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RE: Hammock Camping Newbie question about rain

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  • Ed Speer
    Sesa, Chet--Some good points about tarp use. I designed the Speer Hammock and have tested it and most of the others in some really bad storms--anyone s first
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
      Message
      Sesa, Chet--Some good points about tarp use. I designed the Speer Hammock and have tested it and most of the others in some really bad storms--anyone's first line of defense should be to "hide from the wind".  I discuss this at length in my book.  In the mountains this is generally very easy as I can pitch the hammock on the lee side of a ridge, mtn, or even rock cliff--often in total calm only a few feet out of the wind stream!  Another reason to avoid wind--strong wind can easily damage the extremely light silnylon tarp fabric by causing tears where the pull tabs are sewed on.  This is lightweight gear, not bombproof gear.
       
      However, when caught out in unexpected wind-blown rain, I greatly lower the 8X10 tarp and pull in the sides until they actually touch the ground (may have to lower hammock as well)--this makes extremely small open ends.  I can also use my ground sheet to block the open wind facing end of the tarp, if needed.  I always carry an emergency Mylar sheet (2oz) anyway (for ground sheet if needed, vapor barrier sheet for sleeping warmth, or rain protection) and it easily ties up at the end of the tarp if needed.  I've had to do this only once in 15 years of hammock camping, so it is not a common need--surprisingly, the 8X10 tarp gives sufficient protection the vast majority of the time, even in the wind!  A rain jacket can be rigged to do the same.  But I hike with a small umbrella (instead of a rain jacket) and occasionally tie it to a hammock strap at the end of the tarp as a door or position it to add another 1.5' or so of roof (now my pack hanging from the end of the hammock stays dry too)....Ed
       
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Chester Clocksin [mailto:cclocksin@...]
      Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 9:39 AM
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: Hammock Camping Newbie question about rain
      I have stayed dry in my Hennessey Expedition in rain, even thunderstorms. BUT, I have never really been caught in a swirling, howling, sideways driven rain, and I am sure you would get at least somewhat wet in those conditions, especially, as Ray says, the bottom of the hammock. Also, in the HH, when you pitch the tarp low and tight, it is pretty stormproof, but you really lose ventillation.
       
      This is probably one of ED Speer's strongest arguments in favor of his system....The large rain fly. Even with Ed's system though, I suspect that if the wind is blowing hard into one of the "ends" of the tarp, you'll get s little wet. I must say though, I have not had experience in anything other than a small thunderstorm with moderate rain in my Speer hammock, as I only completed it a few days ago. I am thinking about a way to make those tarp ends stormproof, but I'm not really sure I'll need to. Should be a simple matter.
       
      Chet
       
      Chet

      atypical_genuis <atypical_genuis@...> wrote:
      I tried the search feature but it wasn't working properly, I'm sure
      this has been asked before...

      I'm considering a Hennessey Explorer Deluxe A-Sym for an AT thru
      hike.  I've never used a hammock for backpacking before and it looks
      terrific for someone with fibromyalgia (like me!) who can have a
      really hard time sleeping on the ground, but one thing I can't
      understand is how the ends of the hammock (where the rain fly tapers
      to a point) and the underside of the hammock wouldn't get soaked in
      the rain?  If it were just a light rain with no wind, so the rain was
      falling straight down, I can see how the fly would protect the
      hammock, but what happens in rain being blown by gusts every which way
      in a storm?   I've read accounts from folks that say the hammocks stay
      dry in a heavy rain, I need someone to explain the mechanics exactly
      of *how* you can stay dry in a windy storm, particularly the ends. 

      Sesa



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    • Ray Garlington
      ... Yes. The model I have is the Explorer 2.5 I have used it in rain several times, the worst of which was a thunderstorm with ~30mph winds. The wind-driven
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "firefly" <firefly@e...> wrote:
        > Ray, I assume you're talking about HH?

        Yes. The model I have is the Explorer 2.5 I have used it in rain
        several times, the worst of which was a thunderstorm with ~30mph
        winds. The wind-driven rain hit the hammcock body in the vicinity of
        my shoulders seeping through a little. Sgt Rock has reported using
        the HH during the passage of a hurricane, through which he stayed dry.

        > and I was wondering if those cords that came with the tarp are
        strong
        > enough to sustain the kinds of winds you can get in places like the
        Sierras.
        > Or should I invest in some Triptease instead? MARSANNE

        I think the cords on the fly are strong enough, particularly if you
        are protected by trees. If you expect heavy weather, just pitch the
        tarp very tight and low.
      • dchinell
        Marsanne: I m sure you ve heard me say this before, but I ll repeat it just in case. When I expect bad weather, I replace the stock HH fly with a custom made 8
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
          Marsanne:

          I'm sure you've heard me say this before, but I'll repeat it just in
          case. When I expect bad weather, I replace the stock HH fly with a
          custom made 8 x 8 foot silnylon tarp. I pitch this on the diagonal,
          so it's very much like the HH tarp, but gives a little more coverage
          at the ends, and more overall square footage.

