Hammock Camping

In 2018, after eight years of intermittent tent camping, I stopped being a ‘ground dweller’ and moved up to hammock camping. The advantages are increased comfort and the flexibility of camping site choices. The disadvantages are the time it takes setting up and breaking down camp. But it is worth it.

Camped near Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness. The forecast was for two to three days of rain, so I carried in a second tarp to have a dry area to sit and prepare meals. It sprinkled once for about half an hour. +1

Camped at sunset.

Camped at the end of Day Two — And I’m facing east, ready for the morning sun.

Day Two — Camped off of the North Loop of the Big Piney Trail. +1

Camped at ‘Cab Creek’ — Finally, the sun is high enough to start warming things up. I went and sat in the sun on the other side of ‘Cab Creek’ and enjoyed the morning. +3

Day Three – tea in bed at ‘Cab Creek’. Note the sun just rising above the edge of the hollow.

Packing away — It rained quite a lot last night and the drips were still falling from the trees, so I kept the tarp up while I packed everything away.

Lollygagging — it was quite cold early in the morning, I was glad I bought my big puffy jacket and some base layer pants to wear.

Once again camped at ‘Deep Hollow’ and it is summer tarp and bug net time. +1

Day Two — Starts with a lazy morning — and a morning cuppa! Two-minute read, +1

I’m in no rush … I don’t need to be home until this evening, and it’ll only take around two hours to hike back to the trailhead. I might as well relax for a while.

Camped overlooking McGarr Spring — It’s embarrassing to admit how long it took me to find the two trees I used when I camped here back in December. So I’ll just say It was far too long.

Frosty Morning — My coldest night out on the trail. Last night at 15°F, and ironically, I was too hot! There was even ice inside my hammock. +2

Morning in the woods — The temps dropped quickly last night. It was below freezing by 9 p.m. and dropped to 28F.

Unusual, but it worked — I wanted a tarp configuration that would keep the wind off me, but still let me stand up. +1

Camped near Whites Creek — This is not where you are supposed to camp, it is far too close to the creek but it was getting dark when I arrived and this is an established camping spot with a fire ring (I didn’t use it).

Photograph of Gary Allman camping near Whites Creek, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. March 2023.

Day Four — Contemplating life and the view — The view was a bit tangled as the floods had made a huge mess of everything. +1

Photograph of a hammock and backpacking gear hung out to dry in Irish Wilderness, Missouri. March 2023.

Drying out — That will teach me. I didn’t set the tarp and the dew point must have been just perfect for everything to get soaked, including my hammock and my down top and under quilts. I decided to delay the start of my day’s hike (any excuse) and get everything dry before packing it away.

Photograph of Gary Allman in his Dutchware Chameleon hammock, Irish Wilderness, Missouri. March 2023.

Time to get up — Yes, I sleep in my clothes, not all the time, but it is part of my layering plan when it gets cooler, and as I only had a 40F top quilt, this was one of those times.

It got a bit damp overnight — This is my down puffy jacket, my quilts faired slighlty better as my body heat was drying them as they got wet.

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