I'm actually planning to spend 4 months wandering aimlessly on the Big Island this winter. Last time I was there a few years back was my first experience with ultralight hiking and I've been a convert ever since. The airline lost my luggage on that trip so I was stranded there with nothing but $50, my cellphone, and a copy of 'Walden' that I had picked up at a bookstore during one of my layovers. I flew into Hilo, so naturally it was raining when I got off the plane. So I asked around at the airport until I found someone to give me a few trash bags, improvised a poncho and walked into town. Picked up a sweatshirt, hydration pack, pie-tin, 5lb bag of rice, and a couple lighters. That was my gear for the 3 week trip along with some supplemental fruit from the farmers markets. I used trash bags as a sleeping bag to stay warm at night, sleeping on restaurant patios, gazebos, or wherever else I could stay dry.

The airline finally got my bags to me when I had about 5 days left. Suddenly all my gear felt absolutely useless as I was digging through all the crap I had packed. I emptied my pack, stuffed it all into the airporter bag, and talked one of the guys at the airport into holding on to it until I flew out. All I kept from my 50lbs of gear was my sleeping bag (a godsend at that point), tent rainfly, my knife and sierra saw (I actually had fully cooked rice that night!), and my toothbrush (using chewed up sticks just doesn't cut it).

Needless to say, it was one of the most trying, miserable, and yet amazing trips I have ever taken.

This time I'm flying in on the 'dry' side of the island...with my GT Nano 7 Hammock, GoLite Poncho/Tarp, and a MacCat tarp safely tucked into my carry-on bag. Don't make the same mistake twice!

Hopefully I can find some good spots to pitch that are off the beaten path...not doing the car rental thing, strictly hiking and thumbing it to see what I can see.

Anyway, the real reason I posted was to see how it was on the north side of the island as far as potential for pitching a hammock...does it seem like there are lots of potential spots, or am I going to be sleeping in the dirt again?