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  1. #1
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    Default How do you go to ground?

    Hello fellow hangers,

    As the name suggests, I'll be thru-hiking SOBO next year starting in June.

    From what I can gather from trail journals and blog entries, it seems like most thru-hikers with hammocks go to ground (or shelters) from time to time. They don't feel like setting up camp in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm, or they are given a kitchen table to sleep on after work-for-stay, or they're trying to follow park regulations in the GSMNP. Even worse, they might lose a tree strap or have a catastrophic tear in the hammock.

    Thru-hikers who have done this, how did you sleep on the ground? I have a hammock with a full-length underquilt. Should I consider taking a small sleeping pad on top of my hammock setup? It seems like kind of a drag carrying a sleeping pad that I wont' be using often. Then again, the prospect of sleeping on a nasty cold hard floor also sounds pretty miserable too.

  2. #2

    Default

    Bring a comfy pad. It need not be long. On a recent trip I went to ground often. 1/2 in thick foam was not enough for a good night's sleep.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a womans length xlite from before I switched. I really don't wanna carry it but I will for the smokies. I have pitched my hammock on the ground with trekking poles like a bivy under the tarp for the occasion that there are no trees.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  4. #4
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    I have a Tyvek Ground sheet used under the hammock just to keep things cleaned and organized. I lay that down in shelters when necessary. I also carry a Thermarest Z-Lite that goes ontop of the Tyvek. The Thermarest is also my security pad in the hammock when the 20º Yeti may not get the job done. I have also use this same set up and put Z Pack Trekking Pole Cup Holders (Sleeves???) onto the Tarp and set it up as a Ground A Frame Tarp. It may seem heavy but my total winter weight is still under 20 lbs.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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    We are here to help one another along life's journey. Keep the Faith!

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  5. #5
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    Default

    I have a Gossamer Gear Gorilla pack and instead of the foam sitlight pad used for the back cushion I use a Neoair short folded to fit and partially inflated.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

  6. #6

    Default

    did you ever have to finally decide
    to pick up on one and leave the other behind
    its not always easy, and not often kind
    but did ya ever have to make up your mind

  7. #7

    Default

    I am moving to hammocks, but since I always have a dog with me and carry a sleeping pad for them I would just carry a slightly longer one and sleep on that if I have to go to ground and let her sleeping on my pack or something. It won't be the best night's sleep ever, but it will be better than nothing. I also use the dog pad as a sit pad during the day too so a few extra panels aren't more than a couple of ozs more than I would normally carry.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Default

    I have only gone to ground twice. To answer the question "how do I go to ground"… it is usually with a little flailing followed by a loud thump.

  9. #9
    Registered User tagg's Avatar
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    greenwood, sc
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbolt View Post
    I have a Tyvek Ground sheet used under the hammock just to keep things cleaned and organized. I lay that down in shelters when necessary. I also carry a Thermarest Z-Lite that goes ontop of the Tyvek. The Thermarest is also my security pad in the hammock when the 20º Yeti may not get the job done. I have also use this same set up and put Z Pack Trekking Pole Cup Holders (Sleeves???) onto the Tarp and set it up as a Ground A Frame Tarp. It may seem heavy but my total winter weight is still under 20 lbs.
    +1. The Z-Lite that I use is cut down to the size of my torso, and I just use my pack under my legs if I have to go to the ground. I also use the Z-Lite as a sit pad around camp or when I stop for a break, and it makes a good windscreen for my stove if needed.
    -tagg

  10. #10
    Registered User ADVStrom14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickNgrin View Post
    I have only gone to ground twice. To answer the question "how do I go to ground"… it is usually with a little flailing followed by a loud thump.
    LOL mental images are priceless!

  11. #11
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    HA!!! That was hilarious!

  12. #12
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I carry a mylar space blanket for a ground cloth, and a CCF pad for those times when I want to sleep on the ground. Either a 6-segment piece of z-rest, or a 40" long piece of a ridgerest, both about 6 ounces. When I'm going on a piece of trail where I know I'll have a higher probability of sleeping on the ground, I'll leave my UQ behind and take my prolite pad - I don't mind using the pad in the hammock at all.

    BTW, I carry one of the CCF pads anyway - it's not an addition to my basic list. handy for a nap, or for sitting on a wet rock or log, etc.

  13. #13
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    Part of my hammock setup is an over sized full-wrap tarp that can be set up as a shelter with trekking poles. I carry a mylar blanket that can be laid over duff for a sleeping pad. Grandma Gatewood used duff as her bedding most of the time. You're talking about situations that won't arise every night, so a permanent solution isn't needed. If you have to go to shelter without a sleeping pad, improvise. One night won't kill ya.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2017SOBO View Post
    Hello fellow hangers,

    As the name suggests, I'll be thru-hiking SOBO next year starting in June.

    From what I can gather from trail journals and blog entries, it seems like most thru-hikers with hammocks go to ground (or shelters) from time to time. They don't feel like setting up camp in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm, or they are given a kitchen table to sleep on after work-for-stay, or they're trying to follow park regulations in the GSMNP. Even worse, they might lose a tree strap or have a catastrophic tear in the hammock.

    Thru-hikers who have done this, how did you sleep on the ground? I have a hammock with a full-length underquilt. Should I consider taking a small sleeping pad on top of my hammock setup? It seems like kind of a drag carrying a sleeping pad that I wont' be using often. Then again, the prospect of sleeping on a nasty cold hard floor also sounds pretty miserable too.
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
    AT miles: 255.5 / Total miles: 905.27

    Author of "Hiking Into Trail Days"



  14. #14

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    When I slept in the shelters I didn’t use a pad. Pretty uncomfortable.

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