I've really learned a lot by reading this forum. Thanks SO MUTCH to everyone that participates and shares their time and knowledge here.
My hammock story (so far!):
Grew up with my Father having a Hatteras hammock (the kind with an open rope mesh, wood spreaders) and hung out in it as much as a kid that age can hold still.
Many years later, my family game me an ENO singlenest hammock from the local outdoor place (Great Outdoor Provision Co.). I'm ashamed to admit, I think it has sat unused for almost 2 years in my closet! I knew just enough to know that hanging with rope could damage trees, and when I wanted to use it I never got motivated enough to do something about it.
A couple of years later, my daughter, who started Appalachian State Univ. this semester, wants a hammock and straps. Apparently it is fashionable to hang out in a hammock and "study" in the trees that surround the mountain campus in Boone, NC. She wants the hammock for Christmas, and she offered to buy some Slap Straps for my Christmas gift.
Then I found Hammock Forum -- oh my.
The next pretty day, I quickly made some tree straps from some web that my wife uses in her sewing shop by tying small loops at the end of the straps. I took the straps, some rope, and the hammock to the woods behind my home, set it up, read a novel, and napped! It was wonderful.
Since then, I have ordered some Amsteel Blue from Arrowhead Equip, and made some whoopie slings, so far untested. My family thinks I'm obsessed, but there are worse things to obsess on!
Short term, I'll be hanging in the yard, but I look forward to trying the hammock out for camping. Not sure I'm ready for cold weather -- I may try using my normal sleeping pad + sleeping bag -- but I'm looking forward to camping in warmer weather with the hammock.
I told my daughter to pass on the slap straps for me, but I probably will get her a set, since she expects it and I doubt she will spend too many unconscious hours in hers, at least at the start. But when she needs something better, I'll know how to set her up!
Well, gotta go, there is a book on knots calling my name.....