--- dt king <whipmaker@...
> Avoiding a dangerous survival situation is a far underrated skill.
> Most often, experienced trekkers don't need to start a fire with
> sticks, because they brought three other ways of making a fire.
This is exactly why we're doing our planning! We've been accumulating various gear for quite some
time, and practicing their use at our "permanent" campsite in a private campground. We've got
propane fire starters, wind/stormproof butane lighters, small Bic lighters, and those one-handed
Swiss sparkers - and we've tested all of them!
Likewise with building shelters; carrying food and water; and so on. Just last month, we tried
out the pocket chain saw. We now know we can cut wood with it, if need be.
> The most dangerous hike you will ever undertake will start out as a
> short day hike. People going out for an afternoon in the woods don't
> pack the essentials for making it through the night, so missteps turn
> into tragedies.
This is exactly our opinion. We're actually working on packing a "bare essentials" kit for short
hikes - say, three hours or less. Then, add-ons for day hikes - this is where we'll pack the
hammock. Even more gear when kayaking or rafting or wilderness sightseeing by plane or other
vehicle, where carrying the weight isn't so much of an issue, but there may be other people along
who won't be so prepared...
> Don't hit the trail without the minimum gear to survive the night for
> each of you. Know how to use it without thinking. Hypothermia and
> dehydration make everybody stupid.
That's the plan. I really like the hammock for the flexibility of being able to set up a basic
camp in places that wouldn't be suitable for ground sleeping. We've been taking short hikes
lately, observing our environment, and practicing "what if" thinking. If one of us were injured,
where could we set up a basic "camp"? Where could we hang the hammocks? Build a fire? Get
water? It's an interesting exercise, and it seems on each hike we come up with something else to
think about when planning the next one...
But back to my original question - has anybody here had experience hammock camping in areas with
potential predators, like bears, coyote, etc? It makes sense to me that hammocks can be set up
away from established camps, thereby mitigating the opportunistic animal who has become accustomed
to going to the established sites for food. But has anybody been in a hammock and had an
encounter with an animal that happened upon them accidentally? What has the animal done? Do you
keep bear spray handy? Does being in the hammock help - or inhibit - your ability to react?
The Truly Educated Never Graduate