Clicky

Another homemade hammock-- take 2

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,823
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#81
Seaking shelter under a single tall tree is a No-No. If there are some tall trees then I like to get under small ones that are just outside the height of the tall ones.
One trip on Rock Springs Run we had a storm hit us and there was a lot of electricity , I pulled into the brush ( small trees) and had tall ones on both sides of the river for protection. The same thing on the Santa Fa River on one trip. Both times I sat in the boat and rode the storm out. One trip the guys got out of there boats and on land near the trees , I stayed in the wood boat and real low.

I feel safer under small trees when there are some big ones around them , it has always been the taller ones that get zapped or it has been that way in the past.

As far as the hammock , tie it off to some shorter trees that the taller ones make the canopies for. You are up off the ground , suspended between two trees and there is no metal involved , just ropes and material. Nothing to attract the lighting and if it did hit it would hit the taller trees 1st. Not sure what the experts tell you except to seak shelter in doors , someplace ....or if you cant to squat down and rest on the balls of your feet, not under a solitary tree that is asking for trouble.

Considering the hammock... John Deppa and I were camping at Buck Lake and a cold fount came threw , that night it blew and rained like someone was using a fire hose. We were in the hammocks and neither of us got a drop of water in them. The storm blew down two trees in the camp site plus flooding the whole area , it was under water.
Later I found out the winds were in the 70 to 75 mph bracket , basically a category 1 hurricane. It did rock the hammock but that just made it better for some good sleeping. If we would of been using our tents we would of been camping in the water. :D

Chuck.
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
#82
tx river rat said:
I guess my thinking on riding a storm like we had out is do what you think is the safest ,and if its your time its been a heck of a ride.
Friend Ronnie,

I recall yer gut laugh at the mind pichur of me'n the High Sheriff spinnin' round 'n round in hammocks. Funny.......but I dont figger they (hammocks) woulda done that. Lightnin' iz anuther colored horse. That wuz my second time it felt like spinnin' the cylinder with one round inside 'n hopin' it dont end up under the hammer. The first time I stayed on the water 'n kept paddlin'. The lightnin' seemed worse (closer, louder 'n lasted longer) than what we had on the Brazos, but a Texas wind iz bigger'n a reglar wind. I didnt git off the water then cuz there wuz trees along on the bank. The river iz always the lowest spot.....but a sandbar mite be a better spot.

I aim ta tie off in my hammock next week, so I will keep a close eye on this thread til it turns ta grits. [chuckle]

regards
bearridge
order of the lost shoe

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. Thomas Jefferson
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,941
57
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#83
Lightning is so powerful that it takes not only the path of least resistance, it subdivides off into other possible paths too. The less the resistance, the more the electricity. It's an inverse proportional thing.

If lightning hits my tent, I think I want a helmet with a sponge soaked in salt water on my shaved head, connected to the nearest pole. That way, maybe it would be quick and I wouldn't have to endure the heat up and exploding of my poor, (gymnastically fit and trim, surpassing even Bow-Flex types) body.

A few years ago, National Geo had an article about lightning, "Lightning: Nature's Terrible Swift Sword". I can think of no more apt description. All experts avoid it like the plague, or gritz, whichever comes first. (Just couldn't resist, Chuck, sorry. The devil made me do it!) As Chuck said earlier, they recommend to squat on the balls of your feet. I can do that for a whole 2, maybe 3 seconds. Then I either fall over or get a cramp. They say to not brace yourself with a hand on the ground, as that provides a path through the heart. And, that may well be the least worst way out.

They also said to not take shelter in a cave, as the lightning would track inside the cave and back out. I'm not sure why it would, instead of going right on past and letting us good, upright Republicans alone in there. So, I think that lightning may be a Democrat thing? Maybe two hatch covers will protect us?

All joking aside, we face a few hazards in our chosen hobby, and hypothermia and lightning are certainly two of them. Mostly, though, I think our own damned foolishness is more dangerous than either of those.
 
Likes: FrankAS

gbinga

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2008
736
2
Hoschton, GA
#84
Kayak Jack said:
Lightning is so powerful that it takes not only the path of least resistance, it subdivides off into other possible paths too. The less the resistance, the more the electricity. It's an inverse proportional thing.
You have a good point there. Actually true of all electricity. Basic DC electronics.

I guess my real point was that the metal tent poles shouldn't ADD to the danger. But then again, if your tent is the tallest object around, then maybe the metal tent poles would help draw a strike.

(Chuck pointed out at some point that the best thing to do is to stay out of lightning, and that is obviously good policy to follow whenever you can)

From Chapman Piloting, 60th edition, in the section of "Safety Afloat":

"A grounded conductor, or lightning protective mast, will generally divert to its self direct lightning strikes which might otherwise fall within a cone shaped space, the apex of which is the top of the mast, and the base a circle at the water's surface having a radius approximately equal to the height of the mast......

