So I took my new Dangerbird to Arkansas last week for a music festival (Wakarusa). Five nights of fun, beers and tons of great performances, and almost each night in a hammock. So let's go through the story and my basic review of this hammock
I normally bring a 60$ Coleman tent with me to festivals because I find drunk & high people tend to not care where they flick their cigs, but I thought I'd give a hammock a try this time if I felt my camping spot was safe enough, and I wanted to test it out before an upcoming backpacking trip.
So my whole reason for getting a DB was that my current WBBB just didn't allow me to lay in it exactly how my body wanted, I never felt absolutely comfortable. That's not a knock against the WB, it's just that my body wanted something a tiny bit different, so when Papa Smurf showed up with his design it's like he brought a batch of special brownies with him. The idea that a hammock could give me the ability to lay right or left, have a solid or mesh cover, AND customized to a 1.1 fabric meant that for actually LESS weight than my previous setup I could have some extra cover, a mesh, or nothing at all. So basically this meant it could be my hanging out hammock AND my backpacking hammock.
To add to my fun my friend (ricecg) lent me his Big Daddy to try out in place of my CCS, and I'm quite glad he did because it STORMED.
The weather reports for the past few years at this festival have been "sunny with a chance of some more sun", and the bug reports have been "dude, you're gonna hate these things down here", so I came prepared for sun & bugs, and luckily at the last moment brought my rain coat and pants.
My sleep gear:
TQ: marmot Arroyo
Tarp: Big Daddy
cooler: stuffed to the gills with Leinies & Guinness
The experience (the highlights):
I drove for 13 hours to get there, and after that long driving I'm sorry to say that I didn't feel like tying up all the tie-outs (shock cord & line) right after jumping out of the car, so I actually set up my tent and flicked on my air-pump to fill my mattress up for the first night. I did set my hammock up, but the tarp was in the snake skins for the night.
Around 3 AM the rain hit. *drip* *drip* right on Zombie's face. "Awesome" he said to himself as he tried to move around the tent to find a place where his rain-fly wasn't leaking through. Apparently his nik-wax application did not keep from the last time he set up the tent.
Morning #1 one: eggs, bacon and peppers were grilling up as I cut and tied the needed Big Daddy tie-outs.
Night #2: I crawl in my DB while the Big Daddy watches over me, reach down and zip up my solid cover and fall asleep to the sounds of the late night party-goers while swinging in the slight breeze. I couldn't find an uncomfortable position. At one point I had to piss like hell and all I had to do was reach up and find my zipper, which was in a natural place, unlike my WBBB, which I have had to flight to find in the middle of the night "oh crap I gotta piss" moments.
Day #3: my concert-going buddy admits he rested in my DB, and kinda fell asleep while I was off at a show.
Day #4: HEAVY rain and hail. We actually hook up my CCS tarp and set it up as it's meant to be (center pole), but ended up getting in the car when the hail started getting bigger. When I got out my DB was only slightly damp, due to no seam-sealing on the tarp, but it dried out real fast.
Night #5: I actually contemplated just crawling in my tent, but jumped in my hammock instead. I woke up in the early hours getting rocked by another storm. A little bit of dampness got to me from above, but again that was due to no seam-sealing, but I still kept nice and toasty and quickly fell back asleep.
Morning #5: My tent and mattress were soaked. Glad I didn't sleep in it.
For me the DB was a win,and absolutely my new all around hammock. I loved the mesh & solid covers, the fact that the zippers seemed to be in a natural place instead of having to search around for them, it's lighter than my WBBB and its Whoopies come with a bead on the loop. I couldn't find an uncomfortable position, and I even found myself able to sleep on my side a little bit
The funniest thing I found regarding hammocks throughout the whole fest was all the people with Enos that had no tarps. After I got my stuff set up and a few beers in me I walked around and saw about 20 different hammocks, all ENOs or ropes, but only 2-3 with tarps. I laughed thinking about the rude awakening they were going to have when any rain might hit us, and I heard their "argh!!!" screams in the middle of the night as they were dragged out of their deep sleeps and attempted to find shelter. And sometimes I even got to witness it as my neighbors would sleep through the day, only to groan and pull a pillow over their face if a shower zipped through.
Big thanks: Thanks Papa!!!! You made me one fine piece of equipment.
I wish I had some pics to share of the campsite, but all I really have is Mr. Potato Head doing his thing.