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  1. #1
    lesspayne's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Lafayette, LA
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    Trip #1 in my Hammock - Solo - 7/6/2013 to 7/7/2013

    Location
    Lake Fausse Pointe State Park: Backpack Site #5 off Trail C

    Gear
    • Warbonnet Blackbird XLC 1.7 DL (only brought bug net)
    • Warbonnet Superfly Tarp
    • Harbor Freight Blue Tarp (ground cloth)
    • Mora Knife, Kershaw Pocket Knife and Gerber Camp Axe/Saw
    • Sleeping Bag Liner
    • (4) Towels
    • Trash Bag
    • Survival Bag
    • Molle Style Rucksac


    Food
    • (4) Cliff Bars
    • Beef Jerky
    • Tuna Sald Kit
    • (2) Pop Tarts


    Water
    • Sawyer Water Bottle & Filter
    • Stainless Steel Water Bottle
    • Army Style Canteen


    Costs
    $1 For the Campsite
    $6 Transaction Fee

    Weather
    Temp. 89 Degrees High Saturday
    Temp. 74 Degrees Overnight Low
    Temp. 78 Degrees Sunday at Departure 9 AM Sunday Morning
    Wind was approximately 5-10 knots
    Thunderstorm Saturday afternoon, clear overnight, woke up to thunderstorms Sunday morning.

    Arrival
    (11 AM) After waiting for an hour for the staff to check me in I drove to a spot by the cabins where there was entrance to Trail C. I grabbed my rucksac and set of on my half mile hike to my campsite. Along the way you pass over a foot bridge that runs over a very swampy area that is home to many different birds. I saw some type of yellow head finch bird, a couple different kinds of ducks and the white egrets. This part of the trail winds through the high ground of the swamps past lower swampy areas lined with cypress knees and watched over by towering pines oaks and cypress. About a third of a mile down the trail I saw the trail marker for my campsite trial. I took a left on to a trail that ran parallel to a levee with a bayou directly on the other side. After about 200 yards the trail turned right and lead me to the top of the levee, to a clearing which had two benches and a metal fire ring. I first decided on two trees at the edge of camp, that gave me a good view of the bayou, to set up my hammock and tarp. After a inspection for widow makers and animal trails, I ended up changing my mind due to strange vines growing over one of the trees that I thought could have been either poison ivy, oak, sumac or something else that would leave me itchy and miserable. I used one of the trees but swung around 180 degrees and attached to another candidate about the same distance on the other side (a very lucky and good decision, more on this later). Due to the undergrowth it took about 15 minutes to setup the tarp and hammock (most of the time was for the tarp).
    The Trail
    20130706_144428.jpg
    20130706_144310.jpg
    20130706_144325.jpg
    20130706_144344.jpg

    Back to the Truck
    The excitement of being in the woods made me forget something important in my truck, some bug spray. I tried to go without for a while and made a fire and burned some green weeds to produce some smoke to keep the bugs at bay. This kind of worked but the mosquitoes where eating me up. So after an hour or so I made the short trek back to my truck for some Deep Woods Off. Along the way I was taking some pictures of the trail with my phone when I stumbled across an armadillo going about his daily chores. I was very stunned as to how close I was to him and he either didn't notice me or didn't care, as his work seemed more important than this monster looming over him with a phone taking pictures and video. I took a few pictures and filmed him for a minute or two while he was going from place to place digging little holes here and there before continuing along my way. After retrieving the Off and arriving back at camp I thought I would make a tripod before the afternoon storm hits. I went about gathering three logs long enough and was getting out some cord to lash the poles together when the afternoon storm rolled in.
    The Dillo (Blurry)
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    20130706_145208.jpg

    The Widow Maker in the Storm
    I got my gear and got under the Superfly just as Mother Nature started the show. I stowed my gear on a bench that I had moved under my tarp and sat down and began filming with my phone as the sky's opened up. I had the tarp set up in porch mode with the doors hanging down. Pools of water where collecting and so I stopped filming and dropped the tarp. After dropping the tarp I went back to filming for about ten minutes until there was a calm in the storm. I shut of the video camera on my phone and was about to grab my clothes when this widow maker slammed down right through the middle of my camp. The branch landed so hard and so close I felt the ground tremor. Looking outside there was an eight inch diameter log about 20 feet in length that had fell and split in half. The closest branch was a mere 2 feet from my tarp setup. If I had chosen to mess with the strange vine around the other tree this branch would have been in my lap!

