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  1. #1
    New Member mayday's Avatar
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    Hammock Hanging In Great Smokies...the Official Word

    Hammock hangers- Much has been asked on threads regarding hanging hammocks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I spend a lot of time there and have many contacts. I have copied an email here that I received from a ranger friend of mine that I told her would be posted here. She was very supportive of hammock hanging! Basicly the NPS rule is "hammocks are welcome...just don't damamge the trees." Here, read for yourself.

    ******* BEGINING OF FORWARDED MESSAGE *****
    "At this time, the Park Service has nothing stated in the compendium regarding use of hammocks in the backcountry. Hammocks create practically no impact to ground cover foilage, as do tents. The issue, as far as impact, would be to the trees to which they are attached. As long as care is taken to protect the integrity and health of the tree, hammocks, in my opinion are a great alternative to tent camping.

    As for shelter sites, hammocks, just like tents, are prohibited, unless one meets the criteria for an Appalachain Trail thru-hiker. Thru-hikers understand that if the shelters are full they are required to tent in close proximity of the shelter. The same would apply to hammocks.

    If you have any further questions, please contact the Backcountry Information Office @865-436-1297, and we will be happy to assist you.

    Thanks for your care and thoughtful planning, regarding use of the backcountry."

    ******* END OF FORWARDED MESSAGE *******

    There ya go! Hang those hammocks!

    Jeff "Moonpie" Wadley
    Maryville, TN.

  2. #2
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    close proximity....that narrows it down
    full shelter? so each shelters occupancy is stated at the shelter? I don't remember occupancy placards.
    I've been in the Smokies many times...its a big place, so big you have to wonder about stealthing....

  3. #3
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    WhooHooo, hammocking in the GSMNP allowed!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  4. #4
    New Member Capt-Kevlar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great info. Got a trip coming up in a few weeks. Now I know for sure. And knowing, is half the battle

  5. #5
    New Member mayday's Avatar
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    If you have a reservation you must stay in the shelter. If you are a through hiker you must stay "in close proximity" and can use a hammock! Number of spots are listed on the trail map and online at nps.gov/grsm under camping.

  6. #6
    New Member mayday's Avatar
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    I have stealthed a few times. The way to deal with the maximum capacity is to avoid the AT during the northbound migration of through hikers altogether.

  7. #7
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mayday View Post
    If you have a reservation you must stay in the shelter.
    Well, not exactly "if you have a reservation," since everyone is required to have a reservation. Even thru-hikers must self-register, if nothing else. But any other hikers MUST obtain a reservation in advance. Right?

    Rain Man

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  8. #8
    New Member mayday's Avatar
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    Thru-hikers do not need a permit/reservation...but must give up their slot at the shelter if the shelter is full due to permit holders. Thus "If you have a reservation". Everyone else must have a permit (reservation). Thru-hikers do not need to self-register or have a permit.

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    So how do you handle the shelter requirement while hammocking? Specifically, I use an UQ with my hammock (no pad). But if I'm going to stay in a shelter, then I need to also take a pad of some sort. That's a lot of extra bulk and weight in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Mrprez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayday View Post
    Thru-hikers do not need a permit/reservation...but must give up their slot at the shelter if the shelter is full due to permit holders. Thus "If you have a reservation". Everyone else must have a permit (reservation). Thru-hikers do not need to self-register or have a permit.
    Has something changed? Care to quote your source? According to GSMNP current regulations, everyone in the back country is required to have a permit. Thru hikers do not need to make reservations but are required to register before entering the park and marking their permit as "Thru Hiker". They are also required to stay in the shelters unless the shelter is full and then they are required to camp in the vicinity of the shelter. Again, unless something has changed these are the rules as I know them.

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