I'm looking for a new tarp. I hammock camp as well as ground camp when there are no trees to hang on. Any ideas which shape tarp would be best for both situations?
I guess my main question is which tarp would give me better configuration options on the ground.
I have an old Kiva, a Megalite, and a couple other tarp shelters with various footprint shapes.
This is a pretty subjective question but on the ground a square footprint works best, at least for me anyway.
-------------- Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
I've found that tarp shelters designed for ground usage that I've used (beta lite, silshelter, six moons cape/tarp ) work great setup on the ground, particularly in poor weather since they will pitch with bottom edge flush to the ground. Sadly that shape doesn't work well over a hammock. The peaks require a tight line high enough that you need climb the tree to string it high enough. The shapes don't provide a lot of protection at ends as the ground flush ends attach on the hammock line and the body of hammock hangs below that. So the your butt is exposed to breeze and rain from cross breezes.
Flat tarps work OK over a hammock, somewhat better when strung diagonally.
Hammock specific tarps work great for hammocks, but work less well when setup on the ground using trekking poles -- the ends without big trees at either end to block the rain/wind tend to be a bit exposed.
It appears if one is into all things tarp related, one needs at least two different styles of tarp: one for on the ground, one for hammock camping. The slippery slope we see in many other gear items, such as skis, boots, tents, packs, bicycles, and so on. The right tool for the job means you can't have just one.
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