First Oregon Hang!

Just returned from a great campout in the Tillamook forest with several other Hammock Forums members. We met up at Gale’s Creek campground, which is conveniently located only 30 miles outside of Beaverton/Hillsboro where I’m staying with my parents. The campsite was perfect – right next to¬† stream, plenty of room and parking, and plenty of trees for hanging. Only one downside: Rain, and lots of it! But that doesn’t keep good Oregon hangers down. Despite the rain we had a good time cooking over the fire, making s’mores, sharing drinks, and general camping goodness. Jackleberry impressed us all with his Disco lights, Gary didn’t die from an axe to the head, and when I tripped over the fire grate in the dark nobody laughed… much. =P

Turtlelady (from Kentucky) was visiting her daughter in Portland, Silverlion brought his 8 year old son, and Jackleberry and Gary_R were representing as well. (Many thanks to Silverlion and Gary for scouting out the site!) This was my first campground hang, and my first HF group hang, and my first hang in Oregon. A lot of firsts! Everyone was a great help in providing tips and tricks for making my system better – from tighter Prussik knots to making a DIY Underquilt. The swaying and the “Plop plop plop” of raindrops on the tarp took some getting used to, but before long I was sleeping WAY better than I would have on the ground. Hooray!

Here was the system:
– DIY Switchbird hammock
– Wilderness Logic Tadpole Tarp (a lifesaver in the rain! No misting seen) over a Zing-it ridgeline attached with Prussiks
– Kelty Cosmos 20 deg. down sleeping bag
– DIY SPE with REI CCF pad and Trekker inflatable pad stacked

Here’s what worked:
– The tarp. Kept me dry all night long.
– The hammock shelf, great for storing my water bottle, spare clothes, blanket, etc.
– The sleeping system (bag, clothes, pads) was nice and warm to 50 deg.
– The hammock. SUPER comfortable and easy to get in and out of
– Using a clothes bag as a pillow
– A great tip from the others: storing a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag to keep you nice and toasty!

Here’s what didn’t work:
– The length of the hammock is a little long. It just barely fits under the tarp, and there isn’t much room to spare. I’d make it 10′ instead of 11′ long next time.
– I’ll need larger soft shackles and longer tree huggers
– The hammock shelf is a little large for under the tarp, esp. when tied out.

Things to remember for next time:
– Take the time to get into the hammock and try it out to make sure the hang is right before it’s dark and time for bed.
– Make sure to keep track where the entrance zipper is on BEFORE hanging the hammock!

I’d say overall it was a very successful trip and I can’t wait to go hanging again! Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:

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