Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Missouri
Hammock: Darien UL w/Dutch hooks, clips, etc
Tarp: HG Cuben Fiber
Insulation: ZPack 40 bag/HG UQ
Suspension: Whoopie/Dutch Gear
I'm a newbie but I've begun my tarp journey. I started with the stock Hennessey and still think the HH is a perfect all round starting point (zip model). I finally bought a Warbonnet Edge because I got to thinking what it would be like to be holed up in my hammock for an afternoon. I knew I could hang the stock HH tarp tight over the top and stay dry but then I'd be stuck. I chose the "Edge" tarp so I'd have some room under the tarp if the rain was coming straight down so I could sit under the tarp and enjoy it.
I'm thinking of one more tarp, the Warbonnet Mamajamba (sp?). It's even larger and has a door kit so it would work well for spending a few days in one spot and for winter hiking.
But beyond that I can't see the value of cuben unless you're really going over the top for ultra-light. I am going for lightweight but I think even the Edge is really all you need.
It's easy to get caught up in it and spend too much time and money fretting over the gear. I enjoy researching and buying gear but if you can't be satisfied and enjoy the setup then it's defeating the purpose in my opinion.
So relax and hang but I think a decent mid-size lightweigh tarp is the best of all worlds.
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: central Ks.
Hammock: HH , WBBB 1.1 dbl
Tarp: the edge
Insulation: HG 40/0 phoenix
Satrted out also with the HH .ive been useing the warbonnet edge tarp for almost 2 yrs now .Its been a great tarp and still is in perfect condition. ive used the edge 4 season. In heavy rain it performed great . but this season ive been kinda thinking eyeing the superfly for wintering .Im not sure if the edge is considered a (what was that cannibal? a napkin?) or not but its been a real fine tarp .. but im thinking i might want a larger tarp .
i guess it just boils down for me as options.. the weight diffrences is whats holding me back not sure yet
Great thread btw
For me tarps have evolved along two fronts: Evolution of tarps follows the evolution of hammocks. When I started buying my first hammocks they were in general 10' long. Over time hammocks got longer, I need bigger tarps to cover them.
As I have grown in this recreation of ours i tend to want to hang in different seasons than I did when I started. In the beginning a smaller tarp was fine as i was not really pushing myself or the weather. Now that i like to hang in winter I use some very large tarps just to give me coverage from biting winds and blowing snow. So I do think the evolution of tarps keeps pace with what we do out in the wild as well.
Old Gorge Rat
I started out with the HH barely there tarps they came with in 2001. Hey they worked if like other's said ... you learn how to dial them in ... where and how to deploy them but I have to admit we got caught up in a couple really side ways storms that even in a protected area ended up with me getting my old arse a bit damp.
So along about 2003 I switched to using an Equinox sil tarp that was just a big old rectangle. But I came to love the large protected area it offered and I've not gone back to smaller tarps since then ... except for a couple attempts with DIY hex tarps that worked but I just liked the large tarps for the options it gave me ... and I didn't mind the weight penalty.
My current favorite tarp is my WB Superfly (Camo) and I've been using it all the time. Makes a nice place to spend a rainy day!
I have ordered my first Cuben from Adam and will probably have it when I get back from this current trip. Did a lot of thinking and asking folks that have them before pulling the trigger on that purchase. I have a slush fund I build up from selling old gear and some other things to keep me out of trouble with the bride for purchasing stuff like this.
Looking forward to using it this fall! Not sure how much I'll miss the darkness afforded by my Superfly vs the Cuben yet ... but I know I'm looking forward to playing with it!
But it has been interesting watching the evolution. I personally haven't looked back since going to a larger tarp with that first Equinox. I think the Cuben will get me back in line with lower weight but still giving me that big old roof I love when it rains!
Hmmm if I'm reducing weight maybe I should work on getting rid of some of this belly fat too!
WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.
"A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Hammock: Dangerbird, (custom) thanks Papa
Tarp: 10x10 DIY
Insulation: DIY insultex.
Suspension: Woopie, UCR
Over the summer I've used an 8x8 in a diamond shape. It was what I had. It kept me 1 st in the shade while allowing me to enjoy the views; 2nd it kept me dry in the rain, while still letting me see the rain rather than feel like I was stuck in a tent. So now after reading this thread and thinking about the summer, I'm wondering why I made a 10x10 & bought a 12x12. At night I don't even put it up unless it looks like rain.
Prefers life at 12 MPH.
Well, I can't speak as to the evolution of tarps over time. I've only been at this for the last year or so.
However, I can speak to tarps as a means to stay dry dependent upon one's goals.
I came to this whole hammockry thing from bike touring. I'd gotten the bug to get out there and see northern Florida from the saddle. Part of that was camping; it was cheaper than staying in hotels...or so I thought, right up until the sticker shock hit...
