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  1. #1
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Trip report: Hanging Rock State Park, NC

    Took my 7 year old daughter hammock camping last Friday night to Hanging Rock State Park, NC. It was our first trip together. Got in late Friday afternoon, still light, but almost no sites left in the fairly large campground. We found a spot across from the campground host's large air conditioned motor home. Mistake!

    A.G. was set up in an HH Expedition, and I had my HH Explorer Deluxe. Someone at home had moved my underquilt and quilt while I was loading the car, and so it got left somewhere at home (thought it was in the car). Luckily I brought an extra fleece blanket and a raincoat. I wore those to sleep in and only woke up occasionally to get warm again. It was very windy.

    We had a good campfire, went to bed, and went to sleep listening to the "relaxing" sounds of the 2 rangers and campground host's multiple police maneuvers and raids to curb the apparently rampant drinking in the campground. <gasp> (and I always wondered what the tactics were on that side of the equation, very interesting ). Also, the hosts sold firewood at their site, and far too many folks decided even after 11:00pm (or later?) to go buy more firewood with all their friends... talking loudly the whole while and shining their lights on our tents... <sigh>. Some folks even drove their cars from the sites to buy the firewood and then left their headlights on us.

    One guy next to us I think was a vampire. He spent all night up banging around with his stuff, then was asleep all the next morning. We made sure to make some noise of our own in the morning, just for him. There were a lot of dogs in camp too, and if you wandered too far into the bushes to "water" them they'd bark at you. Nothing too bad though.

    The night was very windy. I was camped under a whole lot of large dead branches (no choice). I worried about them falling on me. Didn't happen.

    A.G. did great, she only woke up once at around 3:30am. "Vampire guy" was still banging around, and he had flashed his light on her tent enough to wake her up. I got up to "water the bushes" (bark! bark! bark!) and then talked her back to sleep. We woke up in the morning with some crows having a conversation at 5:00am, breakfasted, hiked, canoed, swam, had ice cream... a lot of fun.

    She wants to go again, so she must have had fun. Despite the crowd and all the other things going on all night, I had a lot of fun too.

  2. #2
    peanuts's Avatar
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    well, patrick i am glad despite the circumstances you and your daughter had a good time and she wants to go againbut next time pick a quieter spotj/k
    Peanuts

    "A womans place is on the trail"

  3. #3
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Although, sometimes the noise can be a little more comforting to the younger ones than absolute silence or woods noises.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoikurt View Post
    Although, sometimes the noise can be a little more comforting to the younger ones than absolute silence or woods noises.
    No worries in that regard then. Plus the wind was making a lot of noise on its own.

    I think it was the flashing of the neighbor's light that had her worried the most. She thought it might be lightning (and she doesn't like lightning...). Oh well. <shrug>

  5. #5
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    I have tried hammock camping once with my six year old daughter once and she really enjoyed it once we got the thermarest pad out of the hammock. I had put it there to keep her warm and all it did was to keep her awake. I've since ordered an undercover and pad. The weather gets strange in MN and it will go from 85 to 55 in a hurry.

    It is too bad that you had such a noisy spot. We are fortunate to have a very nice state park nearby where the walk to the site is a minimum of 1/3 mile and often a mile. The sites are also rather spread out so that you really have to work to see anyone else once you've established camp.

    Did you put your daughter under her own tarp? I thought that might freak my daughter out so I tried putting both of us under one monster tarp (the Hennessy hex tarp). We tried the bunk bed approach and that was not ideal. I'm going to try tying the hammocks so that we share the same tree at the head with two different trees for the foot. This should still get us under one tarp and position her so that she can see me if she wakes up.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=1154

    We spent memorial day weekend camping in a tent (*gasp*!) because the woods in the park we were at were chock full of poison ivy. We'll not be going back there. I hate poison ivy and I hate sleeping in a tent.

    I must admit though that the tent does have its advantages when in rains. My daughter and her friend disappeared into the tent to play and wait out the rain. This would have been difficult to have them play in the hammocks. I plan to bring a tent as a bail out plan for the next few trips.

    Best of luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Hi FreeTW:

    The HH Expedition A.G. used has the stock tarp. I just set it up like normal and didn't make much of a fuss about it. She had a fleece bag, and we both could have used at least a sweatshirt or some more clothes. It got a little cool during the night. Live and learn. I need to learn to triple check and see if my other children have moved stuff off of my pile of things to load in the car.

    I had my head end tied on the same tree as her head end. I could hear her call when she needed something, but we weren't close enough to actually talk. (plus the wind noise made it hard to hear anyway). I was kindof setting it up that way in case I snored or something... but she said she never heard me snore.

    Rain? I guess if it had rained we would have both hung out under my BlackCat tarp, or we would have driven over to the Nature museum they have at the park for something to do. I also brought my large HH Hex tarp, in case we needed some other place to hang out in rain. I was going to rig it above the picnic table, but never needed it.

    Blackbishop once showed me an idea for a dual tarp that sounded really cool. I wonder if he's given it any other thought. It would be perfect for your situation, though it might depend on an ideal placement of the trees, in some respects.

    Hanging Rock is just a very popular place to camp, and I think the lake had just opened for swimming the day before, so there was quite a crowd. While we were at the lake, we could see a bicycle race of some sort on the park road, tons of bicyclists and their support vehicles, etc. Busy place!

  7. #7
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    NCPatrick,

    Nice trip... sorry about the cool nite...

    When car camping there are always the floor mats and the trunk felt available to use as pads... neither compresses alot.... maybe a pain to use but mentioned as a field expediant option for others who may find themselves in this situation sometoime...

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  8. #8
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    NCPatrick,

    Nice trip... sorry about the cool nite...

    When car camping there are always the floor mats and the trunk felt available to use as pads... neither compresses alot.... maybe a pain to use but mentioned as a field expediant option for others who may find themselves in this situation sometoime...

    Pan
    You've either thought about this a lot or have been in that position.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  9. #9
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoikurt View Post
    You've either thought about this a lot or have been in that position.

    Yup... Lot of thought, literally thousands of hours and dozen of pad combinations and dozens of quilt designs and attachment systems tests and a couple of hundred nights out testing over these last 5 years of hanging out has yieled some insights.... a few lessons i'd like to forget and some similiar field expediant bail outs when the test pad or fleece or mylar didn't work out as planned....

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  10. #10
    Senior Member Frolicking Dino's Avatar
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    Pan, thanks for sharing that field option for emergencies.

    Patrick, you are such a good daddy.

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