My name is Chad, but I go by Stick on the trail. I have only been a hiker/backpacker for about 2.5 years now and like many started out with a tent. Then, it didn't take me long that I wanted to try out a simple tarp. I bought an OES 8 x 10 silnylon tarp, and I quickly found that silnylon stretches, so I needed a solution to keeping the tarp taut. This is where I first came across HF as I was pointed towards headchange4u's self tensioning guline post. Don't get me wrong though, I still enjoy my tents, but as of recent I have moved on again and tried a hammock.
In the past I hemmed some ripstop nylon to be used as a tarp, however, I never got around to getting a suspension for it so I never used it. Then, after reading some good things (read: inexpensive) about the Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock, I decided I would try it out. However, when I went to purchase it they were all out of the suspension systems, and to be honest, all of the reading about other suspension systems and ridgelines, well it was overwhelming and I wanted something simple and cheap. Then about 2 days later I found someone selling this exact hammock with suspension for cheap so I jumped on it.
Of course once I did that I came back to this site and was pleased to find a Grand Trunk thread. I also of course (re)watched all 10 episodes of Shugs Newbie How-To videos.
Once it came in I took it out and began trying to figure it out. Happily, it was very easy to hang. Of course though the first time sitting in it (ok, and still...) I was a bit nervous, just wondering if the cords would really me up...but they did...and later I found myself almost dozing off in the hammock on a hot sunny day in the shade.
It didn't take me long to figure out that I did in fact find the hammock comfortable, and as much as I had believed before, I didn't end up feeling like a banana. Although, I still don't have laying on the diagonal down...but I am willing to work with it. And maybe it's the hammock? Regardless, I decided I was going to invest in a easier, and lighter, suspension system.
So, I placed an order for some tree huggers, toggles and whoopie slings (among other things) from Stu at Whoopieslings.com. And right here I have to throw in how pleased I was with Stu. I placed my order late Saturday night and the next morning realized that I wished I would have opted for the soft shackles on the single line tarp ridge line I ordered. So, I emailed Stu and asked if he could fix the order and I would PayPal him the extra $$$. Within a couple of hours, he emailed me back and told me he took care of the order and not to worry about the extra cash! Plus he said it would be out the next morning. Sure enough, Wednesday it was in my hands!
Once I got them, I found it rather easy to outfit my hammock with my new suspension, as well as drop a little weight in the process. Also, the entire system is very easy to use! So, big props to Stu for his awesome customer service as well as his sweet gear!
I also want to give a shout out to Raul Perez (AKA: Water Monkey) as he and I exchanged multiple emails in which he educated me in the ways of general hammocking, suspension and insulation... Of course his Youtube videos were very helpful (and funny) too! Thanks Water Monkey! maybe one day we will meet on the trail...
So, at this point, I am quite happy with the GT UL hammock. I even made a DY Bug Sock, thanks to Randy Smith (AKA Papa Smurf), which turned out quite well.
So, I just wanted to tell everyone here on the forums hello. And while I do still enjoy my tents, I am very impressed and happy with my first hammock. I even used the suspension system from the GT hammock to finally bring my DIY hammock to life, so now I have a loaner for a buddy...
But anyway, I am looking forward to getting to know my hammock better, and wanted to say thanks to everyone here already, because I have already benefited from some great info posted here on the forums. Also, my limited dealing with the hammocking community has been all good so far...
So, to end this, I will leave some links to the videos that I made about my hammock system so far...