View Full Version : Hammocks & Snakes

10-05-2005, 08:34
Ok so now that I totally creeped myself out going through the snake photos last night :D

I have been reading/researching hammocks and look forward to maybe someone having one at the Gathering that I can see in person :) - it looks really comfortable but my concern honestly is snakes. That picture of the black snake going right up the tree gave me the big'ol willies. If it can climb the tree straight up - what's to keep it from slithering along the hammock? :eek:

Two Speed
10-05-2005, 09:00
What's to keep a snake from crawling into your hammock? Not much, really. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. If it were really a problem you'd see posts here on WhiteBlaze and there'd be mention of it in the hiker's journals (www.trailjournals.com). In my experience snakes are more anxious to avoid the average hiker than the hiker is anxious about avoiding the snake. Face it, most hikers survive an encounter with a snake, whether or not the hiker is bitten. Can't always say that for the snake.

My opinion is that worrying about bears, coyotes, timber rattlers, saber toothed tigers, etc is pretty much a waste of time and energy. Mice and skunks are what most hikers are really going to have trouble with. No, a skunk isn't going to drag you screaming out of your shelter, but you ain't gonna fight with it if it decides to share sleeping accomodations, either. BTW, I understand that porcupines can be a treat when you get farther north on the trail.

10-05-2005, 09:35
I believe in desensitizing, I grew up with the fear of snakes and gators and bear, but found every night in the outdoors makes those fears go away. I did share many a Florida Trail with rattlers and they want nothing more than for you to go away. Usually when a rattler bites they coil up first and give some fair warning, the rattler sound from the tail is very memorable. Any night you can spend camping outdoors helps. The more animals you see the less you are afraid of them. That's the opposite of humans for me, the more I see, the more I am afraid of them.:D

Just Jeff
10-05-2005, 10:48
Question the likelihood...how many snakes have you seen crawling on the ground (where the tarps are) vs crawling up trees (where the hammocks are)?

Or just get a hammock with bug netting that the snake can't get through, like a HH, Speer, Clark, Hammock Bliss, homemade...

But I sleep without my bug net whenever I can and have never even seen a snake under my hammock.

Though I gotta admit, it would be easier to get away from a snake on the ground, rather than after it has fallen into my hammock. You'd better stay away from hammocks and leave all the good trees for me...safer that way. :)

Spartan Hiker
10-05-2005, 10:59
Frankly, I would be more concerned about some two legged sleep walking shelter critter making their way to the woodline to relieve themselves and stumbling over the top of my setup.

10-05-2005, 11:23
If it can climb the tree straight up - what's to keep it from slithering along the hammock? :eek:
The person sleeping in the hammock is a pretty good deterent. What would the snake have to gain? No mice, no dice. For what it is worth, I am aware of zero episodes of north american snakes climbing into a hammock, occupied or not.

10-05-2005, 11:29
i have never had a snakes in my hammock,but when i used to do tarp camping
i had a bunch of sluggs in my tarp,its safe to say,better to hammock than tarp
camp,:cool: neo


10-05-2005, 12:00
What would the snake have to gain?

Do the hammock bug nets completely enclose the hammock ? I thought they looked open at the ground

10-05-2005, 13:39
depends on the type... i've got a hennessy backbacker UL Asym... netting is completely sewn in all the way around, with a 4' or so strip of velcro running from the middle of the bottom part to the support rope at the foot end... nothing gets in... and no, you don't fall out... it ends right at your upper thigh...

Rain Man
10-05-2005, 13:45
Ok so now that I totally creeped myself out going through the snake photos last night ...

Ahhhh, snakes are our friends!



10-05-2005, 19:30
Last time I tarp camped, I woke up with a salamander on my face.

Much slimier than the average snake :).

10-05-2005, 20:19
Rainman - I totally respect snakes. And they are SO important to the ecosystem. I just don't wanna bunk with them. :banana

10-05-2005, 20:24
Last time I tarp camped, I woke up with a salamander on my face.

Much slimier than the average snake :).
thats better than 20 sluggs in your tarp,i hate sluggs,yuck:cool: neo

10-05-2005, 21:19

Don't want to keep you up for a second night, but there are probably a lot more holes/cracks/openings in your house or apartment than your hammock...

