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  1. #1
    Slugger's Avatar
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    White Mtns next summer & hammocks

    Depending on how my post-surgery physical therapy goes on my foot I want to do some mild-moderate hiking next summer in the White Mountain National Forest (my aunt & cousin live just up the road in Derby & I'll use that as my jumping-off point).

    Anyone have experience in using hammocks on some of those trails? No hammock & just use AMC huts? Suggestions? Most of the White trails hammock-friendly?
    Retired US Navy, cancer survivor

  2. #2
    blackmagic's Avatar
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    Hammock is fine everywhere except the higher-elevation campsites (e.g. Garfield Ridge). The hemlock, pine, and spruce trees that grow up there are stunted and grow very close together for protection. It's difficult to find suitable trees to hang from (but it can be done -- I've done it); and if the weather is bad (as it usually is) the trees will be moving around significantly, and you're not going to have a good time.

    The other campsites are perfectly fine, and dispersed camping is allowed in non-wilderness areas and as long as you're more than a quarter-mile from protected areas, which includes the huts.

    If you're staying at higher elevation campsites -- Garfield Ridge, Guyot, Osgood, Valley Way, etc. -- I would bring a sleeping pad with you, so that you can go to ground or retreat to the shelter if you need to.
    Last edited by blackmagic; 09-16-2019 at 19:49.

  3. #3
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    Just finished a four day hammock backpacking trip in the White Mountains. Suggest looking up the official White Mountain National Forest "Back Country Camping Rules" on the WMNF web site. Google it - you'll find it easily (I haven't learned how to attach the link). We hung our hammocks at legal, off trail "stealth" sites, all three nights on the trail. Important to remember the key rules: 1) not within 1/4 mi. of established camp sites, shelters, huts, and key trail intersections, 2) not within certain distances of certain named roads and bodies of water, and 3) not within 200 feet of any trail within wilderness areas. Also suggest AMC guide book "Best Backpacking in New England," which gives some guidance on back country sites, official and unofficial. I don't have experience with hammock camping at established sites, but understand that it is feasible. I believe most of the below tree line (trees large enough to support hammocks) areas are quite "hammock-friendly," especially outside the 200 ft wilderness area restriction. One other thing to keep in mind - you should (must!) plan to protect your food from bears. Official camp sites have bear boxes. Otherwise, you have to hang effectively or use bear canisters /bags. This consideration may be as much a factor for site selection as hammock hanging.

  4. #4
    New Member DocWatson's Avatar
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    I'm just getting into hammock camping and into short hikes around the White Mountains. Haven't had an issue yet with finding a place to hang. Other than one weekend that the places we wanted to stay was over flowing. But after talking to a forest ranger, my buddy and I was directed to an illegal site that was well established that we were given permission to use for the night if we promised to clean it up in the morning (which we did)

    Wander down spur trails, discontinued roads and snowmobile trails and you'll find unofficial campsites. Also if you see a forest ranger, stop and say hi and chat them up. The two times we did, we was directed to either a legal established site near where I wanted to be (Black Pond) or given permission to use an illegal site for the night.

    We did hang near one of the shelters on the AT (Rattle River Shelter) and that was interesting chatting with the thru & section hikers. Since my buddy and I just did a short hike to overnight near the shelter, we gathered the wood and maintained the fire so that the others passing through could enjoy it. Only one hiker stayed at the shelter that night. The picture is our set up at the Rattle River Shelter.

    clpCAB.jpg

    - Clyde

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