Last night at work I got to thinking / remembering that I have never camped where I couldn’t have hung, even all those miserable years on the ground. OK, the unimportant reason for this train of thought was that for the 2nd time this year I had to sleep in a bed.
Anyway that got me to wondering about the times we were so glad or wished that we had a hammock / tarp set up or even may have wished that we (I know: “blasphemy”) had a tent. So, what is your story?
I’ll start, in no particular order:
On my 2nd to last night last trip, I made it to the Chatfield shelter. Honestly, I could not have taken another step down the trail & still had energy to set up camp & eat. However, there were NO tent sites at the shelter. I set up my hammock behind the shelter, fixed & ate dinner at the picnic table (making another convert even as tired as I was), & went to bed totally happy I had made the switch!
Way back in 1997, my 2nd night ever on the AT, at the old Gooch Gap shelter, I was D O N E! AT the shelter, there was (again?) NO tent sites or room in the shelter. I did not care, & set my tarp on the access trail, as in: right dead center of the NOBO access trail from the shelter as it was the only flat(ish) spot within walking distance. In hindsight, if I had a hammock, there would have been No issue.
2007: went hiking with my work partner & his nephew at RRG. We were on a ridge with minimal flat spots for tents. Matt & the nephew had tents, so we had to look. Kept passing Great hammock sites. I finally came to one that I could not pass up, they went on. The next AM, I hiked about ½ mile I found them, sleeping on the side of a hill, it was just about the best site for them in about 5 miles of trail. 15 year old Adam came out of his tent like he was 50 something, I almost felt sorry for 35 year old Matt,,,,, almost Lets just say that at 53, I was more mobile than he was, by far. And, yet again, I was so happy that I had made the choice in shelter I had.
I am sort of sorry that I can think of no time that I wished I had a tent over the hammock. Oh, sometimes I wonder if I could / would set up a tent at some bald or similar area. But then usually a short time later, I find a better site, and can set up my hammock & sleep in comfort.