And it was.... interesting. First off, I chose a night that turned into a massive thunderstorm. Nothing like trial by fire. I was hoping to have a clear night for my first hang. I got terrential downpour instead. Oh well. I didn't get home until 10:30 at night, so I was also hanging it in the dark. The one saving grace was it didn't start raining until an hour after I was in the hammock. So it was dark when I set it up, but at least it wasn't wet.
So first thing. I must be mechanically uninclined because I could NOT figure the cinch buckles out. I bought the ones that everyone links to on here. I guess I just don't get how to feed the straps through it. I ended up with something that worked, but it would have been loads easier to just tie knots in rope.
It took me, roughly, an hour and 45 mins to hang the hammock and fly. Not exactly speedy, but first time and in the dark was tough.
I didn't do any tensioners on the fly because by then I was frustrated. I think I'm going to have to do a ridgeline. I read somewhere that the Clayot diamond fly doesn't need a ridgeline, but mine sure sagged in the middle when I pulled the guylines out tight. Maybe I was doing something wrong.
The first thing I noticed is that the hammock compressed me quite a bit. I'm used to laying in a regular hammock that has 3'ish spreader bars on both ends to make a nice flat surface. This thing rolled up on me, turning me into a hammock tube-o-Noshtero. I could force my arms out and open it up a bit, but it just collapsed back onto me. Now, being that it's pretty well cinched head and foot, logically it's not going to stay open, but is supposed to be like it was for me? I mean, I got used to it, but I definently had firm pressure on both arms all night, and it rolled my shoulders in towards the middle.
Throughout the night, about every 30 seconds or so I got a nice cold drop of rain on my bare legs. I wasn't getting rained on, I was getting dripped on. I am almost positive that the end of the hammock was under the fly, so I'm not sure what was dripping on me unless it was dripping from where the rope met the fly, and the wind was blowing it back onto me. I have a fancy strap and cinch buckle system for the hammock, but I'm just using the stock ropes for the fly. Should I be using a different method for the fly?
Also, I got some trickle-down water. Now, I thought with a carabiner going from the hammock to the straps, it wouldn't trickle past that. I didn't get a ton, like if it was a solid rope, but I got some.
Things that went right! My REI litecore 1.5 pad worked beautifully. It slid right into the pad sleeve on the Claytor and didn't move around at all. My sleeping bag worked great as well. I layed it open on it's side so the zipper was in the middle and just sort of wrapped it up around the sides. Nothing on top of me, just bottom and sides. It worked well, even with the wind and rain I didn't get cold. My Thermarest pillow was awesome. It fits right inside the hood of my bag so I can still pull the hood up over my head, which I did. My stick spreader bar for the bug net worked decently. It was cocked at an angle because I think I had uneven tension on the two shock cords. I set it up in pitch black, so I couldn't tell until the morning anyway. Except for the whole cinch buckles not being adjustable (which was my lack of knowing how to use them) the strapworks straps and biners worked Great!
All in all, it wasn't bad. I'll put some pictures up as soon as I get them off my camera.
1) What should I be using to string up the fly?
2) Should I use a ridgeline?
3) How do I use cinch buckles? My setup is a 12' strap from strapworks with a biner on one end and a cinch buckle. Then a 2' strap from strapworks going through the hammock webbing and a biner to hold the ends together. I made a loop through the cinch buckle on the 12'er and snapped the biner from the 2'er onto it. It looked awesome, I'm just not sure if it's right and I SURELY got no "easy adjusting" out of the cinch buckle
4) Is it likely that the corner of my fly was dripping onto my leg?
5) Is the hammock supposed to apply firm pressure to your shoulders? I could see that getting uncomfortable after a few nights
6) Is there something else I need to do to prevent trickle-down water from reaching the hammock? I have a carabiner in the system, which I think stopped most of it, but not all of it. Drip string after the biner?
Sorry so long. I'm just really excited to report back since you guys helped me out so much in getting started!
Thanks for reading, and thanks for any and all advice!