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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Use a bivvy instead of a tarp... on a hammock???

    Hey guys, have anyone done something similar, but first, let me explain.
    I'm thinking about modifying my bivvy bag to use it instead of a tarp. Why, well my 2x3m tarp is getting old, and by experience, those diamond shaped smaller ones are not the best protection from the rain, so why not use a fully enclosed bivvy? I'm thinking about putting a zipper on the end where the legs are, or maybe some shock cords to close it, with the addition of drip lines to put the rain out. On the other end I'm not fully sure how to close it, probably with the similar modification. I haven't done it still, and I am just thinking about it, and I am writing to you guys to see your opinion about it.
    Thanks in advance for the chit-chat

  2. #2
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    It’s good to think “outside of the box”, or outside of tarp. Everything we have was a new idea once.
    Outdoor Vitals might also have offered a bivy type bag to enclose hammock.
    And there are several hammock socks being marketed, with varying water repellent properties.

    And there are pea pods that insulate, but are not waterproof

    I tried a hammock sock combined with my tarp, in cold stormy weather. Five degrees Fahrenheit and wind gusts over thirty and sleet and snow.
    It kept snow off me but there was frozen condensation inside sock in morning. When I moved it “snowed” inside hammock sock.
    I only used it that one time and have since sold it at reduced price to a friend who wanted to try it.

    Even though it’s not an idea I like, maybe it will work for you.

  3. #3

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    I love this idea, if it ends up working out I might try it myself. I don't often bother with a tarp, but when I do I would rather just use a bivvy/sock style cover. I currently use the Outdoor Vitals mummypod, and it does dry out overnight, so light rain and snow is not a problem. The outdoor vitals bugnet turned upside-down actually makes a good weather cover also, we use that more often than not, so maybe a heavier duty version of that would work. Looking forward to seeing people's ideas on this thread...

  4. #4
    Senior Member oldpappy's Avatar
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    I've experimented with this and found that using a Goretex bivvy inside a hammock was way too bulky and hard to manage during cold weather. It wasn't wide enough to fit around the entire hammock/UQ, plus it was bulky to carry. So I abandoned the idea. Like this one:
    https://armysurpluswarehouse.com/gi-...ex-bivy-cover/

    So I made a Tyvek sock/pod/bivvy that went around the hammock/UQ (and under the ridgeline). It works well with a small diamond tarp. I used it for 5 years (I didn't get out last winter) - it is well worn but still perfect for cold/windy winter camping:
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...=1#post1133598

    The key is to keep your breath outside the bivvy/sock/pod. Wearing a vapor barrier shirt also helps and adds a lot of warmth, but isn't mandatory. The benefit is that it blocks all wind, keeps spray (or blowing snow) out of the hammock, and you can use a smaller tarp.

    I have also used the Hennessy Supershelter with top cover where your breath is inside and under a breathing hole. It works too but I have had condensation on the TQ at the foot end on cold calm nights (A breeze seems to aid in venting the condensation in the HH Supershelter top cover)
    Last edited by oldpappy; 10-17-2019 at 15:24.
    Enjoying the simple things in life -
    Own less, live more.

  5. #5
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Over the years, there have been a couple of posts by people who have tried it. But I don't think anybody stuck with it. I have a Eureka Chrysalis hammock with the "integrated tarp" that is fairly similar to what you're suggesting. Only the bottom part is missing, but the drawbacks should be fairly similar. Even with the netted vents it got stuffy and wet inside fast. Especially when the air is humid already. I also didn't like that I had no dry place to change my clothes. The moment you leave the hammock, you're in the rain. While it's technically possible, I don't like changing in the hammock. Also, if you leave your boots under the hammock, they're going to be wet. If they were already wet to begin with, they're going to be even wetter after a night of being rained into. If you don't appreciate that, you're going to have to find a solution for this.

    Overall I don't see the big advantage. The weight difference - if there is one at all - is not large enough to justify the added bother to me. When it rains hard, I really appreciate any additional dry space.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Banjoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    Over the years, there have been a couple of posts by people who have tried it. But I don't think anybody stuck with it. I have a Eureka Chrysalis hammock with the "integrated tarp" that is fairly similar to what you're suggesting. Only the bottom part is missing, but the drawbacks should be fairly similar. Even with the netted vents it got stuffy and wet inside fast. Especially when the air is humid already. I also didn't like that I had no dry place to change my clothes. The moment you leave the hammock, you're in the rain. While it's technically possible, I don't like changing in the hammock. Also, if you leave your boots under the hammock, they're going to be wet. If they were already wet to begin with, they're going to be even wetter after a night of being rained into. If you don't appreciate that, you're going to have to find a solution for this.

    Overall I don't see the big advantage. The weight difference - if there is one at all - is not large enough to justify the added bother to me. When it rains hard, I really appreciate any additional dry space.
    +1 what hutzelbein said

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Dirtbaghiker's Avatar
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    I agree with that also. For me, when it is raining or snowing, i love that i can pitch my tarp and have a fairly dry space for my hammock and a litttle extra dry space under and around it. I can stand next to my hammock and get changed and pack or unpack all my gear, and stay dry.. pitch my tarp first and pack it up last.

  8. #8
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Sounds risky but it could work if you were forced to for some reason.

    It does remind me of one of my favorites from Rockets Redglare:

    In Very Cold Weather, Ditch the Tarp - Use A Flexi-Duct

  9. #9
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    Sounds risky but it could work if you were forced to for some reason.

    It does remind me of one of my favorites from Rockets Redglare:

    In Very Cold Weather, Ditch the Tarp - Use A Flexi-Duct
    Same guy who said, "I hang over the dying fire. That's all the bottom insulation you'll need."

    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ght=dying+fire
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    What happens when it rains? ... think about where the water goes. What do you do for bottom insulation?

    What sort of bivy? My DCF Hex tarp weighs 194g (6.85oz) with ridge line and guy lines and there are very few bivys that are that light... Zpacks Splash bivy (no longer offered by Zpacks) is one. And even if you use a bivy on the ground a tarp is still necessary for the normal chores of cooking, changing clothes and getting gear squared away.

    For a ground dweller, the combo below works very well... zpacks hex tarp with a Splash clone made by a friend of mine. Great lightweight (total about 14oz) combo for a groundling... used it a few times in some truly heinous weather.

    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

    Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Leo Babauta

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