Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 57

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Senior Member genegene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Washington, Ma
    Hammock
    Warbonnet 1.7DL
    Tarp
    W.B. BMJ
    Posts
    266

    Hammocks and Lightning

    OK I know that this might be a bad Question to ask but:

    After seeing one of shugs vids and how nervous he looked in it only got me to thinking more about hammocking and Lightning.

    During a rain storm where there is lightning striking around you, while you are in a hammock are you more likely to get hit by a strike then being on the ground in a tent.

    What is the likely hood that you could survive a strike in a hammock if one of the trees that you are hanging from gets hit?

    Here are my thoughts so please correct me on them. This is something that shug never talked about in his vids and maybe because he didn't want to scare people away if my thoughts are correct

    1) My normal senses are telling me that Shug was very nervous about the possibility of getting hit up on that ridge. I doubt it was so much about being in a hammock but because of there location on the ridge.

    2) Its a 50/50 shot of getting hit being in a hammock or on the ground.

    3) I doubt that one could survive a lightning strike if there hammock is attached to the tree that is being hit

    Im new to hammocking so please excuse my couriosity on this subject. I will not stop hammocking what ever the answers but make me more aware of some dangers.

    Gene G.

  2. #2
    grok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dayton, Tn.
    Hammock
    DIY
    Tarp
    DIY
    Insulation
    none yet
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    451
    Quote Originally Posted by genegene View Post
    OK I know that this might be a bad Question to ask but:

    After seeing one of shugs vids and how nervous he looked in it only got me to thinking more about hammocking and Lightning.

    During a rain storm where there is lightning striking around you, while you are in a hammock are you more likely to get hit by a strike then being on the ground in a tent.

    What is the likely hood that you could survive a strike in a hammock if one of the trees that you are hanging from gets hit?

    Here are my thoughts so please correct me on them. This is something that shug never talked about in his vids and maybe because he didn't want to scare people away if my thoughts are correct

    1) My normal senses are telling me that Shug was very nervous about the possibility of getting hit up on that ridge. I doubt it was so much about being in a hammock but because of there location on the ridge.

    2) Its a 50/50 shot of getting hit being in a hammock or on the ground.

    3) I doubt that one could survive a lightning strike if there hammock is attached to the tree that is being hit

    Im new to hammocking so please excuse my couriosity on this subject. I will not stop hammocking what ever the answers but make me more aware of some dangers.

    Gene G.
    heh heh. yep. Talked to my seven year old yesterday about the odds of getting struck. told him to buy a lottery ticket if it happened! We also had a good laugh when I told him it would blow his toes off!
    God let me be the man that my dog thinks I am

  3. #3
    X-Lem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SE WA
    Hammock
    Skeeter Beeter
    Insulation
    down bag, pad
    Suspension
    strap,biner,D-ring
    Posts
    247
    Question I've wondered about also. Those with more experience will be able to provide better information.

    My initial thoughts were this:
    1 - electricity follows the path of least resistance. Why would it travel down the entire tree and then divert into the hammock suspension.
    2 - I usually hike where there are hundreds of trees. What are the odds that lightning will strike one of the two that I'm hanging from?
    3 - Lightning should be attracted to the tree with the highest elevation. Don't hang from the tree that is the tallest in the area.

    Google searched shows this has been discussed before:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=15897

    http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread...htning+hammock

    I enjoy a good lightning storm. Hopefully never get zapped.
    DanD76
    If all else fails, have fun!

  4. #4
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Hammock
    DIY - Canoe Hammock
    Tarp
    DIY Hex Tarp
    Insulation
    DIY TQ and UQ
    Suspension
    DIY UCRs
    Posts
    2,014
    Images
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by X-Lem View Post
    Question I've wondered about also. Those with more experience will be able to provide better information.

    My initial thoughts were this:
    1 - electricity follows the path of least resistance. Why would it travel down the entire tree and then divert into the hammock suspension.
    2 - I usually hike where there are hundreds of trees. What are the odds that lightning will strike one of the two that I'm hanging from?
    3 - Lightning should be attracted to the tree with the highest elevation. Don't hang from the tree that is the tallest in the area.

    Google searched shows this has been discussed before:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=15897

    http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread...htning+hammock

    I enjoy a good lightning storm. Hopefully never get zapped.
    DanD76
    Well I understand the whole thing about least resistance but from experience I can tell you lightning does some odd stuff sometimes.
    I have several acres of land and in the past 4 years 5 Trees have been taken out in my yard.
    Example 1: Lightning hit the Poplar in my front yard which is at least 30 feet shorter than the Yellow Pine standing right beside it. The lightning traveled all the way down the inside of the trunk and blew out the side of the tree about 5 feet up from the ground and then arched out and hit the ground. At least that's what my neighbor who witnessed it said it did. The tree looked like someone had placed dynamite inside it and blew out the side of the tree.
    Tree lived but had to be taken down because it was a risk to my neighbors house during high-wind storms.

    Example 2: 60 Ft pine in my front yard standing next to some other larger oaks and Pines, gets hit and the lightning looks to have run down the side of the tree stripping off the bark in a sort-of spiral/zig zag pattern.

    Example 3: Large Oak in side yard gets hit. Didn't see it directly but the yard lit up orange when it happened. Knocked off large branch from top of tree. Tree is dead few months later.

    Example 4: Small poplar that stands next to dead oak which got hit the year before now gets hit. Sets the ground on fire but rain shows up and puts it out. At least that's what looked like happened from the evidence. Wasn't home for that one. My yard is mostly leaves and pine needles from all the trees so ground is just ripe for a fire. And they say lightning doesn't strike the same place twice...Well it gets darn close.

    Example 5: Large 90ft pine further back in the woods gets hit. Died rather quickly and fell over after a year.

