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  1. #1
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    Question Drying out (in the hammock, not afterwards)

    I do more reading then posting here - thanks for the good threads to read everyone... but one thing I haven't found and keep wondering about: How do you dry out with a hammock once you are wet?

    I have a HH Safari Deluxe Zip that isn't yet used for camping/hiking/traveling. I grew up camping, my wife didn't. I have always camped in a tent, except for several times in college, when I used an assortment of various hammock setups; nothing as "high speed" as the HH. She is wondering (and I am too): how do you dry out if you have to set up in the rain?

    I'll paint a better scenario: Let's say I drive to a state park, walk in the mile or so to the camp site (down the trail), and it's raining the whole time. I'm going to be at least somewhat wet ... if I can get the hammock set up dryly, then how do I dry out before going to bed? I'm going to guess that it's not wise to have a fire or camp stove under the tarp, so that leaves me with ... packing dry clothes in a drysack or waterproof bag, and hanging my wet clothes to dry under the tarp?

    What about the more extreme example of through-hiking the AT with a few days-straight of rain? Or motorcycle-camping and riding through a storm for the last few hours on the way in?

    I guess it's clear to me that I want to not store wet gear (i.e. dry it once I get home), but how do I dry out while in the field?

  2. #2
    Fish's Avatar
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    I'm sort of new to this as well but I've had 3-4 hangs in the rain/snow/sleet/hail already (call it bad luck) so I'll do my best to help answer.

    A good set of rain gear is worth its weight in gold if you're expecting foul weather but we'll operate under the assumption that the rain gear is either absent or sub-par, leaving you soaked to the bone.

    Personally though, I don't see the difference between hammock camping and tent camping in this regard. In fact I would give hammocks a huge bonus point for the following:

    1. You can set up your tarp first and have a dry hammock to crawl into day after day after day of non-stop rain. Your tent will be wet (around the base and sides) and it will be packed away wet.

    2. You'll never wake up lying in a puddle after hours of heavy heavy rainfall.

    Quote Originally Posted by trust View Post
    I'm going to guess that it's not wise to have a fire or camp stove under the tarp, so that leaves me with ... packing dry clothes in a drysack or waterproof bag, and hanging my wet clothes to dry under the tarp?
    I'm not one for having a fire under my tarp out of fear of ending up with ember-holes burned through the silnylon (and depending on the downpour, a fire isn't always an option). I would always want to have a dry pair of clothes to change into once you're sheltered and out of the rain. Always. Even if it comes down to a pair of underwear and a tech T or the like. Anything dry to cover up once you have your shelter set up.
    As for hanging your clothes, you can hang them under your tarp, or what I usually do is have another small tarp with a ridgeline under it for hanging wet gear (this tarp can be set up nearer to the fire with less concern).

    I am curious about one thing though... Where would you dry out your clothes if you were tent camping? Certainly not hanging inside the tent, dripping on the floor?

    The truth is, you might be putting on wet clothes the next morning to keep hiking. Sometimes it is just unavoidable. Take the opportunity to dry out the gear and clothing when the weather clears, and just deal with being soggy in the meantime I suppose. As long as you keep the dry clothes dry, you'll be alright at night and have an opportunity to dry out and warm up.

    I've found that prevention is the best cure for this. A solid rain poncho and rain pants can be put aside under the tarp or hung from the RL to dry, but as long as the inside doesn't get wet, you can just throw it back on the next morning and keep trucking
    "Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

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  3. #3
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Wearing a poncho or good rain jacket will keep you dry while hiking.
    Some folks use an umbrella.
    Your gear can be packed in a large trash bag inside your pack. Or use a pack cover to keep the pack dry. There is a poncho on the market that has a big back section specifically designed to cover you and the backpack. It is called the packa. http://www.thepacka.com/

    Heres a video-Packa

  4. #4
    kayak karl's Avatar
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    on long distance i hung wet clothes over ends of hammock and put wet clothes on in the morning. in winter i put damp clothes in hammock with me till they dried or morning came. if it rains for days, your wet for days
    "Tenting is equivalent to a bum crawling into a cardboard box, hammocking is an art" KK

  5. #5
    Senior Member jerzybears's Avatar
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    In my experience, I worry more about wet socks and boots than wet clothes. Blisters happen there. As long as I am hiking, I am warm and I change into wool when I stop for the day. Puffy jacket for just in case.

    I always do technical materials and wool. They dry quickly. If you take cotton with you, you are doomed; Cotton will never dry. I did 4 days on the Northville Placid Trail and it rained daily, plus many water crossings in water up to my knees. I have a rain coat but only use it for a wind block. Just resign yourself to being wet if you are hiking.

