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  1. #1
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    What if there are no (not enough) trees?

    I am new to this site, which I found through a backpacking forum. I am 51 YO, 5' 10" and weigh 220. I have chronic lower back issues and I sleep on my side a lot. I just finished my 2nd rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. The only discomfort, other than some sore muscles from the hiking, was sleeping on the ground. I am convinced that I would be happier sleeping off the ground. While I don't see where a hammock could be used in GC (nothing but tamarisk), my next planned trip is to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. I found a website that shows photos of most if not all of the campsites along the 100 mile route. It looks like there are trees at most of the campsites, some better than others. Has anyone rafted this river and is a hammock suitable?

    I know I am probably not the 1st to ask this question but what do you do if there are not enough trees to hang a hammock? I am leaning toward a WBBB. Weight is an issue since I plan to use it for BPing as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    If I'm going into unknown areas, I always use some kind of pad for my under insulation.
    If no trees, back to ground using tarp and quilt/pad (like the bad days and hate how my back feels in the morning!)
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

  3. #3
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Scottybdiving, Welcome to the forums, Up here there are usually good trees along most any of the rivers. I have not been on the middle fork in the area that is usually floated, but I have seen lots about it and it has looked like tree selection would not be a problem. If you are going with a guide give them a call, my understanding is that there are a limited number of permits issued for the middle fork each year, so the guides tend to know every inch of the river and all the land around. They would be able to at least tell you if the normal sites have much in the way of trees. When is your trip? Yet this year?
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  4. #4
    New Member
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    You could try hanging from rocks using climbing equipment (nuts, friends, etc). I've never needed to do it but I have a couple of small tricams I carry just in case.

  5. #5
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. We are booked on a commercial trip next July. I have plenty of time but I think I am going to make the purchase soon and start practicing, maybe squeeze in a couple short BP outings before then.

    After 9 nights on the ground, I am excited to try out a hammock. It will be worth the effort even if I can't use it 100% of the time. I have a GG White Lightening tarp that I did use in GC, to keep from using a sweatbox tent. I slept under the stars most nights, but there was a threat of rain nearly every evening. I assume you just use the hammock as a bug bivy, if you have to go to the ground.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    just hang

    I have hung on Cardenas and Hance Rapids beach in the Grand Canyon.

    I use 30' of 1" webbing on each end. Thread the webbing through a fork or over a branch in a small tree and then anchor to the base of another small tree. Throw the webbing over a boulder and anchor to another boulder or small tree.

    On a river trip it would be worth it to take 50' webbing straps and at least one support made out of 2"x4"s.

    Look for support and anchor rather than trees.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
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  7. #7
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by food View Post
    I use 30' of 1" webbing on each end. ...On a river trip it would be worth it to take 50' webbing straps...
    Wow! That's a lot of suspension! Have you got a picture of such a setup?

    None in your gallery, but nice pics in your gallery!

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    webbing

    Quote Originally Posted by MacEntyre View Post
    Have you got a picture of such a setup?
    No pictures of Canyon set ups. I used a hammock on a couple of trips then went back to a Big Agnes AirCore.

    That is more webbing than I want to carry, but not that much for a riding in a boat.

    You can always find one place to hang if you adjust your thinking to "support and anchor" rather than tree. Sometimes multiple sites is a problem. Sometimes you have to hang over rocks or vegetation.

    Last weekend I has hiking with bigfoot2 in Oregon. He could have saved one hang on a small tree if he had used a 30' strap and used the tree as a support and another tree as an anchor. Check the PNW Wahtum Lake trip report on this forum:

    http://www.backpacking.net/bbs.html
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
    - Mark Twain

  9. #9
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    What's the difference in elevation between each end of a 30' piece of webbing?
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  10. #10
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    "You can always find one place to hang if you adjust your thinking to "support and anchor" rather than tree."

    Good stuff, that. Thanks for a great tip.
    Dave

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