Recommended tarp height
Well, I am in hurry up and wait mode for my hammock and tarp, and have been looking at pictures to help ease the urge to visit the mailbox another couple of hundred times a day. Almost all of the pictures of hammocks I have seen have the tarp quite low and acting like the fly of a tent. In Speer's book there are one or two pictures with the tarp quite high and that looks much more enjoyable.
I'm assuming that the low, close tarp configuration is to minimize heat loss due to wind and protect from rain should it happen, but I am wondering if people would share their philosophies on how to hang their tarp. Is it always in protective mode, or do you raise it up on some days weather permitting, or do you sleep without it to enjoy the great outdoors?
Thanks in advance for sharing.
I like using my tarp in different configurations, depending on the conditions. If there are clear skies, and minimal foliage above me I like to just leave the tarp off to gaze at the stars. If there is a lot of foliage and hence a lot of falling leaves and other debris when the wind blows, or if I need shade, I'll set the tarp up high and out of the way. But, when the weather turns and the wind picks up, it's time to put the tarp low and tight.
yes and yes. One technique is to pitch it but disattach on one side and fold it over so that it is pitched only on one side of you. If you need to get covered in a hurry you can. Related alternative technique : pitch the tarp to place the stakes. Disattach from stakes, roll tarp into snake-skins, leaving stakes. If you need to get covered in a hurry you can. You can also easily forget your stakes....
Originally Posted by Hack
I generally hang my tarp lower in the winter months and higher in the summer for more airflow. If I know a storm is coming, I'll lower it as much as I can to prepare for it.
I'm sure you'll find a lot of different philosophies. I'm trying to get out from under my tarp some this year to see the stars... (keeping it handy though in case of bad weather).
I am with most everyone else, if it nice outside, and I am not worried about the wind, then I just leave it off. If it is about to storm, then it goes down low, and sometimes the ends are closed (on my Cathedral Cat Tarp). I also like to put the wind side down, but put up the other side like a porch using my hiking poles. To each their own, whatever best serves you.
I don't like being covered up - I like to watch the sky. So I usually pitch the fly fairly low, then detach it from the stakes and one tree and stuff it, still attached to the other tree. That way if it starts raining I can quickly get the fly on and get back inside.
I also do it in various ways, but my newest way is to put the tarp up then disconnect it from the stakes and slide a single skin over it. Most skins are made like tubes that pull over your hammock from each end, but with a tarp, which is air tight, I found I had trouble getting the skins over the last middle part, so when I got home from RRG I sewed the two halves together to form one long fourteen foot snake skin. When the tarp is in it the skin is only about an inch and a half diameter and does not block the view to the heavens. Then it is ready to go up quick if rain comes. Good luck with your new toys. Mule
Well, here's a picture of my new MacCat
I can't really judge the tarp height since my hammock is still in transit.
I guess I won't be hangin' around this weekend...
Nice tarp. Don't be afraid to pitch that thing nice and taut. :)
The possibilities really are near endless. Just take a look at your surroundings and weather conditions when you set up and set up your tarp accordingly. I have an 8 oz, 5 x 9 rectangular tarp that I use for fast and light summer conditions. Since it's so small, I really don't have much of a choice or options if I need the protection. It needs to be right down tight on the ridge line of my hammock. But if I'm using my 10 x 10 tarp then I have the luxury of hanging it higher for more head room or putting it all the way to the ground on one or both sides if storm protection is needed. That's one of the coolest things about tarping is that they are so versatile. And the bigger the tarp the more options you will have. Play around with different configurations and get to know all the different things that your tarp can do.