    I save a pair of warm socks to sleep in, and rotate 2 pairs to hike. I have a sleeping bag insert that keeps my quilt clean. I take the inserts out of the boots, wring out the socks and turn the boots over. Socks over the ridgeline.

    Just what I do. I am a retired soldier and always worried about my feet mostly.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member jerzybears's Avatar
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    P.S. Everything goes in dry bags/trash compactor bags. Rain covers are useless. Plus, if you misstep in that creek everything in your backpack will be soaked. Protect those quilts, that hammock, and your clothes. You can always pull the tarp out to dry if the sun comes out while you have lunch.
    Peggy & Russ --The Jerzybears -

    I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.
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  7. #7
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    I motorcycle camp, not hiking, so please keep that in mind.

    When I arrive at camp and it is raining, I do not take off my rain gear First order of business is to set up the tarp, then the hammock, now I have a dry place to take off my riding gear. All this assumes it is cold enough for me to have on rain gear.

    This time of year when riding I usually just toss on a rain jacket and let my legs and hands get wet. It is too hot for me to care and I enjoy the rain more than the heat. Assuming I am wet and all my gear is wet I set up the same as above only I carry an extra tarp which I run a ridge line under (my hammock ridgeline is over my tarp). On the spare ridge line I have about 8 prussic knots from which I hang my wet gear and will even put my pack under it.

    Sometimes I have to put on wet gear in the AM but in the summer, it will dry quickly on the bike.

    Forgot to add: 2 years back I purchased a mesh backpack at the beach. In the AM all my wet gear that I don't need to wear, goes into the mesh bag and it is placed on the top of my luggage rack. It will either be dry or nicely rinsed when I arrive the next night
    Last edited by dkurfiss; 07-15-2013 at 12:51.

  8. #8
    K0m4's Avatar
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    A change of dry, soft underwear (where I'm camping that means longjohns and long sleeves) is owrth its weight in gold. Whether it's raining or not. If I'm not wet from the outside, I'm wet from the inside.

    Arrive at camp, set up, swear at the stakes that won't stay in the ground, start sweating from bending over and finding secure spots for the stakes and chasing guy lines, have no grip in your fingers from the wetness of the rain, chop firewood, make fire, make sure there's nothing left to do, and change. Aaahhhhh...

    (then realise your fire wood is soaked, so you need more/new, and rinse and repeat...)

  9. #9
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    Holy quick replies batman! (Thank you, all...)

    As far as rain gear goes: yes, I'd wear it if at all possible. I keep a Houdini full zip jacket (patagonia I think) in the car stashed for quick downpours. And it works excellently well.

    My question is less about avoiding getting wet in the first place - both me and my wife have an assortment of rain gear ... but rather how to help stuff dry - or can it dry - if we arrive and we are wet or get wet setting up.



    Bottom line: I'd go no matter what. I've camped when there were just a bunch of us from a group who insisted on using hammocks from Jamaica/Guatemala that were brought back by some missionaries we supported there ... the hammocks were cotton and woven nicely, but hardly waterproof or insulated. Each of us had a hammock, but not everyone brought tarps. We split the hammocks we had among the tarps that had been brought, lashed them to the trees as best we knew how, and crawled into our sleeping bags in the hammocks. It rained. We were dry enough and had a blast.
    ... I'm more wondering if there is some way to allay my wife's "being wet" concerns about hammock camping. I realize the most likely way to do this is just go when it's mostly dry, and dry the stuff out, but adding someone who doesn't like to have their hair wet for extended periods of time makes that a risky scenario.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K0m4 View Post
    A change of dry, soft underwear (where I'm camping that means longjohns and long sleeves) is owrth its weight in gold. Whether it's raining or not. If I'm not wet from the outside, I'm wet from the inside.

    Arrive at camp, set up, swear at the stakes that won't stay in the ground, start sweating from bending over and finding secure spots for the stakes and chasing guy lines, have no grip in your fingers from the wetness of the rain, chop firewood, make fire, make sure there's nothing left to do, and change. Aaahhhhh...

    (then realise your fire wood is soaked, so you need more/new, and rinse and repeat...)
    BTDT,GTST (Been there, done that; got the t-shirt) ... I always pack wicking clothing and light-weight/fast-drying whenever possible. Change of clothes every evening, and a spare (at least one).
    Thanks for the reminder though; maybe it's just a matter of coming with a change...

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