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  1. #1
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    TX>Fairfield Lake State Park>November 7-9, 2014 - 2014 Texas Fall Group Hang ver 6.0

    80 Degrees by 8:00 AM; Texas Butt Bake Hang just around the corner; near heat exhaustion yesterday

    I’m ready for some cool weather. I’m ready for fall!

    It’s time to start talking about November! Yep, let's get the Annual Texas Fall Group Hang planning underway!

    If you don’t have the date saved yet, mark November 7-9, 2014 on your calendar for the Lone Star State’s Annual fall hammock infestation of the trees at Fairfield Lake State Park.


    It’s a great time to renew friendships, make new ones, and play with gear, so don’t miss out.

    As this is the sixth round of this annual event, we’ve somewhat become creatures of habit so let’s meet the weekend of the second Saturday in November at Fairfield Lake State Park once again!

    There has been a large increase in forum membership over the past year and a good number of them are Texas folks, (or friendly neighbors of The Republic), and all are welcome. What started with a handful of folks from South/Central Texas in early 2009 has grown to nearly the century mark with past participants from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, and places forgotten or unknown.

    If you have not been to this event before, take a few moments and scroll through some of last year’s planning and trip reports. It will help answer questions you may have and maybe create some that can be addressed on this thread in the weeks to come. Here’s the planning thread from last year and the 2013 Trip report links.

    In the past, the fun has included car camping for those who like to bring everything; (the location has showers and porcelain facilities for those who won’t leave home without them); day hikes for those so inclined; lake paddling; fishing; pot luck dinners; Dutch oven cooking; DIY play time; lots of show and tell along with a little gear trading; group buys; stove tests; drawings for prizes, and some wonderful campfire fellowship.

    Here is the link to the planning spreadsheet on Google docs. By posting to it we can keep a running list of folks attending and other stuff past the date that this post can be edited. Please add or update yourself on it.

    So, let the planning conversation begin!

  2. #2
    Senior Member lanejustin's Avatar
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    Ready for my birthday hang!

  3. #3
    Senior Member erinkae's Avatar
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    Immmmm so excited!!!
    Not all those who wander are lost.
    --J. R. R. Tolkien

  4. #4
    New Member sparkygeek's Avatar
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    Got the weekend marked on my vacation calendar already!!
    I am working on convincing a few friends to join too, since they've seen the light and discovered the wonders of hammocks

  5. #5
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Gonna be there, and with the grandkids this time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I'm in, and updated

  7. #7
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    FAQs

    For those planning on coming for the first time, we're glad to have you join in on the fun. I know there are a lot of questions. Please don’t be shy about asking but by the same token please take the time to check the links in the first post. You’ll find the planning spreadsheet, accurate park information, ideas we’ve discussed in the past, and pictures of past hangs to get a good feel for the area. Don’t have time to scroll through the historical archives? Here are some frequently asked questions. Have more? That’s the purpose of this planning thread so ask away!

    FAQs

    What is this thing? When and Where is it? Are there enough trees? What does it cost? What do we do about food? What do we actually do at a group hang?

    What?

    The 6th Annual Texas Fall Group Hang is a family friendly, group, car camping outing for those who like to bring everything; (the location has showers and porcelain facilities for those who won’t leave home without them); day hikes for those inclined; lake paddling, fishing; pot luck dinners; Dutch oven cooking; DIY play time; lots of show and tell along with a little gear trading; group buys; stove tests; drawings for prizes, and some wonderful campfire fellowship. In the past there have been several "classes" ranging from splicing to foraging and from bush craft to Dutch oven cooking. If you have a skill to teach or an interest to learn, let the group know on here and the odds are good it can be shared.

    When?
    The Annual Texas Fall Group Hang is the weekend of the second Saturday in November, (This year that falls on 11/7-9, 2014)


    Where?
    Fairfield Lake State Park, Fairfield, TX We’ll camp in the Springfield (water only) section.

    This will be the 6th year that we've had our group hang at Fairfield, (and several of us hang there regularly throughout the year), and as good as Texas State Parks are, and as many of them that I have been to, there are not any that I can think of that are as hammock friendly as Fairfield. There are plenty of trees, however if one plans on bringing the kitchen sink and you have some simple stands, bring them along and have even more options. We also love "show and tell" and stands are fun for that too.

    How do I sign up?
    Add your name and info to the Google doc spreadsheet and participant list.

    What is this going to cost me?
    There are no fees to HF or the organizers for the group event itself. Everyone brings their own food and gear, so the only costs are the state park fees for entrance/day use and camp sites. The State Park charges a day use fee that is $4.00 per adult per day. (Children 12 and under are free.) The entrance fee is collected by the Park Service folks at the entry gate. If you have a State Park Pass, this fee is waived for all occupants of the vehicle. Second there is a camp site fee of $12.00 per night. Camp sites accommodate a maximum of 8 people and 2 vehicles. It may cost you much more in the long run if you’re like me and see new pieces of gear you need to buy.

    How do I reserve a site?
    Go to the park website and follow the links to reserve a site. When doing an availability search use the parameters: Tents, Water Only, No Electricity and the default will get you to the area called "Springfield" where we will be camping. You pay for the first night in advance and then upon arrival to the park you pay your entry/day use fees per person and the remaining cost of the campsite for as many nights as you are staying.

    Some folks like to do this individually so they can have the privacy of their own site and not share with an unknown scary looking stranger. And that's completely cool.

