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  1. #21
    mugs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guySmiley View Post
    Now that I've completed the PCT I'm going to answer my own question for anyone that may have the same kind of questions.

    Yes, using a hammock on the PCT is not only possible, but it can also be very practicle.

    I only used a hammock for Washington, but if I were to do the whole thing again, I'd never bother with the Tarptent.

    However, not bringing a groundpad would be stupid. There aren't many places that a person wouldn't be able hang on the PCT (even in SoCal), but when it happens having a pad will make the difference between a good nights sleep, or spending a cold miserable night cussing yourself out for being so stupid.

    Also, I had one night in the Goat Rocks Wilderness that the cloud that I was sleeping in was blowing mist sideways in 35 degrees at (at least) 40 mph. I went to sleep that night hanging between the last two decent hanging trees before getting to the Packwood glacier. I drifted off that night very, very thankful for my Neoair pad beneath me, sandwiched between me and my underquilt.

    Another thing is when I was in WA, it was the rainiest September in 30 years. Because of my hammock/tarp setup I was typically the driest hiker in the group of people that I knew. I saw many, many people in single wall tents bail off the trail for town because their down bags were completely saturated.
    Thanks for answering your own question and mine as well. So from what I gather you can hang through the whole thing..Is that correct. I have been piece mealing the Wa section over the past few years but have always wanted to do the whole thing in one shot.

    Glad you made it back.
    I miss my 4.8Lb base weight as a ground dweller...But I sure DON'T MISS the ground.

  2. #22
    Senior Member guySmiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    Glad to hear you made it! congrats! and good to hear you were successful in hanging most of the way - it's interesting how creative one can get with a hammock. I've been some places this year where I couldn't at all but mostly upwards of 11,000 feet in open granite slab.
    Thanks Lori!

  3. #23
    Senior Member guySmiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugs View Post
    Thanks for answering your own question and mine as well. So from what I gather you can hang through the whole thing..Is that correct. I have been piece mealing the Wa section over the past few years but have always wanted to do the whole thing in one shot.

    Glad you made it back.
    I wouldn't say, "everywhere" but with a little forthought when planning your day in the morning, you could hang nearly every night. You wouldn't even have to be that creative about it.

    Chances are though that you'll have to sleep on the ground now and again. It happened to me twice in Glacier Peak Wilderness because I wasn't as concerned with being able to hang as I was with getting more miles in. It left me above treeline after a 30+ mile day and another 3 miles before getting to a half decent spot. At that point, all I wanted to do was crash so I pitched the tarp on the ground.

    That wasn't the norm though. People using tents get into a similar situations much more frequently where they need to keep walking, sometimes for a good many miles, before they can find a spot that is even marginally suitable for a tent. Even if they're willing to pitch on the trail itself.

    I think that's it's very important to remain flexible. Sleeping on the ground isn't the end of the world, even if it's not your first choice.

    OH! One more reason to bring the hammock: Rodents.

    For some reason, pretty much everyone I saw had problems with mice in WA. Not only was I able to stay drier than most but the mice weren't chewing their way into my tent to get to my food because everything was safely off the ground. My food was in the hammock with me.

    I doubt this is 100% reliable. An enterprising mouse could climb the tree and walk down my strap but it never happened. The best way to prevent it is to hang near another hiker that's using a tent so they have an easier target! I'm only partially kidding.

  4. #24
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guySmiley View Post
    I don't know which movie that you're speaking of, but I've probably seen it.

    I think that one of the reasons people get the impression that there aren't many trees from which to hang is part because of preconceptions of what the desert is going to be like. That's the way it was for me, at any rate.

    Also, I think (as far as movies and photos go) people tend to take more photos and video in the high altitude, alpine areas, so people get the impression that's what the trail is like all over. The truth is, most of it is wooded to some extent.
    I think the movie was 'Wizards'. Thanks for the info.

