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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Red face Just Getting Started, Need Some Advise

    Well after months of reading HF, White Blaze, Section Hiker and MyFlorida Hikes I think I'm finally ready to get back into backpacking. Its been about 35years since I first got involved and it lasted for about 5 years with the companionship of my wife. But when kids came along we continued camping, but were restricted ourselves to car/tent camping for some silly reason. But now at the age of 60, my silly dream of thru hiking the AT has been creeping back into my brain. Anyway, as part of my research and to my total enjoyment I ran across Shug's videos and on YouTube and through them and others learned about the forums I've already mentioned. In the end I've learned a lot and came to the conclusion that Hammock Hanging is the way I want to go. However, living in South Florida, finding technical advise from UL Backpacking shops is pretty much nonexistant. So, I'm coming to the forum for ADVISE.
    1) Should I purchase a backpack first and build my equipment around the pack or vise versa?

    2) Being that I will be doing most of my hiking in South and Central Florida any advise on Skeeter Beater Hammocks as a starter? I know a trap is a necessity and will be getting that when I decided on the hammock.

    3) For now I'm thinking I could get away with a closed cell sleeping pad instead of a Under Quilt. Any Floridians with advise on this would be most welcomed!

    I'll thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    SW Idaho
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    Welcome to the forum O-Boy.

    On #1 I would recommend starting to sort out what other gear you like first and then fit the pack to that. If you go to small with the pack as you build your kit then you will struggle to fit it all in if you get to large a pack then your almost assured to find "stuff" to fill it up with wether you need it or not. Starting with the gear means you will get a pack that fits what you need it to.

    #2 you will want some form of bug protection for sure, the skeeter beater is a popular option as is Warbonnet, Hennessy and a number of others.

    #3 In the very warm months you may be fine without any pad, lots of folks use pads year round. Check out Shugs latest vid where one of the members of the hike used pads alone to get to -1F.

    Good luck, ask lots of questions, and have fun with it.
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  3. #3
    Burning at both ends Dblcorona's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    Novi, MI
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    Welcome aboard.

    #1- As stated above. Get the gear and then the backpack.

    #2- You can also get a bug net and match it to a hammock. Then during the cooler times without the bugs, you can leave that at home.

    #3- I have never been comfortable with a pad. So you'll have to try it out. I fine the uq just a lot more comfortable.
    "We don't stop hiking because we grow old,
    we grow old because we stop hiking."

    -- Finis Mitchell,

  4. #4
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Rockledge, FL
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    Welcome

    Glad you made it to HF. This is the place to be for info on hiking/hanging. WB has a lot of info but I think it's a lot more general and of course suited to the thru-hiker community. Chances are you can find all the info you seek here but it may take a while. There are "sticky" threads with lots of distilled wisdom. Others may take some searching which is somewhat of a weak point on the forum (but can be mitigated with google-fu).

    #1 Basically your height, weight, budget, and personal preference will determine what hammock/insulation/tarp combo will work best for you. I can attest to having quite the pile of gear build up over the years. Lots of things that seem like a great idea when you're reading or hearing about them turn into an expensive lesson once you have them. My hammock gear actually is just a bit bulkier but lighter than my tenting loadout. I went from a 50L pack stuffed to a 58L (Osprey exos) with room to spare. I basically pack until I run out of room so a smaller pack is probably better for me but I love my exos and gear for a week on the AT fits with no problem.

    #2 The fortunate thing for the moment about hammock gear is that it doesn't devalue terribly compared to some other sporting goods. You can pick up a new or 2nd hand hammock or other gear, use it a few times, then re-sell it here on the forum for not much of a loss with the exception of shipping charges. There are also lots of hangers in FL so you can likely borrow some other gear rather than buy. Lots of folks are in the same position as you and gear just seems to rotate from hanger to hanger.

    If you can make it the best thing to do would be to come up to the hang at Buck Lake in a month. You will see the spectrum of gear there and the one thing you'll find about hammock hangers is that they love to talk and talk and talk about their particular setup. There will likely be one of every model on the market along with lots of DIY solutions there for you to check out.

    #3 Pads work fine and are cheap but bulky. They're also not really as convenient or comfortable as an UQ but I almost always carry at least some kind of foam pad. They're good for insulating under my feet or a dry/warm place to sit outside the hammock.

    Good luck....
    Last edited by zukiguy; 12-13-2011 at 20:19.

  5. #5
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Hey dude, I am originally from R.P.B. I have a house between Okeechobee and Southern. Man, it's really cool to have someone from the same town as me on here. Welcome to HF dude!


    Fronkey

  6. #6
    SADLK's Avatar
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    Welcome! You have come to the right place.
    Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity.
    -Thor Heyerdahl

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Thanks for the WELCOME and I'm In on the snake skins. By the way, if you went to Crestwood Middle School, you would probably recognize my houses.

    O-Boy
    RPB, FL

  8. #8
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O-Boy View Post
    Thanks for the WELCOME and I'm In on the snake skins. By the way, if you went to Crestwood Middle School, you would probably recognize my houses.

    O-Boy
    RPB, FL
    I did go there. haha I walked to and from school down Sparrow Dr. for 2 years. Small world.

    Fronkey

  9. #9
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    A Whoooo Buddy welcome to ya'......
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



    Shug's YouTube Videos

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  10. #10
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Welcome to the group!
    Terry

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