    Nighttime
    After the close call with the widow maker I abandoned my tripod, ate something and changed into my sleeping clothes. I unzipped my Blackbird XLC and got in. I turned on some music and read a survival manual I have downloaded to my phone for about an hour or so before going to sleep. It was a wonderful sensation lying there gently rocking in my hammock letting the swamp serenade me to sleep. I felt like I was floating above the ground with nothing underneath me. I slept great, only getting up once to use the bathroom around 1AM.

    Morning
    I woke up in the morning to thunder and gray skies turning black, the weather man had gotten it wrong again. I changed into some trekking clothes and started to break camp, I wanted to get out before the storm hit as I had not brought the proper rain protection to trek out in a downpour. I almost made it. Rain drops started to fall as I was about to release the last two tie outs on my tarp. I tied out the tarp again and sat there for a while hoping that it would quickly pass with no luck. After listening to the sound of the rain on my tarp and listening to the thunder rumble it stopped raining enough for me to trek my gear out to my truck. I wrapped the tarp up, soaking wet, in the snake skins and carried it in my hands. Just as I got back to the truck it started pouring again, which reminds me I need to get a Packa.

    Departure
    I left Lake Fausse Pointe at 9AM Sunday morning after a great night alone with Mother Nature. I look forward to the next adventure no matter how small.

    NOTES: Sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. I wanted to post the video to YouTube but the quality is to bad. All I had was my phone though while I was on this trip, but my new camera came in the mail while I was gone.

  2. #2
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
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    Wow, what a first time hammock trip! Your widow maker tale is pretty terrifying, that was just too close, and barely after you got your 1st hammock camp setup! If you had been camping in a tent or ground dwelling in under a tarp, would you have been in a spot that was any safer?
    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

  3. #3
    TallPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Hammock
    WBXLC, WBBB, LiteOwl
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    Webbing, Whoopies
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    Thanks for the trip report - that sounds like one heck of a night for the first trip with your hammock.
    Hope we get to see some videos in the future with the new camera.

  4. #4
    Loki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Western, NC
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    WB, JRB, WL
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    How's the weather?
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    Strap'BinerWhoopie
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    pretty scary that wMaker.

    Congrats on your 1st solo !
    - Loki,

    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
    Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
    The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,
    while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
    John Muir

  5. #5
    lesspayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lafayette, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    If you had been camping in a tent or ground dwelling in under a tarp, would you have been in a spot that was any safer?
    I should've have put that in my report, as I thought about it at the time, but the place I would've pitched a tent was just as bad as my first choice to hang my hammock, maybe worse. The choice spot for a tent was where the branch was split at and about 5 feet in front of my first choice to hang my hammock... maybe another good reason to hang a hammock???? Another detail I left out was the widow maker came from a tree I did not see originally. It was covered in vines and undergrowth. The tree was rotten with termites and stood on the opposite side of camp about 10 feet from the bayou and fifty feet from my hammock setup.

  6. #6
    Just Hanging Out Mumbles's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kingston, WA
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    Great report! Thanks for sharing.

  7. #7
    g2outdoors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Augusta, GA
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    scary stuff. Glad you're ok!

  8. #8
    ASM Troop 131. Fixxr5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Hammock
    DH Roaming Gnome
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    Solo

    Love the Atchafalaya swamp.
    Expect the Best,
    Prepare for the Worst
    Attributed to some poor guy who ran into Murphy,
    Too many times

  9. #9
    lesspayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lafayette, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willjack1967 View Post
    Love the Atchafalaya swamp.
    I would go here more often but find it difficult to pay for a clearing in the woods. I usually camp at the Sherburne WMA, cause I don't have to pay for a clearing in the woods, but wanted to do something different this time.

  10. #10
    Vincebus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Taneytown, MD
    Hammock
    GT Ultralight/DIY Double layer
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    DIY Silnylon tarp
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    straps and static
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    Wow, almost too close for comfort imo. I hope my 1st hang goes as smoothly as yours and the wmakers stay up in the trees like they're supposed to...
    It's not the glide in the ride, it's the swing in the sling...

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