I came into hammocking by shear chance, I am a Fire Department Explorer Program leader and began on a venture trying to get outfitters to donate gear for our youth program to get our guys into the woods and away from the Tv. Long story short, I had been a long time fan of the hennessy hammock and as luck would have they very Generous in donating a hammock to the cause. As soon as the hammock arrived I had to try it out at the station and feel in love with it. I knew then I had to get one of my own, so I bought a Hennessy Explorer Deluxe with Hex fly and although I haven't had an opportunity to officially try it out but all I do is dream of the day when I can officially become a hanger. I still have a lot of stuff to buy for myself and a lot of gear to get for the program but we are getting close and ready to do some hiking and hanging.
I started researching hammocks after a friend that hiked the AT in 2011 switched to one about half way thru going south and said he regreted not having it the whole time. A little research led me here and the rest is history.
I got an ENO to hang out in it, but I started camping more and getting outdoors two or three years ago and found out people were using hammocks instead of tents. From there it took off and I have been fine tuning sleeping in a hammock ever since.
My friend switched to a hammock while he hiked the appalachian trail. He was so happy with the switch, that it made me decide to try it, too.
I like to keep an open mind and he is not the first hiker I came across that was telling me about the advantages of hammocks on trails with lot of trees
Used tents a lot, to greater or lesser success, got sick of waking up to a collapsed tent. Brought a Macpac Olympus and discovered what a properly designed and constructed tent can do, but soooo heavy! Tarp camped a couple of times, spent the night slapping biters and listening to bush and water rats going about their business a few feet away. Don't remember exactly where I saw a Henny 1st, but I do remember the 1st time I tried one, at a tent and outdoors expo in a warehouse. It was like the opening scene from The Simpsons, the clouds parted, heavenly music etc. Brought the demo model 3 days later at NZ$30 under retail. Once I got 'got the hang' of it, I've never looked back.
Kinda long, but there is a bit of backstory.
I live in Dallas now, but grew up in south Louisiana. I grew up just north of Lake Maurepas, in a little farm community called Pumpkin Center. I started camping and hunting at a young age and one of my uncles heard me complaining one day about sleeping on the ground while camping in the lake swamp. His advice, “Get a hammock, boy, you’ll stay dry and you won’t have to worry about snakes or other critters.” I thought about it and it sounded like good advice to me, so I managed to get my hands on a cloth hammock, an old green canvas army tarp and with my grandmother's help, made a bug screen that would fit over the hammock. Then I rolled it all up and smashed it all into an old backpack. I would just toss the backpack and a sleeping bag in the boat or truck, I camped and slept comfortably for years with that set up.
Fast forward 5 or 6 years, I finish college, move to Dallas and somehow forget how comfortable it is to camp in a hammock. I switched to traditional camping equipment and back to sleeping on the ground. Partially I think because I started a family and didn't think about hammocks for four.
Fast forward another 25 years, kids are grown and doing their own thing and I find myself on my own again. Mix in my love of motorcycles and riding for days on end. A riding buddy starts a conversation about how he bought this tiny tent for his motorcycle and was gonna camp instead of getting a hotel room on overnighters and extended rides. I already do this to some degree, if I'm out riding and get tired or it gets too late, I head down a logging road or to the back corner of a corn field and sleep under the bike. I always have my Mexican blanket in a saddle bag or across the handlebars, I throw it down and stretch out for a while, so camping on the road isn't a wild idea to me anyway. So I start thinking about the tiny tent and how it would be nice to have some cover that fit on the bike without taking up too much room. Almost immediately I thought of my hammock set up back home.
When I got home I looked up "hammock camping" on the old interweb and wouldn't you know it, Shug popped right to the top. I instantly got hooked on his videos and watched all of them in a week or so. A week or so later and a little more research and I had the Hennessy Safari in my hands. The next weekend (last weekend) I took it out for the first of many hangs to come I'm sure...I am once again a firm believer that the ground is for walking, hiking or riding, certainly not for sleeping.
Last weekend at Cedar Hill Sate Park:
I've been wanting to try proper hammock camping for awhile now. My problem is that I'm too tall for my tent, so I have to stretch out diagonally, which means I don't stay on my ground pad and have an uncomfortable, cold sleep. I tried hammocking last year with a cheap travel hammock, but didn't plan ahead for bottom insulation because of the heat wave, or a bug net, so I woke up freezing my butt off with a ring of mosquito bites around my neck. My most recent trip out with the tent in the sub-freezing weather was the catalyst for me to look for alternatives, and I'm just trying to do some research before I buy anything. I'd really like to try a pea-pod hammock system with a sleeping bag pulled over the hammock, but I just want to make sure I buy the right stuff before making the investment.
I recently moved back to south Louisiana after being gone over 40 years. I loved growing up and camping in the bayous and swamps as a kid - some really great memories! Now I'd like to spend some time kayaking/camping in places such as the Atchafalaya Basin where dry ground is not always available. (But bugs and critters are ALWAYS available! )
I got to thinking about the time I spent in a military jungle hammock more than 4 decades ago in the Philippine jungle during jungle survival school on my way to an "event" being held in southeast Asia. It was a great experience - the hammock, that is - and I have fond memories of the rain on the tarp and being snug and dry. So I searched the 'net and found this forum. Wow, what a treasure trove of experience and info!
My NX-250 arrived late yesterday and I've rigged an adjustable ceiling mount in my garage for testing/learning. Hopefully, I'll be hanging tonight!
i love the woods and i spend alot of my time in the forrest of tennessee since i was a child ,i had always ground camped and never knew of hammock camping ,,the only hammock i saw was the ones grandpa had on the porch with the steel frame ,untill one day i was on you tube and saw ole shug,,im a big guy so i had to make alot of my gear im,6 ft and 5 inches tall and i weigh 350 but im not realy fat ,,people say i could be a linebacker for the vols ,,idk ,,lol,,but its awsome not sleeping on the ground ,those days are gone