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  1. #1
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    Banning Hammocks

    I have posted before but it has been a few years and under another screen name.
    Last month I was at Roosevelt National Park(Southern Unit) and was told by a woman at the campground that I could not use my hammock in the campground because hammocks are "killing trees".
    There is a National Park Service campground at Alley Spring on The Jacks Fork River in Missouri that has banned hammocks from hanging off trees but you can use a hammock frame instead.
    Last September at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness I was cautioned that it was okay to use my hammock but it was not okay to remove low branches from trees. Ironically,every campsite we came to many of the trees were damaged from axes. No mention of that.
    I wrote 2 emails to The ONSR in Missouri asking for clarification and have yet to receive a reply and the same at Theodore Roosevelt N.P.,no response. I have written to one hammock manufacturer and no response.
    There are steps that can be taken to mitigate any problems that may or may not be happening to trees in campgrounds but to outright ban hammocks is ham fisted and not well thought out. It is ironic that the National Parks are bending over backwards to accommodate 30+ft land yachts while marginalizing tent campers and kicking out hammock campers.
    Anyone else finding these problems? I would like to stop these efforts to ban hammocks before we lose out on access to OUR campgrounds.
    Is there anyone who might be on top of this problem already? I have ideas and would like to help.

  2. #2
    baldknobber's Avatar
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    My experience has been that state and national park campgrounds that have walk-in sites have had issues in the past with recreational campers stringing their Enos and other parachute hammocks without using proper straps, causing limited tree damage. I hope that as hammock camping continues to grow, and rangers and other park service personnel can adjust the rules to accommodate responsible hammock campers.

  3. #3
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    You may as well get used to it. It's only going to get worse as the National Park System continues to be overused. There are still many areas that welcome hammocks with a ton less people so that's a good thing.

  4. #4
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    I agree that camping hammocks are being lumped together with "recreational hammocks".
    Straps or webbing should be the only method for hanging a hammock. Winding the straps 2-3 times around the tree might help.
    Avoid hanging off of Hemlock,Cedar,etc might help.
    Moving your straps 2-6" every night might help.
    I have heard that placing sticks between the bark and straps might help but I have not done so.
    I have looked at hammock suspension frames and have yet to find one that would get you high enough for your hammock AND tarp.
    My contention is that if they do not want us to hang off of trees then it is their responsibility to provide a suspension frame that we can use. Such as several(10-12) 4x4 uprights in a circle with a fire grate and tables in the center than can accommodate 5-6 hammock campers. Call it a "Hang Henge" that would take up less room than one 30+ft land yacht.

  5. #5
    Signal Outdoors's Avatar
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    It would make more sense to me that they would ban certain suspension types. In Minnesota we have a pretty nice online reservation system. They could maybe leverage that system to enforce proper suspension use. You'll always have people ruining stuff, but at least that could catch someone that is just really new to the whole deal.

  6. #6
    michigandave's Avatar
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    I've never heard of any issues here in Michigan, but I know there's places that I wouldn't want to hang due to tree availability/quality and restrictions of hanging within a certain distance of campsite post markers.

    There's a lots of misinformation out there regarding proper hanging technique/components and "that" guy wrapping rope around a tree or screwing an eyebolt in doesn't help our cause at all.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=Rave On;1986993
    I have heard that placing sticks between the bark and straps might help but I have not done so.
    [/QUOTE]

    I would caution against that approach of placing sticks between bark and straps. In effect, that concentrates the pressure into a much reduced area, which would surely increase the damage to the sensitive phloem and cambium of the inner bark. The whole point of wide straps rather than narrow ropes is to spread out the pressure on that living tissue.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cabmanhang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traillium View Post
    I would caution against that approach of placing sticks between bark and straps. In effect, that concentrates the pressure into a much reduced area, which would surely increase the damage to the sensitive phloem and cambium of the inner bark. The whole point of wide straps rather than narrow ropes is to spread out the pressure on that living tissue.
    Sticks distribute the load of the strap vertically. This eliminates the potential for girdling, which is cutting off nutrient and water flows horizontally around the girth of the tree. Sticks are a better solution when you have thin rope or inadequate straps. Sticks ARE desirable when you don't have wide straps with you.
    "If we lose the forests, we lose our only instructors. People must see these forests and wilderness as the greatest educational system that we have on the planet. If we lose all the universities in the world, then we would lose nothing. But If we lose the forests, we lose everything." -- Bill Mollison

  9. #9
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Like trailslug said it will only get worse. I'm not being a pessimist, just a realist. Hammocking caught on like wildfire since I joined here. As hundreds of companies and thousands of people continue to post picturesque photos on facebook of some hot blonde in a hammock with a flannel shirt, truckers hat, teal-lens aviators and drinking PBR, more will join the party. How many of those start hanging and do it incorrectly will be paramount regarding new rules and regulations going forward.

    Be honest. At work, do you always take the hard route? Or shortcut now and then? For authorities at parks/forests/etc, sometimes the best solution is to take the easy route and simply say "no hammocks". Prohibiting hammocks isn't going to bankrupt them. They don't want to trust everyone to use the proper size straps (half the people would probably say "what's a strap" anyway). They don't want to "train" people on how to hang. They don't want to mess with youtube videos or have pamphlets available on proper hanging. All that is just silly to most of them I'm sure.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cabmanhang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    As hundreds of companies and thousands of people continue to post picturesque photos on facebook of some hot blonde in a hammock with a flannel shirt, truckers hat, teal-lens aviators and drinking PBR, more will join the party. How many of those start hanging and do it incorrectly will be paramount regarding new rules and regulations going forward.
    Don't worry Oneclick, as the trendies are a fickle bunch who hop from fad to fad like so many fleas on a dogs butt. Those silly beardbros and their instagram girlies will lose interest in hammocking the moment a shiny new toy catches their eye.

    They're doing it wrong anyhow, so they can't possibly be getting comfortable rest whilst hanging from shoestring in a drum tight 9ft hammock.

    Just wait, these trendy hipster trash will be onto some new fixation in no time. Antique typewriters, the latest beard balm, the newest retread fashion trend, or the complexities of a fifties hairdo could easily distract them for years to come. These kids are so distracted by mild autism and psychotropic drugs that there isn't a chance they'll have the attention span necessary to stick around long enough to realize that they are doing it wrong. Like so many fakers before, they will slink their way back to the safety of the confines of the big-gritty-dirty concrete cities from whence they came. Back in the comfort of their poopy sidewalk needle strewn heaven, they can safely pinky finger sip away at their triple pumpkin latte grande without the worries of doing hammocking the right way, or the worries of having to walk more than a block to get the latest flannel print shirt, or precut (way too short) jean shorts. JORTS!

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