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Re: [Hammock Camping] "Wet ropes can make excellent conductors."]

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  • carterm@mindspring.com
    Lightning, or more importantly current, can take multiple paths.  It s not correct to think that the current induced by lightning only follows one path. 
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 29, 2007
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      Lightning, or more importantly current, can take multiple paths.  It's not correct to think that the current induced by lightning only follows one path.  There are multiple current paths with each path having different values of resistance.  The paths with least resistance will have larger currents, and the paths with higher resistance will have smaller currents.  Even the smaller currents can kill you during a nearby lightning strike.  The only way to guarantee that all of the current flows in a single given path is to have "zero" resistance".  This is not possible, all superconductor discussions aside.

      The purpose of lightning rods and large cables to earth on structures is an attempt to present a low enough resistance to earth that nearby objects are protected.  Lightning strikes can produce currents in the hundreds of thousands of amps.  It only takes a few tens of milliamps to kill you, if the current flows through the wrong places in your body.  High currents tend to flow across surfaces better than they do through the air, but lightning can still jump from one tree to another (or to a human standing nearby) through the air, due to the huge voltage potentials involved, and could possibly follow the hammock from one tree to another if that provides a suitable path to earth.  There are NO guarantees when it comes to lightning.
       
      I work in telecom, and my specialty is developing protective circuits that attempt to prevent physical damage to telecom circuits from lightning events.  I have sat in the (extremely well protected) buildings at the bottom of cell phone towers during thunder storms with test equipment measuring lightning hits to develop better ways to do this. 
       
      I have also lost two close relatives to nearby lightning hits.  In both cases the lightning hit a tree first, and they happened to be too close to the strike, which jumped to them. 
       
      To each their own, but what I have come to believe is that I don't want to be hanging in my hammock when a storm hits.  I get out of the hammock, and go down the mountainside as far as I can.  I try to pick an area where any nearby trees are much shorter than the average height of trees in the area, and then squat down as low as possible, wrapping my arms around my knees to improve the odds that any current going through my body doesn't go through my chest.  If I'm expecting a storm, I try to set my hammock up in as protected a location as possible, and when the storm wakes me up, I'm out of the hammock.
       
      My $0.02.
       
      Michael



      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: CHRIS NIMON
      >Sent: Jan 29, 2007 10:01 AM
      >To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [Hammock Camping] "Wet ropes can make excellent conductors."
      >
      >
      >
      >JUST REMEMBER , ELECTRICITY ALWAYS TAKES THE PATH OF LEAST
      >RESISTANCE. AND WATER IS A BETTER CONDUCTOR THAN A TREE. LIGHTNING
      >MAY BE ATTRACTED TO THE HEIGHT OF THE TREE BUT WOULD RATHER TRAVEL
      >THROUGH THE WET ROPE. YOUR FRIENDLY INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICIAN, CHRIS.---
      >In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Gregg Martell <gmartell@...>
      >wrote:
      >>
      >> http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/281-06252006-675383.html
      >>
      >> At 01:34 AM 1/24/2007, you wrote:
      >> >I think that if you hang high enough (1m) the lightning may prefer
      >to
      >> >go through the wet bark (much larger than the rope) instead of
      >going
      >> >through the rope then leaping through the air to the ground.
      >> >I have never heard of anybody struck by lightning in a hammock.
      >> >Is there at least a known case?
      >> >
      >> >gerzson
      >> >
      >> >On 1/24/07, Sandy Kramer <sandykayak@...> wrote:
      >> > >
      >> > > Not many good options.
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > > http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> > >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Ed Speer
      Michael, thanks, that s good information and it s the most thoughtful, reasonable discussion I ve heard yet on the lightning issue. It certainly makes sense
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 29, 2007
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        Michael, thanks, that's good information and it's the most thoughtful,
        reasonable discussion I've heard yet on the lightning issue. It certainly
        makes sense that all paths to ground are potentially active during a strike
        and any of them can kill anyone unfortunate enough to be in the way. While
        it's prudent to ensure we don't create lethal paths with improper gear;
        avoidance, even if it requires extreme action, is still the best policy.
        Thus it's 'Hammocker Be Ware'. Know the dangers, have a safety plan and
        follow it.



        This lightening discussion is very informative. Thanks to everyone who's
        posted. Let's hear more personal stories. What do you do when lightening
        approaches? ...Ed



        Moderator, Hammock Camping List
        Author, Hammock Camping, The Complete Guide

        Editor, Hammock Camping News

        Owner, Speer Hammocks Inc



        _____

        From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of carterm@...
        Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 11:21 AM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SPAM] Re: [Hammock Camping] "Wet ropes can make excellent
        conductors."]



        Lightning, or more importantly current, can take multiple paths. It's not
        correct to think that the current induced by lightning only follows one
        path. There are multiple current paths with each path having different
        values of resistance. The paths with least resistance will have larger
        currents, and the paths with higher resistance will have smaller currents.
        Even the smaller currents can kill you during a nearby lightning strike.
        The only way to guarantee that all of the current flows in a single given
        path is to have "zero" resistance". This is not possible, all
        superconductor discussions aside.

