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Hammocks in the backcountry?

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Offline jaymenna78734

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Hammocks in the backcountry?
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:56:36 PM »
There is a rule against using hammocks in the backcountry. 

I am not a rule breaker.  But I do like to understand why rules are put in place.

The ranger at Chisos basin said it was because there were "Not enough trees".  Makes no sense.  If I, out of stupidity, have no place to hang my hammock It's not a rule sort of thing.

I have seen a few suggestions that it tears up the trees.  This doesn't make sense to me at proper treehuggers won't damage the tree.  In the case, the rule should be no hammocks with appropriate suspension.

It seems very much like the opposition to Snow Boards on SKi slopes in the early 90s.  Lots of "just because" and that s the way we do it--don't ask questions."

I am totally willing to be convinced otherwise.  (unlike a lot of the internet--I like to ask things I don't know about and I'm not married to my  position--- It helps me learn things)

What am I missing?

« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 01:08:20 PM by jaymenna78734 »

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Offline badknees

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 01:15:10 PM »
There is a rule against using hammocks in the backcountry. 

I am not a rule breaker.  But I do like to understand why rules are put in place.

The rager at Chisos basin said it was because there were "Not enough trees".  Makes no sense.  If I, out of stupidity, have no place to hang my hammock It's not a rule sort of thing.

I have seen a few suggestions that it tears up the trees.  This doesn't make sense to me at proper treehuggers won't damage the tree.  In the case, the rule should be no hammocks with appropriate suspension.

It seems very much like the opposition to Snow Boards on SKi slopes in the early 90s.  Lots of "just because" and that s the way we do it--don't ask questions."

I am totally willing to be convinced otherwise.  (unlike a lot of the internet--I like to ask things I don't know about and I'm not married to my  position--- It helps me learn things)

What am I missing?


A predominance of irrational rules, and  imposing control of all behavior, leading to a complete lack of flexibility. As NPS creates more and more rules, their complexity increases and coordination decreases. End result - Contradictory and irrational rules. Many of the NPS employees don't know their own rules.

They make the rules 'cause they can.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline RichardM

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 02:33:45 PM »
There is a rule against using hammocks in the backcountry. 

I am not a rule breaker.  But I do like to understand why rules are put in place.

The rager at Chisos basin said it was because there were "Not enough trees".  Makes no sense.  If I, out of stupidity, have no place to hang my hammock It's not a rule sort of thing.

I have seen a few suggestions that it tears up the trees.  This doesn't make sense to me at proper treehuggers won't damage the tree.  In the case, the rule should be no hammocks with appropriate suspension.

It seems very much like the opposition to Snow Boards on SKi slopes in the early 90s.  Lots of "just because" and that s the way we do it--don't ask questions."

I am totally willing to be convinced otherwise.  (unlike a lot of the internet--I like to ask things I don't know about and I'm not married to my  position--- It helps me learn things)

What am I missing?


A predominance of irrational rules, and  imposing control of all behavior, leading to a complete lack of flexibility. As NPS creates more and more rules, their complexity increases and coordination decreases. End result - Contradictory and irrational rules. Many of the NPS employees don't know their own rules.

They make the rules 'cause they can.
I have not heard of any instances that led to this prohibition. It seems to have been created out of proactive concern that hammock users might damage trees, but that's just a guess on my part. Not the only rule that has been created under the previous park superintendent's term that has used that reasoning. Good luck getting consistent answers from park personnel. It seems every employee there has their own story and nobody is really sure.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 02:42:13 PM »
Sometimes stupid rules are made BY stupid people doing stupid things. Sometimes they're made BECAUSE OF stupid people doing stupid things. Sometimes it's hard to tell. 

In a perfect world, there would be no rules. I'll call you when we get there. In the meantime, don't do the crime if you're not willing to do the time (or, perhaps, if you're a VERY good debater).
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 02:42:27 PM »

What am I missing?



The simple fact that you are a redneck and as such, are too dumb to understand why such a rule would need to be enforced.  Rangers are rangers because they know more than you, and are basically smarter than you.

Wait till the same ilk are in charge of all our health care.

To be more constructive, you should follow up the chain of command at the Palace of Big Bend Rangerland and see where it takes you.  Now is the time to do it.  Not when you are standing there begging for a campsite permit.   Those trees up there in the Chisos are very strong.  I have hung my heavy backpack off little sticks all around the campsites without any breakage.
 
And please never tell the rangers you saw a bear, or they will close the Chisos to overnight camping
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 02:47:45 PM by elhombre »
First Russian Collusion, then Obstruction, then illegal payment to Stormy Daniels, then tax returns subpoenaed. Now no formal vote on impeachment for a 30 min. phone call to Ukraine

No crime. No evidence, just more secret investigations

Drain the Swamp.  America will survive.  God Bless America

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 03:02:20 PM »
I have hung my heavy backpack off little sticks all around the campsites without any breakage.

