Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Lightning!!!

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    38
    Images
    6

    Lightning!!!

    I have been wondering...

    When we were all young our mom would have told us not to stand under a tree during a lightning storm and also not to be in a high places or the lightning will srike you...

    So here the big question: if we tied our hammock to a tree and there are lightning plus we will be on slighly higher grounds so as not to wake up to a lake under us...

    Wont we be good targets for lightning? So what do you do to prevent a lightning strike???

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Hammock
    Warbonnet ON!
    Tarp
    SuperFly or MacCat
    Insulation
    Yetis & Mambas
    Suspension
    Webbing and rings
    Posts
    13,919
    Images
    136
    Man am I glad someone else finally asked that question!

    I asked a long time ago and was told to not worry. Well, that's nice but I need a little more assurance. Sooooooo, I started doing a bit of research. Basically, I was told (by people much smarter than me) that lightning is going to take the path of least resistance and apparently going sideways along rope/cord/webbing isnít as easy as just going down the tree to the ground.

    In the end, itís better to be hanging from the trees than standing next to them. So go hang worry free.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
    canoebie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edwardsburg, MI
    Hammock
    DIY
    Tarp
    Super Ogee
    Insulation
    DIY IX UQ, Phoenix
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings, dc
    Posts
    2,700
    Quote Originally Posted by darkhawk424 View Post
    I have been wondering...

    When we were all young our mom would have told us not to stand under a tree during a lightning storm and also not to be in a high places or the lightning will srike you...

    So here the big question: if we tied our hammock to a tree and there are lightning plus we will be on slighly higher grounds so as not to wake up to a lake under us...

    Wont we be good targets for lightning? So what do you do to prevent a lightning strike???
    Stuff that I have read emphasizes not being conspicuous. So, do not seek out trees that are higher than any others, do not seek out the only two trees in an open area, etc. The safest place to be is in a stand of trees of roughly the same height, away from taller ones. At least then the strike is most likely random rather than due to an attractant. I also stay away from the edge of the river when I canoe because it seems a lot of trees right at river's edge get hit. I go into the woods if I suspect a storm.

    Also, I feel safer off the ground, because lightning injuries come most often from feeders through the ground rather than direct hits. Bottom line is that lightning is unpredictable. Ultimately it will go where it goes. It is the thing that I fear more than wildlife, rapids, and all the other risks I take in the woods and on the water combined.
    Revolution is about the need to re-evolve political, economic and social justice and power back into the hands of the people, preferably through legislation and policies that make human sense. That's what revolution is about. Revolution is not about shootouts.

    Bobby Seale


    http://www.riverjourneys.org

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    bentonville, VA
    Hammock
    Double Travel hammock
    Tarp
    ENO dry fly
    Posts
    32
    the worst part about lightening for me is that it means I need the tarp over top and don't get a good look at it.

    otherwise, i agree with canoebie
    Josh

  5. #5
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hammock
    Lite Owl; Light Hiker
    Tarp
    Toxaway;MacCat Dlx
    Insulation
    Burrow; Incubator
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    2,366
    Some good points. I think the concern is minimal as you don't make a good path to ground in your hammock. However, that doesn't mean there's no danger. If the tree you're tied to becomes part of the path you're still too close for comfort. However, keep in mind that laying on the ground in a tent isn't the greatest even though you're low. You can still be shocked if lightning strikes nearby.

    The downside to lightning is that there are no hard and fast rules. You could be standing on flat ground next to a bunch of trees and feel safe yet the ground gets struck not the trees. It just depends.

    For some trivia, what you're actually seeing with lightning is the strike going up to the storm from the ground. The portion of the storm that comes down (the stepped leader) isn't visible to your eye. You see the "streamer" reaching up to meet it. Of course, this is for cloud-to-ground strikes.

    Also keep in mind that if you can hear thunder you're within range. There have been recorded strikes 50-60 miles from the storm.

    I'm not a meteorologist but I am a NWS Storm Spotter.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Hammock
    Warbonnet ON!
    Tarp
    SuperFly or MacCat
    Insulation
    Yetis & Mambas
    Suspension
    Webbing and rings
    Posts
    13,919
    Images
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post
    Also keep in mind that if you can hear thunder you're within range. There have been recorded strikes 50-60 miles from the storm.

    I'm not a meteorologist but I am a NWS Storm Spotter.
    There was a death at a soccer game in Vero Beach, FL a couple of years back. Not a cloud in the sky! The storm the bolt came from was some twenty miles away. When your number is up; it's up!
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Texas
    Hammock
    Hennessey summer, lightest winter
    Tarp
    JRB 10x11 in skins
    Insulation
    JRB MW3 & SierraSv
    Posts
    285
    Images
    8
    Tips for surviving a thunderstorm in a hammock:

    1. Don't hang on a ridge.
    2. Don't hang from the only two trees in an area.
    3. Don't hang from the tallest trees in an area.
    4. Admire the light show and try not to be too terrified.

  8. #8
    Senior Member oldsoldier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    MA
    Hammock
    Warbonnet Ridgerunner
    Tarp
    WB Superfly
    Insulation
    Q core inflateable
    Suspension
    buckles
    Posts
    439
    Another thing I'd be worried about is flash over. Lightning striking a tree is a powerful force. It is, in essence, a bomb blast. That electricity is traveling EXTREMELY fast, and heating everything up real quick. Rapid expansion of the moisture inside the tree will, of course, cause expansion of the fibers, quite rapidly, causing an explosion. This will, in turn, send splinters, branches, and even part of the tree flying. Not to mention, the sheer concussion of it hitting a tree you are tied to.
    Personally, you take all the precautions you can, and hope for the best. thats what I would do. You kinda take your chances in a T storm anyway. there really isnt a hard & fast rule that will KEEP you from getting hit, but common sense and precautionary measurements will minimize your chance. But, if its your day, its your day!
    If anyone has ever read the Boardman Tasker Omnibus, about a climbing pair in the 70's & 80's who disappeared on K2, I think, they were talking about their first ascent of a new route on the Eiger. They were taking shelter in a small cave, only large enough for one person. they took turns switching out during a lightning storm, with one sitting on the other's lap. Combined, they were hit by either lightning, or flashover from nearby strikes, a total of, I believe 37 times in one night. THAT would deter me from ever going outside again.
    They were grounded, but it still hurt...their legs (those were the only real parts exposed) had some contact burns, but, they werent bad enough to call off the climb.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    142
    Have you ever seen what happens to the filament of a light bulb if the bulb is cracked? ZZZZT!

    In a hammock, you are the filament.

    Wow, that is a creepy thought.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
    Hammock
    Hennessey Expedition Asym
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    BA Yampa, Exped 7s
    Suspension
    Dynaglide Whoopies
    Posts
    435
    Images
    32
    This subject was discussed in another thread. Ben Franklin suggested that a silk hammock was the best protection during a lightning storm. Oh, he also suggested hanging it in your house.
    I say we come up with about five good anti-lightning theories and send them to Mythbusters. They've already done a similar deal with body piercings.
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

Similar Threads

  1. Lightning in the backcountry
    By BC9696 in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 06-20-2014, 19:09
  2. Lightning in a TD or TL stand???
    By Acer in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-04-2013, 22:08
  3. Lightning While In a Hammock
    By patrickbdunlap in forum Weather Protection
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 06-22-2011, 13:06
  4. Bears vs. Lightning
    By BearChaser in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 02-22-2011, 13:21
  5. Lightning
    By Atreus in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-21-2010, 19:14

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •