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Thread: Huggerless HH's

  1. #1
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Huggerless HH's

    I know I'm preaching to the choir here but I just had to comment on something I found very disturbing while on the AT.
    I passed a LOT of people using HH without tree huggers. In fact, I can only remember three guys I saw that were using them. To be fair I should also note that there were several hikers that were using other brands (Travel Hammocks come to mind) with bare rope suspension lines tied off to trees. All of those I talked to said that it was just too much trouble and extra weight to carry and use the huggers. Also there was distructive behavior. At one of the hostels where I stayed (Chet's Place) a guy tied his HH to a tree and to an unsupported split rail fence line post. The fence was pulled badly out of shape and was not repaired before he left. Education is not the problem, apathy is. Many hikers feel that just because they are out here hiking on the AT they are entitled to do pretty much as they please no matter who suffers because of it. Like I said, this is not a problem here. I just thought I'd make the community aware of what I saw.
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    T-BACK

    I saw much of the same out there, but can't claim innocence as I did pull a board out of a shelter wall while hanging from it. Although, I do feel my spine and hip paid any penance that was required for that one.

    I remember being supremely disappointed one night while stealth camping a fair distance off the trail. I was somewhat accustomed to seeing rope/cord marks on the trees near the shelters, but was completely dismayed to find the same damage deeper into the woods. It is this type of behavior that is going to cause more states to adopt, instead of amending, laws against hanging 'things' from trees. It is frustrating.

    The good news is there are an intrepid few (Warbonnet, Speer, JRB, maybe others) that are sending their hammocks out with at least the option of webbing in lieu of line. This is good news and I suspect a trend that will only continue. There is always hope!
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    While I haven't seen any tree damage from hammocks where I hike, I am similarly disturbed by the amount of trash and uncovered personal waste people leave in the woods. I guess it's the same attitude. I try to pick up as much as I can, and avoid established campsites.

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    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Yea, I don't even want to get started on things (even a 1 pound gas stove fuel canister) and trash that people left at shelters. Like a good friend of mine says "It's a **** shame."
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

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    I'm with you on that. I don't remember tree damage. I also didn't look. I do remember seeing people entitled. I won't say I was never that way, but I tried not too. It mainly came out with weekend or section hikers trying to tell us the way it was.

    One thing that sticks with me was the amount of garbage in the wilderness. All the shelters were full of it from the southbounders and all the camp groups.

    Good to hear Chet was still taking hikers in. A really cool guy.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    ............

    One thing that sticks with me was the amount of garbage in the wilderness. All the shelters were full of it from the southbounders and all the camp groups.

    .......
    That's a shame. I can honestly say that, over a 20 plus year period of periodically hiking deep in the wilderness areas of the west ( at least in the Winds, and the Olympics and a few other places), 99% of the time I would see zero trash. There was that negative 1% of the time, but over all I've had good luck with that. Of course, most of these places are reall off the beaten path.

    But, I can think of one time I was going up from a trailhead 25 minutes from downtown Salt Lake, and I met some young guys coming down from some alpine lakes just a day hike away. They had decided they didn't want to be there and had left a trashed camp site- cans of beer or food and such. But that sort of thing was rare.

    The tree damage thing is a little scary, though. That does not bode well for us hangers.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Not to shift blame, but shouldn't hammock manufacturers make more of an effort to educate about the huggers and protecting trees? Seems like it'll work against them if hammock users start getting banned for damaging trees, doesn't it? I know it's all about making a quick buck with some folks, but they need to start thinking long-term.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Yeah - I think it's everyone's responsibility...just like LNT (or at least the principles behind LNT if not the actual rules...don't wanna start that debate here). But like you said, manufacturers have a financial interest in it where the rest of us don't depend on it for income.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  9. #9
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Maybe if the manufacturers included a hang tag or such that told of the possible future of irresponsible hanging practices it might influence some of the offenders. Who knows, it might take of like the "Leave No Trace" campaign if we could come up with a fancy catch phrase. Honestly though, I don't believe it is an education problem. Several of the people I talked to stated that they knew they were possibly damaging trees. They felt that the odds were small that anyone else would hang from the same tree again without tree huggers. Some even added that once they finished their hike they would never use the hammock again. It was simply a means to an end. I can only equate that to the way a lot of us feel about stealth sites. The difference is that stealthing, if done correctly, does no long term damage to the site. Which brings me to the lone fellow who had obviously thought this through . He claimed that he researched this very subject and found that there was no proof, or even any properly applied scientific method, that suggests that the trees are harmed just because there are visible indentions left in the bark. Because the cambrium, if it was damaged at all, wasn't damaged all the way around the tree so it should be fine. Is he right? Maybe. Who really knows for sure. One thing I have learned is that nature is nothing if not very resilient. Personally, I'll stick with the "first do no harm" mentality.
    The point of all this rambling is to say that it's not about education for most people. It's more about attitude. Most all of the hikers I encountered were very concerned about about the long term survival of the forests. Unfortunately, a very few were only interested in making sure the trees didn't all fall down until after their hike was over.
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Yeah - I think it's everyone's responsibility...just like LNT (or at least the principles behind LNT if not the actual rules...don't wanna start that debate here). But like you said, manufacturers have a financial interest in it where the rest of us don't depend on it for income.
    JJ, NC Patrick, et al,

    Personally I believe it is everyones responsibility to promote good citizenship in the woods and among the community of those who use hammocks.

    To that end JRB manufactured hammocks come with suspension straps.....BTW JRB also makes available hammock strap sets and hammock strap sets with triglides.... We do not promote or sell rope or high tech line for hammock suspension.

    HF members should realize that the open debate of and support of thin high tech hammock suspension without emphasis on the including and or requiring use of tree hugger/saver straps is a far greater influence to go strapless. Most of the manufacturors steer clear of these threads because they are potentially misleading to the uninformed. Similiarly use of soft hollow core rope that spreads flat in use, while it may not damage trees, and is therefore technically acceptable, may confuse others in field use. Those who see such rope in use without actually examining it or discussing its characteristics may be left with the impression that rope on tree is ok.

    We all have a role to play in educating the public and supporting do no harm hanging.

    Pan
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