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Tarp and hammock camping

I recently recieved this hammock

as a gift and want to try it out this spring and summer, I will be bringing along a tarp as well for protection from the weather.


I know there is a huge thread on tarps vs. tents but was unable to find any metion of a hammock tarp combonation in that thread. I know that a few of you regulars use hammocks on occasion, I was just looking for comparisons to a tent. 


In bad weather I will still use my tent but, this seems a lighter option for good weather hikes with the occasional unforseen rain mixed in, that could be blocked via a tarp.


Not trying to open a whole new tarp vs tent thread just want personal experience and preference.

You can use a tarp and hammock in any weather conditions you want. I use a tarp and hammock year round, rain,sleet, shine, wind, or snow. There is no direct comparison to a tent, they both accomplish the same goal but are two different animals otherwise. There are all different shapes and sizes. I personally like a tarp with 'doors' so I can really close it up it foul weather. I use the Warbonnet Superfly tarp.

Make sure you use a decent tarp and not one of the cheap poly tarps(like the blue ones from a hardware store etc). The weakest point of a tarp is the grommets and or tie out points, so make sure you have a good tarp. Next piece of advice is to use weaker cordage for rigging everything except the hammock(obviously), you want any failure to be on a easily replaced line rather than having a hole torn in your tarp during a storm. for this I recommend masons line.

Hope that helps some. I can answer any other hammock related questions you might have also.

I look at my hammock as another option in my collection of sleep systems. When planning a trip I look at weather, location of camps, weight, and other factors when I'm deciding on a tent, hammock, or something else. 

When I do take the hammock I really appreciate how lightweight of a system it is and that I don't need to worry about roots and rocks on the ground since I will be suspended above them.

As Rambler mentioned if you string your tarp correctly you do not need to worry about bad weather at all.

It will take some practice to get your setup dialed in perfectly but once you get everything figured out you will really enjoy it.

Yea I plan on doing a quick weekend car camping trip or 2 just to get the hammock and tarp setup down, before I do any hike where I am trying to figure it out while tired and fighting to finish before dark.

Probably will get a kelty tarp to go over it, gotta say I am pretty excited about trying it out, not sure if that feeling wears out after years of hiking all the time, but I always get excited to try out my new gear.

My hex fly for my Hennessy was impaled by a large stick last year and put a rip in it about 4 feet long.  Being extremely budget oriented my solution for replacement ended up being a footprint for a discontinued Kelty 6 person tent that was marked down to $14.  Its about nine feet by nine feet, and when tied cross corner on my hammock line and staked at opposite corners, or I like to call batwing setup, it works really well with my hammock in warmer months.  Its 70d nylon with a 1800mm hh. So its not UL but its lighter, quieter and more compressible than a cheap poly tarp and is a darn sight cheaper than a typical pu coated or silnylon tarp.

This is almost identical to what I picked up.

When you use a tarp over a hammock, remember that the seam that goes over the top runs on the diagonal.  A seam for a standard rectangular tarp runs down the middle.  In other words a seam down the diagonal connects two triangles together.  A seam running down the middle connects two squares.

Even in the summer, you may well find the hammock to be cold along its bottom.  So, look into the many ways of keeping your hammock protected from underneath.  Even a thin layer of a lightweight nylon or even a sheet of thin plastic hanging underneath and not touching the bottom of the hammock will do the job of blocking the draft from down below you.

Take along an extra 5- 8 ' of extra line.  This will come in handy when you have just too far a distance between available trees for your standard set up.

Be sure to look up on the trees you choose to make sure no dead branches are dangling above you and that the tree you have chosen is alive.

Many air mattresses are useless in hammocks because they will slip out from beneath you.  So, the mattress can be left at home to save weight, but it will also limit your options of sleeping comfortably on the ground out of your hammock, but under your tarp.

Get familiar with how far off the ground you have to hang your empty hammock, it will probably be well above waist high!

You can make your own hammock without using a sewing machine and made with a mosquito net that is not permanently attached, so you can leave at home after bug season.

Find out about the useful "snakeskin" for hammock and fly storage for easy set up especially in the rain! 

Do you know about Jacks R Better .com?

Happy hanging! 

There is a few of ud hangers on ts, but if you go to they can give you a much wider range of advice. The tips given here have been spot on tho, I hang my tarps both ways in my hammock, with or against the seam. With the rectangle not triangle style pitch you have more room under the tarp to cook in a gentle rain , but less protection in a driven rain. The hammock specific tarps, with zippers to close the ends work the best in winter or stormy conditions. I take my hammock even when I take my tent, then use my oversize ground cloth for either one. If you arent familiar with the area, you never know if your gonna find a flat spot, or good hangin points. Where I camp its generally easier to find trees than a suitable tent site. Just my opinion.

September 30, 2020
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