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  1. #1
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    Hammocking illegal?

    I was talking to one of the sales associates at REI about backpacking in and around Maryland. At some point during the conversation I had mentioned I have a hammock. He told me hammock camping in Maryland is illegal because of the damage it can cause to trees. I presume he means the hammock will some how inadvertently girdle the tree. I use nice wide tree huggers from Jacks R Better so I feel my chances of killing/damaging the tree are fairly slim.

    Does anyone know if this an actual law. If it is, I cannot imagine it is regularly enforced.

    I kind of suspect he was doing what we call in the Navy, being a "Sea Lawyer" (acting like an authority on a subject, but in reality having no idea.)

  2. #2
    fishbait's Avatar
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    It's might be in State Parks, Florida had a similar law. Check this thread for ideas http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...hlight=Florida. My best advise would be to contact the States Park Commission

  3. #3
    Senior Member Throkda's Avatar
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    Your best bet for these things, rather than relying on anybody at REI or here would be to look it up yourself, so you're not operating on hearsay. I don't know which county you're in, but here's the page with the rules and regulations for Montgomery County and Prince George's County.

    If you can't find it, call a ranger and ask. Once you know, please abide by whatever the rules say, even if it's not in your favor. Breaking the rules because you don't like them just gives all of us a bad name.
    "Can't we all just live in trees and hammocks?"
    -- Sam Gribley, My Side of the Mountain

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I actually do live in Prince George's County. Neither link mentions "hammock" in any capacity that I could see.

  5. #5
    New Member 2.ooohhh's Avatar
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    Hammock Friendly Campgrounds Spreadsheet


    The spreadsheet can be a great resource for forum members as they travel and look to hang around as some areas' parks have/enforce individual park policies.
    Last edited by 2.ooohhh; 08-28-2012 at 13:21.
    “Rivets are the new duct tape.”

  6. #6
    Member tansey's Avatar
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    go stealth
    go now
    remember that bureaucracy has trouble hitting a moving target

  7. #7
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    It can also be a very fuzzy issue.

    Several years ago I asked a DEC Forest Ranger if a hammock could be hung from the rafters inside a lean-to. The rules prohibit erection of a tent inside a lean-to. He said the hammock could be used because it was not a "tent."

    The problem is that distinction could cause issues in the few situations where "tents" are allowed, but no other form of shelter.

  8. #8
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    More thought should have been put into the rules written against hammocks since there is nothing inherently wrong with a hammock other than certain methods of hanging them. Some rules have been written that way, but some rangers and other folks interpret them to mean no hammocking at all.

    Yes, check beforehand as I'm sure that there have been many to either report where there have been issues, or even those that have gone out of their way to change the existing rules. You still might run into someone now and then with the old attitude towards hammocks, but keep in mind, today's hammocking is more green than using a tent. Spread that word wherever you go.

  9. #9
    markr6's Avatar
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    From the Maryland DNR:

    They are allowed provided that they do not damage the trees. We do prefer the type that has its own stand. Even the nylon straps can sometimes damage certain types of trees, so the ultimate decision is left to the individual park manager. Please contact the park(s) you are interested in.

    But even if you get a "go ahead", it just takes one tool staff member on a powertrip to give you a hard time and say you're not allowed. Having something in writing is a good idea to eliminate any hassle (recommended by another member here in another post, sorry I can't find it).

    But I can't completely blame them. After a park staff member sees a bunch of hillbillies hanging lanterns, swings and hammocks with 5mm metal clothesline cable on delicate trees, it immediately makes "hammock" a four-letter word...even if WE do it properly. Unfortunate. But I'm glad we're "catching on" and have a large commuity of hangers using the proper gear and techniques to minimize any impact on nature.

  10. #10
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    Most people don't know this, but hammocks come to life while your sleeping. They become beavers and eat trees

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