I've been reading the forum for a while and just joined!
I'm not really a hanger yet, but wanting to become one, and here's how I got to where I am:
(it's kind of long)
1. Randomly discovered the joy of hiking on my own.
2. Knew nothing and did everything wrong. During my first 2-day hikes I "destroyed" my body every time and needed a week to heal. (Brought the wrong stuff, brought too much, used bad or no gear, packed useless food, didn't know my body et c)
3. Walked 600 km or so over 8 months and gradually improved my technique and gear. Every weird situation I survived made me love it more.
Meanwhile a lot of things happened that made me more and more sick of the whole concept of having my own place to live indoors. It seemed heavy, inefficient, wasteful, tiresome...
4. I was going to work by train and a situation appeared where I knew I wouldn't make it to the last train in the evening. It was in the middle of February and I had never slept outdoors in wintertime before, but overly confident from my hiking experiences thus far, I brought my stuff and slept in a park, with double sleeping bags and double thermo pads on a bench to avoid the snow. Now that I know how cold the Swedish winter nights really are I think I was just lucky it worked.
5. A few weeks later I had to leave the apartment I had lived in, against my will. Carrying all my stuff on my back to a friend's place, I realized how many useless things I owned. From then on I have constantly been trying to reduce my possessions by selling, giving away, recycling et c. Today, 1½ years later, it's less than 20 kg and I could probably carry everything at once but at this point it would still suck. Soon my life will be completely mobile... soon...
6. I didn't want to find another expensive wasteful apartment and fill it with meaningless stuff again. I started to sleep in a small forest near my company instead of going "home" by train. I got to my workplace before most people and could shower and eat and hide my gear under my desk without too many noticing. Sometimes I stayed indoors at friends' places. A few months passed this way.
7. Sometime during the spring I found a Swedish DIY site on the internet where someone listed some benefits of using a hammock instead of a tent. It was like being struck by lightning. All my various experiences thus far of carrying heavy equipment and still not being able to sleep comfortably on the ground and so on, instantly turned into a conclusion: hammock. I found a guide on how to make one, on Just Jeff's page I think, and got started.
8. In the beginning of May, I tried my hammock for the first time, bringing it instead of my thermo pad. It was insanely cold, I got very sick and was home from work for 2 weeks. I decided that the Swedish climate wasn't fit for human life, and that I would never spend another winter there.
After recovering, I put a pad inside the hammock and managed to sleep almost OK for a few nights, but it was never really comfortable. Getting inside the sleeping bag was too hard, the pad kept sliding away. I couldn't keep the mosquitoes away either.
9. At the beginning of the fall I moved to India in order to escape the winter. It was amazing and all but I somehow got sick of it (probably because I didn't know what I wanted to do) and came "home" after 6 months.
10. I traveled for a few more months and when I came back this time I found myself unusually content with being in Sweden and kind of tired of traveling in other countries. I still have nowhere to live and recently realized that I could just go and buy myself a commercial proper hammock winter solution and be comfortable. After all, I really saved lots of money working while not paying any rent and living on simple camping food for 8 months, it's just fair that I invest in nice outdoor gear!
I still don't like mosquitoes or being cold at night but I want to try again. And I can see in this community that I'm definitely not alone wanting to live close to nature, and also that there are lots of great people coming up with great ideas on how to solve any problems.
I have already learned lots here about what's available / possible. Thanks! This community is awesome. I love the nerdy terms. I will make a thread soon where I summarize my research so far and ask for advice on what solution to try first.