Just wanted to introduce myself. Been lurking for a couple of months now.

I turn 40 this week and lately, this city guy has been hearing the call of the wild.

Haven't been camping since summer camp 25 years ago, haven't caught a fish bigger than a deck of cards in my life. But this year I'm planning to camp and catch a fish worthy of eating.

Hammock camping appeals to me because I actually did spend a few cold nights on the ground when I was in the Army 20 years ago.

I didn't *quite* get the importance of the ccf pad and spent some miserable nights out in the field when I didn't bring one. The ground was lumpy, too!

I like the idea of being up and out of the elements (those elements being rock, root, mud, water, and snake). I have found a lot of useful information here, especially since I'm 6'1" and 270 lbs. Not all gear is likely to work for me. I notice that quite a few hammockers equal my dimensions. Some even dare to exceed them. It's nice to learn from experience.

So, a couple of days ago, after much reading on this forum, my Parrot Bay hammock showed up at my door. I haven't had a chance to hang it above the foot of snow outside, but I will soon.

I was going to get a Skeeter Beeter Pro, but I'm hoping the Parrot Bay will at least be good enough to get a feel for hammock camping. I have to watch costs because my wife is giving me the side-eye re my new interest in the outdoors.

My plan is to take my new-to-me little aluminum jonboat on a weekend camping trip along one of the local rivers (maybe even the Mississippi) and fish.

I've been slowly acquiring camping gear for the last couple of months and maybe I wasn't keeping my wife up to date on everything. It reminds me of the tagline of a guy over on one of the boating forums: "My greatest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I told her I paid for it."

Last night, we stopped by one of the local outdoor stores on the way to a bookstore. I was looking at the hammocks that they have hanging like drapes from a ring in the ceiling and my wife said, "Those are pretty. You should get one, babe!"

Awwww, how sweet. Such a good wife.

I scuffed the tile with my foot and said, "I kinda already have one..."

And as the old joke goes, "And that's when the fight started..."