I'm a long-time hiker/backpacker/canoe-camper, pretty well converted to lightweight backpacking (17 lb base weight) moving to hammock land (at least for my solo travels) and willing to take the modest weight penalty for doing so. I'm queued with Brandon for my Blackbird (double 1.1 fabric, mirror image build) and really stoked about the switch.
I'm sure I'll have questions...(still have to figure out the underquilt thing), but these forums seem like the place to be for support and "insider" knowledge.
So...some not-so-random questions...
1. Webbing or rope hangers? Rope is a bit lighter, webbing is a bit less hassle. Recommendations? Most folks seem to go the webbing route from my perusal of the forums so far.
2. Underquilt recommendations? I'm in Minnesota, so even our "warm" weather is pretty cold by most standards. For early/late season trips, an underquilt seems a necessity. Mid-season seems like a pad will be sufficient.
3. Pad recommendations? I have a large neoair (25"x76") that I'd like to try in the Blackbird, but it seems that CCF seems a more consistent choice for many forum members.
4. I see lots of Blackbird users with MacCat tarps. They look great, especially as executed in spinntex. I have an almost-new MLD Grace Duo (Spinntex) from ground-dwelling usage that I plan to try with the Blackbird. I'd prefer to see it in a new use rather than sell it or leave it in my closet. It's a trapezoid shape, though, with the "head" dimensions at 9' 2" and the "foot" dimension at 7' 8", with a 9' 9" ridgeline. Does anyone have experience with a similar shaped tarp? Or concerns that it won't work? I'm thinking it could be pitched with the foot end guyed closer in than the head end for coverage.