The big trip is almost here. Iím off to my friends 200 acres in the mountains next week. Of course, Iím going about it all wrong! I have a few test hangs under my belt, but no over nights yet. Iím taking my son (11) and weíll be spending at least 3 (maybe 4) nights. (I know I should have done some test nights closer to home, but I donít have any suitable trees close by, and didnít have time to make a hammock stand yet)

I do have a fail safe. I have the keys to his cabin in case things go totally wrong (but Iím not telling my son that ).

On the agenda:
Hiking
Photography (& video)
Archery
Firearms (instruction & safety)
Fishing
Fire making
Knot tying
Bike riding
GPS (Garmin Rino practice)
Map & compass practice
Swimming
Journal writing (Iíll have him make daily entries and save them)
Any other good ideas? Iím looking for other activities to keep him busy (no Game Boyís allowed!)

I canít wait! I have several new items pending to be shipped to me, but they should get here before I go.

THE TEST: The BIG TEST is weíll have one Clark NA and one Claytor Jungle Hammock (assuming it gets delivered in time!). Iíll get to see how each performs and try several types of set ups. Neo would be proud since Iíll be putting two new SG tarps to good use. Probably more of a test is that neither of us has much sleeping outdoors experience (at least where bears are a real possibility !) Iíve spent a good amount of time in the woods, but not sleeping.

Hereís a Ďcampí question. Have you guys ever used a much larger tarp for a Ďstanding aroundí shelter for a base camp? Any tips on how this should be set up? Will 550 para cord do the job for a long ridgeline? Do you incorporate a bungie to keep the ridgeline taut? Any tips on this?

Well, wish us luck. A little rain (one night) would be a good test, but I hope Mother Nature makes an exception and treats us kindly.

6 ft