What a great weekend this was! Turtleburger came up with the idea a while back and a bunch of us jumped on board. As the time for the trip neared, we got nailed with about a foot of snow and record low temps for this time of year. Mysteriously, there were several hangers who were suddenly unable to attend. I will leave speculation to the reader, but I knew what the right choice was for me. I was going camping!
I got off work early and picked up my buddy Tracey on the way out of St Cloud. He was a first time hanger and was using my extra setup (this is the first time I've had two complete setups). We both had sleds and snowshoes so we were ready for the snow. We scouted out the area that had been mentioned previously on the forums, west of the parking lot off the forest road. We tromped around in thick brush and thorns for about an hour to no avail. There were no good hanging spots back in there. Across the river, a hanging nirvana taunted us, just out of reach.
We doubled back and found Clauwitz following our original and misguided path. After sharing the good news of the tree-lined ridge across the river, Clauwitz took off that way with reckless abandon. When we went back to the road to update the signage and add a map and found Trees4Me getting ready to make the hike in to camp. We all walked in together. On the ridge we found lots of sites to hang at, and after trudging through 2 foot drifts of snow to get down the hill, we quickly found choices that suited our liking.
Shortly after we had set up camp, turtleburger and his friend John showed up. They quickly began gathering wood and were very industrious. A hungry beaver could not have done better. There was a lot of wood to burn! We congratulated ourselves on being awesome and coming on the trip, then we started a fire and stared at it in amazement. The obligatory conversations of gear ensued, and quickly turned to other subjects as well. It was obvious that we all were like-minded crazy people who loved to hang in our hammocks.
Tracey was hadn't slept in about 30 hours, so he got a little sleepy sitting next to the fire. I eventually persuaded him to go to bed. We both awoke well rested, bright eyed, and bushy tailed. He was sleeping in my Warbonnet Traveler with 20* Hammock Gear Phoenix, homemade canvas sock, Menards tarp, and had his Kelty Mistral -20* sleeping bag for a top quilt. I also used my Kelty Mistral -20* sleeping bag for a top quilt, along with my new Weight Weenie Micro (with whoopie hooks that BIAS shipped to me express), 0* Hammock Gear Incubator, and Warbonnet Superfly tarp. Tracey was very disappointed with hammock hanging because he no longer got up early and stayed up all day. Instead, he slept in and even took a nap in the middle of the day.
At some point in the day on Saturday, we started chopping on a downed tree with an ax. Chopping leads to beer, and John had some to share. The beer tasted good so it was time for a drive to Mora, where Trees4Me, John, and I visited the liquor store and meat market. We returned to camp as triumphant champions, and I even chose to ride the fatbike back. We had a very enjoyable night filled with meat and beer.
The next morning, Trees4Me and Clauwitz broke camp early and were gone before the rest of us lazy hammockers rolled out of bed. We cooked up the rest of the bacon over the fire and proceeded to pack up camp. Tracey and I were the last ones out of camp. We trudged through snow that was the consistency of mashed potatoes, which made things a little more difficult. We were happy though because the weekend was huge success. We were refreshed and invigorated by having hung out in the woods with a great group of people.
I took some GoPro videos from the weekend and I have very good intentions of making a video of the our adventures. We'll see if/when that happens. I'll update this post and insert the video in this thread if it does happen.
Thanks guys for a great weekend!