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.

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension

I’m trying out some daisy chain webbing for my hammock suspension.

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Breakfast in my hammock. Irish Wilderness, Missouri

All this bushwhacking is taking its toll on my feet and legs

All this bushwhacking is scratching up my feet and legs.

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri

Morning tea in my hammock — Irish Wilderness, Missouri.

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024

Day Four — View from my hammock, February 2, 2024 — I survived the night 🙂 (at my age I sometimes wonder!), but my heart was still in AFIB. I had enough water for breakfast (12oz), a cup of something hot (10oz), and about 4oz for the trail.

Gear all packed

Gear all packed — Irish Wilderness, Missouri. February 2024.

My winter backpacking gear ready to be packed away

My winter backpacking gear ready to be packed away — Well, I already had a lot of my stuff laid out on my ground sheet while I was playing “Hunt the glasses,” so why not?

Hammock Camping in Irish Wilderness, lost & found, and a bad back

Hammock Camping in Irish Wilderness, lost & found, and a bad back — I have managed to lose, and subsequently find three items of gear on my hike so far. But in looking for the lost gear I’ve crocked up my back. Two-minute read.

Camp at first light, Irish Wilderness

Camp at first light, Irish Wilderness — The pre-dawn light got me out of bed to enjoy the sunrise.

Sunshine at last

Sunshine at last — Drying out my gear was my excuse for not rushing to get on the trail. The frost on my tarp needed a chance to melt and dry. I lollygagged around and didn’t start packing up camp until eleven-forty. Taking it easy, I didn’t leave camp until twelve-thirty.

Camped at Fiddler Spring, Irish Wilderness

Camped at Fiddler Spring, Irish Wilderness. +1

Day Two, the view from my hammock

Day Two, the view from my hammock — When I decided to stop at Fiddler Spring, I forgot to check its orientation to the rising sun. It was a long chilly wait until the sun climbed high enough to reach the campsite. It was also “Surprise! Suprise!” a lot colder than forecast. At seven-thirty it was twenty-four degrees. Two-minute read, +1

Hammock sunset

Hammock sunset — Camped above ‘Deep Hollow’ January 2024.

Camped on the side of ‘Twin Falls Hollow’

Camped on the side of ‘Twin Falls Hollow’ The start of Day Two of my trip.

My quilt got a little frosty

My quilt got a little frosty, though according to my notes it was only 30°F. +1

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness

Frosty Morning in Paddy Creek Wilderness — The temperature dropped to 19°F (-7°C) overnight. The predicted low was 28°F. Once again I was glad I changed my mind and packed my bigger and heavier 10°F quilts. +3

Hammock Camping in Paddy Creek Wilderness

Hammock Camping in Paddy Creek Wilderness — As it is going to be a short day in terms of mileage, I don’t have to rush to get on the trail. I took the time to light up my Firebox Nano stove for my morning coffee, breakfast, and a follow-up cuppa tea.

Morning view from my hammock

Morning view from my hammock — Day Two, Camped in Paddy Creek Wilderness.

Ooh, it fits!

Ooh, it fits! Camped in Paddy Creek Wilderness, at a spot I’ve nicknamed Paddy Creek Trolltunga. Backpacking the Big Piney Trail, December 2023.

Camped near Table Rock Lake at Piney Creek Wilderness

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 sunset.

Camped at the end of Day Two

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

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

Camped at ‘Cab Creek’

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’.

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