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  1. #1
    Senior Member WetRivrRat's Avatar
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    A call to action!!!... Let's go hang some hammocks in the FL State Parks

    Hey folks, well... mainly Florida folks... (non floridians are welcomed as well)
    As many of you know, FL is conducting a pilot program to allow hammocking in the Florida State Parks. Currently it is illegal to hang or attach anything to a tree in the state park system. The limited impact of our hobby has already been discussed at length elsewhere, so no need to continue beating that dead horse, the intent of this thread isn't to further that discussion. However this thread is a call to action for hammocking in the Florida State Park System.

    We are currently 'behind' on our quota for the pilot program and I suspect that if we don't show our support for the program we will inevitably loose all access to hang in the state park system for quite awhile (why would they invest the effort and expense to run another pilot if the first fails?).

    The call to action is two fold:

    1.) Simply get out and hang in the state parks (with proper permission-see below)!!!
    2.) Become a Hang Organizer - the goal here would be to organize as MANY small hangs throughout the state at as many state parks as possible before the end of the pilot program.(April)

    If you're already experienced at organizing hangs, step up to the plate and help us all out by putting together as many as you can. If you're not already experienced, I would offer that you still give it a shot. I'd also offer that you reach out to those who have had successful experience organizing hangs for some tips.

    These hangs don't need to be anything grandeose or anything, it could literally be some sort of impromptu weekender or a single over-nighter. We just need to get warm bodies out in hammocks in the state parks...

    But, here are some rules - eh... Guidelines, if you will...
    * Make sure EVERYONE in a hammock has proper approvals, help them get it if necessary!
    * Make sure everyone knows about the post-hang survey - and make sure they fill it out! (bring a computer/tablet if necessary to facilitate the completion of them)
    * Hang with appropriate tree huggers for all equipment coming in contact with trees
    * Have lots of safe fun, and make non-hammockers envious

    Thanks again for the support!

    Quote Originally Posted by samsara View Post
    {...}
    For the duration of the pilot program, hammock camping user groups will be advised to contact Mr. Philip Madden in the Division’s Bureau of Operation Services. He may be reached at 850 245-3076 or by email at Philip.J.Madden@dep.state.fl.us. Mr. Madden will serve as liaison between the users and park management of any park receiving hammock camping
    {...} If you have used a hammock at a Florida State Park as part of the pilot program please take a moment to fill out this survey to let them know how it went.
    We all know of the original "Walk off the war" thru-hike - but, check out these guys, they're helping folks 'walk off the war' today -
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  2. #2
    REV's Avatar
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    WRR, if I may offer some advice:

    First, maybe see if the Mods would let you post this in the hang planning area, more to be seen (but i also see why its here...so...)

    but in my dealings with the state parks, I got this reply which I would like to share with you, as I thought about sending this to the above email as an urging from an out of state hanger (and i will gladly bring my diplomacy to the table if you need, i can be quite elegant when need be). this was sent to me after petitioning the SCSP for a clarified and uniform rules and this is printed and laminated in my pack at all times. sometimes all it takes is a simple explanation of intent and to show them the money (that hangers would bring in, that they would otherwise lose if hanging isnt allowed provided hammocks dont cost them in damages. youre on the right track)

    "Thank you for your inquiry regarding rules on hammocks at our state parks. As you stated, we do not allow hammocks that would require screws, hooks, nails, or anything else that would cause damage to the trees. I do not foresee the hammock you have described being a problem on our sites being as it will not deface the tree in any way. However, I do recommend contacting the park staff prior to your visit and informing them of the type of hammock you will be bringing. If you encounter any problems please contact me. Thank you for choosing South Carolina State Parks.

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Sturtevant
    Operations Specialist
    SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
    1205 Pendleton St.
    Columbia, SC 29201

    Phone: (803) 734-0162
    Fax: (803) 734-1017"


    if FLA can see other states, especially neighboring states policies on the matter, and see that it is working then it puts "peer pressure" on them to do the same. not to mention the money it would add in campers/events.
    Give a man fire and he's warm for the night.
    Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life. Dante

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  3. #3
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I did move this to the Trip Planning section for the simple reason that it is hammock related.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
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  4. #4
    Senior Member WetRivrRat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by REV View Post
    {...}
    if FLA can see other states, especially neighboring states policies on the matter, and see that it is working then it puts "peer pressure" on them to do the same. not to mention the money it would add in campers/events.
    Hey Rev - thx for the info, I think in the case of Florida, the issue really boils down to money - I'm just speculating here, but I think that because the law is written like it is we can't hang[period]
    Unfortunately, changing that law will cost money. So I believe what they are attempting to do here is see how much money they can get in the door before they spend money trying to repeal the law.
    Kinda shystie if you ask me: acknowledge that the law is faulty, and consider changing it, but only if you get enough money to offset the expense of undoing something that wasn't done right in the beginning.

    Anywho... We definitely need folks to start pitching in with this so we can get enough numbers to get the law changed.

    I believe the State Forests are fine with you hanging so long as you don't damage the trees - and there are plenty enough State Forests around FL to not 'need' to go to a State Park. But honestly though, that's not the point, the point is its a well-intended, but poorly executed law, and it needs to be updated.
    This is, apparently, the only way the state will consider updating it.

    On the other hand, Florida has a pretty decent reservation queue for the state parts - so it makes it really easy to figure out if there's room or not, well in advance.

    So, what'd ya'll say - let's go hang...
    We all know of the original "Walk off the war" thru-hike - but, check out these guys, they're helping folks 'walk off the war' today -
    Donate to help fund gear for the warriors who are coming back home and need help walking off the war!
    WarriorHike.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member WetRivrRat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I did move this to the Trip Planning section for the simple reason that it is hammock related.
    Thanks NCPatrick, I wasn't 100% sure it should have gone here or not, so I tried to play it safe.
    We all know of the original "Walk off the war" thru-hike - but, check out these guys, they're helping folks 'walk off the war' today -
    Donate to help fund gear for the warriors who are coming back home and need help walking off the war!
    WarriorHike.com

  6. #6
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    I really hope to see this become a permanent change.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
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    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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  7. #7
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    Just emailed for permission to hang at Silver Lake Campground - Withlacooche State Forest. Will be there this weekend for camping with the family.

  8. #8
    Senior Member stoikurt's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great idea. I'll have to get out and do some hanging. I may be at a Marianna Caverns SP with my scout troop in a couple weeks. I'll have to check in on this.
    Stoikurt
    "Work to Live...Don't Live to Work!"

  9. #9
    JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Awesome guys! Please fill out the survey in the OP to let the state know how it went!
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Trail Issues? Please let me know.
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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