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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Hanging with lightening?

    Nope it's not a fear of mine.... When it comes to lightening - clearly the old tents with aluminum poles took out a few people in the past - I wonder how things would be different with a hammock....

    Before posting check out this resource...CLICK

    Well some of you are clearly happy to pitch on a ridge and watch the show - I have had the experience of no tent sleeping in a bivy bag watching the stuff come down all around me in Canada.

    Strapped to two trees - increases the risk.... So just looking for thoughts here - almost a survey....
    There was an Old Man with a owl,
    Who continued to bother and howl;
    He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
    Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl
    .WOO

  2. #2
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Interesting article and well presented. Thanks for sharing that.

    I live in Florida which is the lightening capital of the USA. North Carolina is #2 but has less than 1/3 the number of strikes as Florida; so that paints a pretty good picture.

    I also used to race ocean going sailing yachts. We were the only object higher than the water for many, many miles. Add to that a metal mast of about 80'.

    Therefore my experiences tell me that when your time is up - your time is up. Live your life daily as if the next strike is meant for you. In my case, it probably is!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Yea my dad was on the Chesapeake with several other freinds on a 26 foot sailing boat... the direct strike blew all the electronics and knocked the motor diesel motor out - dad figured out how to get it started - because they could not call for help. Took him an hour and they got back... The boat was sold damaged and nobody ever went out again.
    There was an Old Man with a owl,
    Who continued to bother and howl;
    He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
    Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl
    .WOO

  4. #4
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Golfers seem to get struck often....I'd rather take my chance backpacking with my hammock.
    Do your best.......attitude and situation depending.
    The piney woods are full of dangers.
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    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  5. #5
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    This is a timely topic to discuss because I'm currently doing some digging on the subject of lightning protection...

    A little background - I am the engineer aboard a semi-submersible deep water drilling rig operating in the Gulf of Mexico and I spent my younger years aboard sailboats (still own one, actually.)

    We've been in the GOM for two years with no lightning damage. Within two weeks, we sustained two strikes that took out two antennae at the crown.

    Needless to say, there are more questions than answers at this point, but that's the fun in being an engineer.

    I actually saw a bolt hit the derrick a two weeks ago... That was pretty awesome, in a "OK, I'm going to go change my shorts now" kinda way.

    Back to the point - I wouldn't see a hammock as being better or worse than a tent in a storm. Both arguments can be made logically and it will really come down to where the lightning decides to hit and where it will decide to run. The safest place to be in a lightning storm is FAR away.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bacon_grease View Post
    This is a timely topic to discuss because I'm currently doing some digging on the subject of lightning protection...

    >snip<

    Back to the point - I wouldn't see a hammock as being better or worse than a tent in a storm. Both arguments can be made logically and it will really come down to where the lightning decides to hit and where it will decide to run. The safest place to be in a lightning storm is FAR away.
    That would be my thought. If one is on the ground next to a tree that is struck there is a lot of energy dissipated in the ground around it. If one is in a tent you will know it. If one is in a hammock I would not make a bet that the bolt would divert down the tie line but I would bet the field strength would be significant either way.

    BTW, if you were looking at Shug and Hickery on the Rock Jock in the storm Shug pointed out at the beginning of one clip that they were not at the top of the ridge or under the highest trees. That's about the best one can do in a similar situation.

  7. #7
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
    BTW, if you were looking at Shug and Hickery on the Rock Jock in the storm Shug pointed out at the beginning of one clip that they were not at the top of the ridge or under the highest trees. That's about the best one can do in a similar situation.
    And we can all take another lesson from them... get out the video camera and start shooting!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Meriadoc's Avatar
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    Nice resource Owl. Thanks for linking it.

    I'm thinking aloud here about hammocks and lightning. Assuming all the other precautions have been taken, so you're either in the lightning position or in the hammock I would think the following:

    (1) Distance from the ground should minimize ground current problems.
    (2) The hazard of side flash is unchanged.
    (3) Touch voltage should be unchanged.
    (4) Direct strike hazards are probably unchanged.

    Does anyone know how well amsteel conducts electricity? I am guessing not very well. Because what could be a problem is if there is a greater exposure to voltage differential because of the horizontal orientation of the body. Conducting through the length of the body would be bad.

    Overall, I could see it as an improvement, unless there is a safer area to which you can move.
    "Not all those who wander are lost."
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  9. #9
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    As I see it I am safer in the Trees than in an open field in a tentc As I see it, it is something that I can't controll so I can only take the precaution of not hanging on the biggest trees. It would also help to use plastic stakes, as metal would conduct electricity.

  10. #10
    Administrator Yukon's Avatar
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    Ride the lightning!!!

    Another reason hammocking is hardcore

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