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  1. #1
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    Where do you all find places to hammock camp?

    I am completely new to this experience and have a few questions about location, location, location.

    I am on my way to phoenix and plan to hammock camp all the way up to salt lake city. I have called ahead to a few national parks and state parks and the rangers I have spoken to have no idea what I am talking about when I ask if I am permitted to hammock camp. Some have said, it is mandatory that we use a designated campsite, etc. Other park rangers have said that we cannot park our car overnight without being in a campsite, etc.

    How do I go about finding places that will allow me to hammock camp out in the forest like I see so many of you all do? What permits are you getting? Where do you park you vehicles? And any other information would be incredibly helpful.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    On trips like that I've often used the atlas and looked for green areas denoting Nat. Forests...out west I've also used BLM land. Many times in the west you have to go up in altitude to find trees but there are forests all over the west you can hang in.
    About asking the rangers....I've hung in at least 70 national park units of the 351 I've either hiked/biked/paddled or simply visited and NEVER had a problem with the feds. State parks are another matter....and as an aside to this, do you know the old adage about asking for forgiveness versus permission?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bomber's Avatar
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    I just look for trees

    Seriously though: i use Google Earth a lot(which at times can be rather interesting as their photo-maps isn't up to date). And other hikers can be a good resource for valid info.

    And as MM is saying: think about forgiveness versus permission
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  4. #4
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    or better yet don't get caught in the first place and the hammock really gives you an edge in stealthing. Just hang where no normal human wants to even walk.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kobold's Avatar
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    i look at google earth at max magnification to check for trees at the location beforehand

  6. #6
    Senior Member KP's Avatar
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    In a nutshell all State Parks require you to pay/reserve a site to camp. You must stay at a designated site whether it be the type that you drive up and park at your site or whether you park in a State Park parking lot/trailhead and hike in to a backcountry site. When you ask a Park Ranger about hammock camping just leave the word camping out of the question. They already know you intend to camp. Just ask if you can hang a hammock at your site. Most State Parks allow it but some don't.

    For Federal wilderness areas there is no need to ask about hanging a hammock. Just do it and remember the Leave No Trace principals. If there is a bunch of green on the map than there are trees to hang from. Parking: There is a thing called a trailhead. That is where most folks will leave their vehicle or get dropped off and backpack in. If you pick up a detailed topo map you will see known/named trails and most will show trailheads. Some trailheads are tough to get to while others are easy. Not all trails have trailheads. Some trails are only accessible by taking another trail to get to it and so on and so forth. This information could go on and on.

    Lastly, I don't want to make you feel bad or discourage you because I do encourage you to get out there and experience the great outdoors. Until you get more experience I suggest that you stick with places that don't require navigation, map or compass skills. You might want to go with someone with experience or stick to trails that are well traveled and well marked. There are actually quite a few of them.

    Good luck to you and remember to have fun.

  7. #7
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    Welcome to the Forum.

    Established campgrounds can be hit or miss when it comes to hanging. They are set up to accomodate tents and/or RVs. If they have tent pads, they usually require the shelter to be on the pad. In high use areas this makes good management sense. But because pads are by design without trees for the sake of a tent, it makes it hard to hang. Some folks overcome this obstacle by using a hammock stand for car camping with a hammock. You may want to have a "go to ground" option (ie tent) in the car just in case. Won't be the most comfy, but it'll keep you out in the woods.

    To find trees, it's usually best to find National Forest or other public land. The regs are not as extensive and unless it's marked otherwise, you can generally camp where you want to. This often requires a hike in, even if it's only a short distance.

    Permits requirements vary for each location, so check ahead of time.

    Hammocks are becoming more popular, but are still a fairly new idea to most people, so like Sherpa said, just leave the mention of hammocks out of the discussion to avoid confusion. Not to hide anything, just keep it simple.

    One resource is to search the forum or the web for info about an area you plan on visiting. Others who have been there can be a wealth of info. It sounds like you're new to camping too. My best advice is to keep it simple, and learn from others who've been doing it for a while.

    Hope you have a good trip.

  8. #8
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    ABCD, are you hammock camping or saving on hotel rooms. Big difference as in where to hang. The state park thing has been answered above so I will address the room issue. Hammocks are a great way to travel and not get a room. Look for hotels off the highway in smaller town. Most will have wooded areas next to them. This gives you a place to park and sneak into the woods. truck stops are the best cause you can shower in the morning. Hope this helps.
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  9. #9
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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the responses. I guess I needed some reassurances from everyone about how you all hammocked and if there were really enough trees I have looked at maps and arials (I am not very good with topographic maps so I don't stray very far) and read all the regulations on various websites but I was still a bit hesitant.

    My hubbie and I have always been tent campers using the designated campground spaces, checking in with the rangers, parking in designated spots, etc. In some places the rangers have been rude. I guess they get a lot of squatters because I kept getting asked to show payment receipts or my annual pass, etc. One ranger wrote down my license plate # because I wasn't back from my hike to my car EXACTLY at 5pm. He was writing a warning ticket as I walked up. I thought maybe it was because I could be lost but NO.

    I have always been super cooperative and nice. I try to follow all the rules. I have become over paranoid about getting into trouble or doing something wrong because I didn't know any better.

    Also a friend got all of her gear stolen out of her car last year while parked in a state park so I am kind of nervous about everything. Nothing like that has ever happened to us. We have only ever met great people while camping. But the more I invest in equipment the more worried I get...LOL.

    We are new to hammock camping. I only discovered this method of camping 4 weeks ago. We have been preparing by watching all of your great YOUTUBE videos and doing small tests in the local park. I will post some of our pics when we get out there and really try this. It's do or die this Saturday, day 1.

    I look forward to reading more posts.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABCD View Post
    In some places the rangers have been rude.
    I have heard of and experienced the Bureau of Land Management areas being more relaxed for use by travelers. Might seek green spots managed by them instead of Forrest Service.
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

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