Not in the Ouachitas. I've heard too much thunder at about 2:00 am after going to bed beneath a clear, starry sky, and had just enough time to deploy the tarp. I put the tarp up in snakeskins now to save a little time when the big drops are about to start hammering. That way I get the views but it's easy to get the tarp out and anchored. If it's windy or I figure I'm pushing it, I'll even deploy the tarp completely, then put it back in the snakeskins but even have the stakes ready.
Last edited by Hector; 05-22-2008 at 10:49.
I go tarpless about 50% of the time. Like eugeneius, my part of the southwest only sees rain from monsoon related thunderstorms, very short in duration but potentially life threatening (temps can drop 40+ degrees in an hour). Like a classic hardcore punk song, short-full of energy- and leaves you standing there saying "what the hell was that?!"
other times we get some rain in the winter. its usually very predictable. I also use the tarp for shade. I havent even been hangin for a year yet so Im only using what I know about rainflys in general, as a (ex) veteran tent camper
I was physically unable to pitch my tent without it's rain fly. I am finding the same with my hammock, unless I am tinkering with fitting an underquilt or something like that. I don't know what it is that insists I set the tarp. In the backyard I had to bail at one point because there was no place to stake the tarp. The ambient light from the high rise next door and hyway bridges kept me awake.
I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.
"Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn
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All the time if I know it's not gonna rain.....
An alternative would be to use a silnylon hammock sock will breathable strip (like the JRB weathershield but a full sock.) However, for not much more weight you get the versatility of a tarp.....
"Man is a stream whose source is hidden." RWE
I may start setting up my tarp and then fold half of it back on itself. That way I'll see the stars and still feel covered. In the case of rain I'd only have to stick it back down on the already planted stakes...
I'm going to have to slowly ease my way out from under
"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities." - Mark Twain
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” - John Burroughs
Beore I even bought a tarp allof my test hangs in the backyard were tarpless, even on a 30* night. I woke up a little wet from all the frost.
Unless it is raining or soon will be I rarely deploy my tarp. I enjoy falling asleep while gazing at the stars too much. If it starts to rain all I have to do is to slide the skin off my tarp and it falls over my hammock. Everything is protected for the minute or so it takes me to get it staked out. A little inconvenient at times but I think well worth it. The DWR coating on my down sleeping bag is more than able to handle the moisture from the dew and dries completely when I set up the next night.
...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...
If funds are the issue and you need something soon the JRB 8x8 is only $50.00. Only a little more than material to make something unless you can find some sil in the $1 bin at wallys. Won't pitch as taught as a Black Cat but not bad. And the small size fits in for your minimal tarp needs.
Gentle raindrops and mighty oceans...neither can exist without the other.
Time heals all wounds...but it usually leaves a pretty big scar.