Elhombre, as you can see, is a very good debater. I'm not sure I'm supportive of a few hundred yahoos girdling those Chisos campsite trees with poorly-devised hammock lines carrying people that weight as much or more than I do, but I have to admit that I, too, have hung many a heavy backpack...not to mention many a multi-gallon water bladder...off of some mighty skinny little trees in the Bend, and they seem to have survived just fine. Rules are blunt and brutal instruments. They're not unlike the 40-foot contours of a topo map: regardless of what they might say, there's a lot of unacknowledged and often thorny reality between each of those lines.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 03:15:02 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline tbone

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 03:36:11 PM »
Rules are blunt and brutal instruments. They're not unlike the 40-foot contours of a topo map: regardless of what they might say, there's a lot of unacknowledged and often thorny reality between each of those lines.
That's some beautiful backcountry philosophizing right there! :eusa_clap:

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Offline presidio

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 03:42:17 PM »
Badknees and elhombre have neatly and succinctly summed up the rationale behind the NPS mindset and mode of operation.
_____________
<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline marufo

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2017, 07:51:02 PM »
I'm no philosopher, but I did run across Kant's categorical imperative in college, which goes like this: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

My more colloquial version of that would be: If you are trying to determine whether it is OK for you to do something, ask yourself would it be OK if everybody did it? If not, then I think you have to ask yourself, well what makes me so special? If it would be bad if everybody did it, then why should I be able to?

I think that is a good commonsense way of looking at backcountry ethics. I'm confident most of the people on this board would not pick up and take home a fossil or artifact, even knowing that there are plenty of others out there and one probably won't make a difference.  Petrified Forest loses tons of fossil wood a year, mostly from people who just take a piece or two. But a small if not insignificant impact becomes absolutely significant when many people do it.

So no, hanging your hammock one time, in and of itself, is not going to kill trees. But if lots of people do, it will. So again I would suggest you ask yourself this: What makes me special? Years ago there were no designated campsites in the Chisos. If that had continued, do any of you really think the backcountry up there wouldn't be seriously degraded by now?

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 08:01:44 PM »
I'm no philosopher, but I did run across Kant's categorical imperative in college, which goes like this: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

My more colloquial version of that would be: If you are trying to determine whether it is OK for you to do something, ask yourself would it be OK if everybody did it? If not, then I think you have to ask yourself, well what makes me so special? If it would be bad if everybody did it, then why should I be able to?

I think that is a good commonsense way of looking at backcountry ethics. I'm confident most of the people on this board would not pick up and take home a fossil or artifact, even knowing that there are plenty of others out there and one probably won't make a difference.  Petrified Forest loses tons of fossil wood a year, mostly from people who just take a piece or two. But a small if not insignificant impact becomes absolutely significant when many people do it.

So no, hanging your hammock one time, in and of itself, is not going to kill trees. But if lots of people do, it will. So again I would suggest you ask yourself this: What makes me special? Years ago there were no designated campsites in the Chisos. If that had continued, do any of you really think the backcountry up there wouldn't be seriously degraded by now?

Well said!   :eusa_clap:
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 09:57:22 PM »
I'm no philosopher, but I did run across Kant's categorical imperative in college, which goes like this: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

My more colloquial version of that would be: If you are trying to determine whether it is OK for you to do something, ask yourself would it be OK if everybody did it? If not, then I think you have to ask yourself, well what makes me so special? If it would be bad if everybody did it, then why should I be able to?

I think that is a good commonsense way of looking at backcountry ethics. I'm confident most of the people on this board would not pick up and take home a fossil or artifact, even knowing that there are plenty of others out there and one probably won't make a difference.  Petrified Forest loses tons of fossil wood a year, mostly from people who just take a piece or two. But a small if not insignificant impact becomes absolutely significant when many people do it.

So no, hanging your hammock one time, in and of itself, is not going to kill trees. But if lots of people do, it will. So again I would suggest you ask yourself this: What makes me special? Years ago there were no designated campsites in the Chisos. If that had continued, do any of you really think the backcountry up there wouldn't be seriously degraded by now?

Well said!   :eusa_clap:

+1 on the  :eusa_clap:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 10:11:20 PM »
On the other hand, I believe Kant would have been an ultralight guy . . .

"We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without"

. . . so he might argue for hammocks.  :icon_biggrin:
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 12:44:15 AM »
On the other hand, I believe Kant would have been an ultralight guy . . .

"We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without"

. . . so he might argue for hammocks.  :icon_biggrin:

 :icon_lol: :icon_lol: :icon_lol: I love this board. Kant would be a cowboy camper for sure.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline jaymenna78734

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2017, 06:43:09 PM »
no, hanging your hammock one time, in and of itself, is not going to kill trees. But if lots of people do, it will. So again I would suggest you ask yourself this: What makes me special?

Wait Wait.  I think there is a false assumption here that a hammock will impact the trees.  I am very into leave no trace.  And I have taken great care to look at the damage I have done when I have hung it.  If I was doing damage I would have dropped it as my primary any part of my sleep system.


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Offline RichardM

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Re: Hammocks in the backcountry?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 07:53:20 PM »
no, hanging your hammock one time, in and of itself, is not going to kill trees. But if lots of people do, it will. So again I would suggest you ask yourself this: What makes me special?

Wait Wait.  I think there is a false assumption here that a hammock will impact the trees.  I am very into leave no trace.  And I have taken great care to look at the damage I have done when I have hung it.  If I was doing damage I would have dropped it as my primary any part of my sleep system.
Improperly hung hammocks can definitely harm trees. However, the NPS doesn't care how well you hang your hammock. They forbid all hammocks hanging from their trees. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone on this board who think hammocks should be banned. Good luck convincing the NPS to change their minds.

 


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