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  1. #1
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Tree huggers, can there be damage, and is any amount acceptable?

    OK, I was reading a certain thread regarding a piece of hardware and whether or not it should have been sold in a certain store in the hammock or camping area.

    So I typed a response having to do with, not that piece of hard ware, but a side discussion on tree straps. I hit the "submit" button, only to find the thread was closed. Apparently blood pressures had been rising. And some of us are a little long in the tooth to be having our blood pressures raised, so I understand.

    But possible tree damage- on public land- is still worthy of discussion it seems to me, though we don't need to further discuss that certain piece of hard ware!

    But here is what I posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsawyer222 View Post
    I have seen straps take plenty of bark off the trees ......................
    I have caused some pine bark to come off when using 1" tree straps along with a Whoopie sling set up. Every time I made a height adjustment, which I had to do a few times, when I would get back in the straps would slide down a few inches before they would cinch up tight a grip well enough, removing a little bark each time. This was on big trees, at least a foot in diameter probably more, FWIW.

    This is about the only time I have had that happen. And it was weird, because using the JRB stock suspension also with 1" webbing, which did not even "cinch up", and on the same trees, did not slip and cause this damage. I don't know, just sayin'!

    This does not make me worry about those trees, though. Should I? I'm thinking what with deer scrapes, wood pecker holes, pine beetles, and in some areas Bear or Mountain Lion ( even Bobcat?) claws, what the heck? Is a little scraped off bark really a problem?

    However, it was in a state park and a developed camp ground. If any one knew to look closely ( like a manager/ranger) it could have been seen easily enough. So, that could be a problem, as we all know. Not likely here, where I was camping, but many places.

    But what's a fellow to do? I had the 1" tree huggers, two different sets, one was much worse than the other. But what more is there to do other than tree huggers?

    Now to be honest, other than what amount of LNT ethic I have in the areas I usually hike causing me to think twice, I don't think it amounts to a hill of beans. I really believe that, if I was to take an axe and cut a tree down, nobody would ever know I had done it. No way is any one ever going to notice a little rope damage, much less hugger damage. I just want to keep it as close to zero for general principles, and because other places are way more sensitive than where I hike. Most of my hiking is in a place where I make up close to 100% of the hiking traffic. Dirt bikes and 4 wheelers on the "trails" maybe, but hikers? Rare as hens teeth.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #2
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    I have older Sweetgums in my backyard from which I hang. The ENO Slap Straps and Hennessy Tree Huggers (Polypropylene) both marred the bark. I switched to 2-inch seatbelt webbing which I double wrap and the marring was mitigated. I also have a Persimmon, Pine, and Bradford Pear that I like to hang from, and using the cord alone, as Grand Trunk suggests doesn't cause any trouble. Perhaps we need to educate ourselves on which species have tougher bark, or switch to 2-inch seatbelts.

  3. #3
    Sailor's Avatar
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    What's wrong with going into the outdoors walking lightly and returning, doing as little damage as possible?

  4. #4
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    What's wrong with going into the outdoors walking lightly and returning, doing as little damage as possible?
    Nothing?
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    I have older Sweetgums in my backyard from which I hang. The ENO Slap Straps and Hennessy Tree Huggers (Polypropylene) both marred the bark. I switched to 2-inch seatbelt webbing which I double wrap and the marring was mitigated. I also have a Persimmon, Pine, and Bradford Pear that I like to hang from, and using the cord alone, as Grand Trunk suggests doesn't cause any trouble. Perhaps we need to educate ourselves on which species have tougher bark, or switch to 2-inch seatbelts.
    Very definitely, the type of tree will make a difference. The old growth Douglas Fir that I will be hanging from once spring comes has some pretty tough bark. I will be using 1 inch straps, but I can't imagine that even 1/8 inch amsteel would leave a depression in it. The Western Red Cedar is another matter.

  6. #6
    Senior Member WarmSoda's Avatar
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    Here is a related thread Saving the trees

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Twice on the AT I noticed very obvious marks on the bark. Both times it was the same species; don't know what they were, but I avoided them from that point forward. I've knocked tons of pine bark off out here with my webbing; one little piece at a time.

    With the number of hammocks growing every year on trails like the AT, it will be interesting to see what, if any, damage is evident a few years down the road.
    Trust nobody!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    ...and with #29, we have come full circle...

  9. #9
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    When i saw some talk about tree damage a few months ago my first thought was ,"their kidding aren't they". Then i thought, well, their in hardwood forests and maybe there are trees with thin juicy bark that doesn't hold up well. Fine. And also i thought allot of these guys live in the east which is really populated and the only place to hang is in parks so the powers that be are worried about over use ,,ok, i hear that. I think its a good idea to learn about the impact we're having even if as a specie its almost too late. Its a good feeling to live responsibly .
    As for myself i won't give it much thought here in BC as our problem isn't lack of trees but too many close together. I'm sure i'll end up doing a little thinning once and a while this summer.We don't have allot of thin bark trees either. I was looking at some ponderosa pine near my place the other day and the bark had to be 2-3 inches thick and looked like the grand canyon but i'm going to watch over the next year anyway and take note.. The appalachian forests are special and people should be mindful of what's left. My 2 cents
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    I think to leave no trace we would have to ghost camp . If you walk on soft ground, catch a fish, slap a bug, or collect fire wood a trace is left. Don't get me wrong, I think we need to follow the spirt of the law in heavily used areas. We don't want them to look like a scout troop has been turned loose to get their Hatchmanship Bagdes. But here in Minnesota on public lands, deer hunters have been screwing in stands and climbing pegs for decades, syrupers have been tapping the maples every spring for centuries, and it's very rare that you see a mark. Of course in places with designated campsites (like in the Boundary Water's Canoe Area) you wouldn't want to concentrate that sort of damage to one small noticable area but in other public areas I imagine it would go unnoticed. As a matter of fact you can cut up as much dead and down wood as you want on public land in MN and that is certainly not LNT (of course you can't do it in a state forest camp ground or the like).

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