As a part of that bike touring, weight was less of a concern for me than most hikers (FL is pretty flat, and the bike was carrying most of the weight). Bulk mattered, but weight was not as much of a concern. Also, I wanted a place where I could park the bike when it started coming down really hard. So, I got the free hex tarp upgrade that Hennessy sells with their Explorer UL model. It's an huge tarp: 10' x 12'. It also weighs a pound and an half, which is on the heavy side for a backpacking tarp.
Fast forward a year, and I've gotten into the hiking thing as well. Well, hiking down here in FL is pretty easy. Aside from the heat and the prehistoric bugs, it's pretty easy terrain to hike through. Well, the mountains of SC aren't. Which pushed me towards the ultralight backpacking movement.
I've gone over to a DIY "postage-sized" asym tarp. However, as a part of my modular DIY hammock system, I've also got a poncho that doubles as an undercover/Garlington Taco. I've tested both in tropical storm weather (winds were only 20 MPH or so, but I stayed bone dry except for some water intrusion along the suspension) and am really happy with them. I don't think I'll be taking the tarp bike touring (I can afford the weight penalty down here), but it's definitely going to be my backpacking choice for the next little while.
So, form follows function. As always and alliterative.
Find out what works for you. HYOH, as they say 'round these here parts.
North Florida Bike Tour Planning Thread (3/23-30/2014)
"Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
First, I mostly canoe camp. It rains a lot in canoe country. I started with a DIY 10x10 tarp pitched over and with the edge centered just behind the peak of my backpacking tents just to be able to open the door in the rain! Moved to a Hennessy and the small tarp. Learned what it was like to be stuck in the rain in a cloth coffin off the ground instead of on in. ;-) Upgraded hammock and bought one of the first Hex tarps from him. I keep thinking either doors for one end or cuben rectangle with door tie points. I've also messed with a variety of configurations with blue poly and coated nylon. When I get done with this years enforced zero I will see where I go next.
Also worth noting. I live in bear country. That translates to not being in favor of cooking under the tarp I am sleeping under. OTOH it is nice to be able to sit there and watch the storm like Shug and Hickrey at the Gorge. ;-) That can mean a small fire tarp for 1 or a bigger one as group gear.
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: long island, ny
Hammock: DIY , HHASYM
Tarp: DIY, HH hex
Insulation: DIY CLMSHLD, POD
Shoot! I never really gave it much thought. I started canoe camping after being tired of the car camoing scene and quickly realized that the blue poly took up a lot of valuable beer storage. Purchased a couple of kelty noah 12' . One over the cooking/ fire/ hangout spot and the other over my tent. Then I discovered HH on the web and said to myself 'wow, no more swampy, root filled tent sites, and even more room for beer!' Then i found this amazing forum, learned what 2QZQ were doing and installed a zip into my HHEXPL. That little stock tarp worked but after looking over my gear I realized my 12' kelty would do a great job. Then the DIY bug bit. HeadChange had a great tutorial for a HH style hammock. Well... thats another topic all together.
All said and done my go to is a sil tarp modeled after HH's basic hex. Around 12'x10' I think it is around 1.7 lbs with all the tie outs added.
"It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people THINK your stupid than to open it and PROVE it" - SFC Kagawa, United States Army (my old platoon SGT)
*Originally -Abraham Lincoln 16th president of US (1809 -1865)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kansas City, KS
Hammock: HH Explorer Deluxe+2QZQ Mod #4
Tarp: HH Hex w/ 2QZQ OFS
Insulation: 20* bag, PL, HHSS
I think that this really boils down to what a lot of folks have already kinda outlined...your previous life experiences, and exactly how you camp/hike today.
I'm ex-Army...used to carrying my whole house on my back. A 60lbs ruck was light in comparison to what I spent weeks/months/years using and living out of.
When I started camping again after I got out, most of the gear I was using was still military. Which meant heavy, bulky...and durable and reliable in a broad spectrum of situations.
Then I found the hammock camping concept...did a LOT of research, and went with the HH Explorer Deluxe, with the HH Hex 70d upgrade.
I use ONE tarp for a very broad range of applications...from bone dry summer temps of >100 deg F, to windy/rainy conditions in the Spring/Fall...to very windy/snowy/very cold conditions in the winter. So I've since added silnylon doors with velcro closures to my tarp as well. I don't have to pull the doors down and use them...but they're there if I need them when conditions change suddenly and unexpectedly.
My base weight has dropped from somewhere around 40lbs to closer to 20-25 over the last year...which I personally find more than acceptable, but most folks (without my background and perspective) would find that waaayyyy too heavy.
But it's what works for me. I can deploy a tarp and simply not worry about the weather. Rain, snow, wind, hot sun, icy cold...one tarp works to cope with them all.
Weight is less of an issue for me than it is for most.
It's interesting to see how things change...and how they so often seem to come back around to what they once were before too.