I went to Forked Lake State Park Campground over the Memorial Day weekend with my girlfriend.....when I registered they told me that hammocks are not allowed to be used as camping equipment. They could be set up for daytime use, but not for camping in........ of course this makes absolutely zero sense.... I Posted to the DEC Facebook page today to get an answer on the rule that was dated 2013,
"Hello there. I was hoping to get some clarification on your hammock policy! A rule list from 2013 said that they were not allowed in your campgrounds as the main form of camping. I wondered if that had been updated or if that was still the case. The rule said they could be set up, but not used as a sleeping unit... it didn't make much sense to me......what if someone took a nap during the day? Does hammock usage become a violation the moment someone falls asleep?
Responsible hammock usage with tree-straps leaves less trace than tents, plus they re infinitely more comfortable. Thank you for any information you can provide!"
and they said
" Doug, the rules with regards to hammocks have not changed. We do not allow hammocks as your sleeping unit. That doesn't mean you can't have a hammock, and as you stated "nap" in it, it just means that you will need to have a tent, trailer or RV as your overnight sleeping equipment. Hope that answers your question! Happy Camping!"
So why does this rule exist? It couldn't be to protect trees, as they allow hanging at any time of the day, as long as you have a tent/camper/etc. Do we need to set up a "dummy tent" if we want to hang in the DEC parks?
I ask, " This doesn't make any sense...... why allow hammocks during the day, but not to sleep in? What is the rule trying to prevent? If you are trying to prevent tree damage (which does not happen when using tree straps), why allow them at all?"
They reply "Hammocks are not to be used for overnight sleeping due to their inability to provide the level of privacy that tents, trailers and RVs are able to provide to the user and other campers in our facilities."
Outrageous, right? Ignorance about hammocking is still causing problems for campers who want to live above the ground.