Each year in October I take a small group of college students camping and this time I combined it with a recon of the site for the upcoming Texas Fall Group Hang.

Fairfield Lake State Park, about an hour and a half south of Dallas has four camping areas. One is a 2.5 mile hike in to a primitive site with flushing toilets, (okay, not really that primitive) and the other 3 are car camping. Of the car camp sections, Springfield Loop is the water only tent area where we camped.

With plenty of trees and a great view of the lake we set up hammocks for my wife and me as well as a couple of spares to introduce our students to for the weekend.

As I looked at our pictures I realized that my setup was a cottage gear show room.

Underneath the Honeymoon Suite by Smokehouse my wife had her WBBB along with her brand new HG Incubator, inside was her 2QZQ Ridgeline organizer; I had my ancient HH Explorer UL with the 2QZQ zipper mods and my Molly Mac 5 in 1 IX insulated Jerry Chair/UQ. We each had our JRB No Snivler top quilts and if not for the burn ban we'd have used our StovemanDan made alkie stoves, my new Emberlit, or the old faithful BushBuddy. I've always loved REI, but with such great gear from great people, I rarely purchase anything beyond clothing there.

Other than the 2 1/2 hour severe thunderstorm sporting close hitting lightening, hail and 40 mile an hour winds that hit about 4:00AM Sunday, the weather was perfect and all had a great time.

The staff here are the friendliest and most hammock welcoming I have met at any state park. If the trees aren't just right in a site, we have permission to go deeper into the woods until the set up works. Many state parks require one to be only in the improved areas.

There are plenty of trees for the 50-70 folks we are expecting for the Group Hang in a couple of weeks. Although there is currently a burn ban , propane stoves and lanterns were allowed so we were good to go.

Last year at this same time there was also a burn ban so hopefully history will repeat itself, we'll have some more rain, and the ban will be lifted by the date of our hang.