Went on a short camping trip this week and got to use my hammock and tarp for the first time. My buddy and I went to Arcadia VA and hiked Apple Orchard falls.
So first things first the hammock and tarp. So this being the first time I've setup the tarp much less the tarp and hammock together it left me on a serous learning curve... Initial setup had my hammock ridge line pushing up on the tarp so I had to play around with how everything was strung especially sense I wasn't setup on a flat area. One tree was higher then the other. I was also very thankful I went with a longer tree strap then the base suggested length as most of the good hanging spots included 1 tree that was very large.
Once we had the tent setup for my friend and my hammock setup for me, we setup my water filtration system I'm currently working on. It uses two platypus bags with the included tubing and a sawyer filter. The reason I went with this setup was due to the fact that the Sawyer bags have a bottle top style closure so you can put the cap on and keep going whether it's dirty water to be filtered later or clean water that can go strait into a pack. I also included a tube crusher style shutoff valve from a home wine kit I have. I liked the setup for the most part but one thing that did become a issue was the dirty bag was hard to fill in the stream. Water didn't want to flow into it so that's something I have to figure out how to resolve as we had to use a bottle dipped in the stream then pored into the bag.
So onto the important part.... Sleeping in the hammock. So the entire reason I switched to a hammock was because my back would kill me when I slept on the ground, even when using a air pad. In this setup I used a Wal Mart blue pad under me for warmth and a sleeping bag on top as a top quilt and I slept like a bug in a rug! It was great the only point at which I had a issue was in the morning when I woke up to cold shoulders and neck but outside of that I never woke up once the entire night.
Now onto the hike after my restful nights sleep. We went to the base lot of Apple Orchard Falls, a trail I had partially hiked before. You start off on a trail that's not all that bad but about half way to the base of the falls you start the ascent and by the time your to the top of the falls you've climbed right around 1500 feet in 2.5 miles with no switch backs just a continues incline. To get all the way to the top of the falls also includes a little rock crawling and narrow path. You can then go back down or continue up above the falls down a forest road and then down Cornelius Creek trail back to the lot, which is the route we took. This route is mostly beside Cornelius Creek and you have to cross it 4 times. That last crossing about 1/2 mile before the lot is the one in which I slipped on a rock and went knee deep with both legs giving me the joy oh hiking a 1/2 mile in soaked boots. All in all it went well and had some beautiful sites. The path we took ended up being 7 miles with 1800 feet of total elevation change according to my GPS. Based on the forestry sign it should take 6-7 hours to do the full hike and it took us 5 1/2 hours which isn't bad for to fat guys.
Now for the pictures
Hammock with Warbonnet Superfly
Water setup which is still a work in progress...
Base of the actual falls
Smaller falls as you get closure to the main one
Section of the trail that required a little rock crawling
Some lower views of the main falls as you ascend to it
The 200 foot main Apple Orchard Fall
View of the Jefferson National Forest from the top of the mountain
This is what feeds the falls
A couple nice ones on the way down Cornelius Creek trail
This is a shot of the begging of the Apple Orchard Falls trail from the end of the Cornelius Creek Trail