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  1. #31
    MrClean417's Avatar
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    electricity may follow the path of least resistance but lightning is a WHOLE BUNCH of electricity.

    Just a little piece of it can kill you. On the other hand some folks get hit with it and have no problems. There was that park ranger that, Roy something he was on Carson, he had been hit over 20 times.
    From Somewhere near Parkville, Mo
    William Crane
    aka MrClean
    Everything you need to know about Hammocks in vids and reading:
    Hammock in 3 minutes D. Hansen - It really is this easy to make a hammock
    Shug's Hammock Newbies videos - Takes you buy the hand and shows you in video
    The Ultimate Hang D. Hansen - now read about everything
    JustJeff's Hammock tutorial - more reference
    TableclothFactoryBlanks - shorter lengths available on sidebar
    The TurtleDog Stand thread - Hang anywhere.

  2. #32
    Senior Member dmrichm's Avatar
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    Just to put everyone a little more at ease; The VAST majority of people who are struck by lightning do NOT die. (I cannot speak to the degree of injury or resulting deficits because each strike is different) Lightening stikes are usually very clean injuries (initially) and will not kill you (unless you are standing at the top of a mountain with a metal pole....then you deserve it).

  3. #33
    Jsaults's Avatar
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    Ground spikes can be awesome.

    Last year at my place of work there was a direct strike to a telephone pole approximately 150 yards from our main building. The ground spike traveled across a pair of railroad tracks, past a 2-lane secondary road, across 100' of paved parking lot, and tripped the main service breaker for our building. And that breaker is 2000 amps (2K). Impressive.

    As time goes by I an beginning to feel safer in a hammock than in a tent. All things considered, I am feeling that I would choose to be off of the ground during a storm, away from that ground spike. As Knotty said, squatting with only your feet touching ground is the recommended action for those caught above treeline. ANd being in a forest of like-height trees improves your odds.

    Anyone want to develop a backpacker's Faraday Cage?

    Jim

  4. #34
    Senior Member
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    Greetings all!

    New guy here...been lurking and watching videos while I decide what direction to take with getting into 'hanging'.

    So, with that said, I want to admit that I don't know anything at all about hammocks (yet?)...but I do know a good bit about electricity/electronics.

    Electricity doesn't take the path of least resistance. Some amount of it will take any and every path available to it. How much depends on how much resistance there is...the more resistance, the less electricity that will take that path.

    With lightning, you're talking about a CRAZY amount of electricity...both in voltage and current.

    So even hanging in a hammock between trees could still offer a path to ground. Sure, MOST of the current will flow through the tree struck by the lightning...but some small (relatively!) small amount will take the harder path you offer...from the tree struck, through you/your hammock/suspension/etc... through to the other tree and then down into the ground.

    Again...small is relative! It still could very well be enough to be lethal when you're talking about the energy released in a bolt of lightning. Even a miniscule fraction of that is more than I want to consider tangling with!

    So the "risk" would be theoretically somewhat higher because you're now tied to two potential targets for the lightning strike rather than being a single lower point if you were cowering down on the ground.

    I would agree...astronomical odds of it happening, realistically...but I figured I'd pipe in with a thought on how electricity works to help sort that out.

    OK, now I'm off to figure out how much money I can convince my wife to let me spend on a hammock!

  5. #35
    Member The Rambler's Avatar
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    don't worry, you are far more likely to be killed by part of a tree falling on you that was hit by lightning, haha.

    I am not sure where you learned about electricity, but it does and will always follow the path of least resistance. unless you hanging on a metal mesh hammock you should be fine.

  6. #36
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred1diver View Post
    someone call mythbusters and have them find out
    that would be too cool to see!
    That's the best idea of investigation I've heard so far! Mythbuster's Rock!

    My first expiriance in a hammock was in a spring thunderstorm on the side of a ridge. We hiked in in a driving rain and I was soaked to the bone. Oh yeah and the tarp was leaking right over my head! I solved that with the small piece of Tyvec I carry though, put on the dryest clothes I had and with wet hair, I tried to sleep. I laid awak all night as the cells passed over worrying if I was soon to become a crispy critter any second!

    It all being borrowed equipment I didn't complain much, but I was mad as hell and wanted my nice dry tent where I could spread out and feel safe!
    I obviously got over it....

    We aren't completely safe anywhere during a lightning storm, not in a tent or hammock or shelter. All we can do is take proper precautions to decrease the risks. But when it comes right down to it.... survival may simply depend on how fast we can get out of the way when it hits the fan!
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rambler View Post
    don't worry, you are far more likely to be killed by part of a tree falling on you that was hit by lightning, haha.

    I am not sure where you learned about electricity, but it does and will always follow the path of least resistance. unless you hanging on a metal mesh hammock you should be fine.
    No one has said that electrical current does not follow the path of least resistance. However, what the more knowledgeable people on this subject have wisely pointed out is that doesn't mean all the current follows the path of least resistance.

    Even in your basic house wiring, you have many parallel circuits driven from a 120 VAC or 240 VAC or whatever supply, that split off at a circuit breaker into parallel circuits and the currents split along those circuit paths are inversely proportional to the resistance in those paths where the amount of current is defined by Ohm's law, which states that the current is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance. What that means is if one circuit branch off of a 120 VAC circuit has a 12 Ohm resistance, then it will draw 10 amps of current and it will do this whether no other circuit branches are loaded or whether another has a 12,000 Ohm load and is drawing 0.01 amps of current or not. What this means is that your cell phone charger still works whether your wife is using the vacuum cleaner in another part of the house or not.
    Youngblood AT2000

  8. #38

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    I used to get out a lot during late spring and summer and take lightening pictures with a slow shutter speed. Love the stuff. Even if you don't get zapped while attached to a tree that gets hit, it seems like you'd have some serious hearing loss. *shivers*

  9. #39
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Speaking of lightning storms....here is Hickery and I in some good lightning on Rock Jock Trail in the Linville Gorge. We hunkered down. Starts at 2:30......
    Shug

    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  10. #40
    Member The Rambler's Avatar
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    Lightning is nothing like house wiring. It follows the principles of an electrostatic discharge. During a lightning strike or other electrostatic discharge the current will follow a fault line to ground and the primary conduction will follow this 'path of least resistance'. This is unlike a typical electrical circuit where some current will still flow through all paths, however minute it may be.

    Electrical shocks rarely last longer than half a second (500 milliseconds) because a circuit breaker opens or the person is thrown far from the live conductor. Lightning strikes have an even shorter duration, only lasting up to a few milliseconds. Most of the current from a lightning strike passes over the surface of the body in a process called external flashover. Very similar to if you were to discharge static electricity build up on a door knob.

    Lightning can however arc to you from a tree that has been struck due to the magnitude of it. This would not be a factor if in a hammock as there is not a "good "path to ground through you in a hammock. However, if you were standing on the ground near said tree than it could easily arc to you. Also, you can be "struck" by the radial disipation at the base of a tree or other object that has been struck. This is why they say not to take shelter at the base of a tree or other object.

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