Well I spent a week hanging in my HH at Camp Tesomas just north of Rhinelander, WI with my sonís Boy Scout troop. The weather was lousy, cold and rainy all week except for the last day when the sun peaked out and the temps rose into the seventies. Other than that it was in the mid-sixties during the day and mid to low fifties at night, with two nights in the mid to upper forties. Burrrr!
I knew the first two days were to be cool but the forecast called for nice mild weather the remainder of the week. So I packed typical summer clothes for Scout camp, shorts and t-shirts. Most of which came back clean in my pack untouched. I also brought a small battery powered fan to test out in my hammock. It came back unused as well.
I used my Thermarest pad the entire weekend along with my old Coleman Exponent 30 degree bag. It took a bit of wriggling to get into the mummy bag even with a left side zipper. The top of the bag bunched up under my back so I had to rock side to side a bit while pulling it out from over my head. I still ended up with the zipper over the center of my body instead of along my left side. Iím starting to see why UQ and OQ make sleeping easier. I started to get a chill on my right arm after a few short minutes. It doesnít take long for the compressed sleeping bag to bleed through the cold. The left side was fine as the pad kept the fabric away from my body but the right side of the hammock pressed up against my shoulder. So I pulled up my fleece coat sleeves on my shoulder and everything was fine.
Iím using the standard Hennessy tarp and it kept the rain out with no problem. But all we had was a light rain, no downpours or heavy winds. I rigged it for cold weather camping so the tips came down steep except for the last night when the rain finally cleared up. I raised them higher because I wasnít worried about rain getting in. But I did notice that made a difference in the temperature. It went down to 48 degrees and was quite cooler in the hammock even though my set up was the same for the whole week. Lesson learned: donít pitch your tarp based on rain alone.
I can also see where a larger tarp would make sense. I had the luxury of stashing my gear in another leaderís tent. This was Boy Scout summer camp, not a backpacking trip. So I had extra clothes and gear. But I can easily see where a larger tarp would make changing clothes and stashing your pack a lot easier. So now Iím going to save up for a new tarp. I like the idea of the Spear winter tarp or a large OES MacCat. It would provide protection plus some privacy, which is useful when camping with the Scouts.
\BTW, any ideas for uses with the standard tarp when it's removed?