OK so I called a buddy of mine who is an electrician and asked him about this scenario.
His thoughts on the matter are this,
1) You will probably safer in a hammock then a tent as you will not be as close to conductive materials.
2) You will have more problems from:
a) the falling and hitting something on the ground when your line breaks,
b) shrapnel from the tree,
c) concussion wave,
d) blindness from the flash (if you are awake with your eyes open)
e) If you are OK from all the above your next major problem is that you will need to change your pants because it just got scared out of you, and it wont be fun explaining that to all your friends if you know what I mean.
In the tent, if you live you will still have to worry about b, c, d, and e.
3) The test i had in mind will not work. He suggests attaching a hammock to a old fire tower, cell tower, or something like that and attach it on the ground wire side (wrap your sling around the wire). Place a tent right next to it as well and have a stake right next to the wire.
Place a dummy in each one and and some how be able to record the amount of current that enters the dummy. Since he knows of no device that can still work after a lightning strike I thought about placing water bladders or a dye pouch in side them that will explode if a current comes in contact with it.
Other then that he thinks that you are just ever so slightly more likely able to survive being an a hammock then in a tent.
He also said dont hook to the tallest tree or be on the tallest part of a Mt. or hill during the storm.
yaeh, personally I think that since your off the ground, hence not grounded, your not closing the circuit, you should be fine (don't sue if you get zapped ) but on the other hand I've seen a tree snap in two when it got hit by a lightning bolt (before catching on fire), so I'm not sure what conclusion to really make, in a way your safer but in another your not
someone call mythbusters and have them find out
that would be too cool to see!
“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”
― Alan W. Watts
Don't count on "regular" rules about electricity to apply to lightning, it's so powerful it wil do what it wants. But, I imagine that being dry in a hammock would be better than lying on wet ground, but that's true even if your not struck by lightning!
"In your face space coyote"-HJS
“Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown
“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen
I think your advice based on your research is exellcent, but I think covering one's ears isn't practical.
By the time you realize you need to cover your ears, it will be too late. But, if you have hearing protection for fellow campers who snore, using them during a thunderstorm would be prudent.