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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Pacific Northwest Hammocking

    Does anybody here have any experience with backpacing and hammocking in either the North Cascades area or Olympic National Park of Washington State? We are considering changing our annual trip from Wyoming to one of these, due to the continuing drought in Wyoming. Plus, just to do something different. We will be going the first week of September.

    Obviously, unless we get up too high, there will be millions of trees. But I am wondering about the huge diameter of many of these trees, and if there wil be difficulty finding trees small enough for the HH tree huggers. I can get a larger size, but some of the trees I have seen pictures of will be too large even for the larger huggers.

    I have made a trip here before, 20 years ago, tenting in the woods for a few days, at the edge of Coleman Glacier, followed by an ascent of Mt. Baker. But I did not appraise the area from a hammockers perspective. Plus, it's been a long time. Above 5000 feet, there would be no hammocking, nothing but treeless snow and ice! This was only three miles in thru the woods to base camp. After that, all snow (June).

    Is there anybody here who has done a trip in either of these places? If so, how is it for hammocking? I wonder if hammocking is allowed in the National Parks? Although, it will be easy enough to just go to one of the many wilderness areas. I've heard the mosquitos and black flies can be pretty bad. but I'm hoping they will ease off by September.

    Anybody have any experience with this area? Any advice or words of wisdom, especialy from the hammock perspective? I guess I should talk to someone at Hennessy. Since they are very close to this area.

  2. #2
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Even though the trees may be too big, if you can thread the rope through the huggers you can still use that setup. You will need to find a stick and lay it against the tree where you tie your knot. Tie your knot over the stick so you can pass the rope through the gap between the tree and rope.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  3. #3
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Never been to the Olympic National Forest, but lived on the other side of the state for many years. Just remember that the Olympic Peninsula is one of the rainiest spots on earth, exceeded only by the Amazon Basin (or maybe the other way around ). When I lived there, I talked to people who hiked and camped there and heard many reports of people walking out with soaked equipment that they thought was adequate or more than adequate.

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thanks, folks. It looks like there is nobody here with hammocking experience in these locales. Hey, Jeff, what about you? I'm thinking Ed Speer might? I think there was something in his book about kayaking the NorthWest.

    I just hope I can find enough trees(2 trees close enough together) that are not 6 feet or more in diameter. What would that require, about 18 feet per side just to go around the tree once, plus the distance from the tree to hammock?

    I have read several guide books, but of course they are not by hammock hangers. So the subject is of course not mentioned, except to frequently point out the abundance of GIGANTIC trees at the lower altitudes.

    And the rain could be a major factor, though I will be going at the driest time of year. But on the windward side of the Olypics, the rain is stated as between 140 and 200 inches per year! Now, that is one bunch of rain. I will be going (almost, at least) totally synthetic.

    I'm still awaiting my Cocoon gear from BPL for evaluation. A hooded polargard endurance jacket plus PG pants and quilt, all meant to be usede as a sleeping system. But I don't think real cold (such as I experience in Wyoming at this time of year) will be a problem, even at timberline. But it will be cold enough to be a real problem if combined with torrential rain!

    But my main concerns are usable trees lower down(enough that arre not too large and/or far apart), then usable trees higher up as we get near timberline and the glaciers. And whether hammocking will be allowed in the National Parks if I choose those rather than the Wilderness areas outside the parks. And adequate skills on my part to keep dry in torrential rain with a tarp. I have had some experience keeping dry in a ground tarp in days of steady rain, but not in the amount of rain I might get in the Olympics or even the North Cascades. It should be an adventure, anyway!
    Bill

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    billybob... if you post that question on the "hammockcamping"yahoo group, i'm sure ed will give you a response. but you may have to give him a day or two if he's still out uncovering emeralds on his real job<g>.
    BTW...i ordered the BPL pro balaclava. hopefully it will be here late june-early july. it should be a perfect addition to my clothing/sleep system for next cool season. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    billybob... if you post that question on the "hammockcamping"yahoo group, i'm sure ed will give you a response. but you may have to give him a day or two if he's still out uncovering emeralds on his real job<g>.
    BTW...i ordered the BPL pro balaclava. hopefully it will be here late june-early july. it should be a perfect addition to my clothing/sleep system for next cool season. ...tim
    Seriously, Tim...I don't think you have enough insulated gear. I think I'll send you a couple hundred yards of Polarguard for Christmas...
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  7. #7
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    Seriously, Tim...I don't think you have enough insulated gear. I think I'll send you a couple hundred yards of Polarguard for Christmas...
    ALL RIGHT!!!! next insulated hammock/quilt/pants,etc,etc, here i come!!!
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  8. #8
    Darby's Avatar
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    QUOTE=BillyBob58;19133]... And whether hammocking will be allowed in the National Parks if I choose those rather than the Wilderness areas outside the parks.
    [/QUOTE]
    I cant speak for the west coast, but Ive had no problems hanging in SNP.
    Beer won't solve problems, but then again, neither will milk !
    Designer of the Switchback Hammock
    Tree to Tree Trail Gear:http://tttrailgear.com

  9. #9
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    Seriously, Tim...I don't think you have enough insulated gear.
    Tim needs more insulated gear like I need a hole in the head. I'm waiting for the guy to come up with homemade trekking pole grip warmers next.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  10. #10
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Tim had a foot warmer at Mt Rogers.

    Tim,
    I bet you are the one the smiling on those bitter cold nights where you are toasty warm.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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