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  1. #1
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    Great Smoky Nat. Park

    I was talking to the rangers today and they said they don't allow hammocks typically in the park. they said for backcountry camping you have to stay at a designated site. Reserved or not. They said it would be difficult to find trees at the sites. They don't want people going off and hanging a hammock just anywhere due to the wear and tear of the ecosystem. Anybody got helpfull info on this?
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    Too Much Of Everything Is Just Enough!

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    There is a few threads on this. From what I can remember the overall feeling, or maybe just mine, is be smart about it and you will be ok. Don't damage the trees and enjoy your time. There is only 1 backcountry ranger for the park and one ridge runner with no real powers. I wouldn't be to worried. Not that I have hung there at a great stealth site or shelter or anything.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  3. #3
    kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groundless View Post
    I was talking to the rangers today and they said they don't allow hammocks typically in the park. they said for backcountry camping you have to stay at a designated site. Reserved or not. They said it would be difficult to find trees at the sites. They don't want people going off and hanging a hammock just anywhere due to the wear and tear of the ecosystem. Anybody got helpfull info on this?
    there was not one shelter in the Smokies I could not hang in. there are also trees near the shelters. they have their rules. if you don't like the rules don't hike there. i'm not being smart, but im sure a FEW ruined it for the rest of us.

  4. #4
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    I understand where the rangers are coming from. You have to consider the average park visitor when wondering where the rules originate. Sit and watch the park entrances for a while and watch how many people drive up to the entrance signs, take their picture, and then drive right back out.

    I am not saying that the average hiker acts this way, but there are way more than enough disrespectful hikers and campers to cause problems for the rest of us. Take a look at the more popular trails (Laurel Falls, Chimney Top, etc.) and watch the dumb stuff people do and the trash they leave all over.

    The trail conditions on many of the GSMNP trails are terrible. Huge path widths from people avoiding puddles, trash left on the trail, dirt completely gone from the lack of trail maintenance, etc. It's still a great place to go and one of my favorite parks in the country, but some people could definitely use a kick in the butt to make them respect the park and others in it more. Ruminate on those people and then ask again why they do not want hammocks in the park.
    Owner - GoingGear.com

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    there was not one shelter in the Smokies I could not hang in. there are also trees near the shelters. they have their rules. if you don't like the rules don't hike there. i'm not being smart, but im sure a FEW ruined it for the rest of us.
    a little snippy but no offense. I did mention a while back I saw a guy put two eye bolts into trees to hang. I can see where they are coming from. Just wanted to try out my new homemade hanger. I'll stick with the tent. And I always pick up trash with my son when we day hike up deep Creek. Never fails sombody leaves something behind.
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    kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groundless View Post
    a little snippy but no offense. I did mention a while back I saw a guy put two eye bolts into trees to hang. I can see where they are coming from. Just wanted to try out my new homemade hanger. I'll stick with the tent. And I always pick up trash with my son when we day hike up deep Creek. Never fails sombody leaves something behind.
    i didn't mean to be snippy. i avoid places with rules like this on purpose. i feel uncomfortable when i know i am breaking rules. in ALL of NJ it is illegal to stealth camp. ALL. but since i know the rangers i follow the rules.
    hike it in the winter. I SAW NOBODY

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    i didn't mean to be snippy. i avoid places with rules like this on purpose. i feel uncomfortable when i know i am breaking rules. in ALL of NJ it is illegal to stealth camp. ALL. but since i know the rangers i follow the rules.
    hike it in the winter. I SAW NOBODY
    I was just playing with ya. I too follow the rules. I just saw about a bazillion places to hang out that were perfect. Can't use them down here in the state parks as well.
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    Jerry Garcia

  8. #8
    New Member Raven-US's Avatar
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    i've never run into any problems hanging in the Smokies... could be my site standards are low (and my rig doesn't take up much space). the backcountry sites aren't all that well defined (i.e., no borders with "put your tent here" signs), so I consider myself "at a site" when I'm within the people-affected zone. so far, i've always found a place to hang. the AT shelters are a different story... had to stealth it near Icewater Springs, but the weather was horrible, so I figured I was pretty safe.
    There's no such thing as bad weather... just bad gear.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Smokies are only a pain if you let them be. I hung outside the shelters, inside the shelters, at primitive campgrounds, and stealth. Pick your poison. If you don't want to risk a ranger/runner telling you "No" to hanging near the shelters, don't want to hang inside the shelters (which is way easy), and don't want to break any rules (stealthing) then I suggest bringing a map. Remember ONLY the AT section of the smokies prohibit hanging (ie; sleeping outside of shelters). There are many very fine campgrounds just a short distance down a blue blaze. No rules about hanging! Plus, some of those blues are downright stunning trails.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #10
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Smokies are only a pain if you let them be. I hung outside the shelters, inside the shelters, at primitive campgrounds, and stealth. Pick your poison. If you don't want to risk a ranger/runner telling you "No" to hanging near the shelters, don't want to hang inside the shelters (which is way easy), and don't want to break any rules (stealthing) then I suggest bringing a map. Remember ONLY the AT section of the smokies prohibit hanging (ie; sleeping outside of shelters). There are many very fine campgrounds just a short distance down a blue blaze. No rules about hanging! Plus, some of those blues are downright stunning trails.
    Do you know about the frontcountry campgrounds...specifically Cosby?
    I will be camping there in June and while I have an emial question to the rangers, I thought I'd ask
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