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  1. #1
    New Member Promotions's Avatar
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    Question Finding (Legal) Places to Hang

    I'm probably not the first person to have this experience, but after doing a ton of research on gear, I dove wallet-first into the hobby (hoping to "buy once, cry once") and have been enjoying learning how to hang and have generally been quite comfortable doing so. Unfortunately, after reading all about how to properly hang a hammock to prevent damage, I just sort of assumed that I could post-up anywhere I might go for a picnic as long as I did so with respect to other people using the space. Boy was I wrong! With the exception of my parent's backyard and my Nana's deck, it seems that most places near me just do not want people hanging up anything on trees. I've sent letters out to the various parks and rec organizations for the towns closest to me and I even work for the county myself with some friends in the biz, but I've been cited rules about damaging property every time.

    Boo-hoo and oh woe is me aside, how do you guys find legal places to hang? Do I just keep expanding my radius and contacting parks and forests until I find someone willing to allow hammocks? I'm really bummed about having this nice stuff but no-where obvious to use it. I live in a small apartment with my girlfriend (got a Darien for her too!) and I have considered some sort of free standing indoor setup, but ultimately I want to hang outdoors. Maybe you're the sort of person to ask forgiveness rather than permission? Sadly, I'm too much of a "nice guy" for that sort of thing.

    I live in Spokane Valley, but I'm more interested in the technique of finding somewhere than straight up suggestions so I felt this forum was more appropriate than the location specific ones.

    Thanks in advance.

    (i have attached one of the e-mails that represents a typical response i receive)
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  2. #2
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    I did a quick research of dispersed camping near Spokane and this came up;

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/col...67800&actid=34

    familiarize yourself with what dispersed camping is in fact this article might help;

    https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifesty...d-camping/amp/

    Basically if you can get on to national forest land or federal land - hell even BLM land - you are allowed to utilize that space for up to 14 days in most cases provided you follow some simple guidelines. Unless posted otherwise, you will need to be 300 ft from a divided highway (but maybe up to a quarter of a mile in some places depending on how it's posted) - I believe it's 200 ft from a non-divided highway, and 100 ft from the trail, you are allowed to camp there.

    Bear in mind that these areas have not been improved so there's no bathroom there's no fire pit etc. However they're 100% free to utilize provided you follow LNT philosophy - leave no trace.

    ideally you'll pack out all of your trash including your own waste, however if that's not an option Make sure that you are burying your waste at least 300 ft from a water source and a minimum of 6 in deep.

    Lastly I would check with your local Forest Ranger station - and in my neck of the woods my forest rangers are my best friends. They give me ideas on where I can camp but they know a lot more than I do about areas that are campable.

    Give that a shot

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  3. #3

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    Washington is packed with wilderness areas and forests that are wonderful for hammocking. I have not encountered any special anti hammock rules for any of the area I visit (mostly the cascades). Check out the Washington Trails Association website as a starting point for finding trails. Most wilderness areas will not have too many rules outside of fire bans and such. if you are backpacking then I would suggest the Backpacking Washington and Backpacking Idaho books by Douglas Lorain. I just got back from 8 days on the Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier and hammocked the whole time. So many places in Washington...

  4. #4
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    I have been using hammocks at many parks in the Seattle area - Magnuson, Matthews, Golden Gardens, Discovery and even chatted with parks dept folks who were interested - never encountered an issue. Golden Gardens even has a large grove of trees right near the beach - always quite a few hammock in there in the summer.

    I’ve found that the parks folks in WA are great - so many rangers I’ve chatted with have been helpful with areas to explore, etc. Nothing but positive vibes and encouragement. If you are not causing damage or trouble, you seem to get no undesired attention.

    There are quite a few dispersed campsite places on the Peninsula, at least in the area near Forks where I have done it a few times. I haven’t explored the eastern part of the state much yet. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member old4hats's Avatar
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    Sometimes, if no one is looking.....
    If you prepare for failure you will probably succeed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilligansWorld View Post
    I did a quick research of dispersed camping near Spokane and this came up;

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/col...67800&actid=34

    familiarize yourself with what dispersed camping is in fact this article might help;

    https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifesty...d-camping/amp/

    Basically if you can get on to national forest land or federal land - hell even BLM land - you are allowed to utilize that space for up to 14 days in most cases provided you follow some simple guidelines. Unless posted otherwise, you will need to be 300 ft from a divided highway (but maybe up to a quarter of a mile in some places depending on how it's posted) - I believe it's 200 ft from a non-divided highway, and 100 ft from the trail, you are allowed to camp there.

    Bear in mind that these areas have not been improved so there's no bathroom there's no fire pit etc. However they're 100% free to utilize provided you follow LNT philosophy - leave no trace.

    ideally you'll pack out all of your trash including your own waste, however if that's not an option Make sure that you are burying your waste at least 300 ft from a water source and a minimum of 6 in deep.

    Lastly I would check with your local Forest Ranger station - and in my neck of the woods my forest rangers are my best friends. They give me ideas on where I can camp but they know a lot more than I do about areas that are campable.

    Give that a shot

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
    This is good information, I had never heard of dispersed camping. Also downloaded the Dyrt app ty for that!

  7. #7
    New Member Promotions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leiavoia View Post
    Washington is packed with wilderness areas and forests that are wonderful for hammocking. I have not encountered any special anti hammock rules for any of the area I visit (mostly the cascades). Check out the Washington Trails Association website as a starting point for finding trails. Most wilderness areas will not have too many rules outside of fire bans and such. if you are backpacking then I would suggest the Backpacking Washington and Backpacking Idaho books by Douglas Lorain. I just got back from 8 days on the Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier and hammocked the whole time. So many places in Washington...
    Thank you for the suggestions. I would ultimately like to be backpacking, but trying to get some health issues resolved first (back, hips, knees.) In the meantime, just looking for somewhere relatively near to hang with my lady.

