Boy Scout Centennial Camporee at Westampton, NJ from 09 to 11 October 2009.
With the Camporee fast approaching, I needed to find a way to hang without trees because the event was being held in a large open field. I had thought about using the hammock stand explained in the “Helpful Hammock Articles.” However, since I was attending a Boy Scout event, I wanted to use some of the knots and lashings that the boys would know.
My first three attempts for a no-tree hang failed mainly due to stability issues. My fourth attempt, based on a monkey bridge, was stable but soon one of the trap anchors plowed a two foot furrow before breaking free. Wondering what to do next, I recalled a post about large orange stakes at home depot working. I bought some the next day during lunch—the same day the Camporee started.
Having no time to try using the large orange stakes at home, I headed off knowing I needed to make this work or end up sleeping on the ground.
Complete setup took three hours with some help from the other Scouters. The biggest challenge was getting the tarp ridgeline to stay tight when I used the hammock. To fix this, I ended up lying in the hammock while someone else tightened the ridgeline.
During the first night the winds picked up to around 10 mph with gusts of up to 20 mph. The wind caused several tent failures and one kitchen canopy/tent was blown across the field. In our site, only one tent failed with two of the support poles breaking. As for my setup, the tarp filled like a paper sack then viciously pulled right and left as it tried to escape. In the picture you can see both X-trestles turned slightly inward on the left side facing towards the flags. Surprisingly, when I bedded down there was little movement of the hammock itself other than a gentle sway when the wind really picked up.
Saturday morning, I had found that the vertical staves for both X-trestles had sunk into the ground between two and four inches each. The worse sinkage occurred on the front, right side facing away from the flags. Between the stretch and the sinkage, my hang that started out a good eight inches off the ground ended with less than a finger space.
For breakfast we had sausage and eggs made in freezer bags and we also had pan-fried bread.
While the morning was mostly showers, the afternoon cleared up. By having a lone hammock amongst hundreds of tents, my no-tree setup received a lot of attention. I received a lot of positive feedback that made the effort really worthwhile.
For dinner, we had steak, potatoes, and green beans with chocolate chip brownies for dessert.
Saturday night into Sunday got a bit cold with temperatures reaching just below 46 degrees. I was fairly comfortable using the CCF pad, wool blanket, and 40 degree sleeping bag. I can see where I can use a pad extender. In the morning, there was heavy frost on the tarp and both ends of the hammock were a little damp from the dew.
Taking the no-tree rig down was easy. I rolled up by CCF pad, sleeping bag, and blanket and left them in the hammock while I aired everything out. Then I got everything packed up pretty quick.
Six, 1 ¼ inch diameter, six foot long pine staves from Lowes
Six, 16 inch orange ground stakes from Home Depot
Four, 11 inch orange ground stakes from Home Depot
Various lengths of cord and rope
To you – for reading this and for any thoughts that you might post. Any helpful advice is appreciated!
Crawldaddy – for the post with using aluminum poles for a bipod
MacEntyre – for the post suggesting to wrap the poles with tape
Pedro – for the post containing the information about the “largest orange stakes at home depot.”
Shug – who started me on the hammock quest
XexorZ - for the information about the trap anchors
To those I missed who may have posted similar information earlier. Thank-You!