Thursday, May 11, 2017

2017 venture vermont: learn to set up a tarp or hammock

unless you only just walked in, you know that last season i used a hammock i made over the winter before.

it revolutionized camp lounging for me, and eventually i came to the conclusion that i should be sleeping in a hammock at camp. some of the sites on the res are great for tents but others haven't a decent  dry level place and -boom- if you have a hammock to sleep in that problem is solved, but i need good bug netting for sleeping, so there's that AND i also came to the conclusion that in the fall when the ground freezes you lose a LOT of heat sleeping on the ground plus i'm just getting old and i think i'm mostly done sleeping on the ground, so hammock it is.

and i think i just gave you the reasons why i needed to get a whole hammock system and not a cheapish backyard hammock because let's face it: i live on a campsite somewhere about two and a half months out of a year.

so is is a FORTUITOUS coincidence that "Learn to set up a tarp or hammock" is on this year's venture challenge, because there's a bit of a learning curve to putting one up properly.

fact is, i sort of have to learn how to do the tarp every time i pitch it because every site is different and there are a few basic things, but the best thing about a tarp is that it's variable and you adapt it to your site every time.

anyway, i got a new fancy tarp to go over my new hammock, and it's the kind of tarp that will close on the ends and make a little hothouse for cold weather and because the ends close it will keep out sideways rain.

anyway, i took it out for the first time pitching it for real on 9 april and slept in it. it's pretty toasty even without an underquilt down to about 35 degrees, but down around freezing it gets chilly.

so here's me with my pack. i'm only going one night, so i figure even with the extra pads and stuff, it's a manageable amount of gear.

yes, that is snow on the ground.

this is my hammock and tarp pitched for moderate protection. this is a good setup for chilly nights, or rain without too much wind. there are end flaps that will close and i can tie the thing down more to keep out the elements.

this is the same pitch but with the front raised in a loose lean-to to let in light and so i can enjoy the view. it's not especially taut, but i can lower flaps in a hurry if it gets weather-y.

i haven't got an underquilt (yet) so i'm making do with some HVAC insulation. it's bulky, but it gets the job mostly done.

here i am in the hammock.

and here's the view FROM the hammock.

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