Do you also like hammocks and think of it as the only way for camping for you? If you do then we should tell you it is very difficult to camp in a hammock when it starts to rain.
And considering the uncertainty of weather gods, it is better to know everything about hammock camping in the rain beforehand.
It is indeed difficult to set up a hammock in rain but by reading this article you can get to know everything about hammock camping and then the supposed to be difficult camp will turn into a delight.
So, let’s dive right in.
- What Is Hammock Camping?
- How To Hammock Camp In The Rain?
- Why Should You Do Hammock Camping In The Rain?
- How To Keep Warm In A Hammock?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Verdict
What Is Hammock Camping?
In hammock camping, you sleep at a height over a cloth suspended between two supports, know as a hammock. The distance between two supports has to be around 10 feet, but with some adjustment, you can also camp with any two supports at distance ranging from 10 to 30 feet.
It is environmentally friendly, fun to camp, cheaper and also has a lot of advantages over other types of camping like tent camping.
You can look at the difference between hammock and tent camping here.
How To Hammock Camp In The Rain?
Hammock camping in the rain can be quite a tricky business but with a few simple solutions, it can turn into a delight for you.
1. Before the trip
The tarp is the one accessory that is the most important if you are to hammock camp in the rain. It will provide you with protection from the rain and also give you comfort by blocking wind from reaching you.
When it comes to tarps though, it is very important that you have the right tarp with you and you are an expert in setting up your tarp.
a) Choosing the right tarp:
There are different types of tarp available in the market. From the size to the shape, tarps are available in different ranges and each has its uses.
There is a rectangular, asymmetrical, hexagonal, catenary, or diamond (square) shape of tarps in the market.
- Rectangular shape tarp is the most common one available and when you think of tarps, rectangular is the first one that pops up in our mind. It has 4 anchor points and when all are tied to the ground, it is just like a tent inside which the hammock is laid.
- Asymmetrical tarps are narrow and slanted. They are best suited for providing shade and therefore, they shouldn’t be used for rainy day purposes.
- Hexagonal tarps are similar to rectangular taps in their usage. They have six anchor points because they are hexagonal. They are costlier than rectangular tarps because they don’t make flapping sounds like rectangular ones.
- Catenary tarps are always a good option and should be favored over rectangular and hexagonal tarps because they are light in weight, work without a ridgeline, and don’t make a noise. They are also costlier than other kinds of tarps.
- Diamond tarps are just like rectangular tarps but are square. The ridgeline runs diagonally and they are very easy to set up because they have only two anchor points. They are expensive but work great in rainy seasons.
Along with the shape, you also have to look at what material the tarp is. It has to be completely waterproof and be light in weight. We recommend silnylon tarps made of silicone and nylon but ye can also use polyethylene tarp as a cheaper alternative.
As for the size of the tarps, it should be at least 8 to 12 feet larger than the hammock so that the rain has no chance of making the hammock wet and interrupt your camping. As the tarp is larger you can even make a campfire beside your hammock and stay warm at night.
b) Tarp ridgeline:
You must use a Continuous ridgeline above the tarp or separate ridgelines at each end between tarp and tree.
If by mistake your ridgeline is under your tarp, all the rain will get a chance to get inside your tarp and drip your hammock wet. And that is what you are most afraid of while camping in rain.
When it comes to setting up hammocks and tarps, practice is very essential.
In rainy weather, you have to set up everything very fast and that means if you don’t have practice, you are already wet even before you get inside the hammock.
Before you start setting up your hammock and tarps, there are some initial things that you have to do differently in case of camping on a rainy day.
a) Site selection:
This becomes extremely important if you are camping during harsh weather conditions.
You have to select the site in such a way that there is a shield for wind and rain because otherwise it will carry away all the heat and you will be stuck cold at night in your hammock.
b) Choosing trees quick:
If you are hammock camping on a pleasant evening, you can take your time and choose the best tree available in the area, but when the rain gods are over you, you don’t have the luxury of time anymore.
So, be quick in deciding which two trees are going to be the support for your hammock.
c) Keeping things accessible:
If you are new to hammock camping in the rain, we must tell you, always keep the hammocks, tarps, and under quilts as easily accessible as possible.
You can either keep it on top of everything inside your backpack or keep it in the mesh outside the backpack.
3. Setup of tarp
Always set up your tarp first unlike in good weather conditions where you set up your hammock first. This will provide you with a cover over your head so that you can set up other accessories.
a) Set the ridgeline and guy lines:
Before the tarp though, set the ridgeline and it should be lower on the trees and make a V shape with the guy lines. It also provides room for your hammock suspension.
Guy lines are the ropes or such thing that ties your tarp to the ground. So, after adjusting your tarp by the ridgeline, the last step is tying the guy lines to the straps on the ground.
b) Drip-line setup:
A drip line hangs from your ridgeline and straps so that the water can easily flow onto the ground. Make sure to set them under your tarp or else it won’t work.
c) Pooling of water:
The last thing that you have to make sure is that the tarp is inclined at all places and the water is going directly to the ground.
