10 x 7 tarp set up
In another thread, Stormcrow posted this picture showing his setup of a 10 x 8 tarp (the green one).
I like big tarps, but I am thinking about a 10 x 7.
First question: I assume the ridgeline in the photo is 8', not 10', correct?
Second question: Is 7' ridgeline to short? (I have 120" DIY gathered end)
Third quesiton: If 7' is too short, does anyone set up with a 10' ridgeline? That would mean pretty short sides. Will 7' give enuf side coverage?
Well, with a 7' ridgeline you are only getting 84" of coverage, so no, it would be too short. Generally you want your tarp to extend ~12" past either end of your hammock (thus, a 100" hammock ridgeline would need ~124" tarp ridgeline). This is to ensure great coverage. However, it isn't completely necessary. I have a tarp that is almost the same length as my hammock that has kept me plenty dry. In that case it is all about how you set up your stuff (and anticipate weather conditions, utilize your surroundings to keep you safer from the elements, etc).
As for 3.5' on each side being enough coverage... imo yes, but again, it all boils down to what you are comfortable with. It may keep you dry, but if you stay awake all night worrying about it, well, probably not worth it.
just my opinions
Make a poly pattern
The best way to see if a 10x7 tarp will work for you is to go to the woods and try it out.
10' would be the ridgeline and the 7' would be the overall width.
Get an 8x10 poly painters dropcloth (cut it down to 10x7), duct tape, 4 Walmart tent stakes, and mason's twine/kite string. Put the duct tape on the corners to attach the twine/kite string pullouts to (or use a sheet bend knot) and set it up over your hammock.
I have found an 8'x10' tarp is the perfect size for me (I have been in frog strangler thunderstorms and never gotten wet).
By the way, a tarp is a great DIY project. Ray Jardine has a great book on how to make a tarp ("The Ray-Way Tarp Book") that I highly recommend. Just skip the "beaks" for a hammock tarp.
Best of luck.