November 7, 2018
12 Tips for Hammocking in the Rain
While others may feel that rain during hammocking is a hassle, it’s actually not that bad. Sure, there are disadvantages every time it rains while you’re in the woods, but there are certainly a lot of great things you can do when this happens. Here are some tips that you can apply when you are hammocking on a rainy day.
Tip 1: Bring a Tarp or Rain Fly
It is very important to have a tarp on top of your hammock and make sure that you have enough room under it. You should bring waterproof hammock tarps at least 1 foot longer than your hammock. Common shapes are rectangle, hex and winter. Some tarps (AKA winter tarps) may have a door on the ends that closes for additional 360-degree protection, so you can opt for this too. Tarps will not only protect you from the rain but also give a generous dry area under which to cook, lounge, store gear, and pack up.
If you’ve hammocked in the rain before, you may already own a waterproof rain tarp. While you’re packing for your next rain excursion, make sure your tarp or rain fly is free of holes and tears, which could make your rain camping experience uncomfortable. For added safety during your trip, bring repair supplies — like patches — to handle any damage that happens while you’re hammocking.
When setting up your hammock in the rain, handle your tarp first. Doing this will allow you a dry space to stash your gear and set up your hammock so that your tarp is the only thing that gets wet. You’ll also want to angle your tarp to most effectively block the rain. If the rain is blowing in a particular direction, ensure that your rain cover faces it.
Tip 2: Hang Your Hammock Higher
The best way to stay dry in the rain is to stay up high. You may think you’re safe from puddles and mud when you have a hammock hanging above the ground, but you can add to your rain protection by suspending your hammock higher than usual. You can protect your hammock from splashes and mud by suspending it farther off the ground.
For enhanced train protection, hang your hammock close to your tarp or rain fly. This placement will keep rain from coming into your hammock.
Another great product to keep your hammock dry and protected is an under quilt protector. This covers the hammock and under quilt from splashes and keeps dew away, and offers slight wind protection.
Tip 3: Add Hammock Drip Lines
A neat trick to prevent water from running down your suspension is to tie a string on it close to the hammock. If water is running down, it will stop at the string and drip off. These lines hung on your hammock are called drip lines.
Another way to protect your hammock from water running in is to twist your hammock straps. This method eliminates the smooth surface, so water is more likely to drip off than accumulate and roll down your hammock straps.
Tip 4: Adding Extra Warmth With Quilts
You should insulate your hammock with quilts, like an under and top quilt. Underquilts protect from drafts and breezes under your hammock, while top quilts are more like a sleeping bag, but rather than wrapping fully around you, they lay on top.
Another way you can add extra warmth is to hammock with a buddy. If you often hammock in rainy weather with a spouse or friend, you can buy a two-person hammock to stay warm even when it is wet and chilly
Tip 5: Bring Your Sleeping Bag If You Don’t Have Hammock Quilts
In cold and rainy weather, you will most likely want an extra layer to keep you warm while you sleep. To stay cozy in your hammock, bring a sleeping bag, preferably a mummy-style bag, which wraps around your head. If you pack a sleeping bag, ensure it’s rated for temperatures 10 to 15 degrees cooler than you expect so you’ll stay nice and toasty even in the chilly rain.
Tip 6: Cover Your Belongings
One advantage of hammock camping is that you can keep all your gear dry without dirtying your sleeping space. While you sleep at night, ensure that all of your equipment is under your rain tarp so that you won’t have to put on soaked boots or a damp jacket when you wake up.
Another way to keep your shoes dry is to overturn them on a rock or stick. This way, the soles will protect the fabric tops from collecting moisture.
Lastly, you might want to consider a ground cloth to keep your equipment dry and clean if the forest floor is wet or muddy.
Tip 7: Finding the Right Area For Hammock Camping In The Rain
Choosing the ideal spot is essential when you want a good time hammocking in the rain. That’s why you are encouraged to choose areas that are slightly elevated and are away from bodies of water like lakes or rivers. There’s a high chance that flooding would occur in the area, especially when it’s raining hard.
Also, don’t hammock under a tree. If it can’t be helped, especially when you are bringing a hammock and you’d need to attach its ropes, stay out of the tree’s leaves or branches as much as possible. After a heavy downpour, water would still keep on dripping, and you might find this annoying, or you might get injured from falling branches because of the wind. You can resolve this by lengthening your hammock’s ropes.
Another thing you can do to make your hammocking experience more enjoyable is to find a location with a wind barrier. This barrier could include an area with high rocks or simply a densely forested area where wind and rain cannot reach through the canopy of the trees.
Lastly, face your hammock in the sun’s direction. You’ll want to be hit by the sun’s rays first thing in the morning. The rising sun will surely help dry your stuff as soon as possible.
Tip 8: Layer your Hiking Clothes and Gear
Before you embark, you’ll need to prepare an appropriate set of hiking clothes and gear. This tip is important because this will not only keep you dry but also maintain your temperature the whole time. Thus, it’s essential that you only wear and bring what’s suitable for a rainy day.
First, prepare your underclothes. You can pick clothes made of wool or polyester as they are warmer and dry easily compared to cotton. For your hiking layers and gear, a waterproof backpack cover, jacket, or a rain poncho would do. Lastly, it may not be necessary, but wearing bright colors can help if you’re with a group and you’d like to get spotted easily.
Tip 9: Practicing Your Setup
If you’re hammocking during a rainy season, you can prepare ahead of time for the conditions you might experience by practicing assembling and taking down your hammock setup. This way, if it starts to pour while you’re hiking, you can create a dry and comfortable shelter as quickly as possible.
You’ll especially want to practice setting up your tarp. Afterward, you can stow your gear underneath without fear of getting wet. You can also set up your hammock under the tarp so that your sleeping area stays dry.
Tip 10: Adding Light Fixtures
As it’s raining, making a fire pit would be difficult. That’s why installing simple lighting is a great alternative. You can simply bring LED lights, lanterns, or even just flashlights would do.
Some lighting fixtures also have that aesthetic appeal to them, so they’re great for creating an ambiance in your area.
Tip 11: Bringing Warm and Comforting Food
Nothing beats a cup of hot cocoa on a rainy day so might as well bring it during hammocking. Hot drinks and food are great during this time. These will not only keep you warm but will also give you that comforting feeling.
It’s also a good idea to bring foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Because you are not only using your energy from setting up your camp and hiking along the way, calorie-rich foods are a satisfying treat when you want to maintain your body’s temperature.
Keep in mind that the colder the area, the more energy is being used to keep you warm. Thus, don’t feel guilty that you’re bringing a sinful snack or two. It’ll make your time even more enjoyable and worthwhile.
Make Sure You Prepare for Hammocking in the Rain
Hammocking in the rain is not as bad as it may seem. In fact, some people even prefer this kind of weather over a hot and sunny day. Thus, if you would love to give this a try, you can follow the tips mentioned above to enjoy the rain.
Another way to prepare for cold, rainy weather is to have the best supplies. DutchWare has all the hammocking supplies to keep you cozy and comfortable, including tarps, quilts, rain gear, and more. Shop our hammock camping gear, or contact us online with any questions!