    Others don't mind sharing a site and splitting the cost. They typically communicate off line and make their reservation together. Upon arrival they still pay the entry fee at the gate and when they get to the camping area they meet up with the others sharing the site.

    We use one site as the main gathering area for campfire and potluck dinners and then spread out to our individual sites the rest of the time.

    What do folks do about food?
    Food planning is usually on the top of most folks question list so here are a few tidbits of info: UncleMJM and his bride host breakfast on Saturday morning. The breakfast taco fixings will be provided and Oldgringo usually has a pot or two of coffee made. Saturday night is traditionally a pot luck dinner with some crazy creative outdoor cooks sharing some good eats. Bring whatever you like and share it. Sometimes there are other meal plans tossed out to the group but usually other meals are on our own. Everyone is responsible for their own plate/bowl/& utensils but if forgotten, there’s usually something paper or plastic brought by someone.

    How much food do we need to bring for Saturday for the pot luck; do we need to bring food for 50, or will a side dish of 8-10 servings do? Some will fix big pots of food, (chili, soup, stew, gumbo…), but most likely the 8-10 servings concept makes sense. If you are bringing finicky eaters, a good idea is to fix something you know they will like and know that there will be a wide assortment for the adventurous palates in the family.

    When do we eat?
    Seeing as sunrise is about 6:45 and I am not an early morning person, (fortunately my date will make sure I get up ), my plan is to have Saturday breakfast at UncleMJM’s site around 9:00.

    With sunset at 5:30, and my memory of trying to get a buffet set up and served in the dark being less than pleasant, my suggestion is to shoot for food on the table for the pot luck Saturday night at 5:00.

    How many will be attending?
    Last year we were around 90 folks and the space can accommodate more. What started with a handful of folks getting together in the trees during the first few months of 2009, expanded to a group hang in the fall of that year with a couple of dozen folks who had a great time. In 2010, the numbers doubled and continued to grow. In 2012 we had somewhere around 70 folks there and last year the planning numbers pushed 100 with about 90 actually there. Don’t worry, they won’t run out of space Fairfield Lake State Park has 35 sites in the “water only” area where we are camping, (there is a maximum of 8 per site allowed and at only 50% of that it could hold 140). In addition there are 96 sites with “full hook ups”, 8 overflow sites, and 50 “primitive” hike-in spots.

    This is my first group hang, what should I remember to bring?
    Everyone should plan on coming completely “self-contained” as on any camping trip. Group specific things might include a comfortable chair for camp fire lounging, a dish for the Saturday night pot luck, any spare gear you’d like to show off, sell, or trade. Also if you have some item you’d like to donate to the Saturday night drawing feel free to do so.

    Can I bring the whole family?
    Yes. This is a great place for kids and first time camping spouses/s.o. and friendly furry family members too.

    What if I am brand new to this or don’t even own a hammock?---but it sounds like a wonderful way to camp.
    Hammocks are the best way to camp, however, we also welcome the occasional ground dweller or “steel tarp on wheels” occupant. If one does not own a hammock, post that to the planning thread and the odds are good someone may offer a spare for “testing”. If it's your first time out and you need help setting up, just ask, someone will be glad to help out. Also frequently folks bring extra gear to sell or trade so it may be a good place to pick up what is needed.

    What about firewood?
    State Park rules prohibit gathering of wood. Typically several folks bring wood for the “group camp fire”. For those who like a fire at an individual site, plan on bringing wood or paying for it at the park.

    Where can I find park maps, rules, and more information like rules relating to fishing, alcohol, quiet hours…?

    Fishing from the bank in a State Park does not require a fishing license.
    Nothing wrong with a good brew among friends, just two cautions...
    1. There is a no public consumption rule at State Parks.
    2. Remember, this is a family event.
    The park has quiet hours from 10pm – sometime after I wake up in the morning so not sure (at night, just use your indoor voice and be nice)
    Here's the link concerning park rules and regulations.

    What’s the weather forecast?
    The weather is usually cool enough for camp fires and too cool for swimming. I've seen it range from 40* to 80* and range from clear and sunny to misty and rainy. In other words, shorts weather.

    On site communication – How do we know about what is happening and when?
    We will have one site designated as the “group campfire” site. It is easily identified as the place with the Texas Hang Banner and a bunch of chairs in a circle. That will be where we have the pot luck dinner, Saturday night campfire, prize drawing, possibly some show and tell, maybe a “pay it forward” type swap table and other hammock related activities. There is usually a message board close by the banner posting what is going on there as well as a list of any non-hammock related activities and where/when they will take place.

    Interested in off topic ramblings as we get closer? Check out the Texas Hammock Hangers page on FB. Just be sure to cross post the good stuff to this thead My intent and hope is that all the planning conversations, (regardless of where they start), end up here so we are all on the same page.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lanejustin's Avatar
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    Just wondering if anyone can direct me to one of the more remote sites in the camp...my wife likes her privacy, so we're planning on setting up a bit away from the group that is still in "Springfield"
    Last edited by lanejustin; 07-25-2014 at 23:00.

  9. #9
    Got it marked on my calendar. Looking forward to it (and the cooler weather!)

  10. #10
    Senior Member erinkae's Avatar
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    Yeah I have it marked planned on taking vacation day too lol we will most likely have our giant group again... Plus a few more we've converted to hammock canning
    Not all those who wander are lost.
    --J. R. R. Tolkien

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