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  1. #1
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    Hammock as a ground cloth?

    What if you need to make camp and there are no good places to hang your hammock? Are they durable enough to act as a ground cloth in the case you have to sleep on the ground?

    Assume I can stake out my tarp with my hiking poles and my bag/pad combo isn't durable enough to lay on potentially sharp ground without additional layers.

    I have a Big Agnes bag with a slot for my pad. I don't think it could withstand a sharp rock if it moves.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bush's Avatar
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    I use a tyvek ground sheet under my hammock to protect gear and step onto to change clothing etc. It's long enough and wide enough to use as a groundcloth to protect my hammock from abrasion if I absolutely had to go to ground with it. Hope it never comes to that though...Bush

  3. #3
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    So just bring a small, lightweight footprint of sorts? Makes sense...

  4. #4
    SlowBro's Avatar
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    To sleep on the ground you will need a ground sheet as mentioned and of course a pad of some kind. You can pitch the hammock as a bivy to keep the bugs at bay if you need to, but if the bugs aren't bad you can just sleep under the tarp.
    -Mark
    Here is a ground pitched hammock without a ground sheet. I was just practicing, but I have never had to go to ground in 5 years of hammocking.
    -SlowBro
    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."-Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #5
    obxh2o's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhh .... no.
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  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I would really, really, really advise against using the hammock as a ground cloth. Most hammocks are made with the lightest fabric possible and intended to bear quite a bit of weight. A small tear from a rock or root, and the next time you go to use the thing, WHAM!

    On the other hand, if you had a ground cloth underneath the hammock (personally, my poncho is big enough to use as such if absolutely necessary; I'm not as worried about a smallish hole in that, since it's not bearing my whole body weight), the hammock can most definitely be used as a bug bivvy. But, if you don't need it, the tarp can be used as...well...a tarp.

    Honestly, though, I've yet to run across a situation where I've needed to go to ground. That's not saying that it's impossible, or that I never will, but the anecdotal evidence thus far suggests that it's not likely. Most places that folks go on the east coast have trees...I don't know about Colorado, but I'd imagine most places below the tree line do...
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  7. #7
    Woody361's Avatar
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    Hammock as a ground cloth?

    I have tarp camped several times before I got my hammock. I would just pitch the tarp and sleep on a pad of a piece of tyvek or some other kind of ground cloth. Don't take the chance of damaging your hammock.

  8. #8
    12trysomething's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonker View Post
    What if you need to make camp and there are no good places to hang your hammock?.
    Although I am by no means a hammock pro with 50 nights in a hammock on the trail, I do have a bit of experience. I have never come across a situation where I couldn't use my hammock if I searched an area a half mile or so from where I wanted to set up camp. That being said, my experience is only on the East coast and without much elevation.

    What types of situations have been encountered where the hammock couldn't be used?

    thanks,

    12trysomething

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12trysomething View Post
    Although I am by no means a hammock pro with 50 nights in a hammock on the trail, I do have a bit of experience. I have never come across a situation where I couldn't use my hammock if I searched an area a half mile or so from where I wanted to set up camp. That being said, my experience is only on the East coast and without much elevation.

    What types of situations have been encountered where the hammock couldn't be used?

    thanks,

    12trysomething
    I've shown this pic a few times over the years, might as well again! So there was this time, which was the 2nd time during my first ever week in a hammock:


    The reason for this is pretty obvious from the picture. 2 nights before that I also ended up on the ground. I had the hammock hanging no problem, it's just that when the temp dropped to 22F my shivering body demanded to abandon hammock and go to ground.

    That was well over 6 years ago, and has not been needed since then. Still, best to be prepared!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I always carry a 3mil, 55gal trash bag as a backpack liner/waterproof bag when I camp.

    If I flat out HAD to 'go to ground'...it would be if I were sitting somewhere not near trees. As in...open field or grassland.

    Given that, I'd clear out the grass in the area I chose to camp, open out the trash bag on 2 sides to make it into a long rectangle of plastic, and lay it out on top of that grass that I cleared out, using it as padding. Pitch the tarp out with my trekking poles, put my pad out on top of the trash bag, and hope that the bugs aren't too horrific (assuming bug season).

    I'd have to have some major concerns about bugs before I'd consider putting my hennessy on the ground to use it as a shelter against them, and I can't see any other reason to put it on the ground.

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