I like you because you join in on my weirdness!
The one time I had to set up in the rain, I pulled my tarp and my handy scrap of visqueen (heavy plastic) from the outside of my pack.
Visqueen wrapped around the pack, pack on the ground. Set up tarp.
The only thing I had a problem with was rain running down my arms inside my sleeve since my homemade rain mitts were not working as well as I liked.
I carry everything that needs to stay dry in a pack liner, I don't use a pack cover anymore and I have been out in nasty storms for quite sometime, I have a rain jacket and pants and use them when needed. I have a poncho but rarely use it anymore as I also use my rain gear as supplemental clothing for my insulation should I get cold. When I get to camp my process goes:
Take off pack after I find the right camp spot.
Pull tarp out of side pocket of pack (my tarp is in snake skins so it looks like a long tube folded up about a foot long).
Hang tarp as centered as I can, and stake it out.
Then I can take out my polycro ground sheet (got mine from GossamerGear) and lay my pack on this. I only do this if I want a dry place to stand, otherwise I just hang my pack from the hammocks suspension at the head end after I set it up.
Get out my suspension and hang it on the tree's.
Because I am using inverted UCR's I can hang my hammock while under my tarp, all the while staying dry. This is where/when I would hang the pack.
Next I set up my quilts.
Usually at this time I am ready to eat something, but first I hang my bear line, unless I am somewhere that has bear cables, poles, or another system like it so I don't have to throw my line.
My pack is usually just about empty, and the remaining contents should only weigh a pound or two (not including my pack) and I hang my pack on the suspension at the head end of my hammock when it's really down pouring. Otherwise I just leave it on the ground sheet. I have had what looked like rivers begin to run under my hammock as I forgot to notice the channels that feed the run off that were under my hammock (done this waaaaaaay to many times)
Eat, maybe get some water, be merry and enjoy the wild outdoors.
"yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway
It's always best if your an early riser!
Thanks for all the advice guys. Prime example of why this website is amazing. =D
Cranky Bear basically described how I do it.
Tarp (in snake skins), Stakes and suspension in steak sack and Ground Sheet are on the outside of my pack. First get to camp and
1. Take pack off
2. Take out ground sheet and place pack on ground sheet
3. Take out tarp, string it up and steak it out
4. Wrap suspension system around trees (using Dutch Woopie Hooks, this allows me to wrap the suspension around the tree reach from under my tarp grab the woopie hook and connect to hammock all underneath my tarp staying dry.
5. Hang quilts
6. By this time my pack is basically empty so I can hang it on my suspension of my hammock
7. Bear rope
8. Eat dinner, clean up and go to sleep in my nice comfy dry hammock
Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.
Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.
After hanging in the rain last night, I have a few thoughts:
Setting up the tarp first and just staying under it as much as possible kept me fairly dry while setting up the hammock.
I don't know if it's just Hennessy Hammocks, but I don't like the, "Foot end higher than the head end" way of hanging. It feels like I'm constantly hyper extending my legs and left me fairly uncomfortable compared to how I used to hang.
On my thru-hike of the AT, I will definitely be bringing a set of ear plugs. I stayed dry, but the rain hitting the tarp kept waking me up.
I will be using the advice of keeping my tarp in an outer most pocket of my pack, most likely in its own stuff sack.
That's what I got going on. My pack cover with a couple zing it whoopies for adjustability. If I'm feeling lazy I'll just hang my pack to the suspension.
The last backpacking trip i took was February with big, wet snowflakes falling most of the hike. I just placed my pack on the ground in a large black trash bag that i always carry in the bottom of my pack. The pack was covered in inches of snow but stayed dry.
I really hate to leave my pack on the ground... a two-cent mouse can chew a hole through a two-hundred dollar pack in seconds if it smells any kind of food odors. On a trip in the Adirondacks last fall, the rodents at the popular campsites were relentless and got into everything within minutes after setting it down. (Chipmunks were continual pests... first time I ever experienced that.) Hanging the packs in trees didn't help. Hanging the packs on the hammock suspension, under the tarp, or putting them IN the hammocks (under your legs) is a good way to protect them from the rodents.
Take it easy,
I thought chipmunks were bad, but I encountered some red squirrels that were diabolical. You could pull a granola bar out of your food bag, set it down, and by the time you put the food bag away it was gone.
One red squirrel tried to take my Bahco folding saw.