Sometimes you just want to head out on an overnight with a light pack. But if you’re ditching the tent for a hammock, you’ve got to be prepared for rain and snow. Here’s how you stay dry while hammock camping.
First things first, you have to have the right tarp. You can get a cheapo one from your local hardware store if you would like, but at the end of the day, a tarp that is designed for hammocks will ultimately but much easier to set up, staking and storage.
You do, however, need to make sure you have the right size. That is going to depend on how high you hang your hammock and how tight you want the walls to be in your dry area. Having a tarp that’s at least eight feet wide is ideal. I like to have a larger dry area so I usually go with a 15 to 20-foot long tarp.
Next, you’ll also need some rope and some stakes to keep your tarp from blowing in the wind. Staking the four corners of the tarp tightly should be enough to keep the tarp from whipping around in the wind. Occasionally when using a smaller tarp you may want to stake or tie in the middle of one side so you have a bit more space. Having the tarp too close on each side of the hammock may make you feel a bit claustrophobic.
Now that you’ve got your tarp hung and anchored, you need to create some drip lines for your hammock suspension. Drip lines are essential to keeping the rain from running down the tethers of your hammock and soaking you throughout the night. You can use just about anything for this. One thing that works well for me is wrapping a piece of rope around my hammock line. You can also use a zip tie or a piece of fabric to help stop the water. You always want to keep water from running off the tree, down your strap, and into your hammock.
How do you stay dry when hammock camping? Let us know in the comments