There had always been hammocks around while growing up but I never thought it would lead to this...

Hammocks were always around growing up, they were for lounging, reading, swinging, playing but I never thought of them as integral to my way of life. All of that changed during the last year and now, well now I'm just trying to manage the obsessive compulsive disorder that follows from begining the quest for "my perfect setup".

Fond memories of sling hammocks hanging between the mangroves or palm trees of the South Pacific, bridge hammocks, rope hamocks dotting the docks of a backwoods creek in the Pinebarrens of NJ. The odd patio hammock poolside of the suburban back yard. All familiar sights. None of that prepared me for what was to come.

No, no i'm not spending $80 on an ENO rainfly I said this past week while shopping at REI. I have to research options, sizes, shapes, materials, tie outs, manufacturers and DIY options! OK, the mosquito net I'll take right now, but that's it, well, the bug net and the Omega Pacific rings, but that's all. Ah hell, gimme the Atlas straps too. See what an unresearched, uninformed, rash purchase can lead to? The dreaded ENO Atlas stretch bands.

Well, I'm not doing a thru hike next week and I haven't ordered my roll of webbing for the DIY straps yet, so the Atlas straps will stay for the time being. Won't even have the rest of my OP rings until next week. So biners and loop strap it is for the moment. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A year or more ago I put a Double Hammock on the old wish lift and was gifted with a Grand Trunk Double. It was either going to be the Grand Trunk or ENO as LL Bean & REI were the goto sources for my family members bestowing the gifts.

Didn't get around to using the hammock until this summer while on vacation in Maine. Once setup, that hammock was occupied fulltime. And so was the other hammock that happened to be at the lakehouse we rented. The fulltime occupancy, and the chance to actually read and nap comfortably and undisturbed really caught my attention.

Forty-eight years on the planet, the last 20 with lower back pain, limited vacation time and this hammock that offered relief, solace and some sort of ability to almost make time stand still as I just lay there hanging in the breeze. Only the unexpected leap of one or both of my dogs into the hammock disturbed this placid cocoon. And soon even they were slumbering, picking up on the hanger vibe. Well this kind of joy needed, no, deserved more investigation. What could I do to bring more of this into my life. So began the research...

Hours of digging through the Internet, scavenging, gleening and lurking followed. So did a rash purchase or two, as did the Hammock Overnight Reports as I began to sleep overnight in the backyard for no other reason than research. Research for what? Something is cooking in my brain.

Maybe it was the setting up of the 8 man behemoth of a tent in the rain during the camping part of my last vacation. Maybe it was growing tired of sleeping on the ground, excellent thermarest pad aside, there were always aches and pains. Maybe it was the simplicity, the ease of setup or teardown. Maybe I just wanted to be back out under the stars, whatever the reason, famiy & friends continue to ask, 'are you really going to sleep outside again tonight?'. Yes, yes I am.

Yes I am sleeping outside in a hammock, have my bug net, working on figuring out how to secure that thermarest pad and keep the back warm as temps dip into the 40's at night. Sure I just dropped $2000 on a new bed/mattress and boxspring hoping to help back problems, but I've got this nifty new hammock and dadgum if I'm not sleeping well again. Hah! Henessey, Warbonnet Blackbird, Clark, ENO or DIY, who knows what is next. The gathering of info continues, the brown truck will be dropping off materials soon. Only to be followed with the concerned questions of loved ones....

'You going to sleep out in the woods again?"

Yep, I probably am.