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  1. #1
    New Member Sassafras's Avatar
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    Hanging in a State Park Against the Rules?

    Just returned from a "Quick Trip" to Unicoi State Park where we reserved two walk in sites for a night. Even though we had packed our tents as a backup we were delighted to find two sites next to each other with the perfect trees right on the edges of the tent pads.
    Soooo we did what any hanger would do, we hung our hammocks and left the tents in the car!
    After setting up, we saw a ranger come by and record our name and site numbers while eating our lunch. Pretty uneventful until we decided to turn in and the ranger walking around to make sure everyone was observing quiet time came and asked us where our tents were!! We told him we were camping in hammocks and were told that was agains the rules.....that they were a safety hazard???
    He let us stay but the next morning, I read everything we got when checking in and could find no reference to hammocks being "against the rules."
    Just curious, has anyone had a similar experience? Not a big deal, we usually backpack but just wondering?
    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." ~John Muir

  2. #2
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I had not heard that about Unicoi. I'd make sure they show you the rule against it.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  3. #3
    pullarius's Avatar
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    I'm curious too. I'm going car camping in two weeks, and I'll be doing the same (first time in a hammock - I'm stoked). There's nothing in the rules about hammocks, but it does say "two tents per site" and that all "equipment" has to be on the tent pad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Giggity's Avatar
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    Here in Florida it's against the law to hang in state parks. Something about not being allowed to hang anything from trees. Haven't heard that it was in issue in Georgia though.
    If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. Proverbs 27:14

  5. #5
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Yes, this kind of thing has been talked about here before.
    I think it often times comes down to dealing with individuals that have been given the authority to enforce the rules & when they come across something unfamiliar that seams to be in question, they err on the safe side rather than look into it.
    Now that you are safe back home, I think I would find out who the head ranger is, call & talk to him/her, explaining how your hammocks use webbing to protect the trees.
    If they are willing to listen, a little education can go a long ways in helping future hammockers.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    New Member Sassafras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    Yes, this kind of thing has been talked about here before.
    I think it often times comes down to dealing with individuals that have been given the authority to enforce the rules & when they come across something unfamiliar that seams to be in question, they err on the safe side rather than look into it.
    Now that you are safe back home, I think I would find out who the head ranger is, call & talk to him/her, explaining how your hammocks use webbing to protect the trees.
    If they are willing to listen, a little education can go a long ways in helping future hammockers.
    Yes, I had planned on communicating with them. We werent confrontational at all, just think he was more puzzled than anything to find 4 women and no tents.....just hammocks!! LOL
    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." ~John Muir

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    Yes, this kind of thing has been talked about here before.
    I think it often times comes down to dealing with individuals that have been given the authority to enforce the rules & when they come across something unfamiliar that seams to be in question, they err on the safe side rather than look into it.
    Now that you are safe back home, I think I would find out who the head ranger is, call & talk to him/her, explaining how your hammocks use webbing to protect the trees.
    If they are willing to listen, a little education can go a long ways in helping future hammockers.
    Typical "I don't know what it is so it MUST be BAD!!!" Mind set many people have, esp (or so it seems to me) those in authority. Is why many times I prefer to get forgiveness after the fact than ask permission before. A bad attitude I don't encourage, but I'm old so,,,,,
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
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  8. #8

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    State Park Rules

    I'm usually a fan of asking for forgiveness instead of permission...

    I don't buy the argument that the park information says "tents" and doesn't say "hammocks." You could say you are using a "tent hammock." I find the word "tent" to be ambiguous and if they intended to prohibit hammocks they would have said so. After all, what if I show up and use a bivy sack? What if I sleep out under the stars with no tent? What if I use a tarp with no floor? Am I violating the rules??

    To be extra careful, you could contact the rangers ahead of your visit and ask if it's OK. An email would be great because if they give permission, you have it in writing. But this runs the risk of them saying "no" explicitly and now you may be out of luck. If they say no, see if you can take the issue to someone in charge, not the rangers. But this is likely a dead end and a hassle.

    Rangers do NOT have the authority to make rules. They only have the ability to enforce them. Worst case scenario: Tell the ranger to cite you and to specifically articulate what rule you are violating. At best they'd cite to a rule regarding destruction of public property by hanging from the trees. That's silly.

    I'd like to run this issue by a friend of mine who is a state park ranger in CA and see if he has any advice for the forum.

    SoCal Mike

  9. #9
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I would politely ask to see a copy of the regulations.

    Here in NC at the state parks (and along the Blue Ridge parkway) I have hung at, when I check in and they ask if I am camping in a tent or RV, I tell them Hammock. The Ranger has always checked off tent camper and I have never had a problem.
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  10. #10
    New Member jayemm's Avatar
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    I have been reminded in some NC parks not to put a nail in the tree for my hammock (which, of course I would not). I wonder if there is a rule against hanging hammocks, if it is not because of this (in my opinion) poor behavior.

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