View Full Version : Lightening and Hammocks

05-11-2004, 15:20
I'm going out for three nights this weekend and it is supposed to be intermittantly storm. In North Georgia this usually means lightening. Has anyone had any experience hanging out in their hammock during a lightening storm? I suppose it is no less foolhardy than sleeping in a tent with super-conducting graphite poles. When my wife asked I just told her the lightening would just curl my hair (what hair I still have).


05-11-2004, 16:13
I've been out in lightening storms hanging in my hammock - I pick trees that are somewhat shorter than the surrounding trees and the site selection was usually in a "protected" area - ie a small hollow if possible but definately not on the top of a ridge/ mtn. Other than those general rules I just lay back and enjoy the show - ie counting the seconds from flash to bang to guess at the distance. So far I have not experienced hail in my hammock but I think that would be ok also - I use a silnylon tarp over my hammock and I think it would be OK in hail.

05-11-2004, 22:29
Don't remember where I read this but supposedly some species of trees have a higher incidence of lightning strikes. Oaks are one of the most commonly hit. Be interesting to get the low down on this regardless of the shelter used.

shades of blue
05-11-2004, 23:29
How far off a summit or ridgeline would you go to feel safe? Sometimes I will hike 1/2 or 2/3 way up a mountain....then camp off the trail. Would you go down to a gap?

05-12-2004, 07:46
1/2 or 2/3 up a mountain is fairly safe IMO unless that also means you are near the treeline in which case stopping earlier might be a better idea. I still would look for a somewhat sheltered area with trees nearby that are higher than the trees I tie my hammock to. What I would often do is to drop down about 50-100 vertical feet off of the ridge or closest high point provided that there were trees on the high point.