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  1. #11
    Senior Member dakotaross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    1) Eighty-nine percent of lightning deaths are white people.
    2) Eighty-five percent of deaths are male.
    3) Fifty-four percent of deaths are people aged 20 to 44 years old.
    Ha! My first thought was those stats pretty much match the hiker group, but not so much on the AT and other eastern trails. Rather, probably Rockies hikers.
    "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

  2. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSH View Post
    I have an overnight trip coming up in the Blue Ridge. Our group is camping near the summit overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. I've suggested hanging in a grove of spruce below the summit because there is a risk of random thunderstorms.

    I have never seen data on the level of protection we have from hanging versus being on the ground beneath trees in a tent. Anybody got any information?
    Shug once posted a video of lightning hitting pretty darn close while hammocking. It was an eye opener on how it comes so close with no real warning. I remember him saying don't do what we do, lol.

  3. #13
    Member BigVillage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhun View Post
    With electricity, you donít want to be the path to ground. While you are hanging in the air, you are still between two trees. Now If you could just hang from only one tree....
    Maybe a cantilevered stand that only attaches to one tree?
    Iím no expert, but I think the suspension and hammock would insulate you from direct contact with the trees. Whichever tree the lightning hit would take the electricity to ground, but not through you. I donít want to test it, but Iíd rather be off of the ground in a hammock.
    This could also cause the tree to fall on you.

  4. #14
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVillage View Post
    I’m no expert, but I think the suspension and hammock would insulate you from direct contact with the trees. Whichever tree the lightning hit would take the electricity to ground, but not through you. I don’t want to test it, but I’d rather be off of the ground in a hammock.
    This could also cause the tree to fall on you.
    With wet suspension maybe you would become the resistor in the circuit?
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  5. #15
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVillage View Post
    I’m no expert, but I think the suspension and hammock would insulate you from direct contact with the trees. Whichever tree the lightning hit would take the electricity to ground, but not through you. I don’t want to test it, but I’d rather be off of the ground in a hammock.
    This could also cause the tree to fall on you.
    The tree may act as the path to ground, but that's sort of a cold comfort as while you might not become a part of that particular circuit, the tree will likely explode (and fall) from the moisture inside it flashing to steam. Also there's no guarantee the bolt wouldn't decide to split and travel across your damp suspension/tarp (flash frying you along the way) into the other tree causing it to explode (and fall) as well?

    People seem to think that if there's a strike close by, a bit of rubber or other nonconductive material or being three feet off the ground will insulate and save them. This charge has traveled several miles and is a few times hotter than the sun. If it's close to you, your Adidas won't even register to it. If it's your time, it's your time.

  6. #16
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Last summer I was hiking in the Pine Barrens during a thunderstorm with my trusty beagle Joey. Suddenly, we spotted a big buck maybe 45 feet away. I tried to get Joey to notice the buck, but then a lightning bolt hit a tree about 30 feet away. Unlike my previous beagle, Joey is not scared of loud noises, so he just kind of jumped a bit. The buck, on the other hand, was clearly rattled by the thunderbolt that just missed him as he started running right at us, before veering off about ten feet away. It was a lot of action in just a few seconds, and Joey just looked up into my eyes as if to say, "Dad - is that normal?"

    You never know how animals will react to lightning strikes.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #17
    Senior Member joe_guilbeau's Avatar
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    In the '80s at Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado, we camped in the Aspen's and passed a place where there appeared to be multiple lightning strikes. Turns out that ionization between the earth and storm clouds. I asked a Ranger later that week about it, and he knew the spot and confirmed that strikes did indeed occur there. The ionization field travels with the storm along the ground, and when conditions are right, ground to cloud lightning strikes occur

    Just don't hang here in the Tensa:
    http://www.gowlphoto.com/enlarge/images/X3.jpg

  8. #18
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    Ann Arbor MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    ...
    1) Eighty-nine percent of lightning deaths are white people.
    2) Eighty-five percent of deaths are male.
    3) Fifty-four percent of deaths are people aged 20 to 44 years old.
    ....
    Golfers

  9. #19
    New Member
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    Apr 2017
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    I was in my Tato stand at Lee’s Ferry the night before our launch, in one of the biggest lighting storms I have been been in. I thought I had no where to go until I remember the outfitter truck was still parked at the ramp, I hauled *** to the truck. Scared the crap out me. Now that I think about it, I was off the ground and probably not in the path to ground, but probably a good idea to leave. I’m in the age/gender/race danger zone too!

  10. #20
    JSH's Avatar
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    As it turned out we had ideal weather last weekend. That said, we did see lightning on the other side of the Shenandoah Valley in the Blue Ridge. Was glad it was clear on our mountain. Picture below is why we were on the summit.

    edit 20190519_083100_HDR.jpg

    Picture below is looking west from the summit. We could see at least 40 miles. Really beautiful.
    edit 20190518_200922_HDR.jpg

    I evaluated the terrain carefully during our hike and determined the summit was simply too exposed to risk being there in a lightning storm.
    Appreciate all the feedback. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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