Since moving to a hammock about 15 months ago, I have only had to go to ground once. That was on a canoe trip where the island we camped on did not provide any trees suitable for hanging. Cowboy camping that night on the soft sand was actually not terrible. Spending the next month washing and rewashing the grit from all my gear was a pain.
Often when attending large scout functionsm like camporees, you are assigned a specific spot to camp that may or may not have any trees associated with it. Since they are trying to fit in as many people as possible into a small area, it is most often that there are not any trees.
There have been a couple of campouts that have called for some drastic measures. For example, last fall, I built a tensegrity stand. It was a bit overkill for one person, the footprint was large compared with a tent, and its pieces were pretty big to haul.
We ran the winter camporee this year and as luck would have it, we were assigned the only spot that had a descent hanging location. The spring camporee did not have assigned locations, but my troop ended up camping quite a ways from the activities to accomodate the needs of our hammockers.
This brings us to this month and our Montana Council Camporee. It was anticipated there would be about 1100 scouts and scouters in attendance (actual attendance unknown). The location was at and around a local fairgrounds which borders the local small-town airport. Each troop was assigned a specific 105 foot by 70 foot campsite. Needless to say there were no trees.
Shout-out to Hiline and friends who also had a hammock up. Great to meet you guys and talk hammocks.
I had not known the exact details, but the general lack of trees has been known for quite awhile. This, along with the previous examples, drove me to develop a small portable hammock stand that could be easily hauled with the scout gear and could be used for upcoming scouting events where finding trees could be an issue.
Here is the result. Basically, all I needed was a spreader and two risers to provide the structure. Cordage could then be used to lock everything together and provide the tension. Once I decided that the ground itself could provide me the same spreading characteristics we use with the tree it all got very simple.
Nothing too earth shattering in its basic design. Simple two pole stand with guy-lines at an angle to provide both direct and lateral support. A line across the top (not shown in the diagram) provides tension to hold the structure together when the hammock is not under load. It also provides a CRL for a tarp.
The two obstacles that needed addressed were:
1) Properly anchoring the guy-lines
2) Making it portable.
The first item was addressed when I developed the Stake Boom (documented in this thread - http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=34348).
I made it portable by making everything nest. The stakes (yellow) nest in the booms (black) which nest in the smaller diameter pole (red) which nests in the larger diameter pole (blue). A pin holds everything in place when packed.