a little funky, but after they were installed it seemed to open the hammock up a lot. I like the built in storage, bug net and weather shield, but it being all one piece, it makes the stuff sack pretty large in my backpack.
I really wanted to get some whoopie slings and other suspension methods to try out, but couldn't find a site that would overnight ship them. I thought of getting the Amsteel and making my own, but didn't trust my rope skills yet. so that will have to wait until the next trip. I will make sure to order from some of the sites I see recommended here.
On a side note, I was able to make a hobo alcohol stove from a couple beer cans, so I look forward to trying it our. My wife told me she will stick to her Jetboil Flash and be drinking coffee before I get mine lit. It's a race now.
To wrap up, I wanted to say thanks to all the folks that contribute to these forums. It's the folks like you that help folks like me learn something new. I look forward to contributing in the future if I can ever find something your folks don't already know.
I'm all packed up and will post back next week with a trip report from this weekends hang. We have a two night camp out planned in the Texas hill country. I'm taking my iPad along so I can still hit this site when we run into issue on our first official hang.