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  1. #1
    jcreamer's Avatar
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    Hanging at Northern Tier and Leave No Trace questions

    My son and I are going to the Northern Tier scout base next summer. We are both avid hangers (can't get the rest of the scouts on board with this). Can we take our hammocks to the boundry waters? It would be lighter and absolutely more comfortable for me.
    Also, can anyone give me any insight into Leave No Trace and how they feel about hammock camping. I have a guy in our scout group that is a very experienced and avid backpacker (AT guy) and he insist that hammocking is not leave no trace.
    I think it is much more enviromentally friendly if done properly. Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcreamer View Post
    My son and I are going to the Northern Tier scout base next summer. We are both avid hangers (can't get the rest of the scouts on board with thishttp://www.hammockforums.net/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif). Can we take our hammocks to the boundry waters? It would be lighter and absolutely more comfortable for me.
    Also, can anyone give me any insight into Leave No Trace and how they feel about hammock camping. I have a guy in our scout group that is a very experienced and avid backpacker (AT guy) and he insist that hammocking is not leave no trace.
    I think it is much more enviromentally friendly if done properly. Your thoughts?
    No problems at all hanging in the Boundary Waters. I have done it several times (last time in September of this year,) and MrGreen did the Northern Route recently, hanging the entire way. Should be several threads on hanging in the Boundary Waters, and I know there are pics from MrGreen's trip somewhere.

    The friend with the Leave No Trace anti-hammock attitude should do some research. Properly hung, with tree straps, hammocks leave less of a trace than the footprint of a tent. I think Cannibal had a thread about this a year or two ago, quite a lengthy thread. You aren't compressing all the undergrowth, you hang above it. The tree straps spread the hammock load over a wider area than rope, and as long as you aren't using it on soft bark trees will not leave a mark. On certain types of pines found in the BWCA (like Red Pine,) you may scrape the outer bark or if you hang on a balsam you may compress the outer bark, but cedars and larger white pines are ideal, and there are also plenty of hardwoods like maple, birch, beech, ironwood, basswood and oak to be found. Hang in the BWCA, it is so much nicer than sleeping on the rocky tent pads that are everywhere there.

    BTW, are you going to the scout camp on Seagull Lake, or over to the Ely side?
    Last edited by fin; 11-23-2010 at 17:05. Reason: added request for location

  3. #3
    jcreamer's Avatar
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    We will be on the Ely side. Can't wait for the trip to get here - both of us! Thanks so much for your input.
    Good camping.
    Jeff

  4. #4
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    I agree hammocking in my opinion is totally LNT. When I'm done camping you would never have known I was there.
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

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  5. #5
    Senior Member MrGreen's Avatar
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    Welcome, jcreamer...

    You shouldn't have any second thoughts about using a hammock(with straps !) in the Boundy Waters. Just use your head when choosing your hanging site. Try to use mature trees, preferable over a tent pad. Look out for Widow Makers ! And remember that it may be August but it can get cold at night.

    As far as LNT goes... Since you will be staying in an established camp site, I prefer to think of it a Leave iT Nicer.
    Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho ~ Jambi

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Your friend needs to visit the LNT organization more often.

    I work with LNT from time to time when doing presentations on hammock camping since they are just around the corner in Boulder, CO. They are big supporters of hammock use in the backcountry. Here is a blog write-up from their website. You might notice the link at the bottom to "a great online Hammock Forum".

    Hammock Camping
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    One of my closest friends just this past weekend completed the LNT Master Trainer's course. It was a 40 hour program with the last 3 nights spend entirely on the trail. Quite a bit of time was spent on hammocking (there were 2 hammockers out of 8 participants), and her response was that it was being touted as LNT camping (when done right, as we preach and practice here).

    BTW, she borrowed my hammock for the weekend, her first hanging experience. Of course, she is now committed; but she wants to do it right and is researching the right gear.

    Our troop is hoping to do a Northern Tier trek summer 2012.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  8. #8
    dejoha's Avatar
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    I echo those thoughts about LNT and hammocking. I'm a LNT trainer and strongly encourage hammock camping as an alternative to tent camping.

  9. #9

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    Smile You could not tell...

    ...where I hung my hammock for my stay in the Bob Marshall Wilderness this Summer (August 2010).

    Well, OK... maybe a good tracker could have followed my footprints across the rocky ground to where I camped, then maybe somehow he/she could have discovered the two tiny holes in the ground left by my tie-out stakes.

    Compare that to the usual four or more stakes used by most tent campers.

    Compared to me, the bears did far more damage turning over every rock in sight looking for insects. Oh, yes, and also clawing and slashing trees and leaving __massive__ piles of fresh, warm scat all over the place.

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