  5. #25
    Buenos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the hanging potential of the PCT in general. I just finished section J in WA State, which was a hangin' dream! Give me more confidence when section hiking the rest of the trail.

    respectfully,
    Jose Diaz
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  6. #26
    Senior Member guySmiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeHouse View Post
    I think the movie was 'Wizards'. Thanks for the info.
    I haven't seen that one cuz I was on the PCT when it came out. I'm not feeling quite as obsessive about the trail at this point, but I'm sure I'll get to it. How was it?

    Jester's a funny guy so I suspect it's entertaining.

  7. #27
    Senior Member earplug94's Avatar
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    What a beautiful trail. I did around 600 miles around the Sierra area when I was 20. Man- I'm getting old. I went through ALOT of places to hammock. Will just have to plan a little bit more than if you were out East. What a great place to hang.
    We will never conquer a mountain. The mountain allows us to visit and with enough time asks us to kindly go back down. And sits in peace with or without our presence.
    my quote.

  8. #28
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    'Scout' the PCT with Google Earth

    Without any doubts whatsoever, I will definitely be using a hammock on a future PCT thru-hike (or hikes? )...
    The comfort & good nights sleep from hanging will be well worth the very slight weight 'penalty' for my total sleep/shelter system!

    Here's a pct-l post from "Roni from Israel", who hammocked the PCT - good info for those contemplating using a hammock on the PCT...
    A year before "Roni from Israel" a group of hangers was given the trailname "the Ewoks", from "Star Wars" movie for the ones that lived up in the trees ...
    Hanging on the PCT has 'successfully' been done previously - so don't count it out during your planning!!

    Additionally, one could 'scout' the PCT looking for likely hanging spots utilizing Google Earth...
    Download the USFS PCT trace kmz file, or better yet Halfmile's PCT trace (it's more accurate, IMHO)...
    Once opened in GE, you can zoom in and follow the trail trace looking for potential hang locations - planning ahead for some areas where you might have to stop early or hike further if you don't want to go to ground...
    If one has a pad (e.g. Z-Rest) for additional bottom insulation (for a 2/3 or 3/4 UQ), one can go to ground if so decided (i.e. not letting the hammock 'dictate' your daily mileage)...

    guySmiley - a belated "Congrats" on your PCT completion!!

    I'm looking forward to 'hanging out' on the PCT!
    Happy trails!!!
    Jim (PITA)

    HYOH! (hike/hang your own hike/hang)

    Hiking (and hanging) the Pacific Crest Trail - 2014 (Nobo starting April 2!! )

    "Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." - Steven Wright

    [Note/clarification: any or all of the above signature lines are NOT meant to be an affront to anyone in any way! - simply means that I am very excited to finally be attempting a PCT thru-hike in 2014, and attempting to hang the entire way, too!! Thank you.]

  9. #29
    sturgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guySmiley View Post
    OH! One more reason to bring the hammock: Rodents.

    For some reason, pretty much everyone I saw had problems with mice in WA. Not only was I able to stay drier than most but the mice weren't chewing their way into my tent to get to my food because everything was safely off the ground. My food was in the hammock with me.
    Hey Guy, weren't you worried about bears at all, sleeping with food in your hammock? Did you hang food sometimes or bearvault it? Just curious.
    Congrats!

  10. #30
    Senior Member guySmiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturgeon View Post
    Hey Guy, weren't you worried about bears at all, sleeping with food in your hammock? Did you hang food sometimes or bearvault it? Just curious.
    Congrats!

    I used a BearVault 500 from Kennedy Meadows until Sonora Pass where I hitched into Bridgeport, CA and sent it home.

    The bottom line answer to your question is no, I wasn't worried. Black bears are the only type that you need to worry about on the PCT.

    Try and think like a bear. They want as many calories as they can get with as little personal danger and effort as possible (just like a thru hiker). If you have the food with you they perceive that you own it and to get it they would have to take it from you. A dangerous proposition if you're a bear. On the other hand, if you hang your food, nobody has possession of it. From their perspective it's up for grabs. All they have to do is get at it.

    I think hanging is an invitation for a bear to come and try. Which could be fun to video tape.

    I used the bear can in areas where it was required by law, but I didn't see a single bear in any of those areas. The reason for that might be I tend to avoid commonly used campsites, which is also a well known strategy to avoid such an encounter with bears.

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