I'm a relative newbie to hammock camping (heck, to camping in general, unless you count a trailer) and I'm excited to have found these forums. Such a wealth of information here! I've spent several nights over the years camping in old-style army jungle hammocks, and always liked them better than tents.
Now that I'm married, my wife and I would like to get into camping more. She has some back problems, and I thought hammocking might be an ideal choice for her. I've got a Hennessy Expedition A-sym on the way for her to try out.
The trouble is, I'm not really sure where to camp. Most of my camping experiences have been in national park and state park campsites. By reading through the forums, it seems to be that state parks in my state (Maryland) won't allow hammocks attached to trees. I understand that a large number of people in these forums use their hammocks on hiking trips such as the AT, where the state park restrictions don't apply or don't matter. This sounds great to me, but the gear we have is really not packable, and my wife's back issues would prevent any hike more than a few miles, especially if we had to pack in much. I'm reticent to spend a lot of money on light, packable gear, since I'm not sure whether the whole camping thing will end up flying with my wife.
Does anyone have ideas for places that we might hang, in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania, that wouldn't require us to pack in our car-camping gear a long distance? Do Virginia and Pennsylvania have the same hanging restrictions as Maryland? I'm thinking car camping might be best for us to start with, especially as we work out our gear. If I'm trying to convince my wife to go camping with me, I'd like to make it as much fun as possible for her the first few times.
As a second prong of attack, I'm also thinking my way through the design of some DIY hammock stands that might be car-camping appropriate for parks unfriendly to hammockers.
Thanks for any ideas, and for these forums.