Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-24-2018
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Age
    25
    Posts
    4

    Default Tarp/bug net set-up with hammock

    What do you guys recommend for a tarp/water-resistant hammock system? I'm planning on thru-hiking starting next spring, so I've been testing out hanging a tarp above my hammock with stakes but one night all the stakes got pulled out from the high winds. Has anyone found a more secure system? Also, are bugs usually a problem? I'm not planning on buying a bug net, but if a lot of people recommend it, I would look into getting one. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-01-2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Look for plans for the HUG Bug net at theultimatehang dot com. It's probably all you need. I ham-fistedly made my own with tulle fabric and it actually did work, and might be all you need if your lower half will be covered, such as in a sleeping bag.

    I previously had a Noah's Tarp from Kelty. Couple of them actually, the 9 and the 12, in color "putty". Current version is green. They were fine. I sold them because of concerns over their low HH rating, and the fact that they were cat-cut, so for going to ground, some tarp shelter designs wouldn't work that well. Turns out that although their HH was pretty low @ 450mm, I've read that's comparable to an umbrella. The new green ones are HH of 800mm. True waterproofness is considerably higher than that (1500?) but depending on the angle of your "roof", it may be unnecessary. They're not UL, just cheap and effective.

    If you have the budget you could spend more and save weight and bulk with silnylon (~$100-150) or DCF ($300+). Since you're thru-hiking, I think you'd be wise to spend the $ and cut weight and bulk. For a weekender like me, a little extra weight carried is just more good exercise that is needed. But if you're slogging it daily up and down mountains, the accumulated wear and tear of that extra weight on your body could be substantial.

    check out hammockforums dot net for specific recommendations. FWIW I've been happy with the stuff I've gotten from Dutchware. Look for a ridgeline comparable in length to your hammock, so that when hammock sag is taken into account (83% of full length after sag is typical), you have about a foot clearance on each end. It appears that hex tarps are favored these days for 3-season use. They provide better rain coverage than square tarps hung on the diagonal, and rain coverage on the AT is pretty important. I didn't have any rain problems with my Noah's 9 (hung on diagonal), but I only ever had them out in straight-down rain, not blowing rain. On a thru hike you're sure to get blowing rain at some point.

    To keep your stakes in, get better stakes, period. J-stakes, V-stakes, etc. - this is ESPECIALLY important for tarps, which can act as sails in the wind. Do not use shepherd's hooks with the round cross-section. Get something that is a V or a T, or even sand/snow stakes if you can spare the weight (I carry one as an ersatz trowel anyway). Ensure they're long enough too. MSR groundhogs are well-regarded. My 1P tent came with DAC J-stakes, which have been amazing and are sold under different names as well (North Face). Look for 7000-series aluminum; it's MUCH stronger than 6000-series stuff. Can't speak for titanium stakes, those could be great too, but your main need for a tarp is surface area of the stake to provide grip in the soil. Many titanium ones are thin skewers that weigh nothing but probably won't do much for a tarp.

  3. #3

    Default Tarp/bug net set-up with hammock

    Quote Originally Posted by rlumkes View Post
    What do you guys recommend for a tarp/water-resistant hammock system? I'm planning on thru-hiking starting next spring, so I've been testing out hanging a tarp above my hammock with stakes but one night all the stakes got pulled out from the high winds. Has anyone found a more secure system? Also, are bugs usually a problem? I'm not planning on buying a bug net, but if a lot of people recommend it, I would look into getting one. Thanks in advance!
    My best advice is to head over to https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/

    You will get a warm welcome and lots of advice there.

    My next best advice is to read the EXCELLENT book “The Ultimate Hang 2” by Derek Hansen
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the...17164540?mt=11
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1478351187..._-KtkCbTERRVR9

    Stakes coming loose are an easy problem to solve. This is going to be lengthy, so I’ll let others tackle the stake question. Choosing a hammock and tarp is much more nuanced. For a thru hike you want something lightweight and durable and simple in design. And COMFORTABLE! If you follow these tips below, you will be much more comfortable.