If you leave a bend such that water can get pooled there, it will increase the weight of your tarp and result in shifting of a tarp to one side. This will only cause more trouble so avoid this.
4. Hammock Setup
After you are done with tarps, now comes the hammocks. However, you have to use some tips and tricks when it comes to hanging your hammock in the rain.
a) Position of hammock:
When you are hammocking in rainy weather, keep your hammock nice and close to the tarp. This means hanging the hammock higher than usual.
If you hang it lower, than the water splash from the rain hitting the ground can make your backside wet. So, it is safer to hang higher.
b) Twist tree straps:
It is a good idea to twist your hammock two or three times before setting it up. This will make the straps discontinuous and the dripping water won’t seep into your hammock.
c) Consider Underquilt:
If you are using a large tarp that can cover every opening, then you won’t experience splashing of water on your back.
But if your tarp is not the biggest, you can use an underquilt. This will serve the dual purpose of saving you from the blowing wind and keeping the back of your hammock dry.
5. Fixing And Tear Down
Finally, if you are getting wet for some reason and there is some issue with your comfort, always try to look for the root cause of the problem and fix it instantly.
Always remember that it is better to get a little wet and fix the problem instead of getting wet all night.
And when it comes to taking off your camp, always do the opposite of how you set up. This means you first have to take off the hammock and the tap should be taken off last. This will save you a lot of trouble in the rain.
Why Should You Do Hammock Camping In The Rain?
We have discussed how to set up a hammock in rainy weather conditions but you may ask why should you use a hammock instead of a tent on such days. Well, that is because hammock camping is better in a lot of ways for rainy weather.
Hammocks are comfortable
On a rainy day, being confined to a hammock with everything by your hand under a tarp being dry is very comfortable.
You can read, draw or comfortably watch raindrops outside while hanging around in your hammock lying down.
No wet floors
The biggest disadvantage of a hammock is that you have to worry about wet floors and seepage. With a hammock, it isn’t the case because there is no floor to worry about.
And with the floor being taken off your mind, you can enjoy your camp and get on with the camping activities that you may have planned.
On rainy days, packing tents in congested places after you have finished camping can leave stains in your tent and produce a stinky smell of wetness. With hammocks, it stays very dry and doesn’t produce any kind of bad smell.
Clean and easy to handle
When it comes to cleanliness, hammocks are the best. If you have a sudden encounter with rain sometimes, with hammocks all you have to do is hang the tarp and steadily get started with the setup of the hammock.
Also, you don’t have to worry about making the hammock wet. While in tents, it takes time to set up which will result in you getting wet, and even after you are done setting up, you have to stay wary of keeping the tent dry and not making things clumsy.
Just like in setup, while taking out, you can calmly sort out your hammock and other accessories, fold them, and put them inside.
All this while, the tarp will shelter you. Finally, you can take out the shelter while when it comes to tents, you have to wrap everything up as you are getting wet in the rain.
Trees providing extra protection
Since your hammock is set up under two trees, naturally the tree will provide you with protection from the rain. Strong trees tend to have a large cover of trees and hence you just have to worry about a small amount of rain falling through and that can be avoided by the use of tarps.
Among all the advantages, there is just one disadvantage of the tarp system, and that is wind can hamper your plan and cause problems that you have to fix instantly.
But even with this drawback, hammock camping should be the most go-to option in rainy weather.
How To Keep Warm In A Hammock?
Rainy weather brings the temperature down and also brings fast winds that are always looking to carry the heat off your body.
At that, if you are hammock camping, it is very likely that you are going to feel the chill of rainy weather and need to have solutions prepared to cope with this. So, here are some times on how to stay comfortable on rainy days on a hammock.
Always try to stay dry and prevent wetness from reaching you. Be it your clothes or your hammock, try to keep it dry because damp or wet things can only lead to discomfort when it comes to hammock camping.
Campfires are an effective way of keeping yourself warm in chilly times. If your tarp is big enough, you can set up a campfire beside you and enjoy its warmth as you relax in your hammock.
It is always good to have a sleeping bag when you go camping because they provide you with protection against the cold.
You can also have a sleeping pad underneath your sleeping bag for extra insulation of your backside from the breeze.
Having an emergency foil blanket in case you feel cold is like a blessing at that time. You can keep one in your backpack that you can use only when necessary.
Overhead and Underquilts
Overhead quilts and underquilts are also helpful in making your nights more comfortable. They help in keeping your body heat to yourself and this means you stay warm for a long time.
Also, these being accessories necessary for hammock camping, you are not carrying any extra luggage in your backpack.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We said we will tell you how a hammock camping trip can be turned from a difficult to delight.
So, do you think now that hammock camping is more of a delight than a problem? From any point of view, a hammock always comes out to be the best option for you, and we as campers recommend you to try it out for the rainy season.
For us, we prefer to go for hammock camping over others and carry underquilt, a diamond tarp and use sleeping bags in the hammock and you can also do so and yes don’t forget to practice, like a lot before actually going out and you won’t even realize when you have turned into a pro in hammock camping.
Do share your stories with us and tell us if there are other accessories you use while hammock camping in the rain through the comment section below.