I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Sleeping in the Rain, the sequel….or, Further Adventures of Backyard Hammock Camping

on August 7, 2013

I Found The Tarp!  It belonged to my Dad. I slept under it last night as we were expecting thunderstorms from early morning on.  It is now noon and no rain. However….I have The Tarp!

I found The Tarp yesternight, when looking for a better sleeping bag for the hammock.  At 10 o’clock at night. In the under-stairs closet. Under a bunch of old camping gear from the 80’s. I also found my 3-season mummy bag. The one made for short people.

Night the First: My sleeping bag of choice when sleeping on the ground was just too big for the hammock.  I’m a side sleeper and like to stretch out a bit, so the bag is a rectangular down-filled one. I saw some pics on the interwebs that had the hammock pulled through the sleeping bag, so you were actually on the hammock, surrounded by the bag.  I tried that first as I thought the bigger bag might be an advantage. Nope.  It dragged on the ground.  I didn’t like that idea,  so I struggled to get the bag into the hammock itself and climbed in.  Toooooooo much extraneous material, so i abandoned it and went to look for a mummy-style bag.  The first one I found was my hubby’s summer-weight one, so I pulled that out and and stumbled across the bag with The Tarp in it.  Yay!  The mummy bag worked well…..until the wee hours of the morning when I got too cold to sleep, so went inside and finished the night.

Night the Second:, I took down the cheap vinyl tarp and hauled out The Tarp.  It is bright red and meant to go over a tent of some sort, so it is not a flat rectangle. However, I was determined to use it.  It was my Dad’s and still had the ropes he used (three different kinds, lol) and the knots he tied. So you see, I had to figure out a way. It was long enough to cover the hammock if it was crossways, so that is how I strung it up.  I found the aluminum shock corded poles that went with the nonexistent tent….minus the shock cords….they had long since passed their prime.  I used them to hold out the “sides” of The Tarp using the erstwhile front and back grommet holes.  It looks pretty good – there is a bit of bunching in the middle across the ridge line, but it works. I used my short person mummy bag and slept warm and comfy.

My Dad was an up-cycler his whole life. He re-used, re-furbished and re-built. Once we lived on some property that had an old barn.  It fell apart, so he used some of the lumber to make a shed, panel the inside of the master bedroom’s bathroom, and make a greenhouse.  When we moved to another house, he transported the rest of the lumber to the new house (in an old VW van) and built a chicken coop, an equipment shed, turned the carport into an enclosed garage and built another greenhouse.  He bought old army sleeping bags and cut them down to fit us kids.  It was way cheaper than buying new bags all the time and we had custom length bags that fit us, plus we didn’t have to carry extra weight while on the trail. Back in the 60’s….things were heavy, so a shorter sleeping bag was a blessing.

I think my Dad would have been proud of the way I reused his old tarp.  Now to see if it really can repel water…..

You can see how the old front of the tarp makes a nice side facing into the wind.

You can see how the old front of the tarp makes a nice side facing into the wind.

A bit bunched up...all the corners are tight - but it covers the hammock.

A bit bunched up…all the corners are tight – but it covers the hammock.

From the deck looking down. You can see the odd shape.

From the deck looking down. You can see the odd shape.


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