I received my new WBBB 1.1 DBL and Superfly tarp last week, and I got to test it out in the White Mountains over the weekend.
I am really impressed with how easy the hammock is to setup, and how comfortable it is. The tarp was quite a bit trickier to setup, but I am pretty sure that with time I will get more proficient with that.
Since this was my first time out hammock camping/backpacking, I now have some questions.
I slept on two separate nights in the hammock. After researching hammock camping, reading Ed Speer's book, and watching some of Shug's videos I was on the lookout for 'widowmakers'. Well both nights I ended up hanging in balsam fir trees ( I think ), since they were the only ones around when my body said its time to call it a day. If you are not familiar with these trees their needles drop after a few years and then their branches fall shortly after this. Well needless to say any balsam fir tree big enough to hang from had dead branches on it. I ended up giving up trying to find trees that did not have any dead branches and just looked for ones that had dead branches that were too small to hurt me if they fell from where they were at.
Is it safe to make a judgement call like that, or are even small light/pine dead branches still deadly? I slept under ones that I thought would have been deflected with the tarp had they fallen on me, but probably at the cost of damaging the tarp ( though not me ).
I had a lot of difficulty finding a place to hang in these balsam fir trees for another reason too. These trees seem to be too densely packed in the WMNF. It took me a long time on the first night just finding 2 trees far enough apart to hang the hammock, and then eventually I realized I did not have enough room to the sides of the hammock to effectively hang the tarp. On my first night out I pretty much just tied the tarp down so that it was almost strait down on both sides of the hammock. On my second night out I spent more time finding a better location for the tarp since on that day it was raining hard and I knew that I needed to make the most of it, but it took me about 45minutes to find a good spot.
So does anyone have any tips for finding a good hanging spot in a densely packed evergreen ( or even more specifically balsam fir ) forest like I was in this weekend?
The spot that I chose on my second night out in the hammock was superb. It rained on me all Saturday long and I started by putting the tarp out on Saturday night once I found a decent spot. I put the hammock up shortly there after. I ended up waking up a few hours later without having had dinner and then made dinner sitting in the hammock. I then went back to bed and woke up 10 hours later... I actually had to peel my self out of the hammock, because it was so comfortable and the weather was so dreadful outside. I had not anticipated the hammock being that comfortable to keep me in it for so long just because the day looked gloomy and wet, but it did.
I bought some line from REI for tieing my tarp down. It seems to take up much more volume than I would like. Are there some other stores in the Boston area like EMS or Hilton's tent city (or online) that someone would direct me to for getting lower volume lines for tieing the tarp down that would work better than this stuff that I got from REI? What kind of pound strength should this line have is 100lbs too little in the case of strong cross winds?