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  1. #11
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    My son and I saw a big maple tree on Shade Mtn in Pa years ago that had been struck and the east side exploded. A hemlock about six feet away had splinters embedded in it about head high and they were all around the tree on the ground. That was a little thought provoking to say the least.

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


    "A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin


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  2. #12
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Yeah - makes for good tinder and kindling, though!
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  3. #13
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Yeah - makes for good tinder and kindling, though!
    Yes sir that it do!

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


    "A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin


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  4. #14
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    It probably should be noted that lighting actually goes up, from the ground to the air. When looked at it from this perpective, it might make it easier to access the danger any given tree might give you. Personnally, I've gone through two very violent storms in my hammock and haven't been hurt. That doesn't mean it can't happen. Someone was killed about a year or two ago, but it was deemed a freak accident. I'm pretty sure I read about it here on the forum, but haven't tried to search for it yet.

  5. #15
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerminator View Post
    I'd chuck it sharpish in a thunderstorm.
    What a wonderful expression! Thanks for bringing a spicy flavor to the forum. I question the impact though, if mouthed with a deep Southern drawl!

    Oh! Am I off-topic (again)? OK. I once camped in a thunderstorm and lived through it.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  6. #16
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougTheElder View Post
    What a wonderful expression!
    I was about to say the same! I shall add it to me vernacular, next to the Scots way of describing rain in a thunderstorm: "It's lashing out!"

    Lightening travels over the surface of things. Sometimes deep cracks and hollow centers, invisible beforehand, become the electrified surface during a strike, which helps explode the trunk, instead of just blowing the bark off the tree.

    I have spent many an hour aboard a sailing vessel in the middle of a storm with a tall aluminum stick rigged right on top! Never got hit... I'm willing to select a pair of trees carefully, and hang with Whoopie slings (poor conductor, small surface area) with total confidence that lightening will not strike me. If it does, ya'll that are hiking with me can share out my belongin's.

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  7. #17
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacEntyre View Post
    lightening will not strike me. If it does, ya'll that are hiking with me can share out my belongin's.

    - MacEntyre
    The same for me, 'cept I'd like to add that if there remains any charred remnants of my former self that you just "chuck them sharply" over the edge, or into the creek, or whatever. And try to think a kindly thought about me, even if you have to make one up.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  8. #18
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    A friend of a friend was killed by lightening when they were camped together. Their tents were about 100 yards apart in an electrical storm, and in the morning he went to his buddies tent and there was a pretty ugly sight. Ground currents are extremely dangerous. The lightning can go through a tree, or not, then run along the surface of the ground until it finds a good "ground rod" conductive enough to absorb the change. If you in its path and you are insulated by a full sized foam pad it can protect you. Metal tent poles can be extremely dangerous due to their length and I've heard of people being zapped non-lethally laying on a sleeping bag with a metal zipper. You really have to look at the surrounding area. They say you want to be about 45 degrees away from the highest point, be it a tree or a cliff.
    Jim S

  9. #19
    Senior Member XexorZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divine_Light View Post
    Now how do we sort out the bear problem?
    Carry a large caliber handgun. Keep it nearby when sleeping. Know how to operate it. Make sure your 'friends' don't make a habit of trying to scare you when you sleep =)

    w/ Regards to lightning safety - stick w/ the lower trees like advised... Maybe keep those metal trekking poles away from your rig but I dunno if this is going to make a real difference.

    What usually kills lightning strike victims: Lung and/or heart paralysis. Know CPR. Know how to take someones pulse. Know rescue breathing. Many times the lungs will stop functioning for a while until the muscles "reset" but the heart keeps pumping - rescue breathing would save this persons life. Other times both lung and heart function stop - CPR. Do what you can to mitigate your risks but remember to live.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member mtncmpr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    Not a problem here either if you use a little common sense ... and of course you could sneak over to your buddy's hammock in the middle of the night and smear bacon grease on his hammock ... and use him as an "early warning bear alarm".

    Of course you might eventually run short of hiking partners ... I'm just saying ...

    Thanks for the heads up Hawk Eye. Guess I'll sleep with one eye open from here on...




    Quote Originally Posted by Jim S View Post
    A friend of a friend was killed by lightening when they were camped together. Their tents were about 100 yards apart in an electrical storm, and in the morning he went to his buddies tent and there was a pretty ugly sight. Ground currents are extremely dangerous. The lightning can go through a tree, or not, then run along the surface of the ground until it finds a good "ground rod" conductive enough to absorb the change. If you in its path and you are insulated by a full sized foam pad it can protect you. Metal tent poles can be extremely dangerous due to their length and I've heard of people being zapped non-lethally laying on a sleeping bag with a metal zipper. You really have to look at the surrounding area. They say you want to be about 45 degrees away from the highest point, be it a tree or a cliff.
    Jim S
    Once a friend and I were scuba diving in an abandoned rock quarry that an underground spring had filled. A storm started to brew, so we decided to get out of the water in case of any lightning. As we were getting out of our wet gear and loading it into the back end of the pickup truck, lightning struck a tree maybe 200-250 feet away and the next thing I know, my buddy (that was standing right beside me) instantly jumped up onto the open tailgate like someone had shot him out of a cannon. He said he felt the the hit with his feet. I didn't feel a thing (other than the shock of seeing and hearing that bolt strike a tree so close by ). The difference between us was he was barefooted and I still had my (neoprene) dive booties on. I guess it would be wise to make sure you use an insulating ground-pad if you happen to be ground dwelling during a storm.
    ...And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.
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