Another year has come and gone and with the change comes our annual Florida hang. We gathered once again at Buck Lake in the Ocala National Forest taking advantage of the MLK holiday weekend. I can’t help but think that this is one, if not the, largest hang in the country. I haven’t counted heads in the group photo yet but I have to believe we had over 100 people. There were literally hammocks everywhere.
People started arriving on Thursday and continued to roll in through Sat. The food, fellowship, and activities were excellent. Dinner Friday night was a massive amount of wonderful pulled pork and a monster turkey as the main dish. The turkey was fixed with a most ingenious system. Tradition held true and Saturday boasted our famous low country boil and gumbo feast. Of course the dutch ovens ran steady putting out a never-ending stream of soups, stews, mountain man breakfasts, cheese grits, and desserts.
Saturday is the main activity day. Several of us did a 7-mile hike from Alexander Springs to Buck Lake while others went for a paddle. We also had a number of educational opportunities such as land navigation, making alcohol stoves, and knife sharpening. These were followed by the group photo and our ever-impressive raffle.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any time you know I’m a stove junkie. When I learned that Mr. Tattoo was going to be there I told him to bring a Mini Tattoostove for me. Boy was I in for a shock over the size of his creation. The milling is very cool and I love the design. You want a small stove? This puppy is it! Check out the weight of the entire package (minus alcohol of course).
I have to admit that I’m quite pleased with the raffle. The items this year were better than ever with several hammocks, two handheld GPS units, a variety of stoves/cooksets, and all sorts of other hammock/outdoor gear. Much to my surprise I ended up winning twice in the highest level!! I’m thrilled with my new gear! I’m now the proud owner of a 50° 850 down Flight Jacket top quilt from Paul at Underground Quilts and a Biolite Stove.
Sunday was spent with most folks lounging around the campfire. The early morning paddle didn’t yield any participants. Following breakfast the activities kicked in again. The group area was bustling with action as people made paracord survival bracelets and worked on more land nav including calculating pace count and making/using Ranger beads. The kids weren’t left out, either. They had a great time with their own activities thanks to Old Dog.
Temperatures for this year were the warmest we’ve ever had. The low my digital thermometer recorded on Friday night was just 49.6°. This did give me a chance to try my new down booties, though. I only wish had been freezing or lower. Things warmed up even more on Saturday and I recorded a low of just 60°. Sunday afternoon was downright hot!
This was a superb event and if you want to really experience the hammock life be sure to catch one of the upcoming hangs. Don’t let your location stop you! This year we had people from CT, MI, KY, NC, and TN. The Florida Hang is America’s Hang! 😉