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Thread: Finding a spot?

  1. #1
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    Finding a spot?

    So, I went on my first "real" hammock/backpacking overnight this past weekend. All my other "testing" has been in my backyard.

    I expected to not hike in very far, maybe couple miles or so. I just wanted to get far enough in from the trailhead, and somewhat off the trail to give things a good test.

    Well, I can see that hammock camping in this area of the Northwest is going to be a problem; not because of lack of trees, of course, but because there are too MANY of them. I watched several videos by Shug in the Minnesota (I think) woods, and that's what I remember from other backpacking trips in other parts of the country; a good selection of trees, spaced at varying distances, but relatively easy to find a good spot.

    Here, I hiked for several miles without finding a good spot; some trees were too large (couldn't even get my arms around them), some were just saplings, some were dead, most were much too close together, with bunches of saplings scattered between/among them, and with the jagged ends of blowdowns or brambles/thornybushes sticking out everywhere for good measure! I had brought along my machete just in case there was a spot that had "a few" branches sticking into it, but this was ridiculous!

    What do other hammockers in this area do? Carry 15 ft long tree straps? Carry an additional 50 feet of climbing rope so you can hitch to distant "good" trees? Bring in mules to haul out the blowdowns and junk under any potential sites?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    RICT I hear ya...by no means am I a seasoned veteran...ive only been on two one nighters with my hammock. I thought hanging a hammock would be easy and their would be perfect spots EVERY WHERE (well thats the impression shug's videos gave me ) ...but to my dismay it took a while and some good searching to find two trees with the right distance and no obstructions in the way. And yes, some hangers on this forum do carry 15 ft tree huggers but to my knowledge they usually hang in old growth forests and the likes of. So I dont have any advice on how to find trees that are the "perfect distance" apart except keep searching and just always remember its always better then sleeping on the ground IMHO. Happy hanging

    ~LRR
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazy river road View Post
    ...And yes, some hangers on this forum do carry 15 ft tree huggers but to my knowledge they usually hang in old growth forests and the likes of.
    ...
    ~LRR
    Hmmm..."old growth forest" is probably the best description of the wooded areas out here, so I guess 15 ft long strapping is my next purchase!

    I'll probably have to search for trails in "non-old growth forest" and limit my hammocking to any I can find. I'm going to have to get some video clips of my next day hike, so others can see what I'm talking about, with the density of growth out here. I'm not a native to this area, so the "overgrowth" is just unbelievable.

  4. #4
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    I'm planning my first backpacking trip with a hammock so I purchased 30 feet of webbing to use as tree straps. I figure the extra weight would be worth it to ensure I'd be able to hang in a not so ideal spot. I'll be learning as I go so hopefully it will work out. I think it would be worth it to carry the extra length to accomodate the area you are in.

  5. #5
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Just a suggestion ... especially if you're going to get that long of strapping ... check out Arrowhead Equipment ... Paul's got some really lightweight one inch straps ... they'll make a difference especially for long runs of strapping.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member pgibson's Avatar
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    I am going to have to put you on the payroll Hawk-eye.

    Longer straps are about the only good way to handle huge trees out here in the North West. I know how you feel, While we don't have the over grown brush as much here in ID we do have some big trees and finding ones with just the right spacing can take some time. Last year on a trip with some friends that were all ground camping I let them all pick their spots that would work for their tents. Then I started searching for trees that would work for me, I ended up about 15 yards away from the rest of them. They thought I had a chip on my shoulder or something for setting up so far from the rest of them. I just had to do a good bit harder searching for trees that would work for me. I still ended up hanging half over a big rock that kept me from getting states in for my tarp. Had to drag over a small log and make some piles of rocks for my guy lines. If I had set up first I could have been right in close and lounged in my hammock while making dinner and listening to the campfire chat 10 feet away. But that would have made one or two of them have to be on the outskirts of the site. Besides I was worn out from a killer day of hiking and I was going to Snore So it worked out. But sometimes you just have to explore a bit more to find the right hammock spot, it's different than walking into a tent site and seeing the compacted and cleared spot that says "SET UP TENT HERE!" In some places in the country that means taking longer straps, in some it means a longer search to find the right spacing, and in some it means hanging over or next to rocks- other trees or what ever you have to.

    Where about in the NW are you? Just wondering.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm missing something, but if the forest is that dense that you can't find enough space for a hammock, then I would think you wouldn't be able to find enough space for a tent either. If there's an opening big enough to fit a tent, there are probably trees on each side of said opening, so bam! tent site becomes hammock site.

    Now try to make a hammock site into a tent site, and you might need some shovels, hedge trimmers, or dynamite

  8. #8
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post
    I am going to have to put you on the payroll Hawk-eye.
    Ha ... no need for that pal ... if I like something I'll tell people about it. Why you think I've been ordering those straps? Changing all mine out!

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


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  9. #9
    Senior Member pgibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardman View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something, but if the forest is that dense that you can't find enough space for a hammock, then I would think you wouldn't be able to find enough space for a tent either. If there's an opening big enough to fit a tent, there are probably trees on each side of said opening, so bam! tent site becomes hammock site.

    Now try to make a hammock site into a tent site, and you might need some shovels, hedge trimmers, or dynamite
    I think that is exactly part of the OP's problem, the trees are so big that it is hard to find trees that are of the right spacing but that are also not so huge that his current straps are usable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    Ha ... no need for that pal ... if I like something I'll tell people about it. Why you think I've been ordering those straps? Changing all mine out!
    Well thanks for the I do appreciate it very much.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Old Growth vs New Growth vs Original Growth.

    Old Growth = Medium size trees+ densely packed + underbrush
    New Growth = 'Slender' trees + densely packed + LOTS of underbrush + hard to tell the separation between brush/shrubs and trees.
    Original Growth = Big and Medium Trees+ broad spacing + little or no underbrush + super dense canopy.

    Most areas can be separated into those 3 categories. The best hanging conditions are always found in #3.

    Those RedWood monsters are a category unto themselves.
    I ride a recumbent.
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    Rug.

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