I am sure a lot of you have read this book, but for those that are not aware I wanted to put up a small review.
Ed's book covers almost all areas of hammock camping, from why to use a hammock to how to build/buy one for yourself. He goes into great detail on where to hang and why. Valuable advice speaking from experience.
Chapters 1 and 2 were informative, but I was already sold on the concept of hammock camping so they reinforced my decision.
The section of the book that I got the most out of was chapter 3 How to Stay Warm. Ed went into details on how to use pads, undercovers and vapor barriers and why you need them.
Chapters 4 and 5 are on the environmental impact of hammocks and safety. Both necessary topics for the noobie and experienced campers.
Chapter 6 covered all aspects of how to build your own Speer Style hammock and will be of more interest to me in the future when I have more time and money to spend on this particular hobby. I am a do it yourself type person, but don't have a correctly functioning sewing machine at the moment.
Chapter 7 covers buying a hammock from a manufacture vs making your own. There is a great deal of information on the makers of the time frame that this book was published (2003). He also covers different styles of hammocks in this section, for example "Portaledge's" carried by rock climbers that stay on the rock face overnight.
The Appendix's do a good job of wrapping the information that is in the book and will serve as a good reminder of things forgotten latter down the road.
In summary, this is a well written easy to read book that is a great primer for getting started or expanding your knowledge about hammock camping. If there is ever a revised edition, I would like to see more attention given to newer materials and to different ways to rig suspension. I would advise buying it, because it took three weeks for my library to get it in using the inter library loan system. They told me that only 3 libraries in the country had a copy and that my copy came from Oshkosh WI.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affliated with or even know Ed Speer or Speer Hammocks, Inc.