        The purpose of lightning rods and large cables to earth on structures is an
        attempt to present a low enough resistance to earth that nearby objects are
        protected. Lightning strikes can produce currents in the hundreds of
        thousands of amps. It only takes a few tens of milliamps to kill you, if
        the current flows through the wrong places in your body. High currents tend
        to flow across surfaces better than they do through the air, but lightning
        can still jump from one tree to another (or to a human standing nearby)
        through the air, due to the huge voltage potentials involved, and could
        possibly follow the hammock from one tree to another if that provides a
        suitable path to earth. There are NO guarantees when it comes to lightning.

        I work in telecom, and my specialty is developing protective circuits that
        attempt to prevent physical damage to telecom circuits from lightning
        events. I have sat in the (extremely well protected) buildings at the
        bottom of cell phone towers during thunder storms with test equipment
        measuring lightning hits to develop better ways to do this.

        I have also lost two close relatives to nearby lightning hits. In both
        cases the lightning hit a tree first, and they happened to be too close to
        the strike, which jumped to them.

        To each their own, but what I have come to believe is that I don't want to
        be hanging in my hammock when a storm hits. I get out of the hammock, and
        go down the mountainside as far as I can. I try to pick an area where any
        nearby trees are much shorter than the average height of trees in the area,
        and then squat down as low as possible, wrapping my arms around my knees to
        improve the odds that any current going through my body doesn't go through
        my chest. If I'm expecting a storm, I try to set my hammock up in as
        protected a location as possible, and when the storm wakes me up, I'm out of
        the hammock.

        My $0.02.

        Michael






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dick Matthews
        Michael, What is the time between the flash and bang that you recommend leaving the hammock? Dick Matthews -- If it weren t for STRESS I d have no energy at
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 29, 2007
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          Michael,

          What is the time between the flash and bang that you recommend leaving
          the hammock?

          Dick Matthews
          -- If it weren't for STRESS I'd have no energy at all.


          carterm@... wrote:

          > Lightning, or more importantly current, can take multiple paths. It's
          > not correct to think that the current induced by lightning only
          > follows one path. There are multiple current paths with each path
          > having different values of resistance. The paths with least
          > resistance will have larger currents, and the paths with higher
          > resistance will have smaller currents. Even the smaller currents can
          > kill you during a nearby lightning strike. The only way to guarantee
          > that all of the current flows in a single given path is to have "zero"
          > resistance". This is not possible, all superconductor discussions aside.
          >
          > The purpose of lightning rods and large cables to earth on structures
          > is an attempt to present a low enough resistance to earth that nearby
          > objects are protected. Lightning strikes can produce currents in the
          > hundreds of thousands of amps. It only takes a few tens of milliamps
          > to kill you, if the current flows through the wrong places in your
          > body. High currents tend to flow across surfaces better than they do
          > through the air, but lightning can still jump from one tree to another
          > (or to a human standing nearby) through the air, due to the huge
          > voltage potentials involved, and could possibly follow the hammock
          > from one tree to another if that provides a suitable path to earth.
          > There are NO guarantees when it comes to lightning.
          >
          > I work in telecom, and my specialty is developing protective circuits
          > that attempt to prevent physical damage to telecom circuits from
          > lightning events. I have sat in the (extremely well protected)
          > buildings at the bottom of cell phone towers during thunder storms
          > with test equipment measuring lightning hits to develop better ways to
          > do this.
          >
          > I have also lost two close relatives to nearby lightning hits. In
          > both cases the lightning hit a tree first, and they happened to be too
          > close to the strike, which jumped to them.
          >
          > To each their own, but what I have come to believe is that I don't
          > want to be hanging in my hammock when a storm hits. I get out of the
          > hammock, and go down the mountainside as far as I can. I try to pick
          > an area where any nearby trees are much shorter than the average
          > height of trees in the area, and then squat down as low as possible,
          > wrapping my arms around my knees to improve the odds that any current
          > going through my body doesn't go through my chest. If I'm expecting a
          > storm, I try to set my hammock up in as protected a location as
          > possible, and when the storm wakes me up, I'm out of the hammock.
          >
          > My $0.02.
          >
          > Michael
          >
          >
          >
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • tim garner
          is that michael that i last saw on mt mitchel, nc last winter, along w/ ed? ...tim carterm@mindspring.com wrote: .To each their own, but what I have come
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 29, 2007
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            is that michael that i last saw on mt mitchel, nc last winter, along w/ ed? ...tim

            carterm@... wrote: .To each their own, but what I have come to believe is that I don't want to be hanging in my hammock when a storm hits. I get out of the hammock, and go down the mountainside as far as I can. I try to pick an area where any nearby trees are much shorter than the average height of trees in the area, and then squat down as low as possible, wrapping my arms around my knees to improve the odds that any current going through my body doesn't go through my chest. If I'm expecting a storm, I try to set my hammock up in as protected a location as possible, and when the storm wakes me up, I'm out of the hammock.

            My $0.02.

            Michael


            .

            don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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