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Thread: Mil Poncho Tarp

  1. #1
    Member Alanvalentinus's Avatar
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    Mil Poncho Tarp

    Has any one rigged a millitary poncho as a tarp for a hammock? I know its too small all on its own but you could rig it with something else perhapse? I dont know. just curious if any one else out there has been thinking about this or tried it out.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ernesthemmingway's Avatar
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    Come to think of it, I havent even seen one of those in a long time, even in the surplus stores. I wonder where theyve all gone.

    I wouldnt say that it would be too small. It would depend on the weather. As long as its will stretch out far enough to cover your hammock, I think it would work if you didnt get hit with anything too intense. But it probably wouldnt keep you dry in a big storm.
    with two m's, like "hammock."

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    Senior Member hodad's Avatar
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    I use mine to augment the tarp and as a draft stopper. Even had a leaking tarp recently and just pulled the poncho up over me to save the evening.

  4. #4
    Member Alanvalentinus's Avatar
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    I really like the one I have but its too small to hang over a hammock I am wondering if there are bigger ones ( I saw much newer ones than mine at the surplus yesterday) or if there was a trick to using them with something else. I am looking for a tarp that I can put in my bug out kit I saw another member whos profile says he uses the golite poncho, the hennesy poncho tarps look promising. I just know that I want a compact tarp that would fit in my small kit, and it would be cool if the tarp were also a poncho. Im also tempted to try something like the WL Tadpole

  5. #5
    Senior Member perdidochas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanvalentinus View Post
    Has any one rigged a millitary poncho as a tarp for a hammock? I know its too small all on its own but you could rig it with something else perhapse? I dont know. just curious if any one else out there has been thinking about this or tried it out.
    http://www.tothewoods.net/HammockCampingDry.html

    Scroll down above almost to the bottom.
    Time is but the stream I go afishing in. Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
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    a milspec poncho tarp is my go-to for 3 season camping. the thing i've found the most trouble some is that the ridgeline needs to be directly over the structural ridgeline of my hammock to ensure coverage on the ends. i run a 95" ridgeline on my 9.5' hammock, and my ridgeline on the poncho is about 105"-110" (i'll measure it exactly one day so that i know) i slept in a mild storm and remained totally dry. if your ridgeline is 110" on your hammock (a 12' gathered end for instance) the milspec poncho won't cover your suspension connection points.
    J
    full-time hammocker; all night every night.

  7. #7

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    I'm sure you COULD do it on a short hammock, but you already know it's not optimal.

    I do hang mine over my hammock ridgeline at the foot end of my hammock for a few reasons. One, it's there if weather rolls in during the night and I need to get up and out into it then it's already ready for me to grab. Second it makes a great draft/spray stopper if the weather kicks up - I just pull it down to where I need it and let it do it's work. Third it makes a great sunshade if I want to grab a few extra Zzzz's in the morning.

    I have a few 5X7 tarps that are basically the same size as a milspec poncho ( roughly 102" ridgeline hung on the diagonal ). My 9' hammock with an 83% ridgeline is 89" long hung. Those tarps give me about 6" of clearance on each end of that hammock, and because it is hung on the diagonal one 'side' of the tarp on each end is extremely narrow ( print out a rectangle in the same ratio as your poncho on paper and fold it on it's diagonal axis and look at the ends ). You could supplement your end protection in some way to help. I do that even on my 10X6 asym tarp because the end coverage of those tarps are just suboptimal.

    It's more up to what you are willing to accept as comfortable, and what discomfort you are willing to put up with if you get wet. All this with the knowledge there are times that getting wet in the wild can mean more than just discomfort.

    BTW I love my military ponchos - I don't want to give the impression I think they are not good pieces of gear. Here are my 2 German ponchos rigged up for ground dwelling It was actually sleeting when I took this photo. You can see some of it building up up about midway on the bottom left side.

    Last edited by geneaut; 07-29-2015 at 08:56.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneaut View Post
    I'm sure you COULD do it on a short hammock, but you already know it's not optimal.

    I do hang mine over my hammock ridgeline at the foot end of my hammock for a few reasons. One, it's there if weather rolls in during the night and I need to get up and out into it then it's already ready for me to grab. Second it makes a great draft/spray stopper if the weather kicks up - I just pull it down to where I need it and let it do it's work. Third it makes a great sunshade if I want to grab a few extra Zzzz's in the morning.

    I have a few 5X7 tarps that are basically the same size as a milspec poncho ( roughly 102" ridgeline hung on the diagonal ). My 9' hammock with an 83% ridgeline is 89" long hung. Those tarps give me about 6" of clearance on each end of that hammock, and because it is hung on the diagonal one 'side' of the tarp on each end is extremely narrow ( print out a rectangle in the same ratio as your poncho on paper and fold it on it's diagonal axis and look at the ends ). You could supplement your end protection in some way to help. I do that even on my 10X6 asym tarp because the end coverage of those tarps are just suboptimal.

    It's more up to what you are willing to accept as comfortable, and what discomfort you are willing to put up with if you get wet. All this with the knowledge there are times that getting wet in the wild can mean more than just discomfort.

    BTW I love my military ponchos - I don't want to give the impression I think they are not good pieces of gear. Here are my 2 German ponchos rigged up for ground dwelling It was actually sleeting when I took this photo. You can see some of it building up up about midway on the bottom left side.
    yeah you're right, they are definitely not optimal. i just pitch mine really super close to my hammock to ensure that i don't get wet. i only have about 4" clearance on the ends of my 95" ridgeline, so im actually awaiting yukon outfitters tarp to come back in stock and i'll carry both. i tried to set up in the rain yesterday afternoon in the yard from 'poncho mode' to 'tarp mode' just to see what the damages would be and i ended up pretty wet before i even got my suspension set to hang my hammock. definitely don't want that drama out in the wilds if the rains start before i've discovered my campsite. although, i never though about connecting two in a-frame mode over my hammock. *sigh* on to spending more money on stuff i may not need.


    EDIT: based on 8x4 template, two milspec ponchos would bring the ridgleine from under 9' to just over 11'. not too certain about the connection point between the two, probably leaky and not worth the cost when i'll just have to get a real tarp anyway.
    Last edited by Theguywitheyebrows; 07-29-2015 at 12:19.
    J
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  9. #9

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    Well I'd never discourage anyone from having 2 ponchos. At worst they make a neat ground shelter. You could rig one up and an underquilt protector, and use the other as a top cover.

    Multi-use gear has a soft spot in my heart.
    Last edited by geneaut; 07-29-2015 at 13:24.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneaut View Post
    Well I'd never discourage anyone from having 2 ponchos

    Multi-use gear has a soft spot in my heart.
    gotta love multi use gear, i read yesterday however that if you're depending on one item to perform three tasks and it fails you're essentially out all three pieces of gear and i hadn't thought of that. i don't like to be unprepared, so i have backups: $1 store poncho, two mylar blankets, etc. in addition to my poncho, my pack has a rain cover, and i'll have a tarp (hurry up yukon outfitters!!), and if i buy a second one i'll be all the way ready for the worst thing we here at hammock forums can envision: suspension failure lol. i was thinking an undercover would be a great use for the poncho at camp during winter to help add insulation, but it'd likely cause vapor barrier issues; i use a mylar blanket in my pluq though so i think i'd have to remedy that before snowcamping anyway. can't imagine hiking in the rain without the poncho though.
    J
    full-time hammocker; all night every night.

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