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  1. #1
    Senior Member goodcaver's Avatar
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    near tornado force winds in Hawn State Park, MO

    Just got back from an extremely eventful night in the hammock in Hawn State Park, in Southeastern Missouri. This was supposed to be my get-out-of-the-house-to-relax-and-give-the-girlfriend-some-space night, but turned out to be a little more adventure than I bargained for!

    Getting to the park was fine, just puttered around the campground for a while before hitting the trail with my dog. We took our time on the way in and took a dip in Pickle Creek and smelled the wild azaleas and miniature roses, which were blooming, along with Columbine and some other small flowers.

    We found a nice place to set up the hammock and got everything all arranged, cooked dinner, and then I read for a while before going to sleep early. I thought I'd get a long night's rest to make up for being too busy lately--but around eleven my dog woke me up whimpering at the thunder that was starting to rumble, accompanied by occasional distant lightning. I got up and adjusted the tarp (JRB 8x8) lower to the ground in case of rain, and made sure all the gear was under me and out of the way.

    At about 12:30 I awoke to a fairly hard rain and almost constant thunder and lightning--everything lit up like day for long stretches at a time. By this time the dog is begging to be let into the hammock, so I let her jump in and start hoping I've fixed the tarp stakes well enough. It turns out that I hadn't--the storm got worse and worse, and the winds picked up to such a point that they eventually pulled up my stakes. I jumped out and planted them again as quick as I could--within the time it took me to do that, less than a minute, I was completely soaked through, so I decided to get a couple of big rocks to put on top of the stakes to make sure I wouldn't have to get up again.

    Got back in the hammock and passed the next two hours or so shivering and nervous, weighing my options for what to do if the wind didn't die down and I couldn't get my tarp to stay put. The dog didn't move, but wet fur plus wet me made my hammock damp--surprisingly, the under and overquilts didn't get too wet when the tarp went, but everything was pretty steamy and uncomfortable altogether. And taking off wet clothes in a damp hammock in the middle of a near tornado is not so much fun I now know.

    Eventually, the storm died down and I fell asleep again for another few hours before sunrise. Some things were pretty soaked and dirty, but we managed to pack up and have a lovely hike out in sunny weather.

    Lessons learned:

    Always assume the weather will be worse than the weatherman says
    Always reinforce tarp stakes!
    Don't leave that spare T-shirt at home to save weight...

  2. #2
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip. I was in one of those storms a few weeks ago, but luckly, I had other trees to tie the tarp too...

  3. #3
    canoebie's Avatar
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    Man that stuff is scary. I have been through some really bad ones and I always feel so vulnerable, so helpless. While it is humbling and scary, when it is all said and done, I want to do a little chest thumping, then I remember the scary and humbling part.

    I am glad you are ok, and the pooch is as well. I am guessing wet dog in the hammock was special in its own way.
    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
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    you and your dog survived the night and that's all that matters.
    If you had been continuing on, like backpacking, then the next day would have been a "drying out day"!! But it sounds like you really did quite well and things didn't get totally soaked. Congrats on thinking of using the rocks!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Glad you made it through. What an adventure! Rocks were a good idea. Also helps to tie to trees, heavy logs, or sturdy bushes.


    "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. #6
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    You need to attach a piece of shock-cord to your stake, or hammock to attach the lines to. It needs to be strong enough not to stretch too easily, yet elastic enough to give when the wind blows. I just doubled mine and attached it that way. This way, when the wind blows there's just enough give to help prevent peg lift and help keep the canopy from shredding. You can attach it at both ends if desired.

    My lines have small, lightweight plastic clips attached to them. This allows me to attach straight to the hammock, or reattach to the shock-cord, depending on the weather.

    Just remember to drop the tarp\canopy down at a good angle to prevent water build up during a storm.

    This idea also works great for setting up a hammock\tarp like a tent. Use the lines to lift the tarp\canopy for ventilation and quickly detach the plastic clip and attach the shock-cord directly to the stake to hunker down.

    You’ll get the idea after experimenting a few times.

    Blessings!

  7. #7
    Senior Member goodcaver's Avatar
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    I do feel way more vulnerable in a hammock in a storm than I have in tents in similar weather--today I was kind of going... hmmm... maybe I should invest in a one-man tent? But then again, I did get through, and next time I'm sure I'll be better prepared. This also makes me want to make a bigger tarp! I made a hex one for my girlfriend and I was wishing I had brought that instead!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Coldspring's Avatar
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    It seems the weather has been crazy in Missouri this spring. I don't think any stake or shock cord would hold up in really strong winds. What kind of stakes are you using? Trees sure are nice to tie onto, when they are properly situated.

  9. #9
    New Member flamedone2's Avatar
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    that was an intense storm i was in tulsa ok tornado warnings kept inturupting my tv in the truck lol then the lightning was smacking down in the parking lot close by. they showed storm on tv with lowering rotation u survived a good one. glad u made it thru ok. the red blobs on the wheather give it away for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member goodcaver's Avatar
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    MSR groundhog stakes--which are actually pretty awesome. But yeah, there's a point at which nothing will hold in the ground if the wind's strong enough. I should've tied to rocks/trees to begin with, but I honestly didn't think it would be that bad!

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