Greetings,

This site has been highly recommended to me by 4 members of another backpacking site. I have a game plan for getting into hammock hiking and can definitely use some help. First some background:

I live in west Michigan and have been into ultralight hiking (UL) for about 5 years. My current pack weight varies between 9 and 10 lbs for up to 7 days. Soon after getting into UL I took a shot at hammocking and frequently checked sites at Clark, Hennessey, Speer, Sgt Rock and Risk.

I purchased a Speer kit. My wife sewed; we gathered the ends and sewed on the straps and I was pleased with our efforts. Then my troubles began, mostly operator error I'm sure (and not a reflection of the kit). I,m 6'0" and 205#. The hammock fit me like a taco, pinching my shoulders even though I was lying diagonally. I got in with my boots on once and rubbed a thin area in the fabric. The straps seem to stretch and I could never keep the right sag. Finally, I did not like velcro'ing the mosquito netting and would have liked some simpler method for ingress and egress.

At the time I had not found this site and had no real resources to bounce ideas and problems off of. Now I still very much like the concept of hanging. My main goal in joining this site is to be hanging next spring. Until then I will spend the time:

-Getting familiar with the content and layout of this site
-Researching
-Asking questions from members of this site
-Build a kit with little more than a 1# net increase to my current pack weight (stay UL).
-Meeting hangers in and around Michigan so that I can see their gear and techniques.
-Planning for sleep temps from 25F - 75F, bugs and rain.

When I first tried hanging I did not know about ridgelines and I don't think whoopie slings existed. I'm a total newb and will have a million questions (though I will try to use the Search function often). I will happily listen to all the advice I can get and would be really grateful to see some of this gear in person.

If anyone has ideas on how to go about this other than what I've outlined above let me know. Otherwise, thanks in advance for future advice.