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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Sep 2011
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    Central NJ
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    Exclamation Widowmaker awareness

    Hi, this is my first post here. Iím new to hammock camping and Iíve learned a lot from you guys (and girls), so I wanted to try to give something in return. I think I just found my opportunity.
    The other day I set up my new hammock in my back yard and practiced with some knots and different tensions ect. After I finished, I ended up leaving the hammock set up in the yard.
    When I looked out my window today, I saw that a huge limb had fallen onto the hammock. I ran out to see if it had done any damage. Attached are the pictures. They donít do this branch any justice at all; itís actually bigger and heavier than it looks. I certainly wouldnít want to have been hit in the face with it while sleeping. Luckily no one was hurt.
    Here are some of my thoughts on this event:
    1. I noticed that the dead branch was in the tree above me while I was setting up the hammock, but it was offset about 90 degrees from where my hammock was hung. So if it had fallen straight down, it wouldnít have hit the hammock; I didnít think it would be a threat. What were the chances of it falling anyway? Apparently it picked today to fall.
    2. I found that branches donít always fall straight down. This one must have bounced and ricocheted off of other branches in order to hit my hammock. So donít think youíre totally safe just because a dead branch is on the other side of the tree. Choose a different tree.
    3. If I had a structural ridgeline set up, it might have absorbed the blow. Of course this would only work when the branch falls on an angle like this one did, but why not stack the odds in your favor? Maybe there are some added safety aspect to strong ridgelines. Iím going use one.
    This weekend Iím going out on a three day trip. This will be my first time out without a tent (Iím a newie). Wish me luck. I hope this wasnít an omen.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member enoorange's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Well the hammock survived.
    TRIUMPH
    Go Your Own Way

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Wow! Well Tamah, you know how to impress on your 1st post! A big Welcome from Florida to Hammock Forums.

    First of all, I'm glad you weren't in the hammock when that thing came down!

    Second of all, I'm going to order some 1/2" Amsteel to use for my structural ridgeline!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    olddog's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Welcome aboard from Florida. Thank you for the reminder.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  5. #5
    Phillipsart's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    Central Coast, QLD, Australia
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    Reminds me a hike I completed 6 months ago at Fraser Island, this was the day's I was a ground dweller using a tent.

    On the 3rd night. I could not decide to which camp site to take, there where two I had my eyes on. Lucky i choosen the one I did, because during the night a large tree came down on the very spot where I would have had my tent on the other site.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    also the heads-up on non direct falling potential! good to remember..
    KM(who spends some time each year pulling down obviously dead branches from the trees in the yard, but mostly to have something to burn, secondly to keep them from falling when they feel like it..)

  7. #7
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Good first post. It's great to see pics as well as be reminded that branches don't always fall straight down. Glad you weren't hurt.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  8. #8
    Banned
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    Ouch, glad you weren't in it

  9. #9
    Senior Member wyleone's Avatar
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    That is sure an eye opener. I have walked around for over an hour setting up in near darkness last August because of the widow makers I kept seeing on trees. Everyone else in my group was set up and eating supper by the time I found my spot. Supper still tasted good so it was worth the endeavor.
    There is a lot of discussion on the subject in the General section.

    Welcome, from the Gulf Coast.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bhinson's Avatar
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    Welcome from Winnipeg MB Canada
    Glad no One was in the hammock at the time
    This is your one stop shop for all Hammock knowledge

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