          As a side note, I understand that part of the reason for the
          skimpiness of the stock HH fly is that Tom dislikes seams, and won't
          make the fly bigger if it means adding a seam.

          Like the others who replied, I've only gotten wet under the stock
          fly when I'm exposed to the wind. I get wet at the shoulders or
          where my feet are poking the side as I lie diagonally. It never
          bothered me enough to make me get out and lower the tarp, I just
          found a snugger position that kept the hammock from sticking into
          the rain.

          Bear
        • Shane
          ... If the hammock is pitched properly, you can stay dry even in a blowing rain. It does help to try to pitch in a spot sheltered from the wind. You should
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
            > If it were just a light rain with no wind, so the rain was
            > falling straight down, I can see how the fly would protect the
            > hammock, but what happens in rain being blown by gusts every
            > which way in a storm? I've read accounts from folks that say
            > the hammocks stay dry in a heavy rain, I need someone to explain
            > the mechanics exactly of *how* you can stay dry in a windy storm,
            > particularly the ends.

            If the hammock is pitched properly, you can stay dry even in a blowing rain.
            It does help to try to pitch in a spot sheltered from the wind. You should
            pull the tarp tight and close to the sides.

            I think I cover this in my review, here:

            http://tinyurl.com/au8q

            Shane
          • Shane
            ... A 10x10. It provides many pitching opportunities. Shane
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
              > Those of you who have replaced your HH tarps, what did you use
              > for a replacement? Marsanne

              A 10x10. It provides many pitching opportunities.

              Shane
            • Mark Bayern
              ... Is it? So far the tarp on my HH protects the hammock quite well. What I would like is more space for living outside the hammock, under the tarp. Maybe its
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 7, 2003
                firefly wrote:
                > I think the HH tarp is a design error. It looks cool, but is just too
                > skimpy in the rain.

                Is it? So far the tarp on my HH protects the hammock quite well.

                What I would like is more space for living outside the hammock, under
                the tarp.

                Maybe its a definition thing, but I don't see the HH tarp as a design
                error. Of course a hammock system that is billed as the "Ultra-Lite
                Backpacker" would have a minimal tarp. That helps to make it ultra-lite.

                Mark
              • colonelcorn76
                ... Ultralight. ... loved it. ... Mom was ... was what ... not a ... winds--no ... are strong ... the Sierras. ... I have the HH Ultralight Backpacker & my son
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 8, 2003
                  --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "firefly" <firefly@e...>
                  wrote:
                  > Ray, I assume you're talking about HH? I have the Explorer A-Sym
                  Ultralight.
                  > I have been in a calm, early morning rain storm with it before and
                  loved it.
                  > Slept like a baby. (This was in the yard of my parents house and
                  Mom was
                  > looking nervously out the window worrying I was getting wet.) This
                  was what
                  > my folks like to call "a farmer's rain"--steady, not a storm, but
                  not a
                  > sprinkle, either. However, I was camping in DW in some very high
                  winds--no
                  > rain, and I was wondering if those cords that came with the tarp
                  are strong
                  > enough to sustain the kinds of winds you can get in places like
                  the Sierras.
                  > Or should I invest in some Triptease instead? MARSANNE

                  I have the HH Ultralight Backpacker & my son has the Explorer. I
                  replaced the lines on the fly with a combination of the Goller
                  Grabber and Triptease. The Triptease really helps at night 'cause
                  those lines go invisible in a hury.

                  Jerry's Goller gave me a tip on using the elastic tubing from a
                  Wrist Rocket slingshot to create a self-tensioning fly. I attached
                  the surgical rubber tubing from a Wrist Rocket's replacement tubing
                  to the two rings on the fly. Then I slid a 1/4" nylon spacer to
                  which I've attached the Triptease into the end of the tubing. When I
                  hang the hammock I stake it out with the rubber tubing nearly fully
                  extended. Then as the nylon stretches, the rubber contracts and
                  keeps the thing taut throughout the night & any rain. Not gotten wet
                  since I made the mod.

