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camping gear

Old 08-16-13, 11:02 AM
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camping gear

So I'm going to be leaving at the end of the month and doing the first two sections of the sierra cascades route. All I have is a hammock, which I do like a lot, but it is obviously reliant on trees being around. It looks like the route hugs the cascades pretty much all the way down. I'm assuming finding a couple of trees suitable for hanging my hammock shouldn't ever be an issue, but I wanted to hear what you guys thought.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:45 AM
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If your going to be hanging a hammock from trees, take some time to learn how to minimize the damage you do to them. ie, right choice of rope, padding between rope and tree, etc...

Lots of campgrounds don't allow hammocks because of the damage they can cause.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:55 AM
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1" webbing around the trees should work good.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:01 PM
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I have a hennessy hammock with extra long tree huggers (big trees here in the pnw), so damaging trees shouldn't be an issue. That happens more if you just use paracord on its own w/o nylon straps. I have gone camping a lot this summer with it and haven't seen any damage at all to the bark.

As far as camping goes I was planning on doing mostly stealth camping, especially if I encounter any campsites that don't allow people to hang. Though I must say, I haven't seen a single one yet. I know they're out there though.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:15 PM
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Cool. Most of the folks I have encountered who used hammocks, used paracord to hang them. That stuff will really damage trees.

When I was living in Florida, I would almost always use a hammock, and frequently did so with paracord. I would use Malleluca trees (and invasive water hogging species) with the intent of killing them.
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Old 08-16-13, 12:56 PM
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Oh, and do you guys ever bring bear cans ( or as I call them, bearrels) with you on your bike tours? I haven't ever seen them mentioned, but it seems like a decent idea
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Old 08-16-13, 01:54 PM
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You can use a hammock as part of a versatile system. So long as you don't mind using a sleeping pad in your hammock (it's not as nice as an underquilt, but still better than sleeping on the ground), and use a simple square or rectangular tarp, the only thing that you need to add is a light weight ground cloth and a few poles (or you can rely on found poles) and you have a perfectly sensible setup that works equally well hanging or on the ground.
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Old 08-16-13, 02:04 PM
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On the bear can... They are heavy and I personally only carry one when backpacking where they are required. Bike touring, in places where you might normally need one they typically have bear boxes in the campgrounds. I have toured all over the US and never used one. There are places where I have hung my food bur that was pretty seldom. A bear canister is an extra couple pounds that I don't need.

I only recall ever seeing one guy carrying one on a bike tour.
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Old 08-16-13, 02:32 PM
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Interesting. In every campground I've been to here in the PNW they always have a notice to use a bearrel, but they never provide anything.
If you don't use a bearrel then you must hang your entire pannier set and handlebar bag since they are going to smell like food then. Isn't that a huge hassle?
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Old 08-16-13, 10:11 PM
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You may not see any bears if you camp away from other people. I've done a series of tours in the California Cascades and Sierra, maybe 60 days total if you add them all up, and have never yet seen a bear on any of them. Most camping was in developed campgrounds with bear boxes. I did hear from a road crew as I was leaving a stealth camp east of Graeagle that a bear a quarter-mile up the road had pulled a roadkill deer off into the bushes and was spending couple of days devouring it, so I got my camera out...still never saw it, even in campgrounds with dire warnings about bear problems. I also practiced good food preparation and hygiene to minimize any attractive odors, which probably had a lot to do with it. I never did bother to hang my food, but I mainly carried stuff like mac and cheese boxes and ramen inside a couple layers of heavy duty zip lock bags---along with danishes, so maybe the bears should have torn me to shreds. It's amazing I'm still here. Go ahead and hang everything up if it gives you peace of mind--it will also keep rats and mice from boring a hole through your fancy tents and panniers to steal delicious-smelling trail mix, which I have seen more than one report of in trip journals.

In some campgrounds without bear boxes, the ranger offered to store any extra food I had in their entrance kiosk, or maybe the campground host in their RV would offer that, too.

I was a bit leary of using my hammock in hike and bike sites in state parks down here in far southern California, but so far the rangers and other campground personnel have just driven by without comments. I am using tree-friendly webbing straps...It probably helps to take the hammock down as soon as possible, too. So far this summer, I've used it at San Elijo State Beach, both campgrounds in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and Lake Perris State Rec. Area.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Pricey Socks
Interesting. In every campground I've been to here in the PNW they always have a notice to use a bearrel, but they never provide anything.
If you don't use a bearrel then you must hang your entire pannier set and handlebar bag since they are going to smell like food then. Isn't that a huge hassle?
If you are worried about food smells, you could use a few OpSacks for your food. Store them in a stuff sack for easy hanging, and don't worry about food smells leaking.
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