Typically I'll hang the hammock so that I can hang one leg out and it touches the ground comfortably. A for the tarp, it depends on the weather. I've hung it as high as I can reach when it's warm and dry and I just want to avoid the dew. I've hung it so that the sides can be attached directly to the ground when I was expecting a storm. And everywhere in between.
I guess my tarp question could be revised to be more specific.
During rain, do you prefer a lower & wider setup or a steeper pitch which goes all the way to the ground?
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
Actually, if I am expecting a storm, I see no reason to set the tarp lower than the hammock. Maybe on the side the storm is coming from, but ventilation is nice in bad weather.
Just take a lesson from Icarus.
He flew too high and the sun melted his wax suspension system that held his feather wings together.
Just think of your hammock suspension as wax. Don't hang too close to the sun!
"Life is a Project!"
Being short has one advantage. The hammock hangs relatively low. The absolute distance from butt to ground is less than for most. Just in case of equipment failure. Plus prefer effortless entry and exit over max tarp headroom. If site selection choices are an option & a high potential for rain. I try to hang the hammock where max protection from driving rain is provided. Allows a bit more options for tarp pitch.
+1 on being short! So far I've only gotten to mess around with my homemade JoAnn's hammock but I've discovered that not only do I get to cut 1 ft off of the average hammock length, but I also hang mine much lower. When I'm in it, it hangs about 1.5 ft off the ground.
As far as the tarp, here in the SE I'd rather pitch it low and spread out for better ventilation, but I can see how that might be a bad idea if I were up north and dealing with snow, then a higher tighter pitch would be my choice. I have to say, my favorite thing so far is the fact that I not only can cut off so much from my hammock weight, but being short, I also get to have a really small tarp and still never sacrifice comfort.
How high do I hang?
When I hang I'm about as high as I can get...