Thank you so much everyone for the welcome and responses! It is great to see so many from SC. I have been doing some more research and thinking about some of the things Cranky mentioned. I have looked into double layer hammocks because I like the idea of $ savings with a pad. Wilderness logic Nightowl and Liteowl look interesting. It also got me wondering if we need a mosquito net for hiking mountains in SC spring and fall? We would like to hike sections of the Foothills trail.
Tarps we are thinking about are the tadpole because it is light. But maybe bigger is better for the dogs sitting under, cooking, and hanging out in the rain. I know my son will want to hang close to at least one of us so how do you pitch big tarps x3 close together? We could get 2 smaller tarps and one bigger one. Tarps with doors are also interesting. It may just be bad mojo but experience has shown if we are camping there WILL be rain and wind at least one of the days.