So here is my story of how I became a hanger
When I was 8 years old my dad took me on my first backpacking trip. We had always gone camping at a campground but never had I experienced the joys of the backwooods. It was me, my dad, my best friend and his dad on the trip. We hiked about 6 miles into Emigrant wilderness and set up camp. My dad pulled out one of our camping net hammocks and tied it up between two trees. No bug nets, no tarps, no ridge lines, and no sort of enclosure. Come time for bed my I got in my sleeping bag and my dad wrapped the hammock around me like a burrito and lightly tied the sides together over my sleeping bag so I wouldn't roll out. Ever since then all but a couple of my backpacking trips have always been in a hammock.
Now of course the technology has changed a whole heck of a lot and it just makes hanging so much more awesome and comfortable. Been using a Hennessey Hammock for a some years now and just ordered a new ultralight Darien Dream hammock online. Hoping it will be here before my backpacking trip in September
I was watching some of Dave Canterbury's videos on YouTube and he made a simple hammock from a wool blanket. That got my interests raised a bit as I grew up in the woods and have hiked and camped all my life. In the margin of that video was one of Shugs vids and it was all downhill from there lol. I started watching all of his vids, sub'd his channel and kicked around a diy hammock idea. After I stumbled across the ultimatehang.com I was truely hooked and then had the knowledge to make my own. Since then I've bought 2 more hammocks( one with a bug net and one without), a TQ, bigger tarp, upgraded some of my camping and hiking gear and have set up almost a perminant hang in my yard. My wife doesn't mind BC our daughter still sleeps in our bed most nights so now there's more room and we all sleep better now BC I'm in the hammock alot lol. I've only managed to camp in the woods by my house one night so far BC I need a bigger pack now, but that's my next purchase. I'm on a budget for buying gear but that hasn't stopped or slowed me down so far. I'm making my own UQ from a Snugpak jungle blanket now untill i need to buy a better one this winterand have a few more ideas for diy gear.
What made me a hanger? To be honest I was tired of making a bed. Four years ago before I got married for the second time (I guess I didn't learn the first time) I had a roommate. My room wasn't small, but the bed took up a lot of room that I could be using for activities. So I was doing some research on alternative ways to sleep and I came across hammocks. Everyone was raging about how they had the best nights sleep no back pains no nothing. So I made my first hammock out of (You guessed it) JoAnn's ripstop nylon. I trashed the mattress and drove 2 eye bolts into the wall ( yea I know all rookie mistakes ) and I have been hanging ever since. Now that I'm married the hammock has to stay outside and she makes me sleep in the bed.
I had been a scout as a teen, and did my share of field training in the army. My first few years after (medical) retirement, the most outdoors thing I did was occasionally hang out in someone's backyard. But I started easing back into it a few years ago.
I was gearing up for last year's ptsdchallenge.org kayak trip and knew many of our campsites would be flooded/saturated ground. Bought a GT SB and had MUCH more comfortable nights than the guys on the ground did. My back and knees are all jacked up from the army, but I slept like a baby, and had no sore spots in the morning!
Over the last year, I've been casually looking for other opportunities to hang & ways to improve. I found some local friends who turned me on to this forum, Shug, and Derek Hansen. After a kayaking & camping trip with Palmetto State Hangers in June, I knew I was hooked. Right now I'm patiently waiting for my DH Sparrow, while looking for the best options in synthetic insulation UQ/TQs (down just seems like a bad idea for kayak camping). I still have a lot to learn, but I'm enjoying tinkering with my setup and learning new tricks.
I got a hammock system because I worried about overcrowding with regards to shelters and tentsites on the AT. I figured that if you have 2 trees, that would be enough to have shelter for the night. Never touched a hammock before and decided to just give it a go.
I haven't actually done an overnight in a hammock yet. I asked a friend if he wanted to do a overnight hike and he was up for it. So I started getting my gear together and I realized I have way to much stuff. So in my research on lightening my load. I saw a lot of people hanging and I said Hummm lighter gear, no creepy crawlies, no level ground needed, looks way more comfortable than being on the ground. Ive got to try this and besides I need another project LOL. So I think I'll make me a hammock. Now what kind of hammock? Well that is a great question. Isn't it?