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  1. #21
    Senior Member kirkerik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampFoot View Post
    What I would worry about is this : Any tree has an abundance of water inside it , when lightning hits a tree it immediatly vaporizes the water content of the tree turning it into steam , the steam has no where to go but out which creates an "explosion" . If the tree is small enough in diameter it could create shrapnel of varying sizes , all of which would be wizzing through the air faster than a bullet .
    Define small enough? is it possible? I've seen evidence of a maybe 18" diameter tree hit by lightning. The tree (hemlock-a favorite)was in chards down to about my waist level. Big spear like splinters were thrown in many directions! Quite a distance too! OUCH! A large chard was maybe 15'-20' long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    They are quite dense and would squash a feller.....
    Then they could eat you - hahah Mushy breakfast time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelmcgo View Post
    I was just walking the woods by my cabin (20 year old pine) and saw a lot of trees that had recently been struck this spring. Most of them just exploded on the top and left about 15' remaining. I don't what kind of shrapnel is created, but they don't seem to ever explode down to the roots...
    see above - not quite down to the roots but pretty intense anyways.
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Marrianne Williamson Let your light shine!

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickbdunlap View Post
    I was listening to one of my backpacking podcasts and they were talking about what to do during a lighting storm. That got me wondering about being in a hammock during a storm.

    My assumption would be that there would be little reason for lighting to hit a tree and while going to the ground, decided that it wants to go through me between the trees. Lighting is chaos in motion so there is no telling what it will do but I think I am in about as much danger in the hammock as I would be sleeping on the ground.

    What do you guys think?
    I reckon you'd be safer in a cave!

  3. #23
    Senior Member SteelerNation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    AND speaking of such an accident!

    Bizzare bear accident!


    Not to derail the thread, but. . .



    I was subject to a pretty good shock when I was in the Army when a bolt of lightening struck our generator, traveled down our light-set cord which was, of course, just strung along the couple of inches of water that were collecting in our tent - which also happened to include a number of booted feet. Some folks got burned, but I just ended up knocked up into the air.

    Needless to say, I try to pay attention to it, but out in the piney-woods, sometimes you just have to hope for the best!

    SN
    Please visit my AmJustDuane YouTube channel

  4. #24
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    Glad you posted that, Steelernation. One of the concerns I've had is that people so often hear "electricity takes the shortest path to ground" and tend to believe that it means that if they're not the shortest path that the lightning isn't likely to be a risk.

    Some amount of it will take every path available to it to ground...how much depends on how much resistance that path offers...the more resistance, the lower the amount of current that will take that path.

    With lightning...even a "small amount" is well over what's lethal for people a LOT of times.

    When that lightning hit your generator...think about how much went through the ground rod (the majority)...then how much went through each leg available...and how many of those were less resistance than the path that went through you and the other guys in the tent? Other pieces of equipment probably also had ground rods, offering better paths.

    Had it been much more than the relatively miniscule amount that traveled into your tent via the light cords...it could have been MUCH worse.

    I'm not saying get out of your hammock in a storm...but I am saying that really there's hardly any true "safe place" in the piney woods during a thunderstorm...including a hammock.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Old River Rat's Avatar
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    I have had two major motorcycle accidents, one major car accident, and it was just not my time to go. That is the way I look at it. When it is your time, you will go.

    What are the changes you will die in a car accident, eaten by a bear, as compared to being struck by lightning while hanging in a hammock? Anyone have the answer?

  6. #26
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    I think the real question here has always been whether or not you're at any greater or lesser risk of death by lightning in a hammock versus being in any other form of camping shelter or simply out in the storm.

    And unless the shelter is a full structure, my personal opinion is that being in a hammock doesn't really increase or decrease your odds noticeably.

    It's not any safer nor more dangerous than being in a tent or simply being outdoors during a storm.

    Again...just my opinion.

    I still love the idea of having Mythbusters test this out for us though.

  7. #27
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post

    I still love the idea of having Mythbusters test this out for us though.
    I second that idea!

  8. #28
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    Safe in a cave? Not always.

    I recall reading an account in Accidents in American Mountaineering years ago of a small party of climbers who took shelter in what amounted to a "cave" (probably an overhang on the mountainside) during an electrical storm.

    The groundspike flowed down the mountainside, arced across the open air of the "cave" and rgrounded through several climbers on its way down the mountain. The climbers were probably not very deep inside the "cave" but it was the only shelter available. Now if the cave had been 100 feet in length, maybe the groundspike wouldnt have reached them. Speculation only.

    All one can do when caught in a lightning event is reduce your risk of strike. I doubt that there is any way to totally eliminate it.

    Jim
    And I like the MythBusters idea!

  9. #29
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    Perhaps an Oscillation Overthruster?

    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

  10. #30
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    Law Dawg...you're AWESOME!

    And here I thought I was the only person who knew about Buckaroo Banzai! It's a CLASSIC from back in the day.

    Sorry for the threadjack, but couldn't resist once this was posted.

    So...do we resubmit a new thread to Mythbusters, or does anyone know if there's a better way to send in suggestions?

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