Hi, everyone! After lurking through the forums for the last few weeks I've decided to introduce myself. I've learned a lot already reading the great tips from everyone.
I haven't done much backpacking and camping, mainly because I just couldn't ever get a good night's sleep on the ground. Once I read about hammock camping I thought I'd give it a try.
Last summer was my first opportunity to get out, but it was one of those really busy summers and I only got to hang a couple of times. I loved it! Since then I've changed my equipment (a couple times in some cases), and my methods of tying up. My first time trying to hang the hammock probably took an hour, but, thanks to you all, I've learned some better techniques and I've practiced so that putting up and tearing down is done in just a couple minutes.
I started off with a ENO DoubleNest, but I just got my BIAS WWM. I basically bought it to take on short day hikes and set up for a lunch break, which I do. But, it is so light and comfortable that it will probably be my primary hammock.
I'm still using and experimenting with pads, but I'm looking forward to adding an underquilt before next summer. I like the ones from LeighLo. I've got a couple silnylon tarps, but I'm also looking to upgrade to CF. I've got an order pending from Dutchware to upgrade my tarp ridgeline with Dutchhooks and Tarp Flyz.
Most of my hanging will be in the mountains near Colorado Springs. We've got many places to go within a few miles. My wife and I also have family in Southern Illinois, so we have a small vacation house back in St. Louis, and I plan on hiking and hanging on the Ozark Trail this summer as well.
I've got a little over 2 years before I can retire. I plan on using that time to learn as much as I can through experience and reading HF. Then I hope to be able to do some long hikes starting with the Colorado Trail followed by the Appalachian Trail.
I'm glad to find HF and look forward to reading about everyone's experiences!