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  1. #1
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    Thunderstorms? What does everyone do when there is a thunderstorm?

    I was just contemplating this. Don't want to get struck by lightning. So what does everyone doe when a thunderstorm comes along and your hanging. ie at night or once you've hung your hammock. Do you just sit under your tarp until the thunder is gone or what?

  2. #2
    Banned
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    I enjoy the spectacle. You're just as safe in a hammock as you are in a tent, except when the water flows under you, your backside doesn't get wet.

    If you anticipate storms, hang your tarp low to the ground, pick your campsite so that the prevailing winds hit the side and not the ends, and make sure you're not in the midst of dead trees.

    After that, its just you and what God does.

  3. #3
    OneClick's Avatar
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    I really enjoy the action, but always get a little nervous about a stake pulling out and having to get soaked to fix it. So I usually keep an eye on them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member captaincoupal's Avatar
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    I also make sure that I have a nice crease in the top of my tarp - if there is any sag sometimes I'll get an awful pool up there, and then the tarp gets weighed down. Running a line under the tarp, instead of just to the 2 corners, takes care of this. Other than that, agreed with sargevining - enjoy the spectacle and the fact that you don't need to worry about moisture running into your tent.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sidneyhornblower's Avatar
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    Caveat: While I've hung in the rain more than once, I've not been hammock camping long enough to have more than one data point for a thunderstorm. I'd say site selection is key. If you've chosen a site thinking that a t-storm might blow up, then you should be good to stay where you are. This assumes that you've chosen a spot with lower trees, not on top of a hill, not tied off to a radio tower or something like that. If the spot you're in is not good - tall trees, top of the hill, many metal objects pointing into the sky - I'd move.

    I'd rather get wet, even soaking wet, instead of staying put in a bad spot. So my advice would be to pick a sheltered spot BEFORE the storm. Then if a storm comes, there's no decision to make because you're already there.

    The one storm I was in wasn't all that heavy and was over relatively soon. I was halfway down a hill in relatively smaller trees, so I didn't move because I didn't think I could improve my situation by moving.

  6. #6
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    Lightning - for those who know these sorts of things, IF a tree is struck, are you better off attached to the tree in a hammock, or nearby the tree on the ground? I'm guessing in a hammock.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  7. #7
    Senior Member 12trysomething's Avatar
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    I just hunker down and ride it out. For the most part I enjoy it although there have been a few times I was a wee bit nervous. For the most part there isn't any place to go, may as well be in your hammock!

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  8. #8
    Senior Member dingbat's Avatar
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    As far as top of the hill vs bottom of the hill, it doesn't make much difference, and could actually be higher risk at the bottom depending on the grade of the hill, if you are on the side the storm is approaching from. Shorter trees are arguably lower risk. Toward the bottom of the leeward side of a hill, away from the storm's approach, should be lower risk. Stay clear of exposed ledge. Do not take shelter under overhangs/lean-tos. If I'm concerned about thunderstorms, I take careful note of the trees in the area I'm in, looking for scars and splits from previous storms. If I see any significant amounts of damaged trees, I high tail it out of the area if a storm is approaching. Bottom line is, the only way to significantly reduce your risk of getting struck by lightning is to get out of the back country and in to a closed structure.
    Last edited by dingbat; 03-16-2015 at 13:42.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pgibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sargevining View Post
    I enjoy the spectacle. You're just as safe in a hammock as you are in a tent, except when the water flows under you, your backside doesn't get wet.

    If you anticipate storms, hang your tarp low to the ground, pick your campsite so that the prevailing winds hit the side and not the ends, and make sure you're not in the midst of dead trees.

    After that, its just you and what God does.

    Exactly the game plan I have. Shelter yourself the best you can with the terrain to block heavy winds if you can, angle your set up to block the blowing rain the best you can and then enjoy a front row seat to the best show in the world.
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  10. #10
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    Interesting. I guess it does make sense. My former career as a property adjuster showed me that lightning can come up from the ground or down from the sky.

    I supposed I'd rather be off the ground, although my webbing would be melted and I'd be on the ground within a second of a bolt hitting the tree.

    Guess I'll pick my site with low trees and a little less scenic exposure. lol.

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