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  1. #1

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    UQ in wet weather?

    I am planning a through hike of the Border Route through the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota in May, and my experience from prior backpacking outings on the SHT in May is that it will be wet. I will probably be making camp several times in the rain.

    I am a hammock newbie, the proud owner of a new HH Explorer Ultralight with the stock tarp. I am debating whether to outfit myself for this trip with an UQ, or go with the Hennessey SS. I believe either will give me adequate comfort and warmth, my main concern is keeping an UQ dry on a weeklong hike.

    My feeling is that whatever I use will get wet at some point, either from blowing rain or setting up in the rain, and I would think that the SS would be much easier to dry out and less susceptible to problems with its overcover.

    Anyone with any experience with this?

    TIA,

    -Kurt

  2. #2
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwpapke View Post
    I am planning a through hike of the Border Route through the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota in May, and my experience from prior backpacking outings on the SHT in May is that it will be wet. I will probably be making camp several times in the rain.

    I am a hammock newbie, the proud owner of a new HH Explorer Ultralight with the stock tarp. I am debating whether to outfit myself for this trip with an UQ, or go with the Hennessey SS. I believe either will give me adequate comfort and warmth, my main concern is keeping an UQ dry on a weeklong hike.

    My feeling is that whatever I use will get wet at some point, either from blowing rain or setting up in the rain, and I would think that the SS would be much easier to dry out and less susceptible to problems with its overcover.

    Anyone with any experience with this?

    TIA,

    -Kurt
    Hi Kurt,
    welcome to HF. I'll try to be the first of the chorus lining up to suggest you look first at a larger silnylon tarp. Lots of options there, I'd lean towards one that has a ridgeline at least 10' long, with side-to-side width at least 8'.

    If the rain can't get to your hammock, then an UQ will be dry. Wet fog is another matter, but I don't think that's probably an issue for you.

    I did the Kekekabic Trail 30 years ago ( ) Using a map much better suited for canoeing than for hiking. Ah, the foibles of the young...

    Grizz

  3. #3
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Since it will be in May, you could try to work on your pad situation and figure out a way to use it to your liking. That is if you are comfortable with them. Maybe a Speer SPE might do the trick.
    If you go the underquilt route, Jacks 'R' Better are coming out with a weathershield again that would help protect the underquilt. You could make one similar pretty easily. Might think of getting a bigger tarp also. The HH Hex as well as several others would offer much greater rain protection than the small stock HH trap.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  4. #4
    Senior Member drewboy's Avatar
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    Set the tarp up first

    The only addition I can make to this discussion is when you get away from the Hennessy recommnended method of suspending the stock tarp from the Prussik loops on the hammock guy line, you should instead hang your larger tarp directly from the trees. Do this operation first and you will have a dry, protected area to hang your hammock under, and you quilts will stay much drier.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    yes, a tarp is something that will be worth it to carry the extra weight of a bigger version. adequate protection from wind and water is a must, i have had my down sleeping bag (inside the hammock w/netting) get soaked from blowing fog and drizzle. soaked the hammock fabric and right through to anything that was touching it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    I will be canoeing in the BWCA the first week of May thru Cross Bay entry point. Get a larger tarp as mentioned previously. I've had 6" of snow going in that first weekend, or 75* - it's a cr*p shoot in Northern Minnesota in May. It's nice to have the extra space for keeping things dry, cooking, etc. under the tarp. I don't use a UQ, only a 1/8 CCF and a top zip bag, but I am a notoriously warm sleeper. Look at one of Preacher's Cathedral tarp's - nice stuff. You can also purchase used tarps from some of the outfitter's in the Ely area - I listed Piragi's as a source in another thread.

  7. #7

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    Frankly I'm still amazed at well a properly strung tarp will keep your hammock dry. My tarp is only a foot and a half longer than my hammock on each end and it has kept my hammock dry in some torrential rains even with high winds. I think you'll be pleasantly surprise. Of course you will need some sort of drip devise to stop water from running down your suspension lines and into your hammock. I find that my cinch buckles seem to do the trick quite well. A simple piece of string will also work just fine.

    Miguel

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    Hi Kurt,
    I'll try to be the first of the chorus lining up to suggest you look first at a larger silnylon tarp.
    <snip>
    I did the Kekekabic Trail 30 years ago ( ) Using a map much better suited for canoeing than for hiking. Ah, the foibles of the young...
    Grizz
    Yep, plenty of folks suggesting the larger tarp. I thought about getting a larger tarp to begin with, but bought my HH with my REI refund, and REI doesn't (yet) offer the hammock with the larger tarp option as does the manufacturer. This is what I get for trying to get by on minimum $.

    Maps: I hiked a small section of the BRT last fall and managed to lose the trail even with my GPS. Going armed w/ the latest McKenzie maps this time plus the topo maps for my GPS.

    Thanks for the input! --Kurt

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    Since it will be in May, you could try to work on your pad situation and figure out a way to use it to your liking. That is if you are comfortable with them. Maybe a Speer SPE might do the trick.
    If you go the underquilt route, Jacks 'R' Better are coming out with a weathershield again that would help protect the underquilt.
    Problem with the SPE is I have a Large Prolite-4 which is 25" wide, and Speer doesn't make an SPE for the wide pads. My wife is pretty handy with a sewing machine, so having her sew one up for me might be an option.

    Glad to hear that JRB is bringing the weathershield back - the lack of something to protect the UQ has been my biggest reserve about going that route.

  10. #10
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwpapke View Post
    Problem with the SPE is I have a Large Prolite-4 which is 25" wide, and Speer doesn't make an SPE for the wide pads. My wife is pretty handy with a sewing machine, so having her sew one up for me might be an option.

    Glad to hear that JRB is bringing the weathershield back - the lack of something to protect the UQ has been my biggest reserve about going that route.
    Something else to think about is looking into buying either a Speer winter tarp or the JRB cat tarp. The ability to enclose the ends for extra weather protection would be a big advantage. Also when using an underquilt in rainy weather, set-up in an area that is not bare dirt to avoid the undersplash that could occur.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

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