No-tree hang in Westampton, NJ - Oct 2009
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!
This is a cool looking rig! I bet you got a lot of comments and questions about it the whole event (and some shocked faces!)
Some questions cause I just gotta know:
Which trap anchors did you try to use?
Approx. how high up was your guy line tied to the poles (off the ground)?
Approx. how far from the base of the poles did you insert the trap anchors?
Approx. how deep did you install the trap anchors?
What kind / diameter line did you use in the trap anchors (or did you use cable?)
Thanks for posting the pics and your story - 5/5 !
That was pretty innovative thinking. Glad it worked out for you. Since the poles sunk into the ground, have you had any thoughts on how to improve your design?
Originally Posted by richtorfla
Screw a washer with a spike to the end of each post - increase surface area and still provide ground-holding. You would need some sort of threaded lag anchor or something... like a wood screw on one end and machine threads on the other (to bolt the washer on and provide ground holding)
Sort of thing
The problem with the trap anchor was probably more in my implementation than anything else. I used an improvised Iowa Disposable Stake made from a ¾“ dowel about four inches in length. I drilled a hole through the middle and used about four feet of 3/8” braided rope to form a loop. I secured both ends of the rope to the stake with a clove hitch and tied the ends together with a square knot. I then used an overhand loop for the eye.
Originally Posted by XexorZ
To make the placement hole I used a ¾“ dowel about three feet in length. I then drove the improvised Iowa Disposable Stake down with the dowel. When I got home today, I measured the stained part on the dowel at a little over 16", so the stake had to be in the ground 20" at maximum depth.
Setup for hanging the hammock was the rope eye connected to the hammock strap then run over the top of the X-Trestle and attached to the hammock. This is the same way the center rope appears for the monkey bridge and I think it may have been part of the reason the anchor pulled. I had similar problems with the orange stakes pulling free until I wrapped the straps around the staves as shown in the picture.
If you haven't already seen it, there is a pretty impressive video of my Rev 10 anchor along with a diagram on how to make one on page 6 of the ground anchor thread:
I don't think you would have had a problem with one of those on each end of your rig
Originally Posted by richtorfla
1. Lower the horizontal staves to within two inches of the bottom.
2. Move in the vertical staves another six inches each to increase hang height
Basically, I want to keep the design as simple as possible to show off X-Trestle capabilities.
Atta Boy ...... way to get it done out there and sleep in sweet comfort!!!!
Thanks for your suggestion XexorZ.
I created a new thread for further discussion at http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=11362.
Tags for this Thread