Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Welcome To The Woods!

Tothewoods.net is a collection of my thoughts on hammock camping, lightweight backpacking, DIY gear, and trip reports. I started it because I was doing so much research on how to stay warm and comfortable in a hammock, and at that point (approx. 2002) there weren't many places with this kind of info. I knew I wasn't the only one with these questions, so I started cataloging my research and projects to make it easier on others doing the same research. People started emailing with their own ideas to discuss, and then ATTroll and I started HammockForums.net as an offshoot of Whiteblaze.net, and all the ideas started feeding off of each other and turning into LOTS of new and innovative projects.

We eventually reached a tipping point, and today Hammock Forums has become the go-to place for advanced info on camping hammocks. I still run this site as a place for newbies to learn the basics of hammock camping, and as a catalog of my projects, trip reports and thoughts. In a few articles, I summarize some key aspects of hammock camping just to keep the info organized in one place so it's easier to digest, without having to sort through all the threads on all the forums that discuss the details of hammocking.

What's New?
12 August 2013: All Six Mods Resign from HammockForums.net

Dear HammockForums.net members,

In October 2006, we started Hammock Forums to create the internet's most useful repository of hammock information on the internet, and to provide a peaceful sanctuary for hammock enthusiasts to discuss our shared interest. Through careful selection of moderators and by paying special attention to creativity, originality and respectful discourse, Hammock Forums grew into a unique community that many members proudly say is the best forum on the internet.

Integrity has always been the foundation of our operations here, and has undergirded that creativity and respectful discourse. This applies to members ensuring they give credit when using others' ideas, vendors (until recently) carefully ensuring they don't steal other vendors' ideas or profit directly from members' ideas without giving credit, and the moderator staff being as transparent as possible in the site's operations.

One key aspect of the site's operations that deserves special scrutiny is the donation procedures. The mod staff historically has proudly proclaimed that we moderate Hammock Forums on a strictly volunteer basis, and that all donations go solely towards site operations or improvement. We do not personally profit from your donations. However, you may notice that we have not been saying this recently.

This is because several months ago, the site's owner withdrew access to HF's financial accounts from all six moderators. Frankly, we have no idea what is happening to thousands of dollars of your donation monies. We have directly asked why the access was removed, and given an ultimatum that without access - not even spending authority, but only access to view - we can no longer moderate this website with the integrity we require. We offered several opportunities to remedy this situation but were rebuffed each time.

Therefore, it is with heavy hearts that all six of HF's moderators - Just Jeff, angrysparrow, NCPatrick, Cannibal, headchange4u, and John Sawyer - are resigning as Hammock Forums' moderators. We stand in agreement that if we cannot keep our word to the members, we will no longer represent their website. Furthermore, if the owner will not keep his word to us, we will not continue enabling him to profit from our efforts and from your donations. For us, integrity is more important than participation in any website.

We're sure Hammock Forums will continue without us and we wish you all the best in the future.

Jeff, Sam, Patrick, Grant, Jason and John

The thread is here if you'd like to seem some discussion before it was closed. https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=77919

8 January 2013:Posted my first setup experience with the Green Handy Hammock stand.
6 January 2013:Haven't posted for a while, but Handy Hammock sent me some gear to test! Here's my Initial Review of the Green Handy Hammock stand.
3 August 2010:Added a tutorial on how to mod a Hennessy Explorer to use cinch buckles.
1 August 2010: Finally got around to posting my weeklong trip thru the Smokies National Park (GSMNP). 3-9 June, 7 days and almost 100 miles. One of my favorite trips yet!
16 May 2010: Posted the Trip Report for the Colorado Spring Hang (8-9 May) at the Shafthouse, Goose Creek Trail, Lost Wilderness, CO. It ended up only being three of us but it was still a great trip to a beautiful area!
25 Apr 2010: Added the little Bushbuddy Stuffsack I made, since BPL sent it with a mesh one that wouldn't protect my pack from soot.
21 Apr 2010: Added the Hanging Food Bag that has a squared bottom with webbing on it, so I can hang it upside down and it'll have less chance of my food getting wet when it rains.

11 Apr 2010: Added the vendor list with logos to the bottom of the Hammock Camping front page.
10 Apr 2010: Added the Nov 07 trip to Congaree National Park in South Carolina. I hung two hammocks from the same suspension and both were inside the same Hammock Sock. Worked out well, at least with an 8 y/o! And we got some pics of several tracks that were on the sandy beach next to our campsite. (Link)
9 Apr 2010: Added a trip I did in July last year to Springer Mtn, GA. I used the WBBB, a 9 oz UQ that's 61" long, and the Murmur pack for an 8.2 oz base weight. (Link)
8 Apr 2010: I'm tweaking a few things on the page...trying to update the format, taking out the broken links, etc. Not a lot of content updates yet, just fixing a few things that have been bugging me for a while.
4 Apr 2010: Added the Edison Hammock...a failed attempt at a shaped footbox.
5 Mar 2010: Added the Colorado Winter Hang page. Twelve of us at Burning Bear Campground at just below 0F.

Useful Hiking Links

I don't want this page to be overrun with links that I can't keep updated, so I'll only post my Top 5 or 6 in each category. In no particular order...

Hammock Camping

  • Speer Hammocks and Ed's Book Site. Ed sells a good setup, and offers DIY kits for all of his models. He also has great info for staying comfortable and warm in a hammock. Check out the newsletters for a full list of camping hammock manufacturers.
  • Hennessy Hammocks. Tom has a great all-in-one hammock camping setup. My first hammock was the HH Backpacker Ultralight A-Sym. I made all of my other ones.
  • Clark Hammocks probably round out the top three most popular camping hammocks for lightweight hiking. A bit heavier than a Speer or Hennessy, but with a few extra features like zippered bugnet and weather shield.
  • Sgt Rock's Page has lots of gear reviews, some homemade gear, and his own Forums that are very helpful.
  • Risk's Page has lots of useful info for making your own hammock camping gear. Most of my homemade gear is based on his designs.
  • Shane Steinkamp's Place With No Name has a great historical perspective on hammocks, and some good stuff on how to use modern hammocks like the Hennessy.
  • Jacks'R'Better has the only down underquilt that I've found for sale on the internet. I have the Nest, No-Sniveller, 8x8 Tarp, Python Skins and Weather Shield set.
  • Kickass Quilts has the only synthetic underquilt for sale on the internet. I have the Potomac and I'm happy with it so far.
Hiking and Hammock Forums
  • Hammock Forums is a new one that Whiteblaze's ATTroll and I started in Oct 2006. It's for hammock campers of all types and has no geographic emphasis. Sign up and join the community!
  • Whiteblaze.net (WB) is all about the Appalachian Trail and has some great forums, especially the Hammock Camping and Gear ones.
  • Hammock Camping on YahooGroups. More hammock camping experts on this site than anywhere else in the world! Jack (from Jacks'R'Better), Ed Speer, and Risk are regular posters. You have to be a member to see the messages, but it's free and easy to sign up.
  • Around the Campfire at Sgt Rock's HikingHQ has a lot of military and former military, lots of international members, and many of the members are also on Whiteblaze.
  • TrailJournals. Read hikers' own accounts of their hikes...it's like a diary. The good, bad, ugly, funny, painful, detailed...all of it!
BackpackGearTest.org Gear-Making Links

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