    11 foot long hammocks are by far the most popular size amongst those who know better. If you are short or are easy to please, a 10 foot long hammock might suffice. That’s the length of the fabric, but in practice, it is usually hung with a ridgeline length of about 83%, so if you get an 11’ long hammock, you should get a tarp with a ridgeline length of 11 feet. That will allow you to pitch your tarp down low to your hammock in bad weather, but still be long enough to give you adequate protection from your basic rain storm even if you don’t pitch it as low as possible. Most folks will get a hex shaped tarp because it is a good general purpose shape for hammocks. If you want to push your limits, then there are asymmetrical tarps that cut some corners off (literally) to save weight and they require two less lines and stakes to pitch, but have less tolerance for error, and make sure you know how to pick a good location too if you use one. A rectangle tarp will give you a touch more protection and you can also get wide-body tarps as well that will go lower to the ground. The ultimate protection is a tarp with “doors”, often called a winter tarp. It is simply a hex tarp with extra fabric that covers the two ends that a hex tarp leaves wide open. It is great for blocking wind driven rain and trapping a little more heat in colder temps as long as you pitch it low enough. Get a quality tarp and not some cheapo with grommets, which don’t last long. The best choice is one made with a sil-poly fabric because it has lower stretch and absorbs less water than sil-nylon.

    You want to be sure to get a hammock that is at least 58” wide. If you are a tall person (say 5’10” or taller), go with a few inches wider than that. Add an inch for every inch in height and just a couple more inches might work even better. They go up to 72”, but that’s overkill.

    Be sure to use a hammock with a “structural ridgeline”. It is simply a line that goes from peak to peak on your hammock. It prevents you from hanging your hammock so tight that it becomes uncomfortable and even dangerous because you want some sag for comfort and a tight hang puts a LOT more stress on the trees and the hammock. Your hammock strap suspension should be at roughly 30° when you are in it. Steeper than 30° is better than shallower than 30°, so don’t sweat the precision here, just understand the principle.

    You may already know this, but it is soooo important, it must be said. You are supposed to lay in a hammock on a diagonal. This allows your body to lay much flatter and not like a banana, which is not at all comfortable, especially after a long days of hiking. Most folks choose what is called the right-lay orientation with their feet to the right side of the hammock’s structural ridgeline and their head to the left. But just as some are left-handed, there are people who like the left-lay or sometimes called the reverse-lay orientation. This is important to know when shopping for a hammock. If you end up choosing a hammock with an integrated (zippered) bugnet, that net can either be shaped to allow for either direction of lay, which is called a symmetrical hammock or the more popular option is to cut and shape the net in order to streamline it for that way it will be used. It simply means it cannot be used both ways, but it will be lighter weight and there will be less slack and slop in the net when you are zipped up and laying inside and this is what they call an asymmetrical hammock. In both cases, the hammock body is identical, so some hammock designs take it a step further and are reversible by removing the net and zipping it back on the opposite way.

    The next most important thing to understand is that you will want to have either a pad or an underquilt if the temps will be any lower than around 70°-75°F. A sleeping bag will do nothing for your backside due to the compression of the insulation. This is why it is recommended to use a topquilt design instead of a bag design. It saves a lot of weight and is far easier to get in and out of when in your hammock. Likewise an underquilt is far superior to a pad, but at least the pad works. The easiest underquilt to use is called the Wooki XL by Warbonnet because it is a set it and forget it design. There is far less of a learning curve to make it work. This is because the trick to using an underquilt is to tighten all the shock cords in such a way that you don’t get any cold air drafts seeping in between your hammock and the underquilt. The Wooki is a unique underquilt that is built like a second hammock that hangs under your hammock and there is very little adjustment required to get it all set.

    I’ll stop there and leave you with a list of vendors that have amazing reputations for good design, great customer service, and quality craftsmanship.

