Choosing A Tarp for a Hammock

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10 Responses

  1. Alan Vales says:

    So I am seriously considering going all hammock! I only did my first backpacking trip this weekend. My buddy (also his first trip) had a hammock. I am also working to develop my rig as a light weight (not ready for ultralight) setup. So probably trying to get too much out of my equipment, but I was hoping to get a hammock I could use my exped pad in and hold off on an under quilt for now. My tarp needs replaced anyways but the Grand trunk funky forest tarp seems too heavy (essentially my hammock setup replaces a light weight tent or tarp setup) but cuben fiber hex tarp is too expensive. Is there a Hex/ Cat-Cut that is light and not so expensive that would work for light weight and hammock to ground transition if needed? I purchased you book this week but have so many questions didn’t want to wait the few days extra to start researching the setup.

    Alan

    • Derek says:

      Welcome to the light side, Alan! Have you read my à la carte post? There’s a lot of great info there and lists on available tarps and hammocks that may serve you. The best hammocks that work with pads are those with two layers or sleeves. The bridge hammocks are the best for pads because they conform well to the pad. Gathered-end hammocks tend to twist the pad like the rifling effect of a gun barrel. Hennessy Hammock sells some inexpensive hammock tarps that you may fit your budget. I’d go with a hex tarp for all-around utility.

      • Alan Vales says:

        Thanks Derek! Your book came today..already read once through! I had heard about the double layer hammocks to use with pads and realize it isn’t the most ideal, just trying to get the most (maybe too much) out of my gear. I’ll check in to it. The light side tends to get expensive fast yes? :) Trying to choose gear wisely and not buy things I’ll want to replace later but that may be unavoidable on some level. Love the site and the book. I’ll check out the a la carte post now that I have a bit more understanding of the options. Thanks!

        • Dave B says:

          Try hanging an older (or cheaper) hammock under your sleeping hammock. Any manner of “quilting” can be added or secured between the two. I use an older ENO under my ENO DoubleNest and find I can easily regulate the amount of insulation to ward off CBS and get a great night’s sleep. Weight wise this system works well because the “insulation” works double duty during the day (i.e. a parka, poncho woobie, etc.)

  2. Ryan says:

    Awesome Guide. Thanks Derek. Made it easy for me to go for a Hex tarp.

  3. Jim Johnsrud says:

    As of now I’m using a Diamond tarp from Claytor for most of my hangs and borrowing my girlfriends Big Rain Fly also from Claytor for winterhanging or when I need more cover. I also use a full length Ridgeline underneath for strength in hard winds and to dry clothes. For guylines I use the fail safe rubber bant tarp line tensioners, only made of elastic cord. Also I’ve sewn in bits of reflectic material to the edges of the tarp to be able to find it if it’s pitch black in the night. The Diamond is great for weight but sometimes provides little cover at the gatherings of the hammock and the big winter tarp is great for coverage, but is a bit heavy to drag along on long steap trips, so I would like to go with a hex, preferably something like the Black Cat tarp. In my experience dark colors will let you sleep longer in the mornin sun.
    Also i use guy line tensioners like these: http://www.rvops.co.uk/imagecache/d7a420ca-f912-4b4b-9d87-a0c20107125c_603x510.jpg (I had to reverse them to get them to do what i want them to do) to adjust the length of my guylines in a hurry.

  4. ChiefH says:

    No mention to the water resistance for these tarps. What is adequate (1000mm)? or a higher rating? All the discussion is on the shape and rigging style and nothing on the water resistance which is the most important part of choosing a tarp, to keep dry.

  5. forestfairy says:

    Thank you lots for all the great advice on this website. I’m looking for a no-fuss (ie. structurally sound) tarp that is able to take torrents (summertime in the Alps:)) and these on photo 6 and 8 caught my eye. Would you mind sharing the model name(s) please. I can’t quite distinguish if it’s the same tarp in 2 setups, but what I do see is that it’s quite an awesome one. Care to share the experience?

    • Derek says:

      If I’m matching the right photos, they are both different makes but both are hex designs. One is an OES MacCat standard and the other is the Hennessy Hex tarp. There are many companies who sell hex tarps, including Warbonnet and wilderness logics.

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