Being campers, we are always up for explorations. We always want to experience nature closer than others. Now, how can we miss the most beautiful weather of the year, The fall showers!
People may think you are crazy if you tell them you wish to camp in a hammock during rainy days. But, we love adventures, don’t we?
Hammock camping in the rain obviously sounds fun but has multiple risks and dangers associated with it. But, trust me, it’s all worth it as you might never experience the wilderness as you would do in the rains.
In this article, I will tell you what I did to cope up with the rains and the things you should never do to your hammock on rainy days.
So, how to do hammock camping in the rain? There are multiple ways to protect yourself from getting drenched in a hammock. First of all, you should always buy waterproof gears, from jackets to hammocks to bags and even accessories. Pick your camping spot at higher points, so the water does not puddle up at the site. Always use rain fly or tarps in A-frame or in a way that water does not pool on top. Make sure your tarp is big enough (4-5 feet in excess) to cover your accessories and tie it close to the hammock to obtain maximum protection.
To start with, Hammock camping in the rain is completely safe, but there are a few terrible mistakes that can end up with you being soaked in water. But don’t worry, I’ll tell you exactly what to do.
#1 Let The Shelter Be Your Helper
At this point you might think that I’m referring to the tarp, rain cover or fly. No! I’m not.
If you are camping in the wild, your tarp can stop rain to an extent, but what will help more will be the surroundings. Tying your hammock to a place that has dense trees will really help.
Dense trees provide extra protection and saves the hammock and rain fly from scattered or stormy showers.
#2 Be Closer to the Cover
You might already know that, it does not rain in the same direction every time. Rain and wind changes directions quite often.
You might sleep comfortably knowing that you have a rain fly or tarp over your head. But what if the showers aren’t straight and you wake up soaked despite the tarp.
To avoid this, the best thing to do is to hang your hammock as close to the tarp as you can. In a way that the sides cover your hammock completely. So, no matter what direction the rain may take, you’ll be warm and dry.
#3 Protect Your Belongings
Getting drenched is not the only worse thing that can happen in the rain. Rain can also affect your accessories like it can destroy your clothing and the metallic stuff you carried all the way.
And worse, what if you wake up and find your boots and jackets filled with water.
For this, the best thing you can do is to keep them covered inside the tarp or with any water proof or hydrophobic sheet you have.
You can also keep those things, specially shoes, upside down over any stick or rock to protect them from water accumulation.
#4 Tarp Size and Configuration
The tarp above your hammock is your protector from the rain. How big the tarp should be, is a pretty valid question.
Think of this tarp as the protector of your hammock, your walls, and the guard for your camping accessories. This tarp should be at least 4-5 feet longer than what you’d normally use as a shade provider. In the rain, for a one-person hammock, the tarp should be at least 12×16 or 16×20 in size.
The tarp configuration matters a lot. Because if it is not configured right, it may accumulate water which will make it slack. The best tarp configuration is low-pitched A-frame, diamond or like a roof-lean-to tarp.
All these shapes will provide weather protection and will not let water puddle up. Read this to know more about tarp sizing.
#5 Watch out for dead branches
This happens a lot during rainy seasons.
Often the broken or weak branches on the tree tends to fall off due to heavy rain fall and strong winds.
This is not only dangerous but also fatal. And it also can damage your gear and make them tear.
To protect yourself from these widow-maker branches, you can buy a tarp with good tear resistance or stay away from trees that look dead. It is also wise to cover your tarp with something a bit harder as a waterproof canvas sheet for extra protection.
#6 Rain repair kit
This hack is a must-do for hammock camping in rain.
During the rain, your tarp tends to leak or rupture due to a thousand different reasons like water accumulation or the wind blow. For that, you always need to keep a repairing kit with you.
Rain repairing kits have a few add-ons tough. You might need a strong plumber tape and some extra ropes or Carabiners.
These seam sealing tapes work pretty fine for leaking patches. It is best to avoid water accumulation in the first place, but even if it causes leakage, you need to patch the holes up with seam sealant tape.
You can find some more beneficial waterproofing techniques in here that might also help for hammock.
#7 Drip knots and rings
When it rains, the water flowing on the tree stem tends to find its way to the hammock ropes and straps. This water then flows right into your hammock.
No matter how much you protect your hammock with rainfly and tarp, this will make you end up drenched.
This is why drip knots and rings are created. Drip knots are knots created into straps and rope to make the water flow stop at the knot.
This can also by avoided by choosing right tarp size.
#8 Waterproof clothing and under quilt
Camping in the rain is not as easy as it seems. You do not only need to protect your belonging but also yourself. You obviously do not want to fall sick during your trip, right?
Under quilts do wonders when it comes to weather protection and insulation. Especially the synthetic (nylon) Under quilts are waterproof and provide wind protection as well.
The wise owl parachute under quilts are my personal favorite. They are quite lightweight and provide comfortable insulation during rainy weather.
You might also need layers on clothing like, woolen lining and water proof middle and top layers to keep you from getting wet.
Frogg toggs are the best for that purpose. It is the thin top layers like a raincoat, that saves you from wind and cold.
There is no rule book that has rules defined for hammock camping in the rain. You might need a few trips for trial and error to understand what you exactly need.
Though, camping in the rain can be one hell of an experience, where you will learn to enjoy and survive amongst the winds and showers! However, you can follow the above-given tricks to avoid any extreme happenings. Have a safe trip!
This blog is part of our comprehensive hammock camping guide. If you are new to hammock camping, read the complete guide to get ready for your next camping trip.
Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page