.....probability of protection is considered to be 99% within this cone....

.....Sailboats with metal standing rigging are adequately protected if all rigging is bonded together and connected to ground"


It also mentions that the conductors involved should be equivalent to 8 gauge wire, or better.

So how much of that would compare to metal tent poles is very arguable. The poles are close to the ground, but are not deliberately grounded. They probably do not conduct as well as 8 gauge copper. And they are not interconnected.

I yield the point. Try to stay out of lightning if you can, and maybe consider replacing your metal poles with fiberglass?

GBinGA
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,823
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#88
The thing that really worries me is that I could be a good conductor of electricity thanks to all of the surgery I have had. There are wires running around inside my chest that covers the whole gambit from the waist line to the neck and one big chunk in the upper right side called a titanium enclosed defibrillator. All metal and all of it connected to the heart , both top and bottom with one to the side. If lighting would seak me out , it would explode the defibrillator and melt the wires and fry my heart so everything would be over before you could bat your eye. Might as well swallow an hand grenade for a slower demise. :roll:

I am sure any lighting really close by would see a nice target and aim for it like a kid in a candy store with free samples. My guess that is why they tell me to stay away from arc welders , electricity of any type , even strong magnets. ( who would want to pry me loose from the magnet any volunteers. :p

I never worried about lighting in the past , respected and and learned to live around it but now days it does frighten me and I prefer to be no where around it. It's no fun thinking of yourself as a walking , talking , upright Lighting Rod.

:lol: :lol: :lol: If it would of hit me Bear , Ron and Darrell would have some wild tails to tell if they did not get some of it or residual parts of the blast. The up side is this one is battery powered and the bomb grade Plutonium they used in the past to run the defibrillators.
Dam good thing I only camp in decent weather.

Chuck.
 

tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
3,043
2
Waco Tx
#89
Chuck
On the Johny Carson show
It might be like that fellow that had been hit by lightig five times and sevived all when he was wearing the same hat.
Johonny ask him i he ever thought about not wearing thee hat ,his answer was can you imagine what would have happened if I didnt have it on.
Ron
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,823
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#90
Since we have destroyed the original idea for this post I will try to get back on track by covering what we were discussing and the original idea. :wink:

The old thoughts around here is that the tall trees will protect you the same distance from the base of the tree out as to the height of the tree. Lets say there are several trees 60 feet high , they would protect a person anywhere out to that 60 feet from the base of them , now overlap that between several trees and you have more protection.

Taking it one step further you have shorter trees in that circle of protection so you hang a hammock between them , lets say 12 feet between them , the trees are 20 feet tall , between them there is an additional 40 feet of protection. Are you with this thought so far ?
In plain language there is a large umbrella of protection and then a smaller umbrella of protection.

Now there is one more ... you are in the air , insulated , between the trees and not on the ground. Lighting strikes one of the tall trees and rushes to the ground and dissipates. If you are in a tent , Lets say there is a leak in the tent and some water or there is a puddle around your tent ... You are in danger of getting fried. Especially if there is a small trickle of water from that taller tree to your tent. Lighting is electricity and will take the path of lease resistance.

I was sitting on the back porch and looking at a pine tree ( the tallest one there) It was hit with lighting a few weeks ago and died , all of the shorter trees around it are just as good as new. Even the pine ( Natures Lighting Rod) which is about 6 feet shorter then the one that got hit. In 33 years I have lost 8 pine trees in the yard , the tallest 1st and then graduating down to the last one , with one big sucker ( branched out not real tall) still in the back corner of the yard. It is in the protective area of the one that just got hit.

I don't camp near pine trees if I can help it. My choice are , scrub oaks , palms , live oaks , hickory , cedar or any of the rest but not Pines. The sturdy scrub oaks since they have a thick trunk and short height and always have taller trees around them. Plus in the summer they offer a ton of shade.

Chuck.
 

jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,014
3
South Louisiana
#91
oldsparkey said:
Since we have destroyed the original idea for this post I will try to get back on track by covering what we were discussing and the original idea. :wink: (Whcih was - Another homemade hammock-- take 2) You tell em, Chuck. :roll: :wink:
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,823
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#93
They advise to do this when camping....

" In this case, the smartest thing to do is to round up your family and get into your car. The tent is not a safe place to be as it offers NO protection from a lighting flash. The picnic shelter is also not a safe location. (Both the tent and picnic shelter will keep you dry…but they offer NO protection from a lightning flash). It is best to remain in your vehicle for about 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder is heard. "

Good idea but if your car is many , many miles away. :lol: :lol: :lol: My guess is to bend over backwards , as far as you can go and kiss your rear end ... GOOD BY.

