I wandered into the hammock scene when I bought a hammock on a whim at an outdoor expo last fall. I'm a whitewater rafter, and I currently use a roll-a-cot / thermarest combo for sleeping. It's quite nice, but I still toss & turn a bit, and can't get totally comfy on my back. I prefer not to pitch my tent if possible, and like to sleep under the stars. I've been using the hammock for afternoon naps in camp and found it to be really nice. So, I decided to try it out for overnight sleeping on a Main Salmon trip last month. Slept in it for the last two nights of an eight day trip. Very comfy, but cold, even with temps in the 50s. Now that I've done some reading on this forum I've learned about staying warm in a hammock. I'll be taking the hammock on an eight day Middle Fork Salmon river trip in two weeks. Weather for this trip can be pleasant or it can be wet and cold. Who knows. I have a Trek Light double hammock, a KAQ Lost River 3/4 underquilt on order, and I have two Kelty Noah's tarps (9X9 and 12X12). I'll bring my tent / cot set-up for back-up. The great thing about river rafting is that you can bring a lot of gear for comfort. I'm definitely not an ounce counter like a backpacker would be. My 14 ft. cataraft can carry quite a bit. Some of the rivers we run don't have a ton of trees, but we often use oars for our kitchen tarp support, so I might be able to rig a hammock support using my oars. We'll see. It appears that hammock folks are just as much "gear heads" as rafters. Always looking for ways to improve our "stuff."
I noticed that a majority of the people on this forum are from back east, so I decided to join the forum to represent for us western/rafter folks.
Thanks for all the great info on this site. It's been really helpful to a newbie.