So I have hung in rain a few times since I started hammock camping but only until recently did I set up and take down my hammock while it was heavily raining. Not talking drizzle, I'm talking about a decent rain. I have really wanted to see what it was like to deal with heavy rain and keeping your gear as dry as possible while unpacking and packing it up. This last Tropical storm offered a perfect opportunity to get a little experience in doing this. Id like to start off by saying that I currently use a HH Explorer Deluxe Zip entry with the A-Sym Tarp that comes with it. This type of tarp poses some real challenges for someone who is trying to set up and take down while in heavy rains and still keep the gear dry. Nevertheless, the experience was needed.
So after playing around in the rain all day this is some of my positive results as well as gear flaws that were exposed.
Some things I plan to change in the near future about my setup:
My tarp has snake skins in it so it made for an easy setup. I use Nite-Ize Carabiners.
These have proven to be quite handy because they allow for fast setup of my tarp which puts me standing in the rain for less time. Keepers..
So for my tarp and suspension the only thing I really want to change at the moment is the tarp itself. The A-sym is a lighter design but it has minimal coverage of me and my hammock and adds a bit of a challenge to dealing with the rain. So tarp will be changed soon.
Hammock, no issues whatsoever. The Webbing and buckle suspension proved to be quite handy because I could easily and quickly adjust my suspension while minimising my time spent standing in the rain. I had played with my whoopies earlier and figured out real quick that MSH and Whoopies are a real pain in pouring rain. (for me YMMV)
I own a set of carabiners for my straps but I wasn't using them this time and figured out that it is real nice to have biners on the ends of the webbing straps for quick setup and release from the tree. This was the point at which my hammock actually got wet while trying to hold it and get the webbing off the tree. So biners will be coming back on my suspension.
Bishop bag really needs to be Scotch Guarded from now on. Rain managed to soak through it and get the hammock even more wet while just holding it. One positive thing that really was handy about my bishop bag is that I have a sling strap on my bag so I can hang the back around my neck and free up both hands to stuff it without having to hold the bag. Very Handy.
Overall very pleased with everything. Need a bigger tarp, carabiners are really nice, ring buckles make things quick and easy for me and bishop bags need Scotch Guard and a sling.
On a side note, I am trying to get my pack weight down to UL standards for longer trips and even though webbing and buckles are really nice and easy, I plan to bring my UCRs with mini straps instead of the buckles. I will probably still bring carabiners for quick release of the tree for this setup.
One thing I have really learned is that when it is just drizzling, it is alot easier to set up and take down my hammock but when it starts to downpour, it is a different story. You start to feel rushed and anxious and make simple mistakes that cost you big time. Everything seems to be 5 times harder to do. I really recommend that next time it is dumping rain at your house, run out and try and set up your hammock and stay dry. Its good experience and exposes flaws in your system.
Sorry if this thread didnt really have a clear point..Just really some things that I liked and didnt like in my setup after playing in the rain.
Anybody got some lessons learned or exposed flaws in gear they would like to share?