Rain Man
10-05-2005, 23:36
Rainman - I totally respect snakes. And they are SO important to the ecosystem. I just don't wanna bunk with them. :banana

Good for you CynJ. Well, on the first part anyway! Bunk with those snakes, Girl. It'll keep the damn MICE out!!!! They are a far greater danger.

By the way, I'm "Rain Man." There is now a "Rainman" on WhiteBlaze also. For what it's worth.



10-06-2005, 16:50

Snakes can become a small problem...Florida Trail hikers take note... this is not a spoof...Nice snake (http://news.yahoo.com/photo/051005/480/mh10310051654)

Enjoy your hike.


The Solemates
10-06-2005, 17:14
thats better than 20 sluggs in your tarp,i hate sluggs,yuck:cool: neo

many mornings we had a couple slugs on our tent, but one morning in MA we woke up and count 63 slugs on the outside of our tent! it was the weirdest thing ever.

10-06-2005, 18:24
I tarped on "snake den ridge" during fair to good weather, no fear of snakes. Of course, the name of the area could be false advertising :)

On another note, I woke up this AM with a rat cleaning herself on my chest*. So I suppose you can get used to anything.

*I petted her for a few minutes before she went off to terrorize the cats. Actually, in her opinion, "the other cats", for Elizabeth thinks she is a cat, and so do the cats.


10-06-2005, 21:14
lol...slugs are nasty but not horrible.

I LOVE rats! Best pet I ever owned and certainly the smartest! My favorite was a black rat I named Strabo. She had an incredible vocabulary and knew about a dozen words (ie bed, ride, etc). She used to love to ride on my shoulder in the car. hehehe..used to freak people out at traffic lights when she would peek out of my hair! I try to convince parents at pet stores that they make better pets for kids than hamsters or gerbils....but parents freak out. :D

Sorry about the name thing Rain Man :)

Neo - I musta missed your hammock picture link before- that seems like a good setup to keep out the critters - is it a pain if you have to get out quickly though?

Patrick - the snakes and spiders and I had a long talk, they live outside and I live inside. :banana Which is why the camping out thing worries me - I will be in their turf and not mine.

10-06-2005, 23:32
i've heard that about rats... my youngest daughter used to love to visit the rat at the 'bird show' at the knoxville zoo when we lived there... he was trained to come out and steal stuff during the show... when it was over, we'd always have to go visit him and the handler. she told us rats make better pets than gerbils and mice because they're bigger, and therefore calmer; less apt to get hurt by a child squeezing too hard, and therefore not biting as much. anyway, she bugged us for a rat for a long time... no. mom nixed that one...

Just Jeff
10-06-2005, 23:35
I will be in their turf and not mine.
Aww, pooey. You belong out there just as much as they do! People are part of nature, not alien to it!

10-06-2005, 23:59
Seeker- rats really are wonderful pets for kids - they are tough and can take a bit of squeezing ;) . Strabo used to have the run of my bedroom - she only went pee & poop in one particular corner of her cage and never anywhere else, overall they are meticulously clean. The other thing is that they are awake during the day. Hamsters sort of stink because they are nocturnal. Cute but hearing that wheel whizzing all night made me nuts. I would recommend that female rats make better pets than male rats (I think its a testosterone thing seriously - they get cranky when they are randy) - and male rats often have testicles the size of tangerines :eek: - well apricots anyway lol.....

Speaking of slugs....I was listening to the Trailcast interview with Andrew Skurka and he mentioned something called a Bananna Slug - I found a picture here- scroll down to the last pic - how'd you like to have that one on the tarp over your face :-?

10-11-2005, 03:14
I'm glad to see this topic being discussed so openly...I always hated to admit I was such a wuss as to worry about a Mojave Green rattlesnake crawling into my proximity for warmth. Back then we were all supposed to be macho, just toss a groundcloth down and roll out the bag. So I moved to Alaska, what paradise, no rattlers or cottonmouths...just the occasional crackling in the brush which is usually a moose but may be a bear.... Bill

10-11-2005, 03:39
be more afraid of the snake in your pants, it can get you in more trouble