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  1. #1
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    Observations and Lessons Learned

    Went out on a Boy Scout campout last weekend, brought my hammock rig. Mine was the only one among the tents.

    As the focus was on the scouts, not my rig, I didn't take pics of my setup. This thread is generated in hindsight, so hope my written descriptions suffice.

    Spent two nights out.

    The first night, we set up upon arrival after a storm had moved through the area. Temps got down to ~70*, but muggy. Very slight breeze. Had a 3/4 IX UQ. No TQ. Was comfortable in T-shirt and shorts, pulled on a Poly sleeping bag liner towards dawn for a little warmth. Blue poly tarp in A-frame configuration regulated the cross-breeze. Slept well, comfortable, well-ventilated.

    Comments from others: "It sure got warm and stuffy in there" (tent); "Ran my fan when I needed some air movement"

    During the day, the wind picked up, with gusts to ~15mph. I found myself having to constantly re-peg my tie-outs, as the gusting wind would yank the tie-outs about, causing the hook-style stakes to turn and release the lines. As the day progressed, gusts picked up to >20mph, so the problem continued. My tarp flapped in the breeze.

    To address the problem, I did a couple of things:
    1. Added a tie out mid-way down on each end edge, which I secured to the trees supporting my rig. This limited the amount of movement of the end edges.
    2. Restaked each corner in a semi "door-like" configuration, to allow the large wind-catching tarp surface to better shed the wind.
    3. Burying the heads of the stakes in the ground may have also helped secure them, keeping them from rotating and losing the tie-outs.


    These actions seemed to be effective in keeping the tarp from flapping around.

    With the coming of night, thunderstorms arrived. I turned in ~9:00, and had to adjust the tarp pitch to keep it off of me. My treking poles came in handy. Shortly after getting things adjusted, the rains came. I checked on things periodically for a while, but soon gained confidence that everything was going to be fine. I fell asleep to the sweet sound of rain on the tarp. Temps were a few degrees cooler, and the gusting wind made things a bit chilly, so I broke out my sleeping bag to drape over me. I was plenty comfortable and slept well through the night.

    I woke up refreshed and dry. I had stowed my gear under my hammock on a ground sheet, and though I had also put my pack in a plastic trash bag, that proved to be unnecessary. Everything had remained dry. Not having to pack wet gear was great. Packing went easy.

    Though there were no casualties due to lightning, wind, and rain, several of the other adults reported of rain getting inside their tents. My son, who was also in a tent, had to pack out a wet sleeping bag.

    Lessons learned:
    • Stake style makes a difference. Wire hook stakes don't take line yanking well.
    • In high or gusting winds, reduce the wind-catching tarp surface area as much as possible.
    • Using naturally provided anchor points can be superior to a stake-only approach
    • A well constructed pitch can make all the difference between comfort and misery
    ol' daddy

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    and getting up dry and rested is priceless. ;-)

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    OD,
    Glad to hear things worked out so well for you. I'm surprised there was no comment about how refreshed and "un-sore" you were in the morning from staying air born. Congrats on a successful weekend.

    Jason

  4. #4
    Member
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    Glad to hear things worked out so well for you. I'm surprised there was no comment about how refreshed and "un-sore" you were in the morning from staying air born. Congrats on a successful weekend.

    Jason
    It's so unbecoming to gloat! In actuality, I did mention to my buddies how comfortably dry I slept.

    Thanks for the congrats.
    ol' daddy

  5. #5
    Member
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    and getting up dry and rested is priceless. ;-)
    Amen to that
    ol' daddy

  6. #6
    Pretbek's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments. They are helpful to a starting hanger like me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    let us know how many convert to 'the better way', after seeing how well you did!
    KM (who has trouble hanging at events, as they are historical, and her hammock rig is not, but could be re-done in manila rope and canvas..hmm)

  8. #8
    New Member flannery's Avatar
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    Hammocks are spreading in our Boy Scout Troop. 3 adult Assistant Scout Masters are now hanging and 3 of the boy scouts. We have two HH, 1 WBBB, 1 ENO, 1 Byer Moskito and one ENO/DIY. I need to work with the boys on switching from ropes to webbing / tree huggers and having a lower impact on the trees. They also need some instruction on insulation as all 3 of the boys got rather chilled on our last campout (sleeping bags only). I'll have to see if there is a sewing, sorry, thread injector merit badge and start them on some DIY underquilts!

    When I switched from a tent (REI Hoodoo 3) to the hammock/tarp I was able to reduce my backpack from a full 65L to a 3/4 full 40L. This has made a big impact on my camping / hiking pleasure! I could easily do 3 to 4 days with this configuration and 40L pack as opposed to 2 days with the tent and the 65L bag. Big difference and more comfort! Wins all around, except my wallet which is the only piece of gear I prefer to be bulkier! :-)

    Mike

  9. #9
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Excellent lessons learned! Thanks for sharing.

    I got rid of my "shepherds hook" stakes after trying them one time.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

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