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  1. #1
    Flackfizer's Avatar
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    Florida Swamp Runners!

    Hey All--
    Let's face it--we Florida Swamp Runners are a different breed. For most of us a Hammock was first a place with oaks and palmettos. Where as most hangers are concerned about keep their butts warm, we are concerned about keeping bugs from sucking out all of our blood or getting our butts chomped by a leaping lizard! I invite you all to share where you love to hang and what trails are most and least friendly. It may be flat here, but it is a tough place to hike with unique challenges. I would love to hear what all others have to share about hammocks, survival techniques, special adaptations and so on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TFC Rick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flackfizer View Post
    Hey All--
    Let's face it--we Florida Swamp Runners are a different breed.

    Indeed we are! I have not yet stept out into the great Florida wilderness (as I do not yet have a bug net, and you know we need them here) and am also curious where other swamplanders have hung and what challenges they have faced.

    Rick

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I agree that Florida isn't exactly a hiker's paradise! In fact, I only hke here at home in mid-winter, which is sort of like the edges of summer anyplace else.

    Yes, the challenges are many ... bug spray, don't leave home without it! Our famous gators, which are numerous, are like our black bears, don't bother them and they won't bother you.

    I did once have an encounter with a panther, or more accurately, I was having an encounter with a raccoon who was stalking my camp, looking for some food to steal. It was just as dusk was turning to dark, but I had seen the raccoon, but neither of us saw the panther until it attacked! It was over in a split second for the raccoon who let out a half screech. The panther vanished as quickly as it had appeared, uninterested in me.

    Despite the heat, I always wear long pants because we have a lot of thorny stuff as well as sawgrass. That's just what it sounds like, blades a grass a few feet long with serrated edges that will slice & dice bare skin.

    I also wear gaiters that I made from breathable 330 denier nylon that makes me a little more comfortable here in snake heaven! They are not "snakeproof" but, between the gaiters, long pants & socks, that vermin will have to work at getting much venom into me. I'm not willing to wear anything heavier or hotter on my legs.

    As the original poster stated it so appropriately, between trudging through swamps, torrential tropical thunderstorms & 100% humidity, just count on being wet!

    One last item: it's surprising how tired one can get when walking through loose sand all day, even though the terrain is flat.

    I don't know this for a fact, but I suspect that the total length of trails in Florida compared to its population, is pretty low. That's just my guess.
    Last edited by MAD777; 09-13-2010 at 13:40. Reason: sp.

  4. #4
    Flackfizer's Avatar
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    Gramici makes a quick dry long legged water pant. It is a great item. Harder to find than they used to be. Mine are ten or more years old and the crotch is all blown out. On the trail thigh, who cares. I have not given in to gaiters, but i might yet. It is also worth noting that you get covered in those **** yellow spiders nests no matter how hard you try to swat them all down with your Leki! Do you think the state tourist commission will pay us for this thread?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Muskrat's Avatar
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    Such memories . . . grew up in Orlando and camped throughout the state. Sounds of screamin' mosquitoes in my ears at 2:00 in the morning along the St John's River still haunt me today. The feel of walking through a banana spider's web and not knowing where the 6" spider is will motivate you into a hysterical fit for 10 minutes. . . then having you feel like something is crawling down your shirt for the next hour (Ocala Ntl. Forest).
    “He doesn't know the meaning of the word fear, but then again he doesn't know the meaning of most words”
    - Bobby Bowden

  6. #6
    Senior Member muttly's Avatar
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    Lived south of Tallahassee in the early 90's and on Pine Island from 2001-2003. Slept in a net hammock near Ochlockonee Bay and had the tide come in and go out under us at night. It was only about 6 inches deep, anyway. Would love to hang some more down around that area, but in my Speer dosed with permethrin. I like this thread, good stuff.
    Ken T.

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    "With your eyes closed you can't tell the difference between Tyvek and Cuben." - Knotty

  7. #7
    Flackfizer's Avatar
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    Banana spiders! I tried to tell myself that I just did not care how many webs I face planted. I just let them build up since you always miss one no matter how vigilant one is. I let the little hitchhikers come along. Since you can't stop it might as well accept it. But let's talk bug nets. I am using the eno guard, but it is heavy and it rests on my shoulders when I lay flat in the hammock. What ideas have people?

  8. #8
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Fortunately, the banana spiders in Florida aren't too aggressive and only leave a mark or small welt similar to many insects. Not to be confused with the Brazilian Wandering spider also called banana spider due to it's fondness of hanging in banana trees. That one can be deadly, but it's not in Florida.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flackfizer View Post
    Banana spiders! I tried to tell myself that I just did not care how many webs I face planted. I just let them build up since you always miss one no matter how vigilant one is.
    That's what I used to do! Grew up in Ocala and have lots of experience with these beauties. In the Early 90's I helped build the Santos mnt bike trails from the beginning and there were many a times I'd go through web after web with spiders crawling on me somewhere. They usually just drop down to the ground and you'd forget about them. The web is orange yellow and very very strong! I'd just let my airvents be covered by the web and wouldn't worry about anything going in and getting stuck between the helmet and my head. They're kind of freaky and from what I hear, have a painful bite too. I've had hundreds on me and never got bite
    _____________________________________________
    "I wish outer space guys would conquer the Earth and make people their
    pets, because I’d like to have one of those little beds with my name on it.
    " Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

  10. #10
    Senior Member Funny Money's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Banana Spiders and Fire Ants!!!!! Copperheads are fun, too!

    Gaiters keep a lot of sand and debris out. Southeast US humidity adds to the comfy feel of a Banana Web.
    -- Funny Money
    ------------------
    Love 'em while you got 'em

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