youre welcome, PGibson!
yes, Topo is a great name. He's a good dog. a pound rescue, i believe.
glad the info i gave brought you here... trouble is now you will become addicted, so blame me?
No blame Mike just lots of Thanks. My gear addictions are my own and I have no one to blame for them but my self. I am actually considering opening up a local chapter of GAA in my area. "I am an addict, I need more gear, I have a problem and my name is Paul...."
Looks like I am in for a few impressive years ahead from what I read... (I live to tinkering and try out new things.)
I first got bit regarding hammocks this last winter (Nov '08) during winter camp with the Scouts. 5 nights on the ground in a Timberland 4 had my back pretty stiff. I had packed and set up my hand made Mayan (bought in Mexico 5 years back) and spent several of my afternoons catching up on the comfort I was not getting during the night. Skeeters were too bad for sticking it out in a net at night though, so...
Off to the forums I went and stumbled here among other places. TH seemed to have a reasonable following, even with a few Scout Troops pictured. A few reviews later and then seeing last winter's special with the free Scout model was all it took. Two hammocks arrived in South Louisiana before Santa and my first night in the trees was spent during a horendous day and night of thunderstorms and 5.5" of the wet stuff. Every tent took water. One scout even pulled up gear and headed to high ground, sleeping burrito wrapped in a 5x8 tarp (my next convert target...). HH, gear and occupant all bone dry in the morning!
The rest is history in the making. 2QZQ is running the Mod2 on the Exped. Built the HC4U 2 piece stand and found inspiration for my new 2x4PHS (see tutorial post).
All good stuff! Looking forward to a few more years of tinkering and learn'n. One thing I do know; I like 'dem hammocks me, yeh!
HH Exped Asym (undergoing 2Q2Z mod2)
Thermarest & Bag
A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.
Last edited by TrailH4x; 05-26-2009 at 13:24.
How did I become a "Hanger",
Well I'm not, not yet anyways.
I did a lot of backpacking in my younger days. Then things like the Army, a wife and kids came along. Now the kids are teenagers and 2 are Boy Scouts. They are finally old enough to start backpacking with the troops older scouts.
We just came back from a 3 day trip on the AT and I was thinking a hammock would be a great thing to bring along on our next trip for the few hours in the evening we were sitting around camp. It had to beat just sitting on the ground.
I typed "Hammock" into a search at REI and saw some really cool looking hammocks with mosquito screen and rain fly's on them. Some quick Google searching lead me to the HH site, and then to this one.
After some reading up and all the people saying how good their backs feel I remembered my last 3 days on the AT and how uncomfortable I was on the ground. At almost 45 the back doesn't take the hard ground like it did when I was 15.
I'm still doing my research on what I want to buy, I was thinking of either a HH or having my sister sew me a Speer from one of their kits (she is an awesome seamstress). But now I keep seeing people talking about the Blackbird so I'll have to check it out as well.
What got me up in the air is the issue of weight, comfort, size. I've always been heavily into ultralight gear and a minimalistic outdoor attitude, but I have never been completely comfortable with the idea or just tarping it, not to mention the physical discomforts. While I'm not heavy in any way (bean pole), i also don't have much padding, so for me it was a tent and a pad. Once you take into account that I am also 6'3" (bean pole once again) you get fairly limited on your tent options. You also start to fork out alot of pocket change for any lightweight enough to not have your head smashed up against your tent.
Versatility and Eco friendly are other reasons as well. I like having the ability to more easily pick my campsite. I tend to get better sites with better weather coverage as well. I also like not having to look at all the flattened vegetation left by my tent from the night before.
While I know there are lighter ground systems out there vs. my hammock once you tak into account for my height, there really isn't any difference.
Can't wait to finish my spinnaker hang set.
A couple of years ago my son became interested in hiking and then moved on to backpacking. That got me to unpack the old gear and get back out into the woods for overnights. I bought high quilty equipment in the 70's and most of it was still in great shape because I took great care of it.
But after a few nights of sleeping on the ground again after 20 years of cabin camping I thought maybe I was just too old to enjoy what was once my favorite sport. Then I read an article in my local paper about hammock camping and found my way here. Soon I had two Claytors, a Clark and one homemade hammock.
My son took the Clark, and we use the extra Claytor and homemade for his friends or our relatives that join us on a trip.
As a lifelong car camper, I was beginning to get into hiking and therefore looking to get a lighter tent than my 6lb 2man. None of the options really excited me, although I got close to buying a tarp tent. As I was lurking in Whiteblaze for info, I kept seeing Neo's posts saying stuff like, "Why would you want to sleep on the ground?". The proliferation of these posts in just about every tent thread led me to finally open up my brain and wonder about a hammock.
Well, before I made a buying decision, I went on an overnite trip on the AT in GA to beat the heat from the city. Had been nasty hot in July, not necessarily the highs, but the lows weren't getting out of the 70s. I got up to the top of Blue Mountain in my tent and had absolutely the worst night ever camping due to the heat, even up there. While I'm not exactly old, my body was beginning to holler at me about sleeping on the ground. In almost an instant on that mountain, in the stagnant heat of the tent, I got it. A couple of weeks later, I bought a Hennessy.
about 4 or 5 years ago on the AT I met a thru who was setting up his mock...was curious and he offered to let me climb in--rest is history---he had a heavy old HH Backpacker Asym--I've got two of those now.
Of course I ordered one right after that section hike ended but it was mid-July....wasn't long until I realized that hammocks sleep cool and downright cold without something....begain making my own underquilts....there was a guy up in Canada who made his own out of down...eventually Jacks R Better came around and my homemade UQs (though adaquate but all were synthetic) were put in the gear attic....bought the HH Lite Racer-amazing comfort even over the Asym.
Got a Speer mock too, and two pea pods, his first model and then later a warmer version.
In the early days even used a Western Mountaineering Ponderosa with the Speer Hammock.
Now as some know here I'm waiting on a Blackbird and Yeti---very very excited to see competition in the hammock market....also learned tonight of Speers Snugfit so eventually I'll have to grab one of those too. I admit I love gear but only if it is used/tattered/torn/and has a story to tell.
Returned last week from 2 weeks on the AT-finishing up PA (thank God). I did the unthinkable and for the first part of this section hike I went back to ground! I wanted to play with the new Therm-a-rest NeoAir. While playing with it I also played with using an Arc AT and a Thermawrap Parka...it was all good but each night I knew more and more that I wanted back in the clouds!
Forgot to mention I'm one of those with a hammock stand in the bedroom
I became a hanger because I had a horrible night while my friend slept in peace. The first day of 4 day trip several years ago we got to the trailhead very late due to traffic. We decided to hike as far as we could and set up camp. It quickly started getting dark, so we settled on a less than ideal spot on a hill. My friend set up his Clark and was eating dinner in short time.
My tent pole broke as I was setting up and I ended up having to do a bit of improvising in the dark with ropes and sticks to keep the tent from falling on my head. It eventually did in the middle of the night and I spent a miserable night on rocky sloped ground. My friend was refreshed and ready to hike the next morning. I was not quite so happy.
The next time I went camping I had a Hennessey, and the rest is history. I won't be going back to sleeping on the ground.
I looked back and saw my wife almost in tears as we were still going uphill and at least another mile or so to a tentsite. When I got home I ordered my HH.