Went to American Fork Canyon tried out hammmock for my first hang. I found out how much pro straps suck. But the sleep was awesome but a drizzle for 30 seconds woke me up at 6 AM. I was fine with that because I wake up at that time anyways. By the way how do you arrange a tarp in such a way that you can see the stars.
Glad you had a great time, even with the slap strap issue.
As far as the tarp I would set up the ridge line and keep the tarp in the snake skin or steak in one side of the tarp so if it did rain it would be simple enough to steak in the other side.
Glad things went well on your first trip!
As to the tarp, Veto65 has my method of doing that. I usually unfurl the tarp and figure out where my stakes are going to have to be, plant them, then refurl the tarp in its Velcro ties (similar to a snakeskin). It stays out of the way and is ready to go if rain starts dropping on me at four AM.
The other option, if you do expect rain during the evening, is to put the tarp in "porch mode" with a view on the side that the porch is. Take your hiking poles (if you use them) or a pair of fallen branches about 5' long (if you don't) and wrap the guylines on that side around the ends before going down to the stakes. This opens up one side of the tarp, allowing you to see everything on that side easily from the hammock.
With the porch mode option, it's helpful to have either a tautline hitch tied into the lines or a linelock or some kind of quickly adjustable tension system for them; this allows you to batten down the tarp into "storm mode" very quickly if the wind picks up and starts blowing rain under the porch side.
Hope it helps!
Just pitch the tarp and stake out one side and flip the loose side over and back on the side that is staked......like a lean-to.
I will have to get a ridge line I have ENO fast fly I think will do something lit FTL temporarily and will have to get snake skins soon. I also have a trip in yellowstone where I am hanging for a week in the back country of yellowstone tomorrow I am so excited.