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  1. #61
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    When I was growing up we stayed in state parks and all had a trailer. We enjoyed the family time very much. When I was about ten my dad got a couple of pup tents and we stopped taking the trailer. We found that as a family it was easier to tent camp than use the trailer. As a result we began to naturally become more minimalistic in our camping and even though we didn't have a name for it, we became LNT campers. I remember staying in a state park at age 11 or o in our liitle pup tents cooking over the fire, really enjoying ourselves only to have the giant fifth wheel pull up in he site next to us. The family was loud and obnoxious, they took up our space and the kids would ride their bikes through our site, which wasn't so bad, except that their father would yell at them for doing so and they wouldn't listen. I still am not sure what was worse, the kids riding through our site or having to listen to their father yell. My dad said at the end of that trip that there had to be something better. Thus began our backpacking exploration. We have never looked back. Hammock camping is in my opinion an easy extension of backpacking, but state parks are made for those who like their fifth wheels and such. The rangers have to endorse strict crazy rules because the campers don't believe in LNT or possibly, wait most likely don't even know what that is. I try to not get frustrated with rangers because they have a tough job. I have found that national forest campgrounds tend to be a little better, but not much. I must remind myself that when I go to a campground that certain rules and regulations are there because not everyone gets that going outdoors is to get away from the city. In the end backpacking is the answer to really get away.

  2. #62
    Duffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adventuregirl View Post
    When I was growing up we stayed in state parks and all had a trailer. We enjoyed the family time very much. When I was about ten my dad got a couple of pup tents and we stopped taking the trailer. We found that as a family it was easier to tent camp than use the trailer. As a result we began to naturally become more minimalistic in our camping and even though we didn't have a name for it, we became LNT campers. I remember staying in a state park at age 11 or o in our liitle pup tents cooking over the fire, really enjoying ourselves only to have the giant fifth wheel pull up in he site next to us. The family was loud and obnoxious, they took up our space and the kids would ride their bikes through our site, which wasn't so bad, except that their father would yell at them for doing so and they wouldn't listen. I still am not sure what was worse, the kids riding through our site or having to listen to their father yell. My dad said at the end of that trip that there had to be something better. Thus began our backpacking exploration. We have never looked back. Hammock camping is in my opinion an easy extension of backpacking, but state parks are made for those who like their fifth wheels and such. The rangers have to endorse strict crazy rules because the campers don't believe in LNT or possibly, wait most likely don't even know what that is. I try to not get frustrated with rangers because they have a tough job. I have found that national forest campgrounds tend to be a little better, but not much. I must remind myself that when I go to a campground that certain rules and regulations are there because not everyone gets that going outdoors is to get away from the city. In the end backpacking is the answer to really get away.
    +1. Very well said.
    Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go! - Rudyard Kipling

  3. #63
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    Although I vastly prefer the wilderness, I gotta say I'm glad we have good state parks here in Minnesota. Clean, friendly and most of the time private. It's handy to have a latrine so nice and close, when camping with 3 kids 6 years old and younger. I also felt more rested for using their electricity to power my breathing machine for sleep apnea. But after a night or 2 I was definitely ready for some thing much more primitive and quiet.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    +1. Very well said.
    x2 well said

  5. #65
    steveflinn's Avatar
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    Ranger hassled me in Yosemite this summer. I'm just lying there, drowsily wishing the world well, hanging out in the open with my HH 2" tree huggers attached to a couple of scrubby pines. Nothing weighty - just me in an AMK SOL Escape bivy on an ENOSN.

    That ranger marched up in the dark and declared that I was "destroying his trees", along with other nonsense. At midnight and in the middle of a nylon shantytown filled with snotty german tourists and noisy, disposable-diaper-clad, bacon eating mass consumers!

    I just blinked back at him. I didn't want to add any ammo to his anti-hammocker ideas and thereby hurt the whole hangin community. But he could easily have had himself some impromptu astronaut training. Getting away from silly conflict is why I get out of the City.

    Next day I checked in at the ranger station and asked if they had any guidelines about hammocking - nothing specific about swinging, they said, they merely protect the park, including the trees.

    Oh well, maybe a brown bear will get him.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by steveflinn View Post
    Ranger hassled me in Yosemite this summer. I'm just lying there, drowsily wishing the world well, hanging out in the open with my HH 2" tree huggers attached to a couple of scrubby pines. Nothing weighty - just me in an AMK SOL Escape bivy on an ENOSN.