    In alphabetical order:
    https://www.arrowhead-equipment.com/
    https://www.dreamhammock.com/
    https://dutchwaregear.com/
    https://www.hammockgear.com/
    http://www.jacksrbetter.com/
    https://www.locolibregear.com/
    https://simplylightdesigns.com/
    https://ugqoutdoor.com/
    https://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/


    And one last tip. If you are a visual learner, an infamous jokester by the name of Shug has a lot of great tutorials on YouTube for people who want to learn about hammock camping and gear.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/shugemery
    Last edited by HandyRandy; 12-30-2018 at 19:29.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rlumkes View Post
    What do you guys recommend for a tarp/water-resistant hammock system? I'm planning on thru-hiking starting next spring, so I've been testing out hanging a tarp above my hammock with stakes but one night all the stakes got pulled out from the high winds. Has anyone found a more secure system? Also, are bugs usually a problem? I'm not planning on buying a bug net, but if a lot of people recommend it, I would look into getting one. Thanks in advance!
    I assume you have a hammock without an integrated bug net. Search out a simple add-on net (basically a big net tube) and you'll be okay. Just be sure you can get in and out with ease. I use an 8x10 silnylon tarp, strung diagonally over my hammock. It works in awful rain. This leaves you with just two stakes. If you can't get them in securely (sandy or rocky soil), tie off to nearby shrubbery or such and you should be fine. If not you have picked a poor campsite. Happy zees to you.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-21-2014
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Age
    59
    Posts
    643

    Default

    I fought bugs from New Jersey thru Massachusetts. One night rain forced me into a shelter and then the bugs forced me to use the hammock as a bivi. Shortly after dark, the others in the shelter put up tents without the fly inside a very warm shelter! Another night, they were so thick when I climbed in the hammock and zipped the net, I had to use a head net until the spray killed the ones that snuck in with me. For the cost and weight of one that slips over most set ups, I wouldn’t take the chance. However, snow, rain and bugs vary from year to year. Not much help for you on the Tarp. My HG Palace was the most expensive piece of gear I carried. I didn’t consider any other Tarp without doors. I use MSR Groundhogs and only had one that pulled up in wind. However, I also had shockcord loops on the tarp corners. Of course as with everything; your experience may differ.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

    I am Third

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

    YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCik...NPHW7vu3vhRBGA

  6. #6
    Registered User russb's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-07-2007
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Age
    49
    Posts
    920

    Default

    I dont use tent stakes. I tie off to other trees, saplings, rocks, roots, whatever I can find. Much more secure. Been a dedicated hammocker for over a decade with never a need for stakes.

    As for a tarp, it really depends. The smaller the tarp, the more judicious one must be in site selection.

    The conventional wisdom is a longer (and wider) hammock is better. I have found this to be only somewhat true. If one has a longer hammock, then wider becomes necessary. The fabric used is also a major variable. I have been using a short (less than 9 feet) and it works fantastic. ymmv.

  7. #7

    Default Tarp/bug net set-up with hammock

    I forgot to mention two things:

    A partial underquilt is a great option that works well for warmer weather. It just covers your torso and if need be you just use your sit pad under your feet or your backpack in a pinch.

    As far as would I recommend a bugnet, I agree with the poster above that for the cost and weight vs the benefit you get, I think it is WELL worth it!
    Last edited by HandyRandy; 12-31-2018 at 17:38.

  8. #8
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Essex, Vermont
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,278

    Default

    My personal choice is a Warbonnet Blackbird with a Warbonnet Mini-fly tarp, YMMV. I do have a Speer Winter tarp with doors, but I found I always tied them back, so why carry them?
    I think the advice above re: stakes is spot on - I bring 6 stakes on all trips, regardless of tent/tarp/bivy/hammock setup I'm using, and at least half are the groundhog-type. You can also tie out your hammock to trees, brush, etc.

    To me, bug protection is an absolute necessity - get some. If it weren't for bugs, I'd have nothing but a tarp, groundsheet, and ccf pad.

    My preference for under insulation is a ProLite pad. UQ's are more comfortable and warmer, but having a pad is plenty comfy and warm and gives me the option to camp on the ground.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-24-2018
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Age
    25
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Oh darn, I was hoping to escape without a bug net...thanks for all the great information though! That should keep me busy for a little while. And I've used my hammock for every camping venture in the past few years, just (somehow) not in a lot of rain or wind, so I'm sure we'll find out quite a bit along the way. But thanks again for all the personal experience - it's all very helpful!

