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  1. #1
    2new2hang's Avatar
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    Hammock on the AT?

    Hi All,
    I have been contemplating an AT hike for many years. As a teacher, I would need to break the hike down to two summers, so technically, not a thru-hike, but can't get the time to pull off the whole shebang in one shot.
    After reading much material, I am wondering if one could hike the entire trail with a hammock and tarp, or do you get above the tree line too often to pull that off. If it cannot be done, and you've hiked it, do you carry a tent/tarp for a portion, or try to add the weight and carry both, or do you use your hammock on the ground? Hoping some of you can give me some advice as I am in the early stages of planning this, and would like to get a good start on what I will need to carry. Thanks everyone!!
    Last edited by 2new2hang; 02-10-2012 at 01:06.
    2new2hang

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    The only place you will have a problem hanging is in the Whites (above treelike).

  3. #3
    2new2hang's Avatar
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    Thanks LO,
    What do you recommend for that area?
    2new2hang

    ____________________________________________

    I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.

    Abraham Lincoln
    --July 22, 1860

  4. #4
    Joey's Avatar
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    Dutch thru hiked in 2003 with a hammock.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=1215

  5. #5
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    Most of the whites are wooded. Some of the higher elevation sections that are above treeline-ish are where you technically are supposed to stay in the AMC huts. I have not hiked the entire AT but you might want to consider having a pad as part of your hammock system - for those times you might need to sleep in a shelter. Otherwise a hammock is a good idea for the AT.

  6. #6
    Senior Member affreeman's Avatar
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    I thru-hiked in '09 using my hammock. I chose not to carry a pad and thus commit to using the hammock every night. The only exceptions were in the Smokies and the Whites. In the Smokies hikers are required to sleep in the shelters unless they are full. Plenty of people ignore this and hang or tent near the shelters, but it is not in my nature to violate rules without a good reason. In the Whites I did a series of work-for-stays at some of the Huts, which meant sleeping on the tables in the dining room.

    I had my Thermarest Pad sent to me at Fontana Dam before the Smokies, and at Glencliff before the Whites. Other than that, every night I spent on the trail I spent in my hammock.

    2009 was a very wet year -- it pretty much rained from March until the beginning of August -- and I saw a lot of swamped tents. Hanging above the flood sure was nice!
    ~
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  7. #7
    Dutch's Avatar
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    You will be able to cross the whites except "the Presidentails" You will have to camp in the notches though The trees become shrugs ver quickly and they are dense half way up. Almost everyone stops at the lake of the clouds hut. I hiked with a pad but that is because it was before quilts. If I did it today I would have 3/4 UQ and a pad. I would ship an inflatable for the Smokies and Whites. In the Smokies you can stealth it but you may get caught and there are rangers and ridge runners. You should at least be prepared to obey the rules. Hammocking is totally the way to go and it will give you so much flexability for when and where you stop.
    Peace Dutch
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  8. #8
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    Lots of folks have thru'd with a hammock. By the time you get to the whites, you'll have figured out what to do. Keep in mind that you can use your tarp without the hammock. Figure you might carry a light pad for this use, and to supplement on cold nights.

  9. #9
    2new2hang's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Great advice. Exactly what I needed to know. I appreciate all your input!
    2new2hang

    ____________________________________________

    I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.

    Abraham Lincoln
    --July 22, 1860

  10. #10
    Member pdizzle's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that in the whites, you're not allowed to camp above alpine zone (trees <8ft) regardless of your style; except in winter with 2ft of snow or more. The idea being your not really supposed to go off trail here and snow will make it so you dont damage these areas. with that in mind, it would seem that anywhere you could camp with a tent, you could camp with a hammock for the most part, maybe losing a little more elevation for hammock use.

    Huts and downhiking partway to camp will help you get across the presis. it is possible to do it in a day if your quick and the weather is friendly, but can be tricky. this is really the only part where it matters, maybe franconia ridge..most other areas you'll be over and past tree line in time to sleep (or just keep hiking through the night).

    I can't say I've hammocked too much in the whites but in my gradual transition (1+ yr or so) every time i've pitched a tent i've thought "if i had a hammock right now, what would i do?" every time, there has been suitable trees...so with planning it is easily possible

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/whit..._rules_web.pdf

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