    It seems that it doesnt matter the height of a tree or type of tree or diameter for that matter. Lightning will strike anywhere it wants to and bounce off of things and travel along the ground. The path of least resistance maybe true but that path can be twisted and jagged.


    Side note: The only thing I can think of to lower the risk of shock is to redirect the path of least resistance away from you. A small gage copper wire with no insulation running down the opposite side of the tree from your suspension to the ground would give it better path away from you. The problem with this is, now you have attracted lightning to your location with the copper wire...lol Its a double edged sword. Probably your best bet would be to get 50-60ft of small awg copper wire and tie it to a stick and toss the stick over a limb of another tree 100yards away and hope that tree get hit instead of yours. Lol

    Lightning has so much voltage that it can arc great distances.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Hammock
    DIY Gathered End 1.1 Single Layer
    Tarp
    BWD WinterDream
    Insulation
    DIY IX UQ & Syn TQ
    Suspension
    2mm Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    94
    Images
    6
    If you are sitting in your hammock when lightning strikes a tree that you a attached to, it is unlikely that any electrical current will pass through you because you are not the most direct path to ground. And unless your treehuggers, woopies and nylon hammock are all soaked, none of those are very good conductors anyway. Now, that is not to say that their wouldn't be catastrophic damage to the tree that could result in any number of things that could kill you (i.e. falling limbs, wood shrapnel, fire, etc.).

    Statistically, I'd say there is less of a chance of being struck if you are in a hammock vs. on the ground. But in a tent you are on a insulating pad that would make you fairly non-conductive so you are probably pretty safe there too.

    But like I said above, I wouldn't be worried about the lightning it self, but the aftermath of the strike on the trees around me.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brunswick, MD
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas533 View Post
    If you are sitting in your hammock when lightning strikes a tree that you a attached to, it is unlikely that any electrical current will pass through you because you are not the most direct path to ground. And unless your treehuggers, woopies and nylon hammock are all soaked, none of those are very good conductors anyway. Now, that is not to say that their wouldn't be catastrophic damage to the tree that could result in any number of things that could kill you (i.e. falling limbs, wood shrapnel, fire, etc.).

    Statistically, I'd say there is less of a chance of being struck if you are in a hammock vs. on the ground. But in a tent you are on a insulating pad that would make you fairly non-conductive so you are probably pretty safe there too.

    But like I said above, I wouldn't be worried about the lightning it self, but the aftermath of the strike on the trees around me.
    i will have to disagree about this comment. i was standing about 75' from a telephone pole that got hit by lightning and got a substantial shock and tasted my fillings for a long while. Just being around all that energy as it is let lose is enough to hurt you. i don't think there is a difference between a tent and a hammock it is just the fact that you are outside during a lightning storm that puts you in danger.
    Christian, husband of one, father to eight and i love to fish!

  7. #7
    dakotaross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Chamblee, GA
    Hammock
    DL Streamliner
    Tarp
    Toxaway w/doors
    Insulation
    JRB and/or HG
    Suspension
    webbing/buckle
    Posts
    936
    Images
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dawg View Post
    ...I do know from actual eye ball experience that more than shock is a concern. Trees can split and explode when struck...
    Yeah, I would think the risk of getting pummeled by debris after a strike is a lot more likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas533 View Post
    ...it is unlikely that any electrical current will pass through you because you are not the most direct path to ground... unless your treehuggers, woopies and nylon hammock are all soaked...
    Hmmm... plastic coated dutch clips?

  8. #8
    Senior Member fred1diver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Gatineau, qc, canada
    Hammock
    diy DL HH explorer asym w/shelf
    Tarp
    jrb hex spinn
    Insulation
    winter crowsnest
    Suspension
    whoopies/toggles
    Posts
    357
    yaeh, personally I think that since your off the ground, hence not grounded, your not closing the circuit, you should be fine (don't sue if you get zapped ) but on the other hand I've seen a tree snap in two when it got hit by a lightning bolt (before catching on fire), so I'm not sure what conclusion to really make, in a way your safer but in another your not
    someone call mythbusters and have them find out
    that would be too cool to see!

  9. #9
    Senior Member genegene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Washington, Ma
    Hammock
    Warbonnet 1.7DL
    Tarp
    W.B. BMJ
    Posts
    266
    Quote Originally Posted by fred1diver View Post
    someone call mythbusters and have them find out
    that would be too cool to see!
    I'll post that on there website and see what others think

  10. #10
    L.D. Cakes's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Holston Mtn. Foothills
    Hammock
    Custom Gathered End
    Tarp
    Macat Ultra,UGQ WD
    Insulation
    Incubator/Burrow
    Suspension
    Whoopies/Dutchware
    Posts
    3,218
    Images
    81
    Quote Originally Posted by fred1diver View Post
    someone call mythbusters and have them find out
    that would be too cool to see!
    That's the best idea of investigation I've heard so far! Mythbuster's Rock!

    My first expiriance in a hammock was in a spring thunderstorm on the side of a ridge. We hiked in in a driving rain and I was soaked to the bone. Oh yeah and the tarp was leaking right over my head! I solved that with the small piece of Tyvec I carry though, put on the dryest clothes I had and with wet hair, I tried to sleep. I laid awak all night as the cells passed over worrying if I was soon to become a crispy critter any second!

    It all being borrowed equipment I didn't complain much, but I was mad as hell and wanted my nice dry tent where I could spread out and feel safe!
    I obviously got over it....

    We aren't completely safe anywhere during a lightning storm, not in a tent or hammock or shelter. All we can do is take proper precautions to decrease the risks. But when it comes right down to it.... survival may simply depend on how fast we can get out of the way when it hits the fan!
    Love many, trust few & always paddle your own canoe. American Proverb

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •