Prefers life at 12 MPH.
Welcome from up here in Gainesville.
The January hang that zukiguy mentioned has a planning thread located here, and a sign-up sheet located here.
To answer your questions from the perspective of someone who's been bike camping for a while and only hiking for the last six months or so...
1.) Buy the gear first, unless you intend on getting something modular like a Molly Mac Pack that scales in size from a day pack to considerably more volume. That way, you'll have an idea of how much volume you're going to need. (A note: personally, I find that the majority of major pack makers overestimate the amount of gear one needs--what they consider a day-and-an-half pack, I can usually get three to five days out of in the field under normal Florida weather conditions.)
2.) There are a number of very nice integrated bug net designs out there. However, any single-layer hammock is going to leave you vulnerable to bites through the bottom. I personally recommend using a Permethrin treatment on the hammock (available at most outdoor stores) to keep the buggers off of one. Or, you can go the double-layer route or even get a hammock with a 360* bug net that completely encloses the hammock. There are a myriad of designs, most of which have design points that are argued over (politely) and dissected here on Hammock Forums. Here, making it to the Ocala hang would probably be your best bet. If you can't, though, don't despair: hiking weather is here to stay through March-ish, and it's very likely that there'll be several other hangs in Florida between now and then.
3.) You most definitely can. The trick, from what I've read here (and my experiences with my poncho liner underquilt bear this out) is that the hammock wraps around your shoulders and hips. You'll either want a very wide pad or pads, wide enough and thin enough to wrap with the hammock, or you'll want to do something called an SPE. An SPE is a Speer Pad Extender (unfortunately no longer commercially made), a nylon bag that holds your pad and smaller pieces of other pads in the critical areas around your torso and hips to ensure that you don't get cold on your sides.
Honestly, though, I like my PLUQ. It's gotten me down to 39 so far, though I was a little chilly. Which covers 90% of the weather you're likely to run across in south Florida.
Anyway, welcome to the forums!
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kankakee, IL
Tarp: Mega Ogee or OMW
Insulation: Burrow & Incubator
Suspension: Whoopies + Dutch
Welcome to the family!
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Hammock: BIAS Camper
Tarp: Kelty Noah's Tarp
Insulation: Jarbridge UQ
Suspension: whoopie w/ toggles
Welcome to the forum from another new guy. I am in a similar situation to you being from NW Florida and just starting out.
I will be following this thread as I too am looking into a Skeeter Beater Pro. I slept on a pad my first hammock trip in mid 30 weather and did pretty well, so for the price, that's what I'm going to use for now!
O-boy it's good to hear your getting back into something you loved! At the same age as you, I know that doing what you love is important.
Wait on the backpack until you hone down your gear. In the meantime, you can pick up a dirt cheap pack to hold your gear until then.
You definitely need mosquito protection. Some hammocks have nets built in but others use a separate net that completely encloses the entire hammock.
Pads will keep you warm - not a problem there. However, for comfort, you'll want an under quilt someday. For top quilts, you can use an old sleeping bag for a while.
You definitely need to come to the Ocala hang in mid January. Here's the link...
"Life is a Project!"
welcome to the madness
have fun out there
Merchants Mill Pond SP Swamp Hang
Free Hammock Classes
Hammock Gear Time Line
Hammock Friendly Sites in NC
I am 18 with 42 years of experience.
Hammock Hangers...taking over the world..2 trees at a time !
Warbonnet BB 1.7 and a whole lot of other great gear from the vendors on HF
Hey, you may want to check out Clark Jungle Hammocks. They claim their hammocks are mosquito proof. They have a tropical version that does not need any additional under insulation down to about 50* and it is also supposed to help keep you cooler when it is hot and muggy. I haven't tried this, but read about it on their site.
The beauty part is that if you get something and find it is not for you, you can always sell it in the For Sale forum. Good gear goes pretty fast around here.
My YouTube channel: Tool Dude Tony
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Royal Palm Beach, FL
Hammock: Skeeter Beeter
Tarp: Warbonnet 10 x12
Insulation: W Logics UQ
Suspension: Warbonnet Straps
Thanks for all the responses and the additional information y'all provided. I guess my best bet is the Florida Hang in January, sounds like a trade show and social event rolled up into one weekend. Thanks again everyone.
|equipment advise, newbie|