Been lurking for a while, finally decided to post something after actually putting my hammock to use on an overnight backpacking trip to Mt. San Jacinto here in Southern California.
My buddy and I took the tram up to the mountain station and hiked the 6 and a half miles to little round valley to set up camp. Stayed the night, hit the peak for lunch time and hiked back to the tram that afternoon.
I had picked up an ENO double nest and some slap strap pro's at REI's annual sale a little while back but I had only been able to set it up briefly on day hikes for a brief rest. I wanted to try hanging because I always wake up with a back ache when I sleep on the ground even with a self inflating pad. So the sale on the DN was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
I wasn't 100% sure I would be able to find a suitable place to hang with in 25' of those 4x4 posts that they have to mark campsites ahead of time so I had my self inflating pad with me in case I had to go to ground. I used that instead of trying to make or buying an under quilt. I also didn't have a tarp or anything because I figured I could get into the tent if I needed. When no rain is expected, I prefer to sleep under the stars if possible anyway so I had some options in case the hammock didn't work out.
Luckily, I found two trees a good distance a part and set up the hammock and slept great! I used my REI sleeping bag as an over quilt and tucked the sides under my body between me and the pad and that seemed to work well. Because of the stretch of the Slap strap pros I probably set up my hammock a little high and didn't really have the 30* angle that is desired, but it seemed to work out OK anyway.
I'd like to upgrade my suspension to whoopie slings and I'd like to add a ridge line to see if that helps me get a little more flat but all in all I was really comfortable and woke up much better than I usually do when camping so I'm already trying to plan another overnight soon, maybe up near Wrightwood, I remember there being a lot of trees up there so that might provide some good hang options.
Sleeping under the stars is always great, but gently rocking to sleep under the stars and waking up pain free was amazing!
Oh, and I had Shug's voice in my head the whole time I was plaing with my hammock. Almost like he was narrating the experience. His video's were a great help in making the transition into hanging.
Thanks for having this great resource, I'm really enjoying it. I think if I had a back yard I would be spending some nights out in the hammock on a regular basis, despite the fact that I'm sure my fiancee would no be happy with that. Maybe I just have to get her hanging too.
I'm sure I left stuff out, but this post is long enough already!
Oh and my user name is the combination of my initials and the Polish suffix of my last name "ski" making mcmski