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  1. #31
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianle View Post
    Poison Oak: I grew up in Oregon and went to school in central-west Oregon, there's lots or poison oak there. In NW Washington State I've never encountered it, and I've lived in the Puget Sound area for over 20 years, done lots of backpacking trips, including in the Olympics and lots of trips in the Alpine Lakes wilderness. No worries about it; basically we just don't allow such things in our more enlightened neck of the woods ... <g>


    Brian Lewis
    You are indeed more enlightened than the rest of us if your state has had the good sense to ban the nasty beast! Oh that more ststes would follow your lead.

  2. #32
    New Member farpost's Avatar
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    Finding hammock trees in the PNW can be a challenge but its not always only big trees. Even on the PCT, the Alpine Lakes, etc., you can usually find at least one tree for an easy wrap. But, if using webbing, at least 12' is a good idea.

    My last weeklong in the Olympics was without a hammock but then the problem was in finding a branch low enough to fling a bear bag rope over. And be sure, if you spend time in the Olympics, you will encounter black bear.

    Last weekend (4 days) was spent in the NW corner of Mt. Rainier NP where the bugs were still a nuisance and temps dropped into the low 30s. But double-wrappable trees were in abundance.

    Having lived in the area for over 30 years, I now look forward to Labor Day weekend--afterwards, the crowds thin out dramatically, particularly mid-week and by then the bugs are gone, but there is still enough daylight to get in some miles. If you plan to hike on the west side of the Cascades, September is still pretty dry (relative to normal Seattle weather). East side of the Olympics will be even drier and east of the Cascades the driest.

    If your intent is to avoid crowds, then the suggestion is probably similar to anywhere else: go mid-week and go beyond day-hike limits into the wilderness.

    Except for one planned hammock hike (with BrianLe), I have yet to encounter another backpacker, or even car camper for that matter, using a hammock for sleeping (some car campers put them out for day use). So, every trip is an opportunity to evangelize. Sort of ironic with Hennessey just north of here.

    Good luck on your trip and report back what you learn.

    Scott

  3. #33
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    I've been reading this thread with interest. Some time before January, we'll be trading Minneapolis for Ashland Oregon. Aside from the small problem of my not being able to find employment in my field (electrical engineering), I'm really looking forward to relocating closer to what looks to be amazing geography.

    Of course, where I'm going to put my hammock has been the most important concern on my mind. Selling my house, finding a job, finding a school for my daughter, moving, finding a new place, etc. is really secondary.

    FreeTheWeasel

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel View Post
    I've been reading this thread with interest. Some time before January, we'll be trading Minneapolis for Ashland Oregon. Aside from the small problem of my not being able to find employment in my field (electrical engineering), I'm really looking forward to relocating closer to what looks to be amazing geography.

    Of course, where I'm going to put my hammock has been the most important concern on my mind. Selling my house, finding a job, finding a school for my daughter, moving, finding a new place, etc. is really secondary.

    FreeTheWeasel

    Oh boy, are you in for a change in "geography", especially regarding the vertical aspect! I've been there enough ( as a ground dwelling backpacker and day hiker) to know that, because of the vast forests of the PNW, hammocking spots should be super abundant. The only trick for a hammocker is, if coming there as a visitor instead of being local who knows the area, to not pick a trail that is mostly above tree line and to not pick a place that has ONLY super gigantic trees- if there even is such a place. In between will be billions of normal trees. And some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, IMO. And if all that is not enough for you, you are really not all that far from the Canadian Rockies and coast range.

    What, are you just moving on a whim? I'm jealous! But we all know that your primary concern over where you might hang your hammock is fully rational!
    Bill

  5. #35
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post

    What, are you just moving on a whim? I'm jealous! But we all know that your primary concern over where you might hang your hammock is fully rational!
    Bill
    No, this is about as far from a whim as it gets. Whims don't come with this much anxiety

    My wife, a professional actor, has accepted a year contract with the Ashland Shakespeare festival. It is a big deal in the acting world and it was something she just couldn't pass up. I'm going because our marraige wouldn't survive the long distance, and it isn't as though I love my current job anyway. I wouldn't mind working in my field at a different company, however. The problem is that there is nothing within commuting distance. So I'm going to do something else. I haven't a clue what it is though. Perhaps I'll write the next great novel. Or perhaps I'll sit on my couch all day until I can go camping on the weekends.

  6. #36
    Senior Member lvleph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel View Post
    I've been reading this thread with interest. Some time before January, we'll be trading Minneapolis for Ashland Oregon. Aside from the small problem of my not being able to find employment in my field (electrical engineering), I'm really looking forward to relocating closer to what looks to be amazing geography.

    Of course, where I'm going to put my hammock has been the most important concern on my mind. Selling my house, finding a job, finding a school for my daughter, moving, finding a new place, etc. is really secondary.

    FreeTheWeasel
    Finding the right size trees in Ashland will be very easy. You have nothing to worry about.

  7. #37
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    "Except for one planned hammock hike (with BrianLe), I have yet to encounter another backpacker, or even car camper for that matter, using a hammock for sleeping "

    Oh, you're that Scott --- Hello! Yes, I'm back to using the hammock sometimes again; for me it boils down to there being no perfect sleep system (for me at least).

    In terms of finding good trees for hanging, one phenomenon I've encountered is where there are trees everywhere but no good trees to hang from --- in particular, when you get a planted forest with understory branches that just preclude hammock use. So just seeing a ton of trees isn't a guarantee. Still, it's almost always easier to find a place to hang than to find a sufficiently flat and level cleared space for a tent !

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianle View Post
    "Except for one planned hammock hike (with BrianLe), I have yet to encounter another backpacker, or even car camper for that matter, using a hammock for sleeping "

    Oh, you're that Scott --- Hello! Yes, I'm back to using the hammock sometimes again; for me it boils down to there being no perfect sleep system (for me at least).

    In terms of finding good trees for hanging, one phenomenon I've encountered is where there are trees everywhere but no good trees to hang from --- in particular, when you get a planted forest with understory branches that just preclude hammock use. So just seeing a ton of trees isn't a guarantee. Still, it's almost always easier to find a place to hang than to find a sufficiently flat and level cleared space for a tent !
    And I find that down here, at least locally, the dang ubiquitous poison ivy is a real pain in the behind! A billion trees, but as soon as you find 2 the right distance apart, and the right size without a large shrub or small tree in between or otherwise in the way- well then the odds that one of these will then be covered with poison ivy, or have it around the base, is quite high.

    However, I agree that, in most of the places I am talking about, which are not at a designated campground, it would be even harder to find a good spot for a ground dweller. Because you would still have the poison ivy problem, plus roots, rocks, uneven ground, insects and snakes.

    It just that it takes a lot longer than you might think to find a hammocking spot even though you are in the middle endless trees. But in a similar forest without so much poison ivy, it would be about 10 times quicker to find a good hanging spot.

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