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  1. #1
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Help me Pick A Hanging Site

    So the big tarp little tarp thread sparked this thought in my head. Ive been hanging for about a year now and the one thing id like to learn more about is how to select a site, what makes a good site selection, what geographical features should one be looking for. I havent paid much attention to it because I have a BWWD tarp that covers me in all directions but I do make it a point to not point into the wind. What geographical features should one look for to provide good weather protection along with useing a smaller tarp. You guys have taught me so much and Id like to down grade (or up grade depending on how you look at it) to a smaller tarp. But dont feel I neccessarly have the know how in picking a site that has good geographical features to help protect from weather/wind. Teach me HF show me the way to a good site.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mountainfitter's Avatar
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    When selecting a site the biggest thing I look for is widow makers since they can end your trip/life quicker then any wind or weather.

  3. #3
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Look for natural wind blocks, be it hill's, large shrubs/bushes! Also the position of your tarp in relation to the wind/rain/elements can have a huge effect on warmth, staying dry, etc...!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

    "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway

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  4. #4
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    if it's still light outside when you pick your trees, ALWAYS look up and check out the tree limbs. Dead ones right over you are a big NO-NO. Don't tie up to a dead tree either. Check for anything sharp right under you. If you're gonna have your gear on the ground, make sure it doesn't look like it could turn into a stream if it rains. I've had to find dead branches before and drag over to my hammock and position them around the edges of my tarp as a wind break. Make sure you know of any drop offs around you before you go stepping out in the middle of the night to pee!!! Make sure you don't tie off to the tallest tree around. If that's the only two trees, you probably should keep walking and try to find another spot with more trees.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Ditto on the widow makers. The first thing I do when picking a site is look up and look well. I look for broken limbs that might not be immediately obivous. I aslo look for nearby dead trees that may fall on me. It makes for a better nights sleep if the wind picks up.

    I'm in GA, so what we encounter most is thunderstorms and wind in the 3 seasons. Winter it rarely snows, but it rains a lot.

    I never camp in a bottom/valley, cold air settles there.

    There is some benefit (but not neccessary) to learning a little about weather and weather patterns and doesn't take a lot of studying to learn some basics.
    -What major system is affecting the area, High or Low Pressure, where I am located in the system -> which direction will the wind come from? Where will it shift to after it passes?
    -How does the terrain / mountains affect the localized weather.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Choose a site off and away from the trail . . .

    . . . the pathway could also be a game trail.

    Widow makers ???
    Choose smaller trees that have a health canopy of branches,
    that would slow or stop a WM.

    Sites beside fast water:
    Gives a nice (soothing?) constant ambiance
    that will drown out other night sounds
    that could keep you awake all night long . . .

    . . . conversely, the ambient water sound
    would drown out that one sound you would need as a warning . . .

    NOTE: When camping down river from Glaciers;
    In BC here we had a Glacier break loose
    and flowed down to a point where it damned the valley 2Km across,
    and when that broke . . .

    . . . no-one was injured.

    I know that sounds a little dramatic . . . but,
    Know the potential for overflow possibilities . . . is all.
    Bradley SaintJohn
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    "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things . . ." Jeremiah 33:3
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  7. #7
    sir_n0thing's Avatar
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    Everyone above me covered most of it well. But here's my general list of rules...
    1. Widowmakers. Dead branches, trees, etc. Avoid them!
    2. Know the general weather patterns for the area and a general idea of what you might encounter. For instance, in my area any weather is going to come from the west most of the time. Trends out of the south-west in spring and summer, out of the north-west in fall and winter. That can change, but 9 times out of ten it's coming from a westerly direction.
    3. Hills and valleys... It's usually cooler down in the valley. It's usually windier on top of the hill. Plan accordingly! In windy or inclement weather I like to be on the lee side of a hill when possible.
    4. Windy weather... See the hill comment above. Also look for features that can break the wind. Thick trees, underbrush, rocky outcroppings, etc.
    5. Water... it's generally cooler near water. Don't hang close to a river when there's a chance of heavy rain.
    6. Tarp pitch... I try to get a general broadside pitch against the wind. You can generally get the windward side down low and tight for protection, and in some cases have the lee side more open for view, ventilation, whatever. If for some reason I don't have a choice and am pitched length-wise against the wind, I'll put the foot end against the wind and try to pitch the foot end lower and close up that end of my tarp as much as I can, with the head end higher and more open. It's all about angles and deflection!
    "I know the feeling - It is the real thing - You can't refuse the embrace!" | "Go n-éirí an bóthar leat."

  8. #8
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Wow great info thanks everyone. Something that I look for as well is makeing sure their aren't any ant hills of an enormous size or dead wood underneath where I set my gear down to help keep some of the bugs out. I also look for the clearest spot available in order to not destroy any saplings or moss or critters living in the ground. Ants have feelings too
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  9. #9
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    Great info its helping me understand a bit more about hammock camping since i am new to this whole thing, but it is kind of similar to tent camping well at least for the widowmakers and trying to use some bushes to break the wind. Though I'm really liking the versatility in choosing sites hammocks allow people can't wait to purchase mine, and then go through the horrible waiting period

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