In mid-February 2015, four of us set out to tour the Huracan 300 race route, a mishmash of singletrack, sandy roads, jungle bushwhack, murky water crossings, and a few paved highway connections. The race record holders have knocked it out in sub 30 hours, but we rode it at a more leisurely pace, taking eight days, seven nights to finish.
Given the mixed conditions, our shelter choices were paramount to comfort on the trail. Paul used a non-freestanding Tarptent Contrail, carrying the fabric portion up front in his Wanderlust Sawtooth handlebar bag with stakes and folding pole in his frame bag. Joe used a Hennessy Hammock Explorer Ultralight Zip, carrying it wrapped up in Snakeskins and lashed to his top tube. Let’s see how we fared on a few select nights of the tour:
Day 1: Santos Campground at Trailhead in Ocala. Low temp: 35F and raining.
Joe: We arrived at our trailhead in the rain, and I still had to assemble my bike from the box. I strung my rainfly up first without the hammock, and we were able to hang out under it while I assembled the bike. Later, I strung the hammock where we had been standing and spent a dry night sleeping soundly.
Paul: Setting up in the light rain was fairly quick, but once set up, I was kind of left hanging out in my rain gear while waiting on the other guys to get their shelters up. Fortunately Joe and Travis (the other hammocker in our group) had their flies up, so we had a good social space to hang out under for a bit. I had a relatively dry night in the Contrail with sufficient room to spread out my wet rain gear.
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