    That ranger marched up in the dark and declared that I was "destroying his trees", along with other nonsense. At midnight and in the middle of a nylon shantytown filled with snotty german tourists and noisy, disposable-diaper-clad, bacon eating mass consumers!

    I just blinked back at him. I didn't want to add any ammo to his anti-hammocker ideas and thereby hurt the whole hangin community. But he could easily have had himself some impromptu astronaut training. Getting away from silly conflict is why I get out of the City.

    Next day I checked in at the ranger station and asked if they had any guidelines about hammocking - nothing specific about swinging, they said, they merely protect the park, including the trees.

    Oh well, maybe a brown bear will get him.
    My wife and I have a strategy for dealing with people just like this ranger you are talking about. Step 1) I shut my mouth. Step 2) She plays dumb and apologetically explains our situation as if we had no idea what we are doing.

    What makes this really funny to me is that she's one of the smartest people I've ever known, but it seems like any random stranger will buy her little act. Nobody would believe me if I tried it.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by snarlbuckle View Post
    My wife and I have a strategy for dealing with people just like this ranger you are talking about. Step 1) I shut my mouth. Step 2) She plays dumb and apologetically explains our situation as if we had no idea what we are doing.

    What makes this really funny to me is that she's one of the smartest people I've ever known, but it seems like any random stranger will buy her little act. Nobody would believe me if I tried it.
    and that's the best strategy. Keep it simple and be smart. (although, I've never been one of the smartest and ya'll are better people than me for sure, as I just know I woulda been flappin my mouth when I shoulda been keepin it shut. )

  8. #68
    New Member SusanDerkins's Avatar
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    A month or so ago I was attending an LNT Trainer Course at SNP and a guy pulled his hammock stuff out of the back of his van (he turned out to be on this forum too, small world!). *Cue eye rolls from the instructors* What ensued was a great discussion with our trainers about why park rangers and the like take issue with hammock campers. For one, Nat'l Parks especially are very concerned with preserving the resource and the main way they have done this is through regulation. Regulation is cheaper and easier than education. Regulation is a reactive culture. Conversations and real attempts to minimize the appearance of damage to trees and ground are the only way to cut down on this stigma. A well highlighted point that hammocks prevent vegetation trampling works well to promote an LNT viewpoint. A bandana or tubing around either the tree or the lines will be enough to protect the resource on your end. I know most of you know all this, but park rangers and other campers don't and they are the ones that will decide how much crap we get when we hang on public land. If they hassle you, tell them!

    Nat'l Forest has far less rules but also, like a previous poster stated you will deal with messy and loud hunters during the fall and winter months. Even so, you can go in and not see anyone for a few days if you pick the right spots, and you have freedom because there's not a big permit and regulation hassle.

    As a to-the-point-of-ridiculousness LNT hawk I stay out of the state parks. Regulations suck, especially when we're talking public land but unfortunately it is needed. The kind of crap you've described would be enough to put me over my anger threshold on sight. The only way anything changes is if there is loud public outcry by the right people so please do forward the letter and your points about LNT promotion through hammock camping to the powers that be.
    "For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
    Bricks to all greenhouses! Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!" - Edward Abbey


  9. #69
    Member tgbrowning's Avatar
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    Oregon Parks ...

    Well, I have to admit a very limited set of experiences in hammock camping and the treatment afforded to hangers. But the ONE experience I did have was with no problems in Oregon was in a County Park. (I think it used to be a state park but was handed over to the county for money reasons). The "caretaker" was great, actually. I had messed up on paying (not followed the rules exactly) and he was nice, friendly and interested in what the devil I was doing with the hammock.

    He watched for a few minutes, allow that he approved of the strap idea and then went off to check on others.

    Got soaked but that happens.

    Now, Louisiana parks are a different story (told nope, not gonna happen very politely and firmly) but from talk on that last thread, it appears that the parks people are willing to experiment, now, with hammock campers...

  10. #70
    Oms's Avatar
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    Regulations and restrictions is why I don't like staying in a NP or SP. There are enough imposed on us in our regular life. I would like to see the extreme beauty of some of the NP but I hate having to follow a schedule from one campsite to another. Give me the simple pleasure of walking till I wish to stop. Unfortunately it has become increasingly more difficult to find. Best way is to find "locals" from places like this forum who know where the trail heads and great campsites with water are. Thanks to some folks around here (Chicago), southern Indiana and different parts of Michigan have been a saving grace for me. Now if I just had an airplane

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