Thanks all. It's always good to get some feedback, even if my question is a bit out.

Hammock Engineer,

In winter months, I probably won't go high. Bears generally nap and cat's follow their prey into the valleys. As well, since winter is harsh, I will always have at least one back-up, whether it's a tent or snow-dig will depend on the situation. I don't know that I have the nerve to do it from total scratch, I've done it before but most of it was rigged for me. Knowing that it can be done and having done it helps a lot. It was many years ago, so all I have to go on is the fact that it can be done, and easily.

Do you use a "store bought" hammock? If so, how did you choose the one you use?

Turk,

Thanks for the heads up on some things too. I will be practicing standard height, once I can decide on which hammock to buy. There are no bears in the parts of Iowa I will be in, but plenty of extreme cold and hot weather, so I'll get to test what works, how, and safely. Just because of my size, 6'4" and 300 lb (half too much, half extra muscle, sort of bear like I hear), I'll have to overengineer anyway. If I want to stow my gear in the shelter and up with me, I'll really need to turn the thing into a bomb shelter. It'll be an interesting thing.

I was wondering why you chose the hennesy (I think that's what HH is)? I will see if I can find Blackbishop while I'm chasing around ideas.

If you are interested in climbing trees, even just to go a little higher with your tent, there is an excellent book for starting out. At $13 or so and shipping, it couldn't hurt. It's "The Tree Climber's Companion" by Jeff Jepson. I've seen this book priced at $70, but the link offers it at the right price.

I don't think the boat will work, for many reasons. And I've looked at the bat, and I will consider it in a future design, but my guess is it isn't built to handle me.