Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Southeast Hammock Hanger's Association (SEHHA) Campout
Hot Springs, NC - 22-24 Sep 06

Big Kudos to Ed and Karen for organizing these campouts! What a great time. I didn't expect to make another one for a long time, but the AF decided to fly me to the East Coast just in time to take a few days of leave and check out the SEHHA gathering...perfect timing!

It was really great to put some faces with the names we all see online. The guest list...

Friday Night
  • Ed "Not to Worry" Speer
  • Karen
  • Hammock Engineer
  • Michele
  • Risk
  • Youngblood
  • Joe
  • Me
  • Gary
  • Jan
  • T-BACK
  • Brian (Karenís brother)
  • Slowhike
And Saturday a few folks showed up just for the day
  • The female Frolicking Dinosaur
  • Sly
  • Blackbishop and friend (Jarrett?)
Showed up Saturday to Stay
  • Peanuts and her dog
  • Alligator
  • Bob
  • And I had to leave Saturday night...
Ed said that 15 folks is the most we've had at one of these campouts...and we matched that on Saturday night! Don't forget to check out the other pics at the Yahoo! hammockcamping group and in Michele's Whiteblaze gallery. If you have another page with photos from this campout, email me and I'll put the link in.

Group Pictures - The best part of the trip was the company - we sat around talking all the time, a few folks went hiking on Saturday, and we had several meals together.

Slowhike, T-BACK, Joe, Risk at the Smoky Mountain Diner

Karen, Ed, Youngblood, Brian

Getting Ready for Dinner

Hot Dog Time - Joe, Brian, Michele, Slowhike, Hammock Engineer, Sly
Back Row - Jan, Gary, T-BACK

Youngblood, Karen, Ed and Risk at the table

Happy Birthday, Brian!

And the Gear - Another great part of the weekend was the variety of hammocks and gear available for show and tell. With all the ideas we talk about on the forums, it's really helpful to be able to inspect all the gear firsthand. I really liked the homemade gear, but seeing new commercial gear was interesting, too. Except for the Hammock Train and Bob's setup, the sections below are ordered from left to right as you enter the campsite, with the fire ring and big tarp in the middle.

Hammock Train (Lto R) - Peanuts, Jan and Gary, Me, Joe

From the Other Side - Joe, Me, Gary and Jan

Hammock Engineer's Setup - Hammock Engineer met Michele in Cincinnati and drove to Hot Springs, then hung out in a great little spot all the way down by the river...he had the most privacy of us all! I really liked how he replaced the HH Spectra supports with his own Speer-style straps. A simple loop in the strap, tied to the HH right by the hammock. A drip string solves any problems from water running down the straps.

MacCat Deluxe over HH BULA

Hammock Straps on HH

Michele's Setup - Michele came all the way from Michigan! She drove to Cincinnati and carpooled with Hammock Engineer...pretty long drive. What's more? She had never hung her new gear until Friday night!! So we threw it up real fast before we went to dinner, and she continued to fidget with it all weekend, experimenting with different hangs and such. And she carried her knot card and some string to practice with while we were talking. She said she was hooked for life!

New HH BULA and JRB Nest

And Her New MacCat Deluxe

Risk's Setup - Risk rode his motorcycle all the way from Dayton, Ohio - in the rain. Not much holds up to 70 mph for 7 hours in the rain so he was soaked through when he got in Friday night...he spent lots of time fanning his gear in front of the fire so it would dry out for the rainy trip back home on Sunday. I was really glad to meet Risk b/c his website got me kickstarted in making my own gear...most of my first designs, and even my most recent DownHammock, are basically copies of his. And the more I test things, the more I find that he's already got a lighter answer than mine! He had some good stories about all kinds of stuff around the campire and at the diner, too. And he has recovered enough from his broken leg that I shuttled him up for a 7 mile hike on Saturday.

Risk's DownHammock and Homemade Tarp

Undercover Seam

T-BACK's Setup - T-BACK stands for Titanium Back...and he showed us some pretty nasty pictures of his back surgery! Cool. I was curious about his HH with the bug net removed, so it was nice to see that. And I liked how he used a loop in the tarp tie-out to get 4 tie-outs per side with only two stakes.

