I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing my 3×3 tarp with a DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp. A tiny bit smaller but weighs in at 460gms.
A perfect tarp for backpacking to keep the weight down. The DD Superlight Tarp has 19 attachment points like their other tarps which allows it to be set-up in literally hundreds of different ways (see my post on Tarpology)
It can be used as a hammock tarp, set-up on the ground as a ‘tent’, group shelter and many more uses!Weighing only 460g and packing up very small it is ideal for anyone looking to cut their pack weight down to an absolute minimum.
Made from strong ripstop nylon with PU 3,000mm coating (completely waterproof even in the heaviest storms). Like all of their tarps it is fully waterproof and taped along the central seam.
The Superlight Range is more expensive than their other products due to the higher cost of using the lightest materials.
Size:3m x 2.9mColour: Olive Green, Coyote Brown, Sandstorm Yellow and Sunset Orange.
(exc Pegs & : 4 x Pegs & Guy Lines, Stuff Sack).
Ive used this tarp a few times now and it has replaced the standard 3×3 DD Hammocks tarp in my Day Bag due to weight and size. Also it goes in my multi day bag as an alternative to pitching a tent.
The DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp is used if I get caught in the rain for a shelter to make some food or a brew. I carry 4 lightweight pegs, a ridgeline and 4 guy lines if I’m in the forest.
If I’m hiking along the coast then I will take hiking poles to help erect a shelter. Carrier Bags can be handy on the beach to fill with sand / pebbles to help with the guy lines.
I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.
This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.
A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
Micro adventure wild camping on a beach
Camping on the cliff
I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.
This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.
I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.
I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.
I don’t when and how I started hammock camping I think it came from having a cheap camping hammock in a camping box that got setup for the kids whilst camping once.
Hammock camping is so much more versatile than ground dwelling and extremely adaptable to weather conditions.
I started of researching equipment online and looking at various videos on YouTube people where posting about advice and different methods. As I said I started off with a cheap parachute hammock and a Quechua tarp I use whilst camping as an additional shelter.
Through trial, error and research I have found a method that I use regularly.
I found out the hard way that sleeping in a hammock in just a sleeping bag got really cold due to the compression of the sleeping bag underneath me.
I decided that hammock camping was for me and I researched what hammock I was going to buy.
There’s loads out there on the market but I had chose a British made hammock from dd hammocks I really liked the look of the frontier hammock as it had a built in Mosquito net and also has the ability to slide a sleep mat into as I found out just laying a sleep mat into a hammock the mat will always move and you will become exposed to the elements.
The frontline hammock comes with tapes in each end to strap to tree trunks but after some research I wanted to adapt my hammock and install some whoopie slings into it.
The great thing about dd hammocks is the ability to attach their under blanket to the hammock. This item really does give you a warm nest to sleep in.
The underblanket hangs underneath the hammock creating a void holding warm air below you as you sleep.
Whoopie slings make adjusting the ‘hang’ (height) of your hammock super quick and easy and no knots are required. Adjustable length is roughly from 40cm to 180cm per sling giving you plenty of room to choose suitable.
I said it before that hammock camping is so versatile and it is, different tarp configurations for different weather, conditions and also the tarp itself has multi-use.
Even when there are no trees to hang between there are many different ways to turn your tarp into a shelter. Personally I find a 3m x 3m tarp the perfect size the one I use regularly is a dd hammocks 3×3 tarp but I would like to look into swapping this for a lightweight tarp.
I’ve played with different configurations for making a shelter and there’s two that I use.
There’s many different ways to hang your tarp over your hammock and these all really depend on the conditions and weather. If its really hot then you would want it out quite wide for airflow, if it is snowing then it would want to be in quite close so that snow slides off the tarp and perhaps if its windy the ends would be required to be closed to control the amount of wind zapping that heat out of your sleep system.
I use a 3m x 3m tarp and it is hung using a continuous ridge line. The continuous ridge-line is made from 2mm amsteel and is about 10m long. It runs through the centre tabs on the tarp, around a tree and is attached back to the centre edge tab using a soft shackle. The other end goes around the tree and is attached to the centre edge tab using a soft shackle attached to a prusik knot to create tension. Have a look at the video all iv’e done is replace the carabiners with soft shackles made from amsteel
My hammock camping kit
DD Frontline Hammock (with whoopie slings)
DD 3m x 3m Tarp
8 x lightweight aluminium pegs (4 of which are rigged with 1.5m of 2mm amsteel for use with the tarp worms.