Or better yet , paddle and camp on rivers that have trees that offer protection and good places to hang your hammock. Ron you better get busy and go down the Brazos planting lots of trees. You can use some of the Buffalo or Cow chips in the bottom of the holes for the trees as chow to make them grow. Remember how well they kicked the fire into high gear , they are a good fire source. Those darn trees you plant would be something in a short time. :D

Then us hammock campers would have a spot to hang from.
If the laws were a little different there are a lot of places to hang from , like the area where Ole Bear planted the potty , up there in the shade but in the sand. That was an ideal area for a hammock or several of them and it was shaded from the noon day sun. Nut's there were a lot of spots for hammock camping all along the river if it was not a violation of the law. :twisted:

Chuck.
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
#94
Fellas,

I figger it aint eazy ta test lightnin'. That iz likely why folks know so little bout why it dont seem ta follow the rules all the time. I plan ta stay away frum the tall trees 'n like Sgt. Rock sez, check out all the limbs above my hammock. Now Joey, what kinda lightnin' rod do ya aim ta put on that homemade hammock? [chuckle]

regards
bearridge

ps Seems some folks want the mythbusters on this. http://community.discovery.com/eve/foru ... 9311947389

That's all I have to say about that. Forrest Gump
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,823
31
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#95
Doing some different stuff around here. I like the side entry of the Eagles Nest hammock and it is darn comfortable. The side entry sure makes it easier to get out when Mother Nature calls in the night and getting back in is a snap.

Don't give a hoot for there rain fly , it is a joke as far as I am concerned. So to make the system work for me with my thoughts about it I plan on using a 12 x 12 light weight backpackers tarp as the rain fly and with it two telescopic aluminum poles to hold one side of the tarp up like an awning. At the desired height I want it to be. The corners would be angled down with some lines to ground pegs or trees. It would look like the bill on a base ball hat. :lol: Unless they are placed on each side to make an extended "A" Frame out of it. Area and terrine will determine that.

The system is about like Joeys when he and the guys did that bayou camping and he posted a picture of his hammock under the tarp. That set up made a lot of sence to me. Lots of shelter , shade and moving , cooking and relaxing room by doing it that way if bad weather sets in. Only difference is the two telescopic aluminum poles to take place of his paddle to create some head room under the tarp.
Plus if nasty weather moves in my gear would be under the tarp and out of the weather , no more being covered with sand , grit and grime sitting outside in the weather. I finally got all the sand off the dry bags from this last trip 8)



A lot better then the set up they have for the hammock using there rain fly. St Mary's River Trip. Yep there is a hammock under there. :lol:


Chuck.
 

jdupre'

Well-Known Member
Sep 9, 2007
2,014
3
South Louisiana
#96
It would be mighty hard to get into a side entry hammock set up like in that second picture. I can see using a small fly like that if backpacking, where every extra ounce counts, but i vote for the extra weight of a bigger rain fly. Hardly noticeable in a paddlecraft.

Joey
 

bearridge

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2005
3,092
4
way down yonder
#97
Friend Joey,

The new Hennessy rain flys aint made like that one (they have four corner stake outs 'n two end ropes that tie ta the trees above the hammock so ya kin raize 'em up high az ya like. The ole ones tied ta the hammock rope 'n smothered ya.

regards
bearridge
sideways bound

Alas, I am dying beyond my means. Oscar Wilde
 

Jimmy W

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2006
611
1
north georgia, USA
#99
About 20 feet from the back corner of my house is a wood 4x4 fencepost just over 4 feet high. Screwed into the top of that post is a steel eyebolt that holds one end of a steel cable about 3/32" in diameter. That cable slopes down at an angle and supports a gate and ends about 1 foot above the ground. Directly above the post is a crepe myrtle bush about 30 feet tall and about 15 feet from it is a maple tree at least 40 feet high. Several years ago, I was sitting on my back porch as a storm moved in and lightning hit that eyebolt and vaporized that cable into a cloud of blue smoke. Neither the crepe myrtle nor the maple were damaged at all. The lightning somehow went through or around the crepe myrtle branches directly for the bolt in the top of that post and that cable on it did not reach all the way to the ground. The lightning did split off the top of the fence post and blow the eyebolt out of it. This was just before the rain from the storm reached here so the post and trees were still dry.

Jimmy
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,941
57
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I've talked to guys who work on telephone cables. There's such high voltage, and so much power that it seems impossible to predict what it will do when it busts loose. Lightning does strange things to these. One had millions of tiny holes all through the outside of the cable where lightning followed it underground and perforated the sheathing. Another time, it blew apart a junction box.

Lightning hit a 2 1/2 foot diameter red oak in my Dad's woods a number of years ago. About chest high, a 3 foot chunk of it exploded like there had been a case of dynamite in there. Large chunks of wood caromed down through the trees, scaring bark and knocking of low limbs for 50-60 feet around. Long (12-15 feet) slivers of wood went up in the air, and were stuck upright in the ground for 100' around. Looked like a giant porcupine. My Son had been camped out next to that tree just two nights before the storm hit.