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  1. #1
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Hammock Camping without a Tarp ??

    Eugeneius mentioned in his trip report of going hammock camping without a tarp. I've been hammock camping for 1 year now and it never occurred to me to go without a tarp.

    I may take a small tarp when it's predicted to be a good weather weekend, but to go without -- Maybe this comes from living in WV where if you look at the sky wrong it will spit on you. But even without rain, I like taking my tarp for sun or wind protection or a modicum of privacy.

    I was wondering if others ever hammock camp without a tarp.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I built my tarp out of a single layer of 1.9 oz. ripstop nylon and I'm currently using the descending ring system attached with lightweight wiregate carabiners and 3/4 inch webbing. I adapted a detachable ridgeline much like Headchange indicated in his tutorial with the loops going through the whipping, however I used one Figure 9 carabiner and was able to adjust tension and length on my ridgeline quite quickly and effectively.
    I thought he had a tarp. But he goes from the tarp right to talking about the suspension... so it IS a bit unclear.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    I've gone on single overnight trips where I didn't take a tarp, but knew it wasn't going to rain. And of course I've camped many times without actually using the tarp, despite having it with me.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  4. #4
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Eugeneius' backup plan was to move into his buddy's tent if it got bad. But his post still got me to thinking about people who "cowboy" camp. So yeah, I was wondering if people did go out without tarps ever. Like I said, it just hadn't occurred to me at all. I'm one of those people who will always take a tarp AND netting. I'm just being nosey.

  5. #5
    Member eugeneius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I thought he had a tarp. But he goes from the tarp right to talking about the suspension... so it IS a bit unclear.
    Sorry NCPatrick, I built my HAMMOCK body out of 1.9 oz. ripstop, yeah I don't have a tarp at the moment, I'm looking at the Speer design or a possible DIY to complete my first setup very soon! Any suggestions, we don't get very much extended rain here in the southwest, mostly hard monsoonal downpours that last an hour or so, but wind is usually associated and I imagine it would need to be a tarp that could pitch as taut as possible. Any suggestions???

  6. #6
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    You could go with either OES's MacCat, or Speer's Winter Tarp, or JRB's 11 x 10 cat tarp, or you could make your own silnylon cat tarp using Blackbishop's directions... I have a BlackCat and it pitches very taut.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
    - John Burroughs

  7. #7
    Member eugeneius's Avatar
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    Trust me, I would have felt much more secure with a tarp, I wouldn't advise it, I had a vision of me right before bed floating in a big hammock bathtub if it poured, but I was pretty confident the worst of the weather was over. This was my first hang on the trail so needless to say I was going minimalist. However, I did have an open view of the trees and stars, as well as a near full moon peaking through the quickly dissipating clouds, would have missed that with a tarp for sure. I was pretty cinched up in my sleeping bag so didn't linger on that view for too long.

    It seems like we try to enclose ourselves with backpacking, we get outdoors and then shut it out, part necessity, but not always I guess. Being prepared is the best situation to be in if anything, allows flexibility.

  8. #8
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneius View Post
    Any suggestions???
    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    ...or you could make your own silnylon cat tarp using Blackbishop's directions... I have a BlackCat and it pitches very taut.
    BlackCat DIY Directions
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  9. #9
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    If it will be raining for an hour and then goes away for the evening, and you can be sure that you aren't likely to experience extended rain, I would lean towards the smaller side. You could just spend that hour in the hammock and go on with life afterwards.

    As far as DIY goes, on a tarp it is quite the endevour for a beginner. I would just warn you that you could save yourself a bunch of time by looking into purchasing a tarp from a manufacturer. However, you can some money and feel awesome knowing you made your own tarp. I think I would even suggest making a prototype before you do the real thing if you are inexperienced. This is going to take even more time, and that is why I suggest comparing the time spent/hair pulled to going to work and making money to spend on the tarp. My first tarp almost caused me to quit sewing altogether, and taught me new curse word combos, but I am a better man for it!
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 05-22-2008 at 09:11.

  10. #10
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I've gone on single overnight trips where I didn't take a tarp, but knew it wasn't going to rain. And of course I've camped many times without actually using the tarp, despite having it with me.
    Like AS, I've done the same and gone on a trip with the tarp and not put it up if I didn't think I needed it. I've also put it up, staked it out on one side and flipped the other side back over, just in case I needed it through the night. I don't know that I'd be brave enough to go totally tarpless.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

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