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  1. #1
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Can you use a tent rainfly for hammock camping? New Bee from New Jersey

    Has anyone ever tried using a tent rainfly for a DIY hammock?

    This is my second season of hammock camping. I started out last year with a Hennessey Expedition Asym Zip. It was pretty cozy at Lake Lila, NY, down to 25 degrees with a foam pad, a space blanket, and a zero degree sleeping bag. Same for the Appalachian Trail in November down to 30 degrees.

    We're planning a trip in August to Lake Lila and I want to try making DIY hammocks on the cheap for both my 12 and 19-year old son. I want something with a bug net so I'm looking at the Byer Moskito Hammock ($29.95).

    I'm trying to keep costs down, so I don't want to spend much (well, nothing really) on a tarp, so I dug around in the garage and found a couple of Coleman 10' x 6' tent rainflys. These rainflys kept me dry for years when I was a tent camper.

    I strung one of the rainflys up (pictures attached) to see if it would suffice as a hammock rainfly. At first I tried diagonal, but there was too much sagging. Then I tried stringing it up longwise so there's 10 ft. of coverage with 3 ft on each side three tie-ups a side.

    The rainfly still wasn't taut enough so I added the 6ft fiberglass pole that came with the rainfly. I put the hose on it and water came off easily and did not gather in depressions.

    This seems to be a reasonable rainfly for the Byer Moskito Hammock or for any hammock. The ends can even be closed off into doors if there's sideways rain or wind. I may not even need the fiberglass shock pole for tautness, once I get a decent ridgeline.

    Has anyone tried using a tent rainfly as a hammock rainfly? Any tips on setup? I think this could work. My main concern is staying dry - Upstate NY weather can be fickle. Last year at Lake Lila my Hennessey Hammock kept me dry as a bone through five inches of torrential downpour. I expect nothing less from a DIY hammock.

    Looking forward to your input.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DuctTape's Avatar
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    When i first tried out hammocking, I used the rain fly from my Eureka timberline. It worked fine. Not a permanent solution due to its weight, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    ps. i will be at lake Lila next weekend!

  3. #3
    Senior Member brushybill's Avatar
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    looks like it should work fine, probably would be a pain to set up in a hurry, but as a temporary tarp it looks good,
    , i did a 7 day canoe trip from little tupper to lake lila in 2003, beautifull place, enjoy!

  4. #4
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    It's a great solution, especially if you are not backpacking (or at least going far). Once I converted a dome tent rainfly into a hammock tarp because, well, I forgot mine. It worked just fine.

  5. #5
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Depends on the tent shaped fly, some work some dont.
    Yours looks good.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  6. #6
    olddog's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard from Florida. Use whatever it takes to get out. Mine was a 10 yr old tarp w/ 2# of brass grommets and web hem reinforcing. Cut all the excess off, rehemmed, works great.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bgraybackpacker's Avatar
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    I currently use the rainfly from our family 6 person tent and it can work, you just have to do some simple alterations. And change the tarp to suit your purposes.

    First have the ridgeline run under the tarp to keep the peak up. Make sure you are running the ridgeline down a seam.

    Sew on loops of grossgrain or any kind of nylon webbing material and create loops where you want. In pic one is where I sewed loops into the long ends of my tarp (same place that the pole connects). This is where the ridgeline connects. I use prussik knots and light weight carabiners for this set up but you can just as easily use a bit of cord tied to the prussik. You could also use some shock cord and tie it out about 90% (depending on stretch) longer on each side and just tie up the cord so the shock cord streches the tarp along the edge. See how to make shock cord tensioners to get the general idea.

    The second picture is from the side. I am using the tie outs already in place and am going to add one more in the middle on each side.

    Have fun with your sons. My step sons (11) first backpack and hang was only a few weeks ago. We got serenaded by some Coyotes at dusk, he slept like a baby through the night.
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    Last edited by bgraybackpacker; 08-01-2011 at 19:51. Reason: Pics

  8. #8
    Member Arok's Avatar
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    I have been for the past several month going to salvage stores and purchasing the rain flys and tents that have parts missing for realy realy cheap. I use the material to make hammock tarps and bags. Im working on a modified rain fly now that has to much sag in the middle. but I'm going to fix it with mods to the both side, like shug did in on of his video to a tarp he used.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Veto 65's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    It looks like you lucked out, that looks like a perfect tarp for a temporary solution.
    I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. - E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

  10. #10
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Welcome to the HF from Canada! Seems that has worked out nicely for you. I've tried it but glad I have my OES.
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
    - Bob Marley

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