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  1. #21
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molawns View Post
    I'll start by saying I'm an avid hammocker...AND I work for the Florida Park Service as a Park Ranger.

    I see both sides of the coin.

    The problem is not with experienced hammockers. The problem is with inexperienced hammockers. Experienced hammockers know to use tree straps and minimize impact. Inexperienced hammockers do ridiculous things like using nails and eye screws in trees and everything else imaginable (I've seen it all).

    Believe it or not, experienced hammockers are a minority. If an experienced hanger were allowed to camp, the folks who don't know how properly would want to hammock camp, too. My understanding is that the Park Service wants to try and avoid problems before they start. Rather than institute a bunch of rules for proper hammocking, they must have decided it's just easier to not have anyone hanging.

    Disclaimer:
    I'm not claiming to be an official spokesperson representing the State on this issue. I'm just a State employee and a fellow hanger passing along the info I've been offered when I asked about it.
    Since this is a legitimate problem in my eyes (inexperienced people damaging trees, etc), how about some sort of pamphlet that the state can hand out to either 1) prospective hammockers or 2) hammockers found to be pulling the unimaginable. I realize the magnitude of this, and don't live near Florida, but if you could somehow convince the powers that be that there isn't a need for a total ban, you might get some action. I would think that a nicely illustrated pamphlet (say tri-fold one page color front and back) with some helpful tips and instructions for the inexperienced would go a long way. Maybe even have the ranger station(s) equipped with a couple of sets of straps. Start with one state park, or at least offer this up to start with one park, and work your way around the state. The initial outlay would be a box of pamphlets and a couple sets of straps they could "rent" out. What's to lose? You have already lost your hanging privileges it seems.

    Maybe a company like strapworks would be willing to donate a few sets of straps. You could plaster hammockforums.net all over the pamphlets, and who knows you might have a new stream of people who need new straps and the info that goes with 'em.

  2. #22
    MAD777's Avatar
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    The biggest hurdle in this IMO is the fact that this is NOT a park rule, but is actually written into State Law!

    I understand the park's concern about inexperienced hangers mauling trees. In a State Park setting where campers are generally crammed together in a tight space that gets almost constant use, I can believe that real damage could take its toll.

    Of course, it's for this reason I wouldn't camp in most State Parks anyway. I'm out there looking for wilderness, not another traffic jam.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  3. #23
    Senior Member molawns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    I understand the park's concern about inexperienced hangers mauling trees. In a State Park setting where campers are generally crammed together in a tight space that gets almost constant use, I can believe that real damage could take its toll.

    Of course, it's for this reason I wouldn't camp in most State Parks anyway. I'm out there looking for wilderness, not another traffic jam.
    This is the big thing, in my eyes. The same trees would be used constantly. Even if people always hammock camped responsibly, what would be the long-term impact of using the same exact trees over and over again? That's a hard question to answer. When folks are hammocking in conjunction with backpacking or paddling, the odds of people using the same trees very often is slim, except in designated "backcountry campsites" (but even then folks will sometimes choose to camp "off site"). "Manicured campgrounds" see huge impact over time since the same sites are used over and over.


    The main issue, to me, isn't convincing the State to change the rules so those of us who know how to hang responsibly can do so. It's EDUCATING the inexperienced hangers. Once we're all on the same page of responsible hammocking, I'm sure the rules would change. That's an enormous task, though.
    Yesterday's tomorrow is tomorrow's yesterday. It's the only day that counts.

  4. #24
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    I despise most state parks. At least in Alabama.

  5. #25
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I have the utmost gratitude for State Parks and all who work with and for them. I don't think the fact that a rule doesn't go my way really changes that. It may take time, but I'm sure it will be proven that hammock hanging is ultimately kinder to the park environment, once the bulk of the hangers are aware of how to hang correctly. We just need to reach the tipping point where most (all is a pipe-dream) folks follow those guidelines.

    Just my .02, fwiw, ymmv, etc.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  6. #26
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I have the utmost gratitude for State Parks and all who work with and for them. I don't think the fact that a rule doesn't go my way really changes that. It may take time, but I'm sure it will be proven that hammock hanging is ultimately kinder to the park environment, once the bulk of the hangers are aware of how to hang correctly. We just need to reach the tipping point where most (all is a pipe-dream) folks follow those guidelines.

    Just my .02, fwiw, ymmv, etc.
    +1, Also, it's not just the experienced hammocker, it's the ambassador in all of us for no trace camping. Hammocking responsibly is IMO to be used in conjunction with the "no trace" to ensure this forum's members can be in all areas of Florida. FH2 this year was very succesful with 70-80 hangers and when we left, all that was there was our tire tracks in the dirt road and a stack of firewood neatly stacked for the next group. We actually left it cleaner then when we got there. Trash Detail several times was huge in clean up.
    The trees will see very little damage with the use of tree huggers, The underbrush or ground will not be disturbed or compacted due to hanging over it, but the rangers and law makers won't see it thru the trash left by unresponsible hangers if we cannot educate them. And this will be my .02 also.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

  7. #27
    mbnow's Avatar
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    State law

    I must plead ignorance on the different types of agencies and their power/ rules regarding parks and wilderness areas.

    I understand why they may implement a blanket/ zero tolerance policy regarding a 'newer' activity in these areas.

    Perhaps recommending to the authorities that making "TREE HUGGERS MANDATORY" would be a good way of keeping it simple requiring minimal signage and education. Also minimum of width of tree maybe.

    Of course this would all require the powers that be being petitioned with actual 'Data' on the safety and non impact of tree huggers. Kind of like the O.P asked: where is the data?

    As always what seems so simple is normally complicated and vice a versa.

    Matt B.

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