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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hang Williams's Avatar
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    Stowing gear when away from camp

    What does everyone do with their gear if you're away from camp for a while?

    When I go backpacking, I often set up a basecamp and do day hikes in the area. I had a couple incidents this past summer where some heavy winds came thru while I was away and came back to find a stake had pulled loose or a lineloc had given way. There wasn't any rain with these incidents, but I wonder what would've happened if there was. I'm curious if anyone stows away their gear while they're away from camp in case something like that happens to their tarp.
    Last edited by Hang Williams; 02-19-2023 at 18:42.

  2. #2
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    Hang,

    For the tarp secure it with a snakeskin.

    For the hammock to include the Top Quilt and Underquilt, I take two or three long shoelaces, divide the whole shebang into thirds and tie off the thirded bundle(s) up over the ridgeline. This keeps the hammock and Quilts from becoming sails in windy weather.

    Be safe.

    Bob

  3. #3
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    I always tie off my kayak. I always tether my tent to something solid. "Tent!", you say, "Oh, the blasphemy." But I'm not sleeping in the tent. It's a place store dry bags and even the hammock itself when I am away from camp. Sometimes it's best not to leave things strewn on the ground and hanging from trees. The hammock setup itself inspires curiosity. I've had people, who I know would have continued on their way down a path if they just saw a tent, stop and ask me about my setup.

    But if remote, and just concerned about the non-human elements, I second the snakeskin for the tarp - or corralling it with line as sailors do for the mainsail - to minimize it's wind load profile. Similarly, a larger sock for the hammock - that might swallow the TQ/UQ as well - does the same for that package.

    Or, once you have your distances and tree strap connection level set for trap and hammock, It's pretty quick to disconnect them from the tree and store them in a waterproof bag. To set back up, it's just two connections for the tarp and two for the hammock and you know where each goes on the tree - no "figuring out".
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 02-20-2023 at 18:01.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  4. #4
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    @cougarmeat brings up a good point. If I leave camp and am concerned about theft, I take that "thirded up/bundled up" Hammock and Quilts I referenced above, and place them into a stuff sack. I then place the stuff sack into the truck or I hide them away from the backpack camp.

    Be safe.

    Bob

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    If there is nobody guarding camp, I'll pack my stuff up and stash it in the woods off the trail while I day hike. I just can't stand the thought of somebody ripping off my expensive gear.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hang Williams's Avatar
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    I'm most concerned about rain getting everything wet or the tarp ripping if it flops loose. It would take a special kind of evil to steal someone's unattended gear in the backcountry, but all the more reason to put it all away.

  7. #7
    LowTech's Avatar
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    We also base camp, sometimes for extended periods, and we have to deal w/ strong winds that can pop up while we're are away from camp.
    This is the setup I've been using for awhile, in fact the wind was blowing at around 20mph when I took these pics.

    The tarp is in a mesh snakeskin,
    the hammock w/ a 20 SLD Trailwinder UQ/ a 40 JRB UQ (stacked),
    a 20 UGQ TQ,
    and miscellaneous ridgeline stuff, are in an SLD waterproof skin,
    and I have a smaller waterproof gear hammock for things like sleep gear/wool beanie/neck gaiter/etc.

    All three can be seen in the pics, just ignore the shade cloth. I have the shade up because it's our main encampment and not out in the field somewhere.

    If we're somewhere that we feel theft is a strong possibility we disconnect the skins and stash them unseen.

    "Sent w/o me knowing"

  8. #8
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    A note on that wind - pertaining to tarps and empty hammocks. During a visit to Zion last summer, a "wind" came up. How strong was it? ... the camp host said a nine inch branch came down. A lot of campers had inexpensive Coleman tents. Those tents have a "half" rainfly. It comes part way down with the lower part of the tent I assume having a waterproof coating. That gives easy access for the wind to get under the fly - sort of like a tent parachute. And these happy campers just setup their tents - no tether - and went to town for a meal and/or drinking/dancing. Meanwhile, it was quite a sight in the campground, watching tent after tent roll by, tumbling to and fro.

    Back to hammocks ... in that same vain, an empty hammock would have caught that wind like a spinnaker sail. And once the guylines pulled the stakes out of the ground, the tarp would have been flaying around too. I don't know - maybe gusts to 50 mph. Watching the carnage really drove home the need to secure your site if you will be away from it for a while. Note that there was nothing "in the air" that indicated a wind storm was coming. We saw it predicted on a weather app. But "high winds" is easy to dismiss when you are in a National Park, surrounded by like style tents and RV's and no camp host warnings.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 02-21-2023 at 13:37.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  9. #9
    QiWiz's Avatar
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    As far as weather protection goes, I would double check my lines and add stakes (if I have them) or crossed sticks stuck in the ground to reinforce the most key stress points. If I'm worried about theft, I will often take some gear with me (like an expensive quilt or jacket).
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