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  1. #1
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    Trip to Hells Canyon - no trees

    I've been invited to go on a backpack trip this weekend into Hells Canyon (Oregon-Idaho border) on the Snake River with a bunch of ground dwellers. From what I'm told (and looking at the area with Google Earth), finding a pair of trees/boulders to hang from is going to be difficult, probably impossible.

    After much deliberation I've decided to leave the tent at home and take my hammock and setup on the ground (after searching extensively for the elusive trees, of course). These ground dwellers are very curious about this thing called hammock camping and I'm hoping to be able to show them how it works.

    I did a practice ground setup run in the yard this last weekend . I was fortunate enough to have a good wind come up to test the stability of my setup. I was surprised at how well it held up.

    There is a chance of some rain so I'm a little concerned about water running in under the tarp. I will have a plastic ground cloth but that doesn't have the vertical lip/wall like a tent does. It's not that warm yet so rattlesnakes shouldn't be a concern... I hope.

    If any of you have any words of wisdom from past experiences of going to ground - your pointers would be greatly appreciated.

    DanD76
    Last edited by X-Lem; 04-06-2010 at 01:09.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    I've staked out my hammock on the ground before... once!!! Did not like it!! If it was me going on a trip that was pretty much garanteed to be treeless, I'd just pack a tent. One observation from my putting my hammock on the ground... if it rained and the water made it's way to my hammock... well my thoughts were that it wasn't gonna be pretty. Maybe someone from this forum has been to that neck of the woods (or non-woods??) and can give you a better outlook on what to expect.

    TinaLouise

  3. #3
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Before I was a hammocker, I was a tarper. I hate tents. Of course site selection is paramount. The best is if you can pitch it on a little knoll so the water runs away. Or, if the ground will tolerate, such as a sandy beach along a river, you can make a little furrow and / or a berm on the high side to divert running water around your bed roll. I assume you will have hiking poles to use as tarp poles.

  4. #4
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    you can clip up sides on your groundsheet to make it your bathtub floor, all you need is 4 pegs- the clothes hanging kind, not the stake kind! maybe even hefty paper clips.

    What kind of tarp have you got? there are heaps of ways to pitch a tarp beyond the basic a-frame.

    you'll need to swap out any UQ for a pad, of course- make sure it works for hanging as well or you'll be kicking yourself if the trees do show up!

    Beyond that it's all about making the hammock bug net roomy, and it looks like you're happy with it.

    Pics or it didn't happen though!

    Thanks for the reminder- I hang out with too many ground dwellers...

    TH
    Last edited by titanium_hiker; 04-06-2010 at 07:10.
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  5. #5
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottybdiving View Post
    I assume you will have hiking poles to use as tarp poles.
    Yes, using hiking poles.


    Quote Originally Posted by titanium_hiker View Post
    you can clip up sides on your groundsheet to make it your bathtub floor, all you need is 4 pegs- the clothes hanging kind, not the stake kind! maybe even hefty paper clips.

    What kind of tarp have you got? there are heaps of ways to pitch a tarp beyond the basic a-frame.

    you'll need to swap out any UQ for a pad, of course- make sure it works for hanging as well or you'll be kicking yourself if the trees do show up!

    Beyond that it's all about making the hammock bug net roomy, and it looks like you're happy with it.

    Pics or it didn't happen though!

    Thanks for the reminder- I hang out with too many ground dwellers...

    TH
    Clipping the groundsheet to the tarp. I like it! The groundsheet is just wide enough to do that. Should be able to prop up the sheet at the open ends of the tarp with a couple rocks or driftwood. I think that will work.

    Tarp is your basic 7.5'x10' rectange. 3 nlyon tie off loops down each side and 2 at each end for the ridgeline. Not sure how else it could be pitched other than A frame. Other than using bushes, large boulders or cliff walls where I could go to more of a lean-to mode. If you have other options it would be great to hear what those are.

    Pad is all I have. I'm still a warm weather hiker. In my trial setup I did notice that the bug net was going to be little bit saggy. Not too bad though.

    Definetly site selection will be key. Probably easier to take the tent but I thought this would be an opportune time to practice going to ground to figure out what works and what doesn't. That way if I ever am forced to be on the ground in the future under maybe not so good of circumstances I'll be better prepared.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Other than using bushes, large boulders or cliff walls where I could go to more of a lean-to mode.
    More than you would ever want to know about tarps Here

  7. #7
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    while you can clip the groundsheet to the tarp, I was more thinking clipping the groundsheet to itself- imagine a square in the corner and bringing the two sides of the square together. That way you don't need to worry about drips from tarp into your groundsheet!

    there are heaps of ways to pitch a tarp, you aren't stuck with A-frame! I'm looking for a link. That's the link, scottybdiving. The bathtub floor is also in there- page 11.

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
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    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  8. #8
    X-Lem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottybdiving View Post
    More than you would ever want to know about tarps Here
    Holy crap Batman! If I fold the tarp just right can I get it to fly?
    Great link Scottybdiving. I have to study that one for awhile.

    OK, gotcha TH. That makes sense to use the clips to make a tub rather than clip to the tarp. Keeps it more flexible and the dog is less likely to break it apart.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by X-Lem; 04-07-2010 at 00:01.

  9. #9
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    dand76, I hope you don't mind me tacking on to the end of your thread!

    Ground sheet materials: this website (with interesting approach to bath tub floors) advocates silnylon as a groundsheet- I thought that sil will eventually wick through, especially under pressure.
    http://www.backpacking-lite.co.uk/di...tub-floor.html

    Any tips on the kind of fabric (perhaps to do double duty as a weather shield, or stepping sheet, when trees are around) that would be good as an emergency ground sheet?

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
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    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  10. #10
    Senior Member tomsawyer222's Avatar
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    If you are heading to a canyon I dont see why you could not take some extra suspension and hang from rocks? I have seen pictures of it being done its just like rock climbing

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