Saturday, I met Redtail at his house and we drove to the AT and hiked to the Rocky Run Shelter. My plan was to try out my hammock in a place other than my back yard :^) It was just too hot in the last month or so.

I'm hanging in a Speer hammock made from a kit. I modified it to use ring buckles and it took almost no time to hang the hammock up. I tied a slip knot at the buckles and had no problem at all with the webbing slipping. I brought my BA insulated air mat and semi inflated it per Slowhike's suggestion and I also brought a cc foam pad in case I got cold. I did wind up using it. The "biggest" problem that I had setting up the hammock was untangling the bug net ridgeline :^) I'm still awaiting a tarp from Brian, but because there was zero percent chance of rain I went without one. I used my BA sleeping bag as a top quilt.

Redtail told me he snored, and so do I, so we hung about thirty feet away from each other and both of us had a quiet night except for a dog barking off in the distance and a cow mooing from a nearby farm. This was much better than the lights, traffic noise and my dogs licking me through the bug net in my backyard.

We shot the bull for awhile, cooked up some freeze dried minestrone soup, shot the bull some more and I eventually turned in for the night.
The temps went down to about 42 degrees that night. Everything I've read about on this board crystallized that night. As long as I stayed on the air mat and the cc pad and the down sleeping bag stayed around me, I was warm. Of course that was not the case all night. I woke up three or four times to find that my insulation, top and bottom were all over the place. Even when they stayed put, an arm or shoulder would touch the bare hammock and I got cold in those places. I know now why everyone raves about underquilts or uses SPEs. I'm definitely going to buy or make an underquilt.

In any case, I left my boots under the hammock and had no trouble stepping right in them on the few occasions that I got up. My webbing stretched all night and each time I got up, I tightened them up. It was easy as pie using the ring buckles.

Even though I was cold from time to time, I got up with zero back pain. It was better than sleeping in my own bed...and, I never had to contend with my girlfriend's elbow to the ribs when my snoring got too loud.

OK...that's it...and, for everyone who is new to this, there is nothing that can take the place of just heading out to the woods and taking the plunge :^) Everything that you read on this board will make a lot more sense afterward. Thanks everyone!!