T-BACK's Setup

T-BACK Shows Youngblood and Gary his net-free HH

T-BACK's Homemade Tarp, HH w/ Bug Net Removed, JRB Stealth Universal Quilt

T-BACK's SUQ

T-BACK's Tarp Tie-Out

T-BACK's Tarp Tensioner

Youngblood's Setup - Dave is another person who has helped me along in my gear making...I think my first tarp project will be a mix of his and Risk's designs, actually. I really wish I had gotten pics of his underquilt setup, though.

T-BACK and Youngblood

Youngblood's Tarp Tent

Blackbishop's Setup - Keith drove up with a friend (who he's recently convinced to evolve into hammocking) just for the day on Saturday, but he still threw up his hammock for a nap. And I'm glad he did - I liked the mods he made. I'm considering trying his stuffsack mod instead of snakeskins for a while...maybe it'll pack better than skins do.

Blackbishop's Stuffsack Mod

Closeup of Stuffsack Hole

Blackbishop's HH Support Mod with ENO Slap Straps

ENO on HH

ENO Slap Strap Loop

Blackbishop's HH Removable Ridgeline

Joe's Setup - Joe uses the whiteblaze-famed "neo's tarp" from Sportsman's Guide, and this was the first time I got to see that tarp and the HH undercover and pad. I also liked how he used his hiking pole to raise the HH side tie-out higher for a more open feel in the hammock.

Sportsman's Guide Gear Guide Tarp

Hiking Pole for the HH Tie-Out

HH SuperShelter Undercover

HH Undercover Connections

My Setup - I decided to bring the Crazy Creek setup b/c I figured most people hadn't seen that one, and I'm testing it for BGT. I used it with my MacCat b/c I didn't trust the stock tarp to keep me dry...good move, b/c I set up the stock tarp just to see, and it leaked. It hasn't rained like that in Monterey so this was the first real field test with rain...I'll have to seal it now and see how it protects the Crazy Creek. I also brought the Zippered SPE Mod and my Wiggy's bag for show and tell. It was tough hammocking w/o my JRB top quilt, but the life of a tester is never easy...

Crazy Creek with MacCat Standard

View from My Hammock

Gary and Jan's Setup - Gary and Jan had matching HH setups with the big HH Hex tarp and JRB sets, including the Weather Shields. This is the first time I'd seen the HH tarp so I was glad they brought theirs. The little pocket inside the tie-out to hold the tarp lines looks very convenient, and there's LOADS of room under those things. I don't remember who stayed in which hammock, but the one closest to me had clipped the Weather Shield top over the hammock to block any windblown rain - looked like a good idea.

HH Hex Tarp (10'x12'?)

HH Hex Tie-Out, Topside

Underside of HH Hex Tie-Out

Slowhike's Setup - Ya know, I didn't know all weekend that Tim was Slowhike! I knew that some of the things he was saying sounded familiar, like the support system, but I just never made the connection! Anyway, Slowhike had a long show-and-tell with his homemade tarp with extra tie-outs for shaping the tarp and possibly hanging a bugnet underneath it. He had an interesting hammock support adjustment, too. And another Exped Downmat 7 user, too!

Homemade Tarp

Homemade Hammock Support

Other Setups

Ed's Double Hammock Stand

Ed and Karen on the Right, Gary and Jan on the Left, Slowhike in the Middle

Brian's Speer Setup on the Far Left of the Campsite

Bob's SpeerSetup on the Far Right

Coming Home - Unfortunately, I had to catch an early flight out of Fayetteville on Sunday. I waffled back and forth all day long on whether I wanted to miss out on Saturday night in the hammock, or get up at 3am Saturday morning for the drive. I ended up leaving at about 9pm Saturday and driving all the way to Fayetteville...got a hotel at 3am and got several hours of sleep before hitting the airport for California. Didn't really want the weekend to end that way, but the flights weren't so bad and I ended up getting a few pics of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean...coast to coast in a day!

Sunset Over the Pacific
North of LA, Sunday Night

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