Thread for trip reports.
5 minute video
They Came, They Saw, They Infested the trees with hammocks and a couple of tents.
Boggs Mountain State Demonstration Forest is in Cobb, CA - north of Calistoga and south of Clearlake.
My drive out there (via Napa) was nice, with just a little construction work but not a lot of traffic. I got a little misplaced navigating the roads in the Forest, but some dog walkers straightened me out. I'm still not sure how I managed to take the first turn (I recognized it on my way out) yet still managed to come in up the really rough second turn's road anyway. Teleportation? Forest Gremlins?
I was first on site, set up my new Warbonnet Traveler hammock (more on that later) and waited for folks to arrive. By dinner time, everyone had arrived: OneThing, Garyg763, dblhmmck, OneEye and his three great boys, and The Daves (their new name in my universe) consisting of DaveTelf and his friend Dave.
We stood around talking hammocks. We ate a lot. The Boys (OneEye's) exhibited their world-class pyro skills. On Saturday, The Boys introduced me to Mau, a TOTALLY awesome card game. I had the most cards of anyone at the table and never had so much fun losing a game in my life.
The weather was great, a nice strong breeze to blow away the mosquitoes on Friday night, calming to nothing during the night. Probably 1/2 hour after dawn the mosquitoes all woke up and were frustrated by various bug nets and head nets. They eventually went back wherever they'd come from.
A little overcast on Saturday and not as windy, I was bedeviled by bugs in the afternoon (giant house flys) and mosquitoes around dusk.
I figure that's because I was the only warm-blooded target left (a Mother's day hang will be deserted on Sat night and Sunday.) So I swapped out my Traveler for my Warbonnet Blackbird and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open any more.
I woke up as soon as the sky started getting light (I usually do) and started packing up. The mosquitoes were still asleep. Ha ha. Go find a horse to bite or something.
I started the car at 6am and drove out to the north to catch 53, heading east on 20 and south-south-east on 16. Stopped in Woodland for a giant McDonald's coffee, and bombed home.
Gear, Food, and Clothing
I like the Traveler hammock very much (double layer). Simple and comfortable. I opted for the line and strap suspension, and discovered that the pines I had chosen (and most of the pines on the site) were HUGE - the straps went only 1/2 way around the trees, so I made up FrankenStraps by using some really long Strapworks straps folded up 4 times as extenders.
I'll probably go with the Amsteel extenders from Arrowhead since, as dblhmmck pointed out, trees that are big enough to defeat my straps are probably not going to be harmed by a partial rope-wrap.
I installed pole pockets by 2qzq on my MacCat Deluxe tarp and did the pole mod thing. Super nice on a hot day! I used Easton poles I had on hand (the longer ones) and will swap them out for more, shorter, sections for easier packing. It was nice and warm so I let the pole straighten out, making a nifty canopy for lounging.
I tried some new-to-me backpacking food recipies and liked all of them. Except for the kippered herring I had for lunch on Saturday, I ate vegetarian all weekend. I like it!
I never did entertain folks with my fire-building attempts, but I did use my new Element stove as a windbreak for my old trusty Supercat stove.
This is OneThing's Element in Flame On mode.
I have decided that clothes without tags (using printed-on tags instead - trendy) are nice but annoying for dressing in the dark. Longjohns fit funny backwards. Bet you didn't know that!
I tried out my DIY Primaloft/Momentum pants (made to go with my Thru-Hiker Kinsman insulated jacket) and liked them. I ended up sleeping in my lightest wool longjhons (Ibex) and the insulating clothing. I kicked the JRB Shenandoah quilt into the foot of the hammock and used it to keep my feet warm both nights.
I finished another Thru-Hiker kit this spring: the Liberty Ridge Windshirt. So nice! Adds just a bit of warmth and also defeats mosquitoes.
I wore my diy windblocking fleece balaclava on both nights to keep my head warm (I slept cold this weekend) but didn't put it on until 2 or 3am Saturday night.
I also tried out a bug net I made for my Tilley T4 hat. The wide brim on the hat keeps the net well away from my face.
This was also the first overnight trial(s) of an extra-small size Thermarest Pro mat for my feet (I use a 3/4 Hammock Gear underquilt). It worked fine. I have to remember to put the valve as far from me as possible. It is lumpy if I forget. I had it slightly inflated in the Traveler and decided that uninflated worked better in the Blackbird.
I deployed my Griz Beaks on Friday night, mostly because I could.
I made a very small ridgeline organizer: just enough to hold my glasses and maybe a phone and small MP3 player. I used mitten hooks, but when you load the organizer up with only items narrower than the organizer, the hooks slide together. Duh! So I'll make some bitty prusiks on the ridgeline of the Traveler.
I tried using just the head-end Triangle Thingy (Arrowhead Equipment) the second night, but decided that I needed both to help keep the underquilt in place. The Triangle Thingies also help keep the underquilt in place fore and aft, as well as keeping my shoulder covered.
I experimented with a partially-finished long hooded poncho as a non-breathable weathershield under my hammock. It has potential. Now I need to finish the darn poncho.
How To Hang A Tilley on your tarp
When packing up, I decided to try leaving my underquilt and triangle thingies on the Warbonnet and the topquilt inside and put the whole lump into my backpack at once (I brought my modified 2012 Osprey Ariel with me). It worked OK, but I forgot to take out the Thermarest before I did it. Made it harder. And my celphone was still in there. Ooops.