So we've finally had a change of weather here in Blacksburg, VA so I set out to get my first hang in. I parked my car just past Caldwell Fields and walked about 15min. along Coldwater Creek then crossed the creek to get some seclusion. I ended up setting up my hammock about 20min. from my car on the opposite side of the creek so I'd be close enough in case I had to bail, but far enough so I'd be somewhat secluded.
Here's a picture of the Clark NA setup on an embankment with a fire going nearby:
The night started off great! I had the tarp w/ the side furthest from the creek staked out with the other side flipped over to reflect some of the heat from the fire. I left it like this while I red a book in the hammock and watched the stars for a little while after the fire went out. I was worried about being warm and in the beginning of the night at about ~60* I was actually hot to the point where I wasn't using a cover.
Eventually I called it a night at 9:45pm after staking out the creek-side of the tarp and getting cozy in my cheap Wally sleeping bag and CCF pad. I slept like a log through most of the night until I woke up at about 4:45am because I was freezing. The temperature was in the high 30's/low 40's and I ended up sleeping in the fetal position closed up in my bag till about 7:15am when I finally got out and started a fire to warm up.
Here's a picture of the spot in the morning with a fire going to defrost my bones:
All-in-all I think it was a very successful trip aside from these few problems:
- I couldn't get the tarp tightended just right. The very end of the hammock stuck out a tiny bit, the ridgeline was a little off-centered, and I couldn't get the creek-side nice and taught (You can see the crease in the picture).
- I was super cold when it got down around 40*. I think I can fix this easily though, I was only using a wally CCF pad and a cheap $20 30* synthetic bag from walmart. I also used inflated ziplock bags in the NA pockets which seemed to help a bit but could be improved. I also didn't have any of my thermal underwear/undershirts/socks clean so that would have definitely helped.
Here's a picture of the problem I was having with the foot end of the tarp:
And here's the fallen tree I had to teeter across to get on the other side of the creek (There was no other place to cross 30min. up and down the creek without getting a little wet):
I think I'm going to try and head out again this Sunday to a similar spot since it's only supposed to reach a low of 55 overnight. I think I can fix most of the problems I was having just gotta practice a bit.