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  1. #1
    Senior Member Str1der's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Str1der versus the Wind!

    I met up with my brothers and a few friends at Black Balsam Knob on the Art Loeb Trail last weekend. I knew from having been there before to expect some pretty insane winds at night and in the mornings, so we hiked down into a somewhat sheltered grotto of evergreens and set up camp. I was the only hammocker in the group, but at least two others were interested. I pitched my tarp as low to the ground and tight as I could in case the wind picked up over night. Sure enough, the winds that struck that night were truly awesome. The tops of all the trees were bending like saplings, and I had to remind myself that my 6ft huggers barely reached around these trees! The wind was much weaker down in our grotto, but my tarp still spent much of the night pressed firmly against my hammock. I ended up deploying the bug net just to keep the tarp off my face! I was pleased though that my stakes held, and the guy lines I made from Shane's design (http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=25052) handled the wind just fine. After a few uneasy minutes double checking everything, I relaxed and just let the wind rock me to sleep.

    The next day, we decided to make a day hike over to Shining Rock. We took the Art Loeb Trail up to the summit of Black Balsam Knob where the wind was even stronger, continually gusting up to at least 80mph. We kept joking about getting blown off the mountain, but it was strong enough that I decided not to approach any of the steeper drop-offs from upwind. The ALT is rated strenuous in this section for a reason. The climbs were bad enough, but some of the descents were little more than steep rock-hopping that quickly made my knees ache. We were very thankful to reach Ivestor Gap where the trail leveled off. By this time, the winds had also died down. I had never been to Shining Rock, but it was definitely worth the hike to see it close up. On the way back, we decided to cheat and use the much easier Ivestor Gap Trail to return to Black Balsam. That evening, a brief shower popped up, but we just hunkered down under my tarp and played cards until it passed. The next morning, we packed up and said our goodbyes.

    Things I learned:
    1. My tarp, guylines, and stakes can handle strong, sustained winds; however, I will need to engage the pullouts if I want any space left under the tarp.
    2. The Emberlit is truly a wonderful stove, but it is far better suited to heating water for 1-3 people than for 6. It did the job, but required 3 separate boils. My buddies need to get their own stoves!
    3. Never underestimate the importance of site selection! I suspect the forest rangers would still be looking for me now if I had set up my hammock in a less protected spot where I would surely have been blown away by those winds.
    "The Road goes ever on and on,
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can.
    Pursuing it with eager feet
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say."
    ~Bilbo Baggins - LotR

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Great post, I too use Shane's method on my tarp lines. What kind of tent pegs were you using at the time? I have groundhogs and some Ti stakes. Still have not used the Ti ones in a heavy wind.
    Love my emberlit

  3. #3
    Senior Member Str1der's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    I used the MSR Groundhogs. I too love my Emberlit, but I'm not convinced it was faster than a campfire when we needed to boil 6-8 pints! On the positive side, it did boil that much just fine.
    "The Road goes ever on and on,
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can.
    Pursuing it with eager feet
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say."
    ~Bilbo Baggins - LotR

  4. #4
    Cali's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Modoc, SC
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    Great post Str1der. Sounds like you had a good trip and your hammock kept you very cozzy, and gave you peace of mind so you could rest comfortably.
    Happy Hangin!!!


    AKA BajaHanger

    You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. -Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    MAD777's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    South Florida
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    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  6. #6
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Minnesota
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    I could feel the breeze))))))))
    Good briefing there.
    Shug
    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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