1 x guy line for using if setting up a tarp tent).
2 x Tree Huggers
Continious ridge line (made from 2mm amsteel with a soft shackle one end and a prusik knot and soft shackle on the other end.
The only other thing I would really consider is how to deal with rain running down you woopie slings.
The easiest method I have found is attach a small length of line onto the whoopie slings before the hammock.
This will allow rain to follow its course and drip to the floor without getting your hammock wet.
There is so many bit you can purchase online to assist with hammock camping from clips, water breaks etc etc but to be honest by keeping it simple it has made my hanging equipment light and hassle free. The only items of bling I have purchased is some tarp worms. These are brilliant at keeping a bit of tension in the tarp and also allows me to have 4 x pegs with 2mm amsteel attached on them permanently so they are quick and useful when setting up the hex peek tarp shelter. Have a look at the items available at Dutchware
The great thing about hammock camping whilst hiking or even just taking a tarp is that your shelter can be built weather depending. I don’t know what this method is called but its my favourite configuration if the weather isn’t extreme. All that is needed is…
3m x 3m tarp
2 x trekking poles (or sticks but adjustable treking poles work the best).
7 x tent pegs
3 x guide lines (or a length of paracord)
There’s a good amount of space inside this you can fit two people and gear inside this configuration.
I could sit and write about how to errect this shelter but it would be easier for you to understand watching this youtube video on how to do it until i get time to get around to making my own ‘howto’ video.
Open Front Tarp Tent
Now the above method is ok if the weather is on your side but if it isn’t then there is a configuration to completely enclose yourself, the Tetra configuration. Now remember a tarp shelter will not be 100% waterproof, you need to think about lay of the land, will water run underneath or down the hill. Thinking about where you pitch this shelter is just as important as what configuration you will use.
This is perfect if the weather is against you. You an completely enclose yourself inside, the door can be a bit fiddly to use but it will serve its purpose on protecting you from the the elements.
Problems with this configuration:
Can get very hot inside (only really good if major downpour)
Can condensate very easily if no air flow.
Access and egress can be a little bit of pain.
Hammock camping it comfortable, versatile, lightweight and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to setup.
You can camp all through the year as long as you are prepared with the correct equipment and setups.
Have a look at some of the equipment available at DD Hammocks
I always look forward to winter but as always it never comes to the east corner of Suffolk anymore no more heavy snow.
I love to snow. I’ve done winter seasons in the alps in my younger years but never managed to get out in it doing the stuff I enjoy doing now like walking, bushcraft and camping.
After a failed attempt at getting out the other day which saw me getting the car stuck in mud and in the process bending and smashing my phone I thought I would try again the next day.
So early start of towards the Suffolk coast to the forest at Dunwich. I had planned to have a go at a new stove I’d been sent so found an area near to the marsh to setup. I was planning to try some tarp configurations that I could use when I plan to walk the Great Glen Way and hammock camp but wanted to try some configurations for ground dwelling if need be.
So as me and the faithful dog started walking through the trees it started to snow so I decided to setup and sit and watch the deer across the marshes and try this new little stove.
The stove is a Chinese copy of the bush box and I must say it done its job but it doesn’t beat a wood gas stove.
The stove comes in 5 bits of steel which is easily snapped together and my 750ml titanium mug sits very well on it. Now I had used my primitive fire starting kit to light the fire but this took longer as I didn’t have enough tinder with me had to use some gauze from med kit.
It worked quite well and is very small and light but the wood gas stove fits inside my pan and is more fuel efficient.
I had ago at some tarp configurations and found that the open ended shelter was the best one to use.
So all that is needed for this configuration is 9 pegs and 1 walking pole. 2 poles could be used to create a bit mor me height at the feet end. But all in all a good setup as I can use my exped mat on top of my poncho and wrap myself in hammock under blanket and quilt.
The Great Glen Way is about 80miles from Fort William to Inverness in Scotland. We are planning to hammock camp on route but need to plan in case I need to ground dwell on route and the above configuration is very good. It is open at one end but there are other configurations that can be used if weather is that bad.