View Poll Results: If a Hammock Camping Merit Badge Group-buy is offered, I would order:

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  1. #21
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Hammock safety- tripping over tarp guy-lines, 'clotheslining' on ridge line or hammock suspension,
    advantage; demonstrate how a tarp/hammock can provide sleep in a place a tent cannot be used.
    just a couple of thoughts, KM

  2. #22
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Requirement 1 should definately be:
    1) Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while hammocking, including minor cuts and abrasions, bruises, hypothermia, frostbite, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, altitude sickness, and CBS.

    Additionally, some requirements should focus on the use of rope, knots and splices specific to hammocking: (Nowhere in BSA is there any exposure to single or double braid splicing, and I think this is a gross oversight!)
    2) Tie the following: square knot, Prussick knot, marlinspike hitch, garda hitch. Demonstrate the proper use of a figure 9.
    3) Explain the uses for the continuous loop, eye and whoopie loop. Using 7/64" or 1/8" Amsteel, demonstrate how to form each splice.

    Certainly there should be an "experience" component:
    4) Show experience in hammocking by hammocking a total of at least 5 nights. Sleep each night (with or without a tarp) in a hammock you have hung. The 5 nights must be at a designated Scouting activity or event. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement if you forego the pre-pitched tent and cot for a hammock you have pitched.

    Now that's more in the spirit of merit badge requirements!
    “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

  3. #23
    Senior Member perdidochas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post
    how have you gotten past the buddy system for sleeping? My son just crossed over and his troop is pretty resistant to allowing the use of a hammock.
    My boys' troop requires the buddy system until they are Star scouts. It's an incentive to reach that rank. It also makes it so that the Scouts sleeping solo are fairly experienced and thus can be trusted. My oldest is almost Second/First Class (has about the same left on both ranks), and is looking forward to becoming a Star Scout so that he can start hammocking, at least part time.

  4. #24
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post
    how have you gotten past the buddy system for sleeping? My son just crossed over and his troop is pretty resistant to allowing the use of a hammock.
    There are no existing national guidelines to my knowledge that require a Scout to share a sleeping shelter with another Scout. While my Troop encourages younger Scouts to share a tent with a buddy, we do not require it.

    My sons have, on occasion, slept alone even as Cub Scouts. My youngest son tented alone this past weekend.

    Often, the easiest way to disspell a "policy myth" is to very politely ask for guidence in finding the written policy. Your Troop may have adopted this policy, but it is not required by national.

    This is from page 31 of the Guide to Safe Scouting.
    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416.pdf

    3. Buddy System. The long history of the “buddy system”
    in Scouting has shown that it is always best to have at
    least one other person with you and aware at all times
    of your circumstances and what you are doing in any
    outdoor or strenuous activity.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Apollo2112's Avatar
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    That sounds awesome! I wish there was a real hammock MB so I could earn it...

    Show how to protect yourself from bugs when in a hammock.
    Show different methods of hammocking suitable for winter, fall/spring, and summer.
    Explain how hammocking follows the principals of leave no trace.
    Demonstrate two ways to properly hang a hammock.
    Know first aid for hammock related injuries.
    Show how to properly pitch a hammock tarp.
    Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using a full ridgeline versus rope connected to both ends of a tarp.
    Make a whoopie sling and demonstrate proper usage of it.
    Explain advantages/disadvantages of square tarps, diamond tarps, and catcut tarps.
    "You can fight, fight without ever winning,
    But you can never, ever win without a fight"
    -Rush

  6. #26
    Alamosa's Avatar
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    I would definitely have something about inspecting the gear and site for safety. Making sure the suspension and hammock bodies are of the appropriate weight, material, and undamaged. Checking the site for dangers above and below. Verifying anchor trees are alive and of an appropriate size.
    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
    (known as a win-win on this forum)

    Wood Stove Review Project Thread - http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=46450
    Tracking Spreadsheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...TZlVUtBNGQtU0E

  7. #27
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    My boys' troop requires the buddy system until they are Star scouts.
    Does your Troop allow First Class Scouts to attend OA Ordeal where they are "required to sleep alone, apart from other campers"?
    http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be confrontational. Just trying to point out that hammock camping is a viable option for any Boy Scout Troop's outdoor program.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaSmurf View Post
    Does your Troop allow First Class Scouts to attend OA Ordeal where they are "required to sleep alone, apart from other campers"?
    http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be confrontational. Just trying to point out that hammock camping is a viable option for any Boy Scout Troop's outdoor program.
    This really sounds like a troop policy more than a BSA policy.
    - William -

    How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. - Psalms 119:9

  9. #29
    Senior Member perdidochas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaSmurf View Post
    Does your Troop allow First Class Scouts to attend OA Ordeal where they are "required to sleep alone, apart from other campers"?
    http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be confrontational. Just trying to point out that hammock camping is a viable option for any Boy Scout Troop's outdoor program.
    That's the policy for troop camping. What the OA does is separate. It's not under the auspices of the troop. I think the main reason is to promote troop bonding for the first 10 or so campouts. I don't have a problem with it. I think the longer they sleep on the ground, the more they will appreciate hammocks. I spent my first camping trip sleeping totally on a hammock last weekend (with the Scouts). Best nights of sleep I've had yet with the Scouts.

  10. #30
    Senior Member tygr's Avatar
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    I would also include a demonstration and skill set that shows proper care and respect for trees.

    • determining a proper minimum diameter to hang from
    • demonstrate proper height of tree hugger to minimize stress on a tree
    • explain the benefits of tree huggers and their proper use
    • different types of barks and how they might be affected by hammocking
    • overall general care and consideration for trees and their role in the environment


    and... +1 on the pros/cons of hammocking as well as tent camping and how they benefit/are risks to the user and the environment.

    another +1 on first aid to hammocking related injuries.

    I would LOVE to see a push/movement to an official Hammocking merit badge. I'm Scoutmaster for Troop 1567 in Utah National Parks Council.

    I strongly believe that there is a misconception of hammocking and its effect on environment. It might be a two-part reason; 1. some hammockers don't know how to hang properly; and, 2. the policy makers are making decisions based on those hammockers.

    If we can get a movement/effort moving forward in our youth that demonstrates they know how to and respect the trees through proper demonstration of hammocking, then maybe the barriers that ban hammockers from some areas can be removed.
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