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  1. #11
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear bag hanger View Post
    Maybe slightly off topic here. But only a little. I think the damage tents do to the ground is, maybe, about equal to the damage we do to the trees. Below is my opinion, I haven't spent a lot of time formally studying this.

    I've been using hammocks for about five or six years now. During my 2004 AT thru hike, I talked to several rangers, of interest is one in the Smokies and another one in the New Hampshire Whites. Both mentioned they do not ticket people using hammocks in the wrong places, but not to tell anyone where I heard it.

    On the other hand, I've observed my own hammock does damage to the trees I hang on, even it it's just a little. I use one inch stapping to minimize this damage, but it's still there. I have tried using two inch wide tree savers, but still noticed as much damage as the narrower straps. Early on, I noticed rope does a whole lot more damage and shouldn't be used.

    Usually, when I come into a campsite, I can tell which trees have been used for hanging. I also can see when a tree gets used a lot. It will eventually kill the tree. I think a single tree can be used several times a year without harm, but when it gets used several times a week, all the time, it will die. I don't think anyone has ever done a study to see how many times a tree can be used before permanent damage is done. Even the hard bark trees will die if used too much. I've also observed that when a tent tamps down the grass, etc. it comes back pretty fast if not used over and over again.

    I've been reading other threads about hammock stands, but still haven't seen anything remotely useable for backpacking. If we start getting a large percentage of campers using hammocks, this may be our only salvation.

    I still, of course, use my hammock. Tents aren't exactly great for the environment either. But, let's not kid ourselves into thinking we don't hurt anything when we go out there.

    OK, let the flames begin ...
    not flaming, but i can't say that i agree w/ your acessment my friend<G>.
    i don't have trees in the best places to use regularly in my back yard, but i've herd of others talk about using the same trees in their yard on a fairly regular basis w/ no sign of stress on the trees.

    this is an area that could use a lot more research (collecting precise & useful data), but my basic thoughts at this time are that just like staying warm, there are a number of variables...
    type of tree
    size of tree
    age of tree
    condition of tree
    type of hammock support
    method of attaching hammock support to tree
    amount of sag
    weight of the loaded hammock
    how much swinging the hammocker does

    there are more no doubt but that's a start<G>.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  2. #12
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by attroll View Post
    This is a good idea. Is anyone up for the challenge to create this article?

    I think this should also be in the articles section. This web site is slowly growing and we are the only hammock forum that I know on the web. We need to get everything in place so when others come here they can use this forum as there hammock bible or quick reference guide. I don’t know what articles Nogods is referring to but if it is in the upcoming backpacker magazine then I am sure our traffic will increase and so will our users.

    If anyone has any articles they would like to submit please do so. If you are not good with articles then submit them to me in work and I will put the article on the site for you.

    If you have any suggestion for articles then let everyone else know here and maybe someone will take your suggestion and write one.
    thanks attroll. hopefully we will continue to work at this & put together a highly respectable information source here.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear bag hanger View Post
    Maybe slightly off topic here. But only a little. I think the damage tents do to the ground is, maybe, about equal to the damage we do to the trees.
    Around my house and in the hardword forest near my home I have not noticed any damage to the trees I've hung my hammock on.

    But the first time I used the hammock in the Adirondacks the evergreen trees in our campsite had scaly type bark that readily flew off even with the use of webbing as tree straps. We didn't notice it until the next day because we set up camp in the dark in a downpour and were rushed to get dry and into the hammocks. The next day we moved the camp and used evergreen trees that didn't have that condition and saw no noticible damage.

    Now lets assume for discussion that those trees we used the first night were damaged by hammocks. The simple solution is for hammock users to avoid that type of tree. Thus, a best practices in this case could be a list of trees that suffer the least damage from hanging. That's the type of information I was thinking about when I started this thread.

    Arborists claim that the straps they use for tree climbing (both for work and recreation) do not harm the trees they climb. Perhaps we can get an aborists on board to help with this issue.

  4. #14
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogods View Post
    Around my house and in the hardword forest near my home I have not noticed any damage to the trees I've hung my hammock on.

    But the first time I used the hammock in the Adirondacks the evergreen trees in our campsite had scaly type bark that readily flew off even with the use of webbing as tree straps. We didn't notice it until the next day because we set up camp in the dark in a downpour and were rushed to get dry and into the hammocks. The next day we moved the camp and used evergreen trees that didn't have that condition and saw no noticible damage.

    Now lets assume for discussion that those trees we used the first night were damaged by hammocks. The simple solution is for hammock users to avoid that type of tree. Thus, a best practices in this case could be a list of trees that suffer the least damage from hanging. That's the type of information I was thinking about when I started this thread.

    Arborists claim that the straps they use for tree climbing (both for work and recreation) do not harm the trees they climb. Perhaps we can get an aborists on board to help with this issue.
    on a few occasions i have used trees that had a looser, scaly bark that would shed easily.
    a couple thoughts come to mind...
    1)... when i noticed any concern w/ the bark, i would wrap the strap around the tree a full loop rather than just going around the back side were it could leave more chance of slippage.
    whether that is best practice or not, i don't know, but it's a thought.
    2)... the outermost layers of bark are often more of a protective layer rather that the transporter of nutrients like the inner layer (cambium).
    some trees survive pretty hot fires because of the protective bark.

    getting a tree expert on board would be great.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #15
    if you stealth camp, what is the liklihood that that those trees will get hung from again? if you make sure to walk well off the trail and stay far away from designated campsites, it's likely you will be the only one to hang from that tree. i don't think slight abrasion to bark is necessarily damage unless it happens frequently and extensively enough to to wear completely through the bark. bark is dead wood, and it is a protective cover that also regenerates i believe. as long as trees aren't over used it seems like it shouldn't be a problem, dispersion seems to be the key here, and stealth camping may be the answer. maybe there are some trees with extremely soft bark that should be avoided, but in general most trees should be able to handle occasional hanging without permanent damage i would think.

  6. #16
    slowhike's Avatar
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    yeah, i think there are a few types of trees w/ a thin, soft bark, that would best be avoided.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #17
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I have to say that the majority of trees that I hang from show little or no signs of damage from my hammock. I have hung from trees that have shown signs of wear from my webbing, but I try to avoid that type of tree.

    This does raise a very interesting question. What type/species of trees are best suited for hanging your hammock?

    If someone decides to tackle the article I think this would be some great info to be included with maybe some pictures of the different types of trees.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  8. #18
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    It depends on whether those are the only two trees around or not. If you have a choice, I would hope you'd choose not to damage the tree.

    I've heard that you can hang from certain types of cactus in the desert areas, maybe we should also research which variety of those is best as well. Or what about types of trees in Australia, etc.?

    This could possibly be a long article.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  9. #19
    Member Knowledgeengine's Avatar
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    On the general basis of measuring all our new visitors as a possible result of the article, I wanted to make mention of Histats to slowhike/hc4u

    I develop & manage a few websites, and I have been really happy with the reports I get from histats and it's free. I've been using it 2 weeks. www.histats.com I use the invisible counters, and can tell how many times each one of my pamphlets is printed, get a map that shows the location of all my visitors, etc...

    Might be something good, so when we get a influx of visitors, you will be able to "see what they are trying to do" and then make changes to make that easier for them.

    One more thing--whoever creates such a article might consider also submitting it to whiteblaze, and having links to us on there. To help make the transition easier for people who get misdirected looking for hammock websites.
    Last edited by Knowledgeengine; 04-28-2008 at 13:02.

  10. #20
    slowhike's Avatar
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    thanks Knowledgeengine. that looks interesting. we'll look into that.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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