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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mancat's Avatar
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    Thought on the Hennessy Cat Cape Poncho Rainfly

    So I have been looking at this tarp for some time. It seems like a great idea, however, on my last trip I got a small tear in my kelty poncho. Thats not too big a deal for a poncho, but it is a huge deal for a tarp. Even being careful and on a wide trail you still risk tearing the tarp. Any thoughts?
    "If animals could speak the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    While I like the idea of a multi function peice of equipment as much as the next hiker, I'm not going to use my pot to dig my cat holes with.

    I look at a tarp as the item to keep my gear and myself dry at camp. A poncho is meant to keep me "relatively" dry while on the trail. I've never had a love for ponchos as if I don't still get soaked by the rain, I get soaked with sweat from bad ventilation (just my experience). A tarp is one of those peices of gear I don't mind being specialized. Kind of like a lighter, sure I could rub two sticks together but why work that hard?


    P.S. I do like the idea of a rain cloak though, has to be better venting than poncho, don't you think?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member NewtonGT's Avatar
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    I believe JRB has had alot of sucess with there ponchos and wearable quilts
    Dale Gribble: I'm thinking, "new hammock." For me, laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure.

    Randy : yea but just remember yer roots and where ya come from....you got Hennessy in yer blood son......

  4. #4
    Knotty's Avatar
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    How do you setup your hammock if it's raining? Also, once the hammock and tarp are up you're confined to that space while it's raining. Since this is a minimal tarp to begin with there's no "porch mode" for cooking, etc.

    It's one of those pieces of gear that could be useful if you're into going ultra light but to me not worth the limitations.
    Knotty
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  5. #5
    exup's Avatar
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    They surely sound neat. I considered a golite poncho tarp for day hikes, and to use as a tarp on a break, just doesn't seem worth the hassle. Another thing, even when in tarp mode, you get poor coverage for a hammock because they're tiny. So you're virtually trapped in your hammoco. I can't imagine cooking under one, in a down pour from your hammock.

    I put my money in tarps, not rain gear. Most of us won't get out more than say 12 times a year anyway and most likely only see rain a few times. I use my wind jacket in light rain and a disoable emergency poncho in more steady rain. At a dollar a piece, it packs to nothing and weighs like one ounce and it rarley gets used. If you want solid rain gear, go for the dri ducks. They're light and solid. Made in poncho or jacket and pants. JRB does a dri duck poncho mod so it doubles as a under cover to protect you from splashing rain.

  6. #6
    I help Tom at Trail Days, netting me gear to try and/or sell. The Catcape currently advertised works better for Tom than for me. It could have to do with the hiking conditions OR my female form VA his male form. I had a lot of rain water entering via the zipper, Tom did not. The Catcape that I have is silnylon on one side with a PU coating on the inside. The PU side accepts seam sealing tape that is used to seal the caternary cuts. He has a new poncho fly that is made with a lighter silnylon, better/tighter zipper application, and a neck drawstring. The second one worked much better for me. I found that the pull-loops on the two ends of the neck drawstring were great for attaching the glove hooks of the long ends to prevent dragging. It also let me attach the poncho to my sternum strap to wear the poncho more like a super-hero cape or attach to my pack's haul loop to let the poncho dry a bit or to cover just my pack. These options allowed varying levels of ventilation.

    I was hiking with this last set-up just after Trail Days, south of Damascus, VA. Some of you will remember it was very cold and rainy then. I did not set up my hammock while it was raining, but imagine setting up in the rain means waiting for a lull or setting up the fly separately first, before setting up the hammock. Theoretically, one could attach the long sides to trees while still wearing the poncho-fly, then stake out the sides. I see no way to avoid exposure then, unless the fly is pitched so low that I'd be crawling.

    Yes, the fly is exposed to accidental punctures or tears while deployed as a poncho. I have not had a problem with this, yet. Brawny said that she was able to Superglue electrical tape over holes as a temporary silnylon fix, planning more permanent repairs at home. I now carry Superglue and a bit of electrical tape. Probably, I will not need them until I forget to bring them.

    As a back-up, I carry a disposable poncho. If I MUST do some sort of camp chore during a downpour, I have that backup. I also found that the disposable poncho can be worn as a cape or as intended, over my pack. If the trail is too overgrown, switching to the disposable is an option to avoid risking the silnylon poncho-fly.

    Cheers!

    Rosaleen
    Rosaleen

    Hennessy Hammock afficionado and supporter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    How do you setup your hammock if it's raining? Also, once the hammock and tarp are up you're confined to that space while it's raining. Since this is a minimal tarp to begin with there's no "porch mode" for cooking, etc.

    It's one of those pieces of gear that could be useful if you're into going ultra light but to me not worth the limitations.
    I agree with Knotty.
    I have my Hennessey w/JRB tarp & an Equinox poncho/tarp. I carry both if I know it's even remotely going to rain. I use the poncho while setting up the hammock in the rain, as my porch or to help close off one end if it's windy. But I've been bike camping more than backpacking lately so I can afford the extra gear. If you only carry the poncho/tarp, then make sure you bring Gorilla Duct tape for insurance.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gargoyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knotty View Post
    How do you setup your hammock if it's raining? Also, once the hammock and tarp are up you're confined to that space while it's raining. Since this is a minimal tarp to begin with there's no "porch mode" for cooking, etc.

    It's one of those pieces of gear that could be useful if you're into going ultra light but to me not worth the limitations.
    Knotty speaks volumes.

    I made a poncho tarp. It is HUGE as a poncho, and slightly small for decent coverage as a tarp. I was wearing it at the Hoosier Hang if that rings a bell.

    And theres that complicated matter of when is it a tarp and when is it a poncho?

    Poncho tarp thread here
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  9. #9
    Member
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    What do you do if it is raining and it's time for the morning constitutional? Do you take the tarp/poncho off of your hammock or do you take a walk into the woods without rain gear on?

    Just a thought.

    Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wentworth's Avatar
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    Dig a hole under the hammock?
    I like the idea of a poncho tarp, but it makes a pretty minimal shelter imo. I can see it being of use in an area where rain is scarce. But in prolonged rain it might prove a little awkward.

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