Ladies and Germs, I am knee deep in preparations for a vagabonding journey to Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. The goal (if it can be said that I have one) is to hitch a ride on a sailboat to who knows where, and learn how to sail. I will start from Providence KY, taking a bus to Montegomery Alabama and from there, I’ll wing it (like I do.)
As a preface to the journey ahead, I’d like to take the time to talk about my newly discovered (new to me) way of camping: using a hammock. A hammock I have disocvered, is a great way of camping. Here a few benefits of hammocks.
1. Protected from the elements. The tarp can be staked different ways depending on what effect I want or what my needs are. On a cold rainy day the tarp can be bound with ropes at both ends to effectvely make a ‘pod’. On hot non rainy days with a nice breeze, the tarp can be staked open like we see here, to take advantage of the cooling wind.
Despite the seeming limitations of just ‘a sheet of plastic’ its lack of rigidity and form, give it great strength in its versatility and ability to adapt and be customized to different situations. A tent is a tent is a tent and the only way to use it as not a tent, is to ‘break it’ so as to make it ‘not a tent’ anymore.
Well sheltered and materials have mulitple uses outside of making a shelter. A tarp has a million uses, as does rope or line, the polyester material of the hammock itself can be made into other articles of clothing, cut into strips, can be used to filter water, carry wounded, hang gear in trees out of reach of critters… etc etc
3. Surpringly comfortable. This hammock is hand made from materials gathered at Walmart. Total cost to build was about 10 bucks. $26 including the heavy duty tarp ($13) I bought, which you should have regardless. So even though some may have concerns about its durability a hammock can be made out of damn near anything and made well they will last you quite a long while and if they don’t last as long as you hoped, who cares? For 10 bucks and 20 minutes of work you can make another.
The benefit of a hammock is that they hold you up off the ground so there are some frustrating issues that tenters deal with that hammockers avoid. The biggest is ground moisture. After (or during) a rainy day, a tent site may be soaked and if it rains during the night an improperly placed tent may be flooded. Hammocks avoid this issue completely by not touching the ground at all and flowing rain water has passed under me on stormy nights where my small tent would have seen me wake up in a cold puddle at 2 in the morning.
So on my continuing journey, Hammocking will be my primary form of shelter and I look foward to my adventures.