The journey of thousands of dollars spent must begin with a single forum thread... or something like that.
My name is Sam, I am from the hamlet of Midway in the heart of the Bluegrass region of the fine state of Kentucky. I began backpacking on April 24th, 2004 at Neel Gap, GA on the AT. I was a cycling enthusiast looking for a cool way to watch Lance Armstrong race his first major race on US soil with a friend who was a backpacking enthusiast who thought it would be cool to watch me suffer up and over Wildcat Mountain. Neither of us were disappointed.
I walked away from that trip with a love of backpacking and he walked away with a bunch of good stories about my retarded gear and basic and total ineptitude. I immediately came home and began pouring over forum posts and catalogs and quickly accumulated more gear than was used by the entire Lewis & Clark expedition. Since 2004 I have purchased 5 packs, 3 tents, 3 water filters and 2 stoves. Additionally, I have made 25 or 30 different alky stoves and various pot stands and windscreens. To borrow a southern phrase, I went "whole hog".
Then, last fall, my local Sportsman's Warehouse decided that my beloved Lexington, KY location was not worth keeping open and had a clearance sale and shut the doors. On the last day of the sale, tucked in the bottom of a box of crap, I found a Byer Parachute Traveller Hammock. I'm a Scoutmaster for my son's Boy Scout Troop and I thought that it looked like the perfect "car-camping" solution for wasting away the hours at base camp during a week of summer camp. It was a mere $3 so what did I have to lose? I bought it, brought it home, and threw it into my very own box of crap and totally forgot about it.
Last Saturday afternoon the family and I were invited to spend the day at my sister's lake cabin that is nestled in amongst a nice thicket of trees. I came upon my unused hammock while digging through my box of crap looking for my fly fishing vest. I grabbed it and took it along. Since it turned out to be a crappy day for fishing, I decided to cut my losses and take a nap in my hammock. I rigged up a quick suspension system using some 1" nylon webbing off a life jacket and gingerly entered the hammy. I awoke surprised, an hour or so later, to find that I was still in fact suspended between two trees and was completely comfortable.
Now, if you remember the "whole hog" part from three paragraphs ago, it must be stated that "whole hog" is my basic modus operandi. Whenever something, hell ANYTHING grabs my fancy, I go all in. I came home last Saturday, remembered the hammockforums.net address from reading posts over on whiteblaze.net and wandered over here and created an account.
I had always had the impression that you hammock hangers where a bit of an odd group but I couldn't have been more wrong. One of the first threads I read pointed me toward Shug's YouTube channel. I spent the rest of Saturday night and most of Sunday morning watching every single one of his vids. I now realize that you all are certifiably insane. But I digress...
The pertinent "whole hog" part of my introduction to this forum is that I just came home from my local Hancock's Fabrics with 20yd of black ripstop. I believe it is 1.9 but I'm not 100% sure. I am now shaving yaks all over the place figuring out how to turn this black bolt of nylon into my first "real" hammock.
If you have read this far, I applaud your persistence yet question your judgement. All the same, thanks for reading and thanks for a great forum. I look forward to becoming part of the fold.