    Quote Originally Posted by GilligansWorld View Post
    I did a quick research of dispersed camping near Spokane and this came up;

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/col...67800&actid=34

    familiarize yourself with what dispersed camping is in fact this article might help;

    https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifesty...d-camping/amp/

    Basically if you can get on to national forest land or federal land - hell even BLM land - you are allowed to utilize that space for up to 14 days in most cases provided you follow some simple guidelines. Unless posted otherwise, you will need to be 300 ft from a divided highway (but maybe up to a quarter of a mile in some places depending on how it's posted) - I believe it's 200 ft from a non-divided highway, and 100 ft from the trail, you are allowed to camp there.

    Bear in mind that these areas have not been improved so there's no bathroom there's no fire pit etc. However they're 100% free to utilize provided you follow LNT philosophy - leave no trace.

    ideally you'll pack out all of your trash including your own waste, however if that's not an option Make sure that you are burying your waste at least 300 ft from a water source and a minimum of 6 in deep.

    Lastly I would check with your local Forest Ranger station - and in my neck of the woods my forest rangers are my best friends. They give me ideas on where I can camp but they know a lot more than I do about areas that are campable.

    Give that a shot

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
    Thank you. I knew about BLM land but I'm always wary because it is seen as a place (at least around here) for all the gun guys to go play with their toys, which hey, I get it, I'm in the same boat I got something I want to use with no place to use it. Just not comfortable around that. Good to know that National Forests are fair game. Thank you. I'll check the links as well. When it says dispersed camping is closed for the season, does that mean you can't camp there or there just won't be anybody around? I'd certainly like to just hang-out somewhere for a day in the winter time so it'd be a bummer if you can only use these areas when they are supported.


    Quote Originally Posted by old4hats View Post
    Sometimes, if no one is looking.....
    I know I know, but I feel so bad that I couldn't enjoy it. I'd be worried the whole time and it wouldn't be relaxing.
    Last edited by Promotions; 10-18-2020 at 23:01.

  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Promotions View Post
    Thank you. I knew about BLM land but I'm always wary because it is seen as a place (at least around here) for all the gun guys to go play with their toys, which hey, I get it, I'm in the same boat I got something I want to use with no place to use it.
    I would rethink your attitude towards BLM lands. Back in the late 1980s/early 90s, I moved to Tucson, Arizona. I was fascinated by the different ecosystems all over the state. Soon, I discovered the BLM, which manages something like two thirds of Arizona land. I was especially interested in finding riparian (wetland) areas of Arizona (sometimes you get tired of looking at cactus and desert and want to see a tree or a stream). I found this one area east of Tucson on a map, and it looked like it probably had riparian areas.

    So I called up the BLM and asked them if I could visit the land. They said sure - they didn't get that many requests to visit their lands but I could get a permit for a few bucks and it would allow me to camp on the land. The only problem: no campsites, no trails, no latrines, no nothing. Sounded good to me! I bought some topo maps and headed into the desert. I didn't have more than a couple of gallons of water, and definitely needed to find a water source to survive. After a few hours of hiking, I saw something in the distance that looked like a tree. I made a beeline to that area, and lo and behold, there was not only one tree, but many trees, and a stream with fish in it! You just don't see many riparian areas in the lowlands of Arizona.

    After that, I started visiting BLM lands more and more, because they were really amazing and you never knew what you'd discover. Dangerous? Yes, but wilderness? They manage a lot of it, places you can go for a hike and die, and nobody will ever find your body. That's my kind of wilderness!

    When my mother died, after a long battle with cancer, I headed out into the Arizona wilderness for some time to think. My wife asked me, "Where are you going?" and my reply was "East." She said, "When are you coming back?" and I answered, "A few days." I hiked into the wilderness and found a shallow stream, almost like a pond. I took off my clothes and laid in that stream for an hour or two. Once it got dark, I slept right next to that stream.

    During all my time hiking on BLM lands, I never once saw another human. However, one time, I picked up the rib of a saguaro cactus to use as a hiking staff. When I got back to my car, a ranger came up to me and said, "You can't take that saguaro rib. It's against the law." Nice to know the BLM rangers are out there protecting against the theft of saguaro ribs!
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  9. #9
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    I was poking around and found this useful map of DNR campsites complete with pictures. I stayed at Lyre River with some friends and found it enjoyable right near the river.

    https://www.dnr.wa.gov/sites/default...map/index.html

  10. #10
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Promotions View Post
    ........ When it says dispersed camping is closed for the season, does that mean you can't camp there or there just won't be anybody around? I'd certainly like to just hang-out somewhere for a day in the winter time so it'd be a bummer if you can only use these areas when they are supported.



    I know I know, but I feel so bad that I couldn't enjoy it. I'd be worried the whole time and it wouldn't be relaxing.
    So I believe what you're confusing is the dispersed camp sites - after reviewing some of the links these are the ones that show closed at least in relation to bead lake. Ideally dispersed camping is not a campsite - to give you a bit of what I do a lot of times I will find a road that goes through national forest land & find a place just off of the road to park. Then I hike in a minimum of 300 ft away from that road, also to make sure that I'm a minimum of 200 ft from any non-divided road 100 ft from any trail and 300 ft from any water source.

    Basically dispersed camping is finding an area on federal land but a park ranger has told you you can camp in. But these are non-developed sites indistinguishable from just basic forest backdrop. These are the sites that I find.

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