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-01-2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rlumkes View Post
    Oh darn, I was hoping to escape without a bug net...
    For about $1.50 you can get a mosquito head net at Walmart. If you have the rest of your exposed skin under a quilt or in a bag, you might get by with that.

  11. #11

    Default

    Are you hesitant about the net because of the cost or weight? Or is it more of a comfort concern?

  12. #12
    Registered User scope's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-08-2006
    Location
    Chamblee, GA
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,499
    Images
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    For about $1.50 you can get a mosquito head net at Walmart. If you have the rest of your exposed skin under a quilt or in a bag, you might get by with that.
    This is what I do, except my headnet is a $10 version from REI that never gets used, LOL. Seriously, if you're starting in Ga, you won't need a net for a long while. A cheap headnet like this can be a lifesaver, though, not only if you do camp at a lower elevation where you might find bugs, but gnats can be seriously annoying in the early spring as the days start to get sufficiently warm.

    I would recommend what is called a Fronkey-style net for your netless hammock. I would go to DutchwareGear.com for that and other options. What kind of hammock do you have? Depending on what you have, I might recommend the notion of getting a netted one, of which Dutch sells a few good ones.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  13. #13
    Registered User gunner76's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-04-2009
    Location
    Otway North Carolina
    Age
    66
    Posts
    780
    Images
    21

    Default

    If you are using a bug net hat or similar, if the bug net touches you then so can the bugs. Solution...treat with Permethrin. All my hammocks have an integrated bug net. If I don't want to use the bug net I can either unzip it and toss to the side or remove it depending on the hammock. I have found that the bug net keeps all my stuff in the hammock and I can not kick it out of the hammock during the night.
    Hammock Hanger by choice

    Warbonnet BlackBird 1.7 dbl


    www.neusioktrail.org

    Bears love people, they say we taste just like chicken.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-21-2019
    Location
    Brevard, NC
    Age
    40
    Posts
    65

    Default

    I don't want to steer you away from hammocks, but there are some things that you need to understand. Hammock camping takes much more knowledge of one's gear, and a deeper understanding of how to properly set up. It's not as beginner friendly as tents. Sure, it sounds easy ..... but, it's being comfortable in the hammock which takes some practice.

    Just don't forget the main rule about hammock camping. Hang your own hang. This means that whatever makes you happy, do it....... just stay safe. You can take people's suggestions, but there are multiple different options for each choice.

    Take for example, people have explained a few different bug nets. There are ones that you wear over you head, and ones that fit over your hammock. Some hammocks have them built into them, and some people go without a bug net all together. This is where you just need to hammock a few times, and find what makes you comfortable.

  15. #15
    Registered User scope's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-08-2006
    Location
    Chamblee, GA
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,499
    Images
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    I don't want to steer you away from hammocks, but there are some things that you need to understand. Hammock camping takes much more knowledge of one's gear, and a deeper understanding of how to properly set up. It's not as beginner friendly as tents. Sure, it sounds easy ..... but, it's being comfortable in the hammock which takes some practice...
    True, there is a learning curve. Because tents are a roof and walls with a mattress, it mimics what we do at home, and so we do have some familiarity there that allows us not to have to understand the gear so much. Tent's block wind that can make gear not perform as expected. Pads, which are primary for insulation from the ground, are sold mostly on their comfort benefits. Sleeping bags feel enclosed and safe, just like the tent does.

    Hammocks have wind on top and bottom, and even slight breezes can have a significant effect. Folks often associate the comfort of a hammock with the comfort of a pad, thinking one is a replacement for the other, but a hammock has no insulation (well, my Bonefire does, but that's another story). Sleeping bags don't insulate on bottom in both tent and hammock, something not well known. And even with a net, there's this open feeling that can be disconcerting at first (wouldn't trade it for the world now).

    The key is not so much that hanging is difficult, but that it does take practice to get the most out of it. It takes a want to understand the elements of being insulated and sheltered so that you're not throwing up your hands and giving up when you think the gear is not working. And probably not a good idea to push the limits of insulation right away, either. But from my experience, it took one night in a hammock to know that it was the right thing for me. Actually, I guess it took the last night in a tent for me to know the tent was not the right thing for me, that came first.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •