Dave here from Ironwood Michigan, at the western end of the U.P. Figured I'd do the civil and introduce myself here.
I got interested in hammocks last summer during a solo motorcycle camping trip- I realized I was passing by a lot of spectacular campsites while looking for a decent place to pitch a tent. I tented the rest of the camping season and this winter started looking into hammocks. Most of my camping is motorcycle camping- weight is a factor but not nearly to the same extent as with backpacking. But I do want to cut down on bulk as much as I can- I ride a mid-sized dual sport, mostly off-pavement, and all my gear, tools, spares, etc. has to fit into a Giant Loop saddlebag and a medium size dry bag. I believe a hammock and tarp combo will pack smaller than a tent, fly, and poles.
I've got my eye on the HH explorer, but I decided I needed to try sleeping in one before I dropped a couple hundred or more on a complete setup. So after a bit of googling I picked up a queen size sheet at Walmart (zebra print for that "safari" look), and hung it in my basement with some rope I had on hand and a couple of cargo straps. I was truly amazed at how comfortable it turned out to be. Like many, I expected it to be like those macrame yard hammocks that bend you double and dump you on the ground if you blink. But it turned out to be much more comfortable than my bed.
I then decided to try one of the twenty dollar Grand Trunk hammocks, to compare it to mine, and because, well, they're twenty dollars. Such a deal! I re-whipped it, made a set of whoopies, and bought some tree straps from Strapworks, and now I have a great lounging hammock, with suspension, that all fits into the attached stuff sack.
Since my wife was out of town for an extended period, I slung the hammocks in a spare bedroom/office, and slept in one or the other for 5 weeks until her return. In fact, when the Queenbee finally did come home, it took all her powers of persuasion to get me back into our bed
Now I'm planning to try my hand at some DIY gear- hammock & bug net for starters. And I see hammocks in the camping future for my wife and daughter as well.
I don't have anything technical to contribute to the forum, but I did come across an interesting quote in a book by Kenneth Brower entitled "The Starship and the Canoe", a biography of Freeman Dyson, astrophysicist, and his son George, high school dropout, treehouse dweller, and canoe builder:
He met a young man who made his own wooden shoes and lived in a hammock. Few humans have dwelt more lightly and immaculately on this Earth than the young man of the hammock.... He now slept everywhere in his hammock- in forests, in greasy freightyards- it didn't matter, for he levitated above all inconvenience.... His whole life was suspended between two points.
Pleasant quote I think, and interesting in that it was in the early 1970s.
Looking forward to learning much from you all.