How to set up your hammock tarp

Welcome back on Madera Outdoors’ Blog hammock campers from all over the world! A few days ago we talked about how to set up your hammock like a pro, considering all the various components and things to take into consideration in order to obtain the ultimate hammock camping set up.

Of course, when it comes to hammock camping properly and comfortably, then “just” a hammock is not enough. As much comfortable and waterproof and wind-stopping your hammock camping gear can be, it will never do by itself, especially when weather conditions and the environment turn wilder or a bit more extreme.

More specifically, what we are talking about are two pieces of gear: the hammock tarp and the bug net. Both these elements are vital, especially if you are planning to go hammock camping for multiple days, or if you are off for a backpacking experience and you have to to be ready for all sorts of conditions.

Of course, there’s an art to setting up your hammock tarp properly and your bug net too. Also, there are many different ways to rig your hammock tarp and adapt it to different conditions and necessities.

So we thought of putting together this little guide to how to set up a hammock tarp and the different ways to create your hammock shelter.

Why a hammock tarp is so important

Many may think that a hammock tarp is something useful only in case of rain. And yes, of course its main goal is to prevent pouring water to get you soaked, however, it’s not just that.

A roof over your head will protect you from things falling from above, like insects, leaves, little twigs and some bird’s kind regards.

At the same time, having a hammock tarp to protect you doesn’t mean you are sleeping inside, still allowing all the beauty of open air sleeping, which is one of the greatest and most enthralling parts of hammock camping.

Also, hammock tarps keep humidity away, creating a dry and aired environment to sleep and relax, which is absolutely vital not only for your health but also to protect and preserve your gear.

Last but not least, the sun. As much as you will always need two trees to plant a tent, those two trees might not be enough to keep you in the shade. So a hammock tarp can serve this purpose too, turning your hammock not only into a bed for the night but also for a daytime relaxing spot.

Last but not least, make sure your hammock tarp is bigger than your hammock, so it will shelter you properly.

Ways to set up a hammock tarp

As we mentioned earlier, there are many ways to set up your hammock tarp according to your needs.

The classic hammock tarp set up

The classic way of setting up a hammock tarp is the “sloped-roof” way. The name is quite evocative and speaks for itself.

In order to have the best outcome, rig your hammock tarp roughly a meter above the hammock and make sure it’s not too softly built. Then peg both sides to the ground making your tarp as much symmetrical and even as possible.

The triangular shape

This is a particularly dynamic shape that is best for windy conditions. Instead of seeing your tarp as a big rectangle, use it as a diamond. This way, it will be much more difficult for the wind to use it as a sail and rip it.

Numbering the angles of your tarp 1, 2, 3 and 4 clockwise, angle 1 and 3 will be fixed on the hammock tarp’s line, while angles 2 and 4 should be pegged on the ground, similarly to the classic way.

The porch

Position everything as if you were going to set up your tarp in a classic way. Two of the angles should be pegged on the ground, while the other two should be kept at tarp line’s height by two supporting elements, such as wooden sticks.

This is a particularly comfortable kind of shelter for resting days, when you will be spending the majority of your time chilling, creating some sort of porch in front of your hammock. Of course, it might not be the best solution in case of heavy rain, as one side will be more exposed.

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