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  1. #1
    Member TheNumberSix's Avatar
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    What to do as the storm approaches?

    I, as of yet, have less than 5 nights under the stars in my hammock. I probably have 5x that amount of time just hanging out in the hammock in the back yard. What would you do under the following scenario:

    You are hiking and planning to hammock camp. As you reach your first campsite after a 4 hour hike you notice off in the distance a wall of black. In this black wall you can see lightening strikes. You figure you have an hour and a half to make camp before the storm and the deluge. As the storm approaches the wind becomes uncomfortably violent.

    How do you pitch your hammock? Low with the tarp edges on the ground? High with ample room under the edge of the tarp? If you have tie outs in the field of the tarp fabric do you use them? What are the best strategies for keeping you and your gear wholly intact? Is it better to be low profile and hugging the ground or elevated where the wind can spill over and around you?
    -TheNumberSix

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  2. #2
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Hang low dude. That wind will suck all the heat from your UQ. I speak from experience.

    I try to pick an area next to some thick brush to help with blocking wind.

    Then you climb on in your hammock and enjoy the storm.

    Nice, dry and comfy.

    Fronkey

  3. #3
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    - Find the lee side of a hill or ridge. Let the terrain help you choose the best site.
    - Unless you have a tarp with doors, or a beak, try to orient your tarp perpendicular to the wind/rain so that it doesn't blow into one end.
    - Pitch the side of your tarp that faces the wind as low to the ground as you can and secure the stakes well. Use any side-panel ties on that side to add stability.
    - Overall, pitch the tarp low, and get the hammock ridgeline as close as possible to the ridgeline of the tarp. That helps you get the most coverage out of your tarp you can.
    - Double check your ridge tie-outs and stake tie-outs after setup. Make sure that everything is snug, and taut.
    - Smile, relax, enjoy.

    I've weathered many many truly harsh storms this way. Sleeping in the rain has become my preferred weather.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  4. #4
    Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    Simple, I don't set up the hammock at all until after the storm has passed.

    Since conditions can change so rapidly in the backcountry you need to be flexible with your plan. Assuming this is a dangerously violent but small storm I'd bail on my planned campsite and find a sheltered area with a wind break nearby. Set up a low ground pitch in the lee of that and wait out the storm on the ground.

    Storm passes, go back to campsite and set up like I originally planned.

    If it's a large storm you didn't check the weather before leaving.
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Yep, keep it low on the windward side and porch mode to watch the storm as it blows over head.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catavarie View Post
    Yep, keep it low on the windward side and porch mode to watch the storm as it blows over head.
    Keep in mind that if it is a major line with a frontal passage (most common during the spring or fall) there is a good chance of a nearly 180° wind shift from the beginning of the storm to the end.

    I have a rather large tarp at 128"x130". I have no problem staying dry under this monster, even in heavy winds. What helps me most on this hammock is the 1' or so of shock chord I put at my commonly used tie outs. This helps absorb the force of the gusts whether I pitch low (I like a high ridge line) or pole out.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

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  7. #7
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    I seriously need to get out more..KM

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    I seriously need to get out more..KM
    ... who? More info needed. Round up the usual relative clause.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I pitch my tarp and hammock both low, with a sharp angle on the sides to make sure the rain will runoff. A lot of times I'll have the edges of the tarp darn near on the ground, to make sure I'm not getting any ground spatter back up on the underside of my hammock.

    Usually if the weather is iffy, I'll put the tarp up first and leave my hammock in it's skins to keep it dry and leave me space to sit on my chair under the tarp to cook dinner/whatever while the storm passes.

    Totally agree with using the terrain to limit your exposure to wind and rain. Make sure you look at the trees around you in this kind of situation too...watch out for dem der widowmakers!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    ...along with wind and lightning, I'd add the following: moisture management, moisture management, and moisture management. It's especially important with the type of weather we are having in the mid-atlantic right now. Hot, muggy and humid during the day; cold and humid in the evening/early morning.

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