Hello, everyone. I've been lurking around here for a few months now and have finally decided to stick my head out and ask a question. I climbed Katahdin a few months ago and instantly fell in love with it, and it has made me want to experience more of the trail.
After what feels like a ton of reading, I am pretty sold on the idea of ultralight hiking. What I am having trouble deciding on is what type of shelter I should take along. I seriously considered tarps for awhile, since they can be extremely lightweight, but I would rather have something with a floor. This led me to consider tents vs. hammocks, and for a new hiker, it is totally overwhelming to even BEGIN to make a decision.
Furthermore, as a college student, I wouldn't call myself the richest person in the world... Because of this, I've been looking at some DIY hammock designs and things like that. Hammocks seem like an awesome idea for a shelter. My only concern is that I feel like it will be cold being suspended in the air like that. But oh do they look comfortable. I guess with a hammock you sleep with a ground pad and sleeping bag in there with you like you would in a tent or tarp? And then you have a tarp over you to protect you from the rain? I guess I could also add a bug net to it? To be totally honest, I'm just extremely confused about how everything works.
So, after all this rambling, what do you all prefer? A tent (which seems like would generally be heavier, but more bug resistant, and easier to set up), or a hammock (which seems like it would be lighter, less bug resistant, harder to set up, and possibly colder?)
Thanks for any help you can offer to this newbie.