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16748RE: [Hammock Camping] "Wet ropes can make excellent conductors." lightning strikes

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  • D. Emer
    Jan 25, 2007
      We did have that special bond alright. Words can't describe how we miss him.

      1. I don't think it matters on tree height, lower the better if course, but
      if the short tree is in conductive soil the strike will form where the
      current flows best and that's an unknown to the camper so I'd think the idea
      of tree height may give a false sense of security. Personally I pick the
      best spot, with the best tree, with the best view and enjoy myself. When
      lightning approaches I disconnect and set up as a tent in a low area that
      I've already eyeballed for just that event. The hardest thing is actually
      deciding to do it before the rain, wind and the lightning thunder are
      crashing all around you and you wished you had (Yeah, been there done that
      too!). Would you do the tie-a-key-to-a kite-string thing in a thunder
      storm? me neither, yet a hammock tied to a tree with you as the key is the
      direct analog - try not to forget that.

      2. I would avoid high ground alright. Be the smallest object on the lowest
      ground would be a good idea.

      3. Ever watch a hot air balloon hit a power line? At 600 volts Nylon
      conducts electricity, a lighting strike is 10 to 100 million volts at 30,000
      amps with a core temperature temperature of up to 50,000 deg F. It doesn't
      matter what's in the path, it's insignificant, there are no dielectrics
      under these conditions.

      The idea here is we're all out having having fun and enjoying nature, just
      realize when nature gets serious you need to have a plan and follow it.

      Dudley Emer

      -----Original Message-----
      From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Dick Matthews
      Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 5:47 AM
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Hammock Camping] "Wet ropes can make excellent conductors."
      lightning strikes

      Sorry for your loss Mr Emer. I have twin nephews and have observed the
      special bond.

      Do you think the risk can be reduced by:

      1. Selecting trees that are not the tallest in the immediate area,

      2. Avoiding high ground, or

      3. Keeping your hammock lines dry by covering with snake skins?

      Dick Matthews
      "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
      - Ben Franklin

      D. Emer wrote:

      > Lightning likes trees, they're high and conductive and present a great
      > ground with the root system. If you or your hammock is attached to that
      > tree (or in close proximity to it) it's part of the circuit with a
      > path more
      > conductive than air. The strike will flow along the tree and out along
      > anything connected to it which is your hammock and you. Because the
      > of hammock is closer to the ground than the attached hammock supports
      > lightning will take that exit path to ground as well. A hammock is no
      > place
      > to be in a lightning storm. If you're in a storm or its approaching,
      > the hammock or set it up as a tent type shelter well away from trees
      > it passes.
      > Don't think it can't happen to you. In June 2006 my twin brother was
      > killed
      > in his Hennessy Hammock by a lightning strike on one of the support
      > while kayak camping in NJ. He was a sailor, a pilot, and a ham radio
      > operator (N2YAC) that was experienced with lightning. With 69 people
      > killed
      > in the US by lightning in 2006 what were the chances of it striking
      > that one
      > particular tree he had his hammock strung from? Don't think it can't
      > happen
      > to you because it can.
      > I use carabiners for a quick disconnect on my hammock and can quickly
      > get it
      > set it up as a tent if lightning approaches. Have a plan. Pick a spot
      > where
      > it will be set up before it gets dark, know what to do and when to do
      > it and
      > most important of all - DO IT.
      > http://new.photos.yahoo.com/allenemer/albums
      > <http://new.photos.yahoo.com/allenemer/albums>
      > Dudley Emer
      > KK7IF
      > --

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