What the heck happened this weekend? I tried to spend two nights in my hammock and ended up bailing and heading inside both nights. I’ve probably spent a close to a hundred nights out in my hammocks now and can’t remember ever bailing before. Something obviously wasn’t right.
Friday evening when Jenna and I hung up our hammocks and tarps I opted to go without a bugnet. Normally we climb in our hammocks late after most of the bug activity has died down for the night and Friday was no exception. It was around midnight when we headed out and I found myself having trouble getting to sleep…might have had something to do with a little too much caffeine too close to bedtime. Then the skeeters kicked in…at least I thought it was skeeters. I kept feeling like I was getting chewed on by the little blood suckers. Now was I really getting chewed on? I don’t know. The next morning I never saw any of the bites. Could have it been a mental thing brought on because I remembered Ashley getting mugged by the little buggers late in the evening last week? BTW, Ashley earned her trail name after that little episode…’Skeeter Bait’. Maybe it was just a sleep-deprived mind wired up on caffeine? Who knows. Finally around 3:30 or so, after hearing one whining around my ear I finally gave up and went inside.
On a side note, before the hallucinatory skeeters drove me inside, I got a chance to try out the hot weather top quilt I recently made from a polysilk sleeping bag liner.
Have to say I was quite pleased. It didn’t seem to add too much warm on an already warm and humid night and it felt cool against the skin. I think I’m going to be enjoying it quite a bit over the next few weeks until the weather starts to cool.
Saturday afternoon, to combat the skeeters – real and imagined, I decided to break out my Wilderness Logics bug net and attach it to my hammock. Attach probably isn’t quite the right word since the hammock actually goes inside the bugnet and slides through an opening in each end. I noticed it was a pretty tight fit and I remembered that the DIY hammock I use most of the time lately is a few inches longer than my ENO that I’ve used it with previously. It was a snug fit but it seemed like all would be fine. Wrong.
We got into our hammocks around 2:00 a.m., much later than usual after arriving home late from a concert in Atlanta (if you get the chance to go see the Zac Brown Band in concert…GO!) and figured I’d be asleep in a heartbeat. Wrong again. I climbed in my hammock, zipped up the net and suddenly felt very confined…not a claustrophobic confined but an “I couldn’t lay in my hammock at the diagonal I usually lay on” confined.
After a couple of hours of shifting and tossing and turning and sweating and even a little swearing , once again, I finally gave it up and went inside. Maybe it’s time to make up a bugnet that fits my hammock a bit better and gives me a bit more room to stretch out and get comfortable.
So what’s the moral to this story? Regardless of how many nights you’ve spent out in the woods, you’re going to have a rough one every now and then. But the chances of that can be lessened with a bit of backyard practice to make sure you’re very familiar with your gear and which pieces are and aren’t compatible. OK, maybe a second moral is to lay off the caffeine close to bedtime. Now…GET OUT!