The Final Post

Ahhh... the final post. Its been quite the adventure, spending 52 nights sleeping outside. Though it was rather tranquil and boring towards the end of the summer, every Saturday presented new challenges. From numb fingers while setting up in the winter, to angry raccoons, to unexpected changes in the weather, I learned to handle a number of different situations. I had nights where I barley slept, and nights where I overslept an hour or two because I was so comfy.

Some people, actually quite a few, ask me "Why?". Why are you doing this? Well, even after an entire year, I still can't come up with a satisfying answer. "Well... because I want to." I say. And they say, "well do you get anything? Any reward?" "Well... no" "So then why are you doing it?" "...Because." They don't understand I'm doing it... just to do it. I didn't get a reward, I didn't raise money, I didn't get tons of recognition, I just slept.

I suppose you could say I was rewarded in a way though. Not a physical way, rather a mental way. I learned dedication. I learned to finish what you sent out to do. I learned patience, and I learned the importance of taking some time to myself, and let the crazy world around me settle down for a bit.

I also pulled a lot more from this experience with the creation of this blog. To be honest, without all you guys reading and tracking my progress, I don't know if I could have finished this. You gave me the motivation to push through those boring summer nights. When I started, I expected not much more than people from my family looking at it. I didn't expect for anymore than 2 or 3 hundred page views at the end. But now, as i look at my stats, I see nearly 9,500 views.
This averages out to a little more then 180 per week, or 26 per day. I want to thank all of you who took time out of their day to read my posts, comment on them, and give me motivation to keep going.

Now I haven't just conjured up some mental skills, but have also gathered a fair amount of camping skills. I can do my entire set up, from the backpack to sleep-ready, in around 3 minutes. I can do an even quicker ground set up with a tarp, but after sleeping in a hammock for a year, who wants to do that? I've gathered a good arsenal of gear, probably to much, and learned to use it well. I'm considering making another blog that I can focus on each of my individual pieces of gear and do some in-depth reviews.

Overall, I had a great experience. I got some recognition for it, and had some local news stations wanting to do a story on me, but sadly for one reason or another none of them were able to pull through with it. I know in my mind there is more I want to put in this post, bit this is all I can think of for now. I know as soon as I hit the submit button I will think of more, or better ways to word what I have said.

And that concludes this post, this blog for that matter. So until next time fellow hammockers, tenters, tarpers, bushcrafters, under-the-star-ers, and anyone I might have missed. Thanks for reading and happy camping!

You can see a video of pictures from the adventure here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k9uLlRO6JaY


  1. Dan,
    As your Dad, I had some reservations when you started this challenge. That changed pretty quickly, I think the first time you asked your Mom how to use the sewing machine to make your underquilt (you still owe me for a sleeping bag...ask me first next time).

    I think I had to remind you once that it was a Saturday, but other than that, this has been all you. IYou have learned more than you will ever know.

  2. Dan,
    Glad to see you kept after it and completed this task. I'm sure you learned more than you realize and have had more experiences than others can appreciate. It was a challenge that took you in new directions--some of them unexpected. Proud for you and you can be proud of yourself. Maybe I'll see you at a Hammock Forums hang some day. Congratulations on taking on the task and seeing it through.
    Les Rust, HF member

  3. Great job dude.

  4. This is so cool! I didn't mention this before, but I will now. Your idea to do an ongoing, long-term project helped me formulate my own ongoing project. You will discover over the next few years just how much this project has taught you. For starters, you know that you can pitch just about any tarp in just about any fashion you can imagine. Hanging in some of the spots you did, like rocks, has definitely taught you how to improvise. You know you are young, but it is really hard for you to understand just how many excellent adventures you will be able to have just by working off this last year of experience.

    It doesn't feel too bad knowing your Dad is just about busting open with pride. (We're Dads, that's what we do.) As you go on and start getting jobs and stuff, you will realize that it’s the guys who set goals and then work methodically to achieve the goals that are the ones who always seem to be given the promotion or raise or whatever improvement is available.

    Congrats on finishing up this chapter. I think a lot of us are looking forward to your next project.

    Hang loose!

  5. Congrats! If I were a university recruiter, you would make it in my university. You show passion and perseverance. Two things that any top notch school seeks out of individuals. I say good luck to you, but I don't think you will need much luck in life. You'll make your own luck...as some golf legend said it, " the more I practice and persevere, the luckier I get."

  6. Dan,

    Great blog! Quick question, where did you get the plans for the DIY hammock? Thanks!

    1. www.hammockforum.com I looked at a few different plans to get the general concept, and then just made it up as I went along.Still holding up just fine, so I must have done something right :)