Things I Learned On My First Hike and Hang
March 16 to March18, 2012 Withlacoochee State Forest, north of Dade City, Florida
1) Practice setting up your hammock and tarp at least 10 times before heading out on your first trip.
2) Cook at least 3 meals on your stove and in the pots you will be using.
3) Carry plenty of water and use a pack bladder as well as water bottles.
4) Be sure that your windscreen and stove fit the pot(s) you are going to use.
5) A wind screen made from an aluminum can will double as a Hobo Stove if you use 16 gauge wire as the grill rack. This will also save alcohol and weight in your pack.
6) Do not carry to much clothing.
7) Use Permethrin Bug Repellent on clothes and hammock before going camping. Once use will last up to 6 washings on clothes. Do NOT spray this chemical if pet cats are around, it is lethal to them until the chemical completely dries.
8) Keep food simple, less work, less fuel, and less weight to carry.
9) A camp stool is better than sitting on the ground, especially the older you get.
10) Practice hiking with a full pack before heading out on the trail.
11) Practice packing and unpacking your backpack and learn where the important and heavier items need to go for comfort and convenience.
12) If you are using a pad inside your hammock as an insulator, apply several lines of 100% silicone sealing on the bottom of the pad. Do NOT use the silicone as an adhesive to stick the pad to the hammock, but when it dries it will keep the pad from sliding under you as you sleep.
13) Ask lots of questions of the more experienced hikers and hangers, talk is cheap, but lessons learned are priceless.
14) If possible, visit a group of Hammock Hangers before going out with strangers for a hike and hang. By doing so, you can see if you’ll feel you will fit in with them or not. Most likely, you will!!! Your interest in hiking and camping that will be your common ground. Not age, gender or ethnicity.
15) Even the newest newbie can teach the most experienced hiker something. Be opened to suggestions and information.
This was my first hike and hang in over 30 years. Although past experineces help, things change over time and we have to adapt.
Happy Hiking and Hanging