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  1. #1
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
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    white widow makers - how do you deal?

    I've been putting the idea of a winter hang in my mind and remembered an incident while walking to the top of Tumalo Mt. A piece of ice fell off a branch and hit me on the head. It actually broke skin and caused a little blood. My hiking partner asked what to do and I said, "Put ice on it." ... which caused us to laugh ourselves silly.

    So I understand about looking up to make sure there are no branches to come down. But in the winter, perfectly healthy branches are loaded with snow.

    So it seems there are three choices (a fourth choice, not going, is out of the question).
    1) bring extra long suspension line so you can hang between two trees that are pretty far apart - so you are more away from overhanging branches

    2) spend a lot more time looking for a site that offers spindly - but still strong enough for a hammock - trees. That is, trees with not enough upper branches to allow a snow load

    3) take the risk - the snow hasn't come down so far and odds are it will come down when it is warmer, in the afternoon, rather than during the colder temperatures at night.

    So what's the deal with winter camping. Do you ignore the snow and follow the encouraging words of that wise philosopher, Christie Brinkley, "Well, are you gonna go for it?" (National Lampoon's Vacation, circa 1983)?

    Paul

  2. #2
    cwbybld's Avatar
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    I try to find trees that are smaller with little to no snow or ice on em. Then shake them to get anything I can down. Then hope and pray nothing falls in the night.
    Leave me alone, I'm only talking to my dog today.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwbybld View Post
    I try to find trees that are smaller with little to no snow or ice on em. Then shake them to get anything I can down. Then hope and pray nothing falls in the night.
    Agreed this is what i do.
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  4. #4
    New Member Edeus's Avatar
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    My plan to deal with snow is to camp in spruce forest.
    Spruces have so much big branches that snow fall down very slow, and its normal that big blocks of snow brokes down when they hit branch while falling.

    This might not help you cos I dont know what kind of forests you have there, but in my camp sites there are plenty on spruces.

  5. #5
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
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    Make a Diamond-Net out of AmSteel and then Put the net over top the Tarp and have it tied off real tight to solid anchor points around the area. When the branch comes it will most likely get deflected by the AmSteel or at least slowed down enough not to cause severe damage to you. AmSteel is pretty light so it is something that wont hurt you on the weight but it might on the wallet. Making a 8 x 10 net out of the stuff could be quite expensive. Anyways, that is the only thing I could come up with, aside from climbing the tree and cutting down all the branches(out of the question for multiple reasons).

    I got this idea from when a widow maker fell in my yard and broke in half over some Amsteel I had left strung between two trees from when I was test hanging my diy tarp. I then realized that it is strong enough to withstand alot of abuse from falling objects. It may not be 100% effective but it will definitely help minimize damage taken from falling branches. Icicles, are another story.


  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Sorry, I know I have told this multiple times, usually in relation to how sure we can be ( or not ) of keeping insulation dry. And I will probably tell it again in the appropriate threads. So:

    In a late June 85 WY snowstorm, a snow loaded branch fell and punctured my friend's tarp. He was not harmed except comfort wise, as the branch stopped a few inches from his face, but still dumping a big load of snow wight down his bag's hood opening. Plus of course, now he had a big hole in his tarp during a raging windy snow storm.

    Now just add ice to things that can fall on you as you sleep.

    So, I know of no way to eliminate this danger if camping in the forest. I have routinely, ever since I started hanging, worked hard to find the smallest trees that will hold me which are also as far as possible from big trees which might fall on me. However, getting all of that just right can be quite a trick sometimes. Most times?

    I love the Amsteel idea, at least for car camping. But not the $ involved. And of course when counting oz and volume, that will add up.
    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.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Camp where it is cold, that wet heavy snow is beautiful, however it is really just white rain. The big flakes are very wet, they weigh a lot. If you camp where it is cold, the snow does not have as much moisture.

    I shake trees here in Oregon, see how they move, it gets some of the snow loose. I have just found that it is so wet most places we Hang, that my gear gets wet, my pant legs are wet. Always reminds me of growing up here, I remember being wet most of the time.

  8. #8
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
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    I'm in Oregon too - Bend area (central Oregon) we have Ponderosa's here or other trees just as substantial. So I'm sure shaking trees works in some parts fo the country but I smile to think of myself walking up to a Ponderosa, putting my hands on its trunk at about a four foot height and trying to shake it. Same goes for the various fir trees.

    But if I climb to altitude (not so hard to do because the trail heads start about 6000 feet) trees do get a little thinner.

    And with snow on the ground and xc skis or snowshoes, it is easier to approach any tree I want. So I can spend more time looking for the right pair.

    Thank you for your comments.
    Paul

  9. #9
    Senior Member Oregon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTrekker View Post
    Make a Diamond-Net out of AmSteel and then Put the net over top the Tarp and have it tied off real tight to solid anchor points around the area. When the branch comes it will most likely get deflected by the AmSteel or at least slowed down enough not to cause severe damage to you. AmSteel is pretty light so it is something that wont hurt you on the weight but it might on the wallet. Making a 8 x 10 net out of the stuff could be quite expensive. Anyways, that is the only thing I could come up with, aside from climbing the tree and cutting down all the branches(out of the question for multiple reasons).

    I got this idea from when a widow maker fell in my yard and broke in half over some Amsteel I had left strung between two trees from when I was test hanging my diy tarp. I then realized that it is strong enough to withstand alot of abuse from falling objects. It may not be 100% effective but it will definitely help minimize damage taken from falling branches. Icicles, are another story.

    Would you really want it "real tight"? Wouldn't the branch be more likely to tear right though the tight net rather than one that had slight give in order to absorb some of the impact? Maybe someone with some physics background can answer that one.
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  10. #10
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon View Post
    Would you really want it "real tight"? Wouldn't the branch be more likely to tear right though the tight net rather than one that had slight give in order to absorb some of the impact? Maybe someone with some physics background can answer that one.
    Yeah, that's kind of what I meant but I worded it badly. The points where it is lashed to the trees should be tight but the actual net should have alittle sag to it.

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