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  1. #41
    Member Rob E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbquetico View Post
    Sometimes there are no choices to be made.
    Often thought about the risks of being struck by lightning m'self. Then I realized I'm much more likely to be hit by a car driving out to the trailhead. Some risks can only be mitigated by not going, and that's not an option. Storms happen.

    Still, what about not being grounded? Seems like natural insulation would protect you from taking the full brunt of a strike.

  2. #42
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tritan View Post
    Where would you bail too?
    Back into a low spot in the thick woods away from that exposed ledge))))))
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  3. #43
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob E View Post
    Often thought about the risks of being struck by lightning m'self. Then I realized I'm much more likely to be hit by a car driving out to the trailhead. Some risks can only be mitigated by not going, and that's not an option. Storms happen.

    Still, what about not being grounded? Seems like natural insulation would protect you from taking the full brunt of a strike.
    Interesting idea but you might not be aware that there isn't insulation from ground with lightening. I was taught in high school that there is Thermal electric breakdown with some objects... I tried to look this up but found this instead,

    Other common Urban Legends of Science

    Popular Error: The rubber tires on a car protect you from Lightning.

    Person in a car hit by artificial lightning. The lightning strikes the car and jumps to the ground bypassing the front tire by arcing from the axle to the ground. Scan from book.



    No The lightning bolt just jumped over a thousand feet through the air to reach your car, it can easily jump through the air beneath your car the final few inches to reach the ground. (This is shown in a photo from a General Electric test in which a man made bolt of lightning strikes a car.) You are safe inside your car because it is a Faraday Cage. You are surrounded by electrically conducting metal and wet glass. the electric charge transported by the lightning bolt stays on the outside surface of a conductor.

    But I have seen a bolt of lightening pass thru a window to hit the old radiator just under it. I have seen evidence of lightening pass thru a Anderson window and take out the sensor inside the window and alarm panel in the basement.


    I guess my question is which is better on a ridge or in a hollow between two trees.
    There was an Old Man with a owl,
    Who continued to bother and howl;
    He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
    Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl
    .WOO

  4. #44
    Member Rob E's Avatar
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    Fascinating post, WOO. Thanks for the info!

    Another great factor to consider when choosing a spot to hang.

  5. #45
    The only think I would be worried about would be the lightning hitting one of the trees I was hanging from and splitting it. But that's like a one in a billion chance I would assume

  6. #46
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Interesting idea but you might not be aware that there isn't insulation from ground with lightening. I was taught in high school that there is Thermal electric breakdown with some objects... I tried to look this up but found this instead,

    Other common Urban Legends of Science

    Popular Error: The rubber tires on a car protect you from Lightning.

    Person in a car hit by artificial lightning. The lightning strikes the car and jumps to the ground bypassing the front tire by arcing from the axle to the ground. Scan from book.



    No The lightning bolt just jumped over a thousand feet through the air to reach your car, it can easily jump through the air beneath your car the final few inches to reach the ground. (This is shown in a photo from a General Electric test in which a man made bolt of lightning strikes a car.) You are safe inside your car because it is a Faraday Cage. You are surrounded by electrically conducting metal and wet glass. the electric charge transported by the lightning bolt stays on the outside surface of a conductor.

    But I have seen a bolt of lightening pass thru a window to hit the old radiator just under it. I have seen evidence of lightening pass thru a Anderson window and take out the sensor inside the window and alarm panel in the basement.


    I guess my question is which is better on a ridge or in a hollow between two trees.
    Excellent post!

    Another common misconception: Electricity always takes the path of least resistance/shortest path to ground.

    Incorrect! Electricity always takes EVERY available path to ground. HOW MUCH electricity that travels each path is determined by the resistance of that path...the greater the resistance, the less electricity that flows through that path.

    But when you're talking about millions of volts like in a lightning strike...even if it's a tiny fraction of the overall flow, it's usually still more than enough to injure or kill.

  7. #47
    Nice article. Had a blast hit a huge pine about 60 yards from our camp, you could feel the pressure wave, very strange feeling. Kind of drives me nuts when people repeat the phase that electricity takes the path of least resistance. As pointed out above it absoultely does not mean what people thinks it means. Way I look at it your change in risk in tent or hammock does not really change, take a few basis procautions and just camp it up.

  8. #48
    You would not want to be between 2 trees when one of them gets hit.We are talking thousands of volts jumping around. I have crouched under a big tree on a motorcycle trip just figuring I would take my chances rather than get soaked.I always hike with a couple 8ft ground rods and a couple lengths of 3/0 copper and ground the trees .Then I know I'm safe.Don't forget the 3lb sledge and a shovel in case you cant drive them all the way and need to bury it horizontal. KIDDING !!

  9. #49
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    Electricity will take the path of least resistance... The picture proves that.

    Air is less conductive than metal. The car was placed in the path of the Artificial lightening. Therefore the only thing other than air in the path is the car. Made up mostly of metal will allow the electricity to pass easier. The arc at the tire means nothing other than the air was more conductive than the rubber, the only physical connection of the metal to ground. The metal of the car provided the initial easy path.

    Lightening is scary. It is dangerous. It presents more than considerable concerns for hammockers and campers alike. But that picture does not show what some are saying.

    Don't want to start a fight but the reason that there are places that make artificial lightening and use it to study and the thing that makes it work is that electricity takes the path of least resistance. Electricity only arcs through air because of that fact. That fact, however, does not stop people from using that quip to dangerously ignore the danger of being exposed in a situation where lightening is going to be very close.
    Last edited by f k; 10-01-2013 at 23:20. Reason: brain fart

  10. #50
    Member mr tickle's Avatar
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    I ain't concerned at all, i simply wouldn't tie to the tallest tree in the area out of a matter of course. Even if the tree i tied to got struck i would speculate the reality of how much energy would transfer to you.

    Surely even if your hammock had less resistance than the tree, which it won't it is likely nylon, the other tree you are tied to would have to also have less resistance than both the tree initially struck and your hammock to enable the current to pass through you at full rate; in which case it would have just struck that tree to begin and avoided a full strike on you anyways. Replace hammock with air you'll get the same result regarding resistance.
    I mean if the second tree is going to earth better than the first tree and route the current through you from the first tree, assuming the same species it must have a girth equal to or greater than the tree struck so surely would have been taller too thus definitely struck first...?

    I can see how you may get some current if your mount is struck but i reckon the chances of the freak circumstances probably needed to accommodate a full power strike on a hammock have to be pretty low unless you are in an open field with only two trees of an identical resistance. I did not read the linked article, i just went off my studies of physics with this so may have missed something. I'm sure if i missed something fundamental it will quickly be corrected anyhow, there will be plenty out there with better physics knowledge than me, physics is not my science of choice so..

    My worry would be a falling branch caused by a strike opposed to the strike itself, or getting wet. I really do think, off the top of my head, that it would take some stupidity or freak circumstances to get hurt badly in a lightning storm in a hammock.

    EDIT:
    I just remembered once i actually went out in my car with an ex partner trying to get struck by lightning in a rather big storm, we found it quite amusing. It is really really hard to get a strike, was driving along the beach for the length of the storm and failed, i think it went for the sea and higher ground every time, i cant quite remember what else was around but the beach was empty.
    Last edited by mr tickle; 10-01-2013 at 20:40.

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