Camping out in the wild in a hammock can be a fun and learning experience. Those who are looking for outdoor adventures prefer to camp in the wild and experience nature from very close. Tent camping is more secure and safe compared to hammock camping( you can read about how safe is hammock Camping here). Those who seek to explore new places prefer summers because it is a good time to set up camps and stay warm and dry. The summer season stretches from the last week of June to the end of September.
Rain and thunderstorms are surprises that can be encountered in summers. Hammock camping in summers becomes difficult when it starts to rain. With no roof over your camp, you are open in the wild. So how do you hammock camp in the rain?
Hammock camping in the rain has 4 important factors,
- Setting up your Tarp Correctly
- Hanging your Hammock
- Using the Right Gear
- Staying Dry in The Rain
Let’s learn how can you set up your hammock camp in the best possible manner.
Hammock Camping in The Rain
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up your hammock camp in the rain.
1. Setting Up your Tarp
The most important part of the hammock camp set up in the rain is the Tarp. Tarp is also referred to as the Rainfly. The first thing that needs to be set is the Tarp. After you find a set of trees to hang your hammock, the first thing you need to get out of your backpack is the tarp.
Create a ridgeline with the two trees and put your tarp over the ridgeline. The correct height of the tarp is to set it above eye level or just at your head level (approximately 6 feet from the ground).
Some Tips to Select a Tarp
Selecting a tarp is important as that is the only barrier between you and the rainwater. When there are thunderstorms and heavy rain your tarp must be intact and protect you from getting drenched.
- Select a tarp that is longer and wider than your hammock. For example, if your hammock is 10 ft long then select a tarp that is at least 12 feet long. A 4×3 meter tarp is advised.
- Buy nylon material tarps that are lightweight, and waterproof
- Tarps often tend to leak from the seams so buy tarps with leak-proof taped seams
- The important part of the tarp setup is its guy lines, Tent Stakes, and stake bags.
- Reinforced stitching will hold the guy line secured.
- Apart from the regular tarp, a four-side closed tarp and a canopy-style tarp are suitable for heavy downfalls or even rainstorms.
Once you have the right tarp gear with you setting this up is not difficult. After finishing the ridgeline use carabiners at both ends to attach your tarp to it.
Now, tie the edges of the tarp with guy line chords and secure them to the ground with tent stakes. Check the firmness of the tarp and it is all set.
💡 Always hang your tarp just above the hammock( 1 to 1.5 feet above it). When you hang on your hammock it will shag and you will get your headroom space. But if you set up 3-4 feet above your hammock if there is a gust of wind blowing along with rain or heavy rainfall then chances are water will come into your hammock.
💡Adjust your tarp height to keep it closer to the hammock.
2. Hanging Your hammock
Once you have set up your tarp, now it’s time to hang your hammock. Use the trees to wrap your tree huggers or tree straps or chords to tie your hammock. If it is already raining while setting up then it becomes difficult to hang your hammock, But once you set up the tarp it becomes much easier. You can also keep your gears and the backpack under the tarp.
When tying your hammock’s continuous loop to the tree straps make a knot with your extra hanging cord and this knot will act as a rainwater breaker and will stop rai water from getting into the hammock.
💡 While setting up the tarp keep all the hammock straps covered, otherwise the flowing rainwater will get into the hammock.
3. Using The Right Gear
Choosing the right gear is critical to the success of hammock camping especially when it is raining.
A Waterproof Tarp– The first and most important gear is the tarp, when you are in the wild with no roof overhead you need a shelter that is waterproof. The tarp will save you from rainwater and also from the cold wind blowing your way.
Underquilt– Rain brings cold and when it’s cold you need a quality underquilt and top quilt to protect your hammock. Use the underquilt to save your body heat from getting away and outside cold from getting in.
Sleeping pad or Top Quilt– Use a sleeping pad because rainy nights can be cold and can make sleeping in the hammock very uncomfortable.
Backpack Rain Cover– When it rains it is important to keep your gears and backpack from getting wet. Use a waterproof backpack cover to keep your pack dry.
4. Wearing The Right Clothes
When you sleep warm in the hammock you don’t need much except the bug net. But when you sleep on rainy days you need to bring extra clothing to beat rainwater and cold during the night. Always wear multiple layers of clothes to beat the cold. Wear a windcheater or raincoat to beat rainwater from getting into the clothes.
5. Choosing the Right Spot
Hammock camping doesn’t depend on the condition of the terrain, it only requires two trees at an ideal length. Choose the right spot that has natural shelter like a big wide tree, and bushes, behind large rocks.
They act as natural windbreakers and also protect the camp from the gust of wind blowing while it rains. Heavy rainfall or thunderstorms can destroy camps that are out in the wide open. Natural shelters will protect your camp from thunderstorms and possible hurricanes.
💡 Do not camp in low-ground areas or grounds that are at lower levels as compared to others. Overnight rains can fill up any holes or accumulate in certain places. Look for places that are on the high ground.
💡 While looking for a spot to set up your hammock camp, take care of these two things, one is to find the ideal set of trees with around 12-13 feet of distance from each other and at least 6 inches thick. The second is to look for trees with no dead branches hanging. Try to set up camp as far as possible from branches.
6. Take Care of Your Gear
Overnight rains can be terrifying as they can sweep away your gear, backpack, and other stuff. If you do not protect your gears from getting drenched in rain chances are you have to suffer to survive. To avoid the circumstances keep your gears close to your hammock, there are multiple ways you can store your gears.
- Hang your backpack or gears from tree branches with the rain cover in place
- Hang your gear from the hammock at the continuous loop or ridgeline
- Use a gear hammock to store your backpack and other stuff while camping
💡 Always buy an oversize tarp or rainfly, if you have a hammock of 10 feet long, use a tarp that is at least 14-15 feet long. This way you will have sufficient space to keep your gear, backpack, and other stuff protected from the rainwater.
7. Keeping a Repair Kit
It is always better to be prepared for all situations. As it is said Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Continuous and heavy rain can tear apart any existing holes or worn-out places in the tarp. So to avoid this keep a repair kit in the gear to fight any unfortunate event like this. This repair kit will consist of a sewing kit for patching, extra chords, straps, and paracords.
8. Keeping the Rainwater at Bay
When you tie your hammock between two trees there is a chance of rainwater flowing from the tree to your hammock through the ridgeline. To check this from happening use the extra cord to make a knot on the ridgeline and hang the rest part. This knot will act as a water breaker or drip line and any water coming through the line will drop to the ground.
How to Stay Dry in Hammock during a rainstorm?
Staying dry and warm in the hammock during a rainstorm is critically important. There are a few ways to keep yourself dry in hammock camp while it rains outside.
- Wear a rain jacket to repel any water from falling on you. A rain jacket keeps you dry and warm.
- Using the proper gear like a hammock, an underquilt, a top quilt/sleeping pad, or a pillow will keep you dry and warm in the rain.
- Use a backpack cover to keep your gears and stuff dry.
- Use a wider tarp to cover your campsite and hammock completely, this will give maximum space to keep your stuff
Hammock camping in the rain is feasible if you take the right steps while setting up your camp out in the wild. Setting up the tarp is very important in a rain hammock set up as it is responsible for keeping everything dry. Hammocking during rain requires less effort than in winter.