                  Jim
                • o123david
                  ... I ve stayed dry in strong wind and rain. The underside of the hammock works the same way the old canvas tents used to work. All you have to do is keep the
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 17, 2003
                    >I'm considering a Hennessey Explorer Deluxe A-Sym... but one thing I
                    >can't understand is how the... underside of the hammock wouldn't get
                    >soaked in the rain?
                    >what happens in rain being blown by gusts every which way in a
                    >storm? Sesa

                    I've stayed dry in strong wind and rain.
                    The underside of the hammock works the same way the old canvas tents
                    used to work. All you have to do is keep the material tight and avoid
                    pressing hard against any one point.
                    Your weight keeps the material tight. The pad you are sleeping on
                    lets you avoid putting too much pressure on any one point on the
                    bottom. And you have to avoid pressing hard on any one area along the
                    sides.
                    Even the tiny diamond-shaped tarp on the original hennessy was large
                    enough to block the rain from above. I woke the next morning with my
                    down bag totally dry. --David
                  • dshuby
                    -- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, colonelcorn76 ... Jim - I think I got what you are saying. I remember when Jerry talked about this quite some time ago
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 19, 2003
                      -- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
                      > Jerry's Goller gave me a tip on using the elastic tubing from a
                      > Wrist Rocket slingshot to create a self-tensioning fly. I attached
                      > the surgical rubber tubing from a Wrist Rocket's replacement tubing
                      > to the two rings on the fly. Then I slid a 1/4" nylon spacer to
                      > which I've attached the Triptease into the end of the tubing. When I
                      > hang the hammock I stake it out with the rubber tubing nearly fully
                      > extended. Then as the nylon stretches, the rubber contracts and
                      > keeps the thing taut throughout the night & any rain. Not gotten wet
                      > since I made the mod.

                      Jim - I think I got what you are saying. I remember when Jerry talked
                      about this quite some time ago (BPL or BGT?!?), but I didn't have a
                      hammock then so I wasn't paying attention. ;) If I have it right, you
                      are taking rubber tubing and tying it off to each of the rings on the
                      sides of the HH fly. I am missing what you mean by the use of the
                      nylon spacer. I can then understand how the fly line (either the stock
                      2mm line or Triptease which is what I will replace the stock line with
                      when my test series is done) would just be tied off to the rubber
                      tubing and then staked as normal. This would allow the rubber tubing
                      to contract and keep the fly tensioned over time.

                      You could also do something similar by using one line for the hammock
                      body guy and the fly guy. I have been using the elastic line and tying
                      it off to the fly, then staking it out in the middle and allowing it
                      to self-tension. This could work as well if the two lines were
                      connected in some way by rubber tubing and the strain on the lines was
                      roughly equal. Jerry's method allows a bit more adjustment on the fly
                      than what I have been using even though I have used this setup with a
                      trekking pole to adjust the height.

                      Gracias -
                      Dennis
                    • colonelcorn76
                      ... talked ... you ... the ... stock ... with ... tubing ... I included some more detailed directions in a reply to Marsanne s question. The spacer replaces
                      Message 10 of 15 , Aug 20, 2003
                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "dshuby" <shubitow@c...>
                        wrote:
                        > Jim - I think I got what you are saying. I remember when Jerry
                        talked
                        > about this quite some time ago (BPL or BGT?!?), but I didn't have a
                        > hammock then so I wasn't paying attention. ;) If I have it right,
                        you
                        > are taking rubber tubing and tying it off to each of the rings on
                        the
                        > sides of the HH fly. I am missing what you mean by the use of the
                        > nylon spacer. I can then understand how the fly line (either the
                        stock
                        > 2mm line or Triptease which is what I will replace the stock line
                        with
                        > when my test series is done) would just be tied off to the rubber
                        > tubing and then staked as normal. This would allow the rubber
                        tubing
                        > to contract and keep the fly tensioned over time.

                        I included some more detailed directions in a reply to Marsanne's
                        question. The spacer replaces the need to "tie" the cord to the
                        rubber tubing. The knot might work loose or untie, whereas using a
                        spacer slipped into the tubing won't budge. I use cord on my
                        Ultralight Backpacker but TripTease on my son's Explorer.

                        >
                        > You could also do something similar by using one line for the
                        hammock
                        > body guy and the fly guy. I have been using the elastic line and
                        tying
                        > it off to the fly, then staking it out in the middle and allowing
                        it
                        > to self-tension.

                        Yeah, I did this originally but it limits somewhat the staking/tie-
                        out options you have. I also can't use my "pull the fly out in my
                        sleep" trick (I just posted that in another reply above).

                        >Jerry's method allows a bit more adjustment on the fly
                        > than what I have been using even though I have used this setup
                        with a
                        > trekking pole to adjust the height.

                        Precisely why I use it. Elegant solution that keeps maximum options
                        open at minimal extra weight.

                        Jim
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