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  1. #1
    New Member MaxM's Avatar
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    New to HF's from Seattle

    Hey all,

    I wasn't gonna post one of these, but i quickly noticed that I'm one of very few west coast hangers. Which is a disappointing thought. It isn't called the Great Pacific Northwest for no reason! Hiking over here is amazing but the vast mountain ranges can be hard on your back for multi-day trips. Its not terrible, but when backpacking with a group you can run out of tent space quickly.

    I've been going on camping trips regularly since my mom got me started in Scouts when i was 9. I finally got my Eagle, right at the deadline of 18. But following that I did not hike or camp for a long time, until I realized how long it had been. I was so out of shape it was necessary to find a light-weight pack solution. I decided that Hammocks were the way to go.

    I more or less stumbled on the idea myself and then found HH's online, and in the Cabela's catalog. These designs were far too simple to pay so much money for, so I went to a fabric store, which my single mother of 3 had dragged me through since i was little, and asked her to sew up my spear-type. I've used it 5 or 6 times. Now I'm working on v2 and a down-incorporating version, like JustJeff's downhammock, but my own design.

    This is much longer than I wanted, but, just one more thing. I have noticed we over here have a huge problem, from the light weight perspective, that has two parts. They stem from differences between Seattle, and the ENTIRE East coast.
    1) Its mostly flat over there, which means that you guys are less severely punished for your weight. You cannot but run into a mountain here, which makes weight that much more important. That much more worth attaining.
    2) Your trees are TIIIIIIIINY. This has been a real problem for me. The average evergreen over here (which is what we run into most) are 5' around. And waaaay farther apart then your trees. Conservatively, 75% of the time both the support trees are gonna be 5'+ around. I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. That means I am carrying 12' just for webbing, which leaves no extra, most cases the ends barely meet.
    Since the trees are so far apart, i need to span atleast 12' from tree to hammock end. If I expect rain, which NEVER happens here, thats another 20' minimum. Plus guy lines. So I'm already at 60' of suspension. Well 40 for suspension, 20 for a ridgeline.

    I can't lose the idea of using a hammock. Its too awesome and free!!! But its getting hard to justify as a 'simple' solution.

    Any thoughts on these difficulties would be helpful. I think about it all the time. Light strong rope is all I can see so far. Right now I am using something called Hercu-line. I got at my old jobsite. Left over from a utilities company. I think its 1/2'' polyp. I'm not sure there is anything to do.

    Sorry for the length! I have been jealous of your trees for a while now. I can't stop puzzling over this problem.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mindwalk's Avatar
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    Hello MaxM from a fellow Washingtonian.

    1st simple solution: Amsteel!, made right here in Bellingham, WA. Nice light wight material that works great for pretty much everything! There are numerous posts about it.

    I still prefer webbing for my hammock itself though, just because it's easier to setup that way. As far as the trees being too big or too far apart, that's the great thing about WA, there's plenty of them everywhere. All you really need is 2 tress 15 to 30 feet apart. Finding 2 tress isn't usually the difficult part, it's finding 2 trees without other obstacles in the way of setting up.

    Anyways, I'm fairly new at all this myself. All I can say is to keep your eyes on this site and learn. It's a great place to get info.

    ~Mindwalk

  3. #3
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    Welcome MaxM! If you hadn't seen it yet, take a look at the video Buenos did of the group hang that happened about a month ago. There are a few of us Western Washington types around and it sounds like there will be another trip coming up this summer where we can all meet up too.

    I carry 10' treehuggers and, as Mindwalk mentioned, amsteel whoppie slings and haven't had many trees I couldn't deal with. Your herculine sounds like it will work too but I don't know what the weight on it is. 7/64" amsteel will actually take more force than than 1/4" herculine, but stick with what you got unless there is some other problem.

  4. #4
    Running Feather's Avatar
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    Welcome MaxM. Sounds like good advice in the previous posts. Looking forward to your posts concerning dilemma resolution!

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "

  5. #5
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    MaxM both of those WA posts gave great advice and I hope to see you at next winters hang. Tree hugged to Amsteel or Dynaglide whoops if you want th lightest solution.
    Welcome to the forum!
    Bat
    Beginning my NOBO trip on the AT on 2/28/12.

  6. #6
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum MaxM. I agree that the northwest is a great place to hang out. You're right in that the perfect spot you come across to spend the night may only have large diam trees and not the optimal distance apart. I've only been using hammocks for a couple years and haven't given up the security of 15' straps at each end of the hammock for suspension. This year I'm vowing to cut those straps in half and make myself some whoopie slings out of 7/64" amsteel.

    As previous posters have said, check out Amsteel (http://www.reddenmarine.com/view_dep...bcategory=5313) You should see an advanatage in both weight and bulk over the 1/2" polyp.

    Goat Rocks and Alpine Lakes Wilderness's are my favorite places to hike. Maybe we'll cross paths someday.
    Dan

  7. #7
    New Member MaxM's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    I wasn't expecting all these replies, but i am sure am glad for them! I just found out about AmSteel last night by reading through the suspension section and I do agree that it sounds like the way to go. I even saw they make 1/16''. I know that would not be environmentally acceptable in the East, but over here with the large pines i'm not so sure it would hurt anything, though I will probably go with the 7/64'' when it fits my budget.

    That really sucks about the campout. I totally would have gone. I have been doing major cold weather/underquilt materials scavenging the last month. HA I even found a GIGANTIC vintage eddie bauer down rectangle bag at the st. vincent de paul in renton for... are you ready? $6.99!!! Its got great loft too. It weighs about 10lbs but my mom is gonna help me pull the down and re-sew it into a 1.3oz ripstop underquilt anyway.

    Thanks for all the advice. I bought splicing needles at Harbor freight today for .51 cents. Looking forward to learning. And a group hang would be awesome anytime. Looking forward to it, hope I'm not hiking somewhere else!

    Thanks all!

  8. #8
    New Member MaxM's Avatar
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    Alpine lakes eh?? My favorite lake is up there. Skykomish, Wa, called Big Heart Lake. I don't know the trail #.
    From the trail head you hike past Trout Lake and then Copper Lake, then straight up the mountain to (very) Little Heart and then Big Heart. If you feel like bush whacking, there is an old lake called Agatha I think too, but its surrounded by shear cliffs on the North??? side so we couldn't get to it.

    Do you know any of these???

  9. #9
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxM View Post
    Alpine lakes eh?? My favorite lake is up there. Skykomish, Wa, called Big Heart Lake. I don't know the trail #.
    From the trail head you hike past Trout Lake and then Copper Lake, then straight up the mountain to (very) Little Heart and then Big Heart. If you feel like bush whacking, there is an old lake called Agatha I think too, but its surrounded by shear cliffs on the North??? side so we couldn't get to it.

    Do you know any of these???
    I've scoped those lakes out on the map but haven't made it there... yet. I've mainly been in the Waptus and Spectacle lake areas which I believe is farther south from the area you're describing.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19522

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wa-Hangman's Avatar
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    A big Welcome from the other side of the Cascades!
    The Woooods!

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