GoLite Poncho as hammock fly
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Jul 12, 2007 at 2:16 pm #1224078
Has anyone field tested a GoLite Ultra-Lite Poncho/Tarp Shelter as a rainfly for a Hennessy Asym Hammock? I purchased one to try it out. The coverage doesn't seem to cover quite as much longways but it looks like, if you guy it out right it should work fine. I purchased the largest size they offer. Anyone have any experience with this?Jul 12, 2007 at 2:34 pm #1395193
I use the GoLite Poncho on a HH Expedition.
Used in strong winds, thunder storms and prolonged rain with good results. With good site selection I think it will work in just about any weather.
Once I set it pretty flat and got unexpected heavy rain. The hood became a funnel. It is not a problem if you pitch the hood side steep.Jul 12, 2007 at 7:03 pm #1395235Jaiden .Member
I would love to see some pictures. All of the info I've seen recommends larger tarps, but this would be a great solution if I can make it work as well as you have.Jul 13, 2007 at 5:53 am #1395271
In the hammock forum I have posted 3 pictures of the HH using a Campmor Ultralight Extension poncho (9.3 oz.) and 1 using the GoLite Poncho (10.7) with an Eagles Nest Outfitters hammock.
I am willing to carry an extra 1.4 oz. for the stealthy sage color of the GoLite.
The 3 are all labeled Colorado. The Eagles Nest is labeled Waverly Ridge, but it is intended to show a sheltered stealth site.Jul 13, 2007 at 11:13 am #1395301
I tested this out last night in my yard with a moderate rain shower and learned a few things:
1) As Richards states, the hood acts as a funnel if it's not on the down sloped side. I wish I would have read his post before last night :). Another option I thought of would be to tie it up to an additional ridgeline above the fly. I also wonder if placing an additional ridgeline under the rainfly would help.
2) You have to make sure the poncho is guyed out tight. I woke in the middle of the night and the fly had slacked and came in contact with my hammock and a small amount of water started trickling in.I think I will try using some thick rubber tubing to the fly guylines. Maybe slingshot bands would work.
I think it might also help to go ahead and guy out the other loops on the long side of the poncho for additional coverage.
I think the poncho will work well if I just work out these few details.
Additional feedback appreciated if anyone has any.Jul 14, 2007 at 9:06 am #1395397
I carry three 12.5' TripTease cords (.4 oz.) to guy the poncho. The third one is clove hitched around the hood and rigged to an overhead limb. This also keeps the poncho above the ridgeline.
Sometimes there are not handy limbs and then I make sure the hood is on a steep slope and I use binder clips to secure a Gossamer Gear Spinsheet (3.3 oz.) to the ridgeline under the hood. I carry the Spinsheet as a staging area to pack/unpack.
I have tried using guylines on the long sides, but someitmes it creates wrinkles that channel water.Jul 16, 2007 at 3:40 pm #1395589
Just came in the mail today, 9.9 oz in mesh carry bag, a nice shade of green. Compared to my 7.7 oz smaller (not extended) Campmor poncho, this thing feels fairly huge when I wear it — to the point that I'm definitely going to carry a thin shock cord "belt" to keep all that material under control when I'm wearing it as a poncho in wind.
I did an experiment last week with my smaller Campmor poncho using it as a Hennessy Hammock tarp, and it works — I have to be careful to center it as it isn't any too big, but it would do the job. So I'm sure this larger Golite poncho will work great.
I'm off on a several day trip starting Wednesday or Thursday and I'll definitely use the poncho there. Probably there will be no rain, but I'll put it up as a hammock tarp at least once or twice just to work through that process. But I think this will work out well.
Brian LewisJul 17, 2007 at 12:37 am #1395637
Let us know how it goes. I will be doing the same this week on a trip to Red River Gorge. Good Luck and have a good time.Jul 22, 2007 at 8:39 pm #1396197
I tried this out this past weekend in Red River Gorge. Big thunderstorm rolled in about 7pm. High winds blew the pouring rains sideways onto the body of my hammock and began to pool inside. I ended up bailing out to my brothers Clip Flashlight tent. As you can imagine, it was a snug fit. This made me wonder: Why didn't HH make the hammock body out of waterproof nylon? Anyway, I've had enough of bailing out of my hammock more than I have spent a full night in it due to cold and rain. If it's going to work for me, I'm going to have to break down and buy the hexagonal rainfly and an underquilt. No more ounce shaving with this shelter for me.Jul 23, 2007 at 11:25 am #1396246
My 6 – 7 day trip became a 4 – 5 day trip when trail I expected via an old USGS map wasn't there … long road walk to cell reception. Anyway, I was "fortunate" to have rain a couple of the four nights I was out, and the definite threat of rain all 4 nights so I got some experience.
All four nights I put the tarp up diagonally, i.e., one long diagonal parallel to the tent, the other two corners staked out to the sides. When I did this with the Golite tarp and my HH backpacker a-sym hammock, I found that the lateral (against wind) protection was skimpy on the right side of the head-end and the left side of the foot-end. Fortunatly, I had little or no wind, just rain falling straight down.
My hammock got somewhat damp the first night anyway; I'm not sure how (I'm not incontinent, honest ). Might have been that I failed to put up drip lines. Might have been that I snugged the poncho down too well around the hammock, for better side protection. The result of that was that I felt that if I moved much or sat up that I'd put the hammock body or netting in contact with a poncho that had condensation moisture on the underside.
The last night I followed the advice someone gave here previously I think and threw a line over a limb of one of the supporting trees and pulled up the hood of the poncho. This was much much (much) nicer. Since I was in trees and had little wind, I went ahead and held up the sides with my trekking poles too, so that the poncho covered the hammock (barely on the right head-end and left food-end, but did cover it) and I got no moisture at all in or on the hammock as a result. Obviously it would have been a different issue with high wind.
The ideal way to attach the poncho is an issue too. I tried one night with a completely separate line but it made it a lot more time consuming to get everything setup that way. If it was raining when I setup, I guess I'd still do it that way, put the poncho/tarp up higher than needed, put up the hammock, then readjust the poncho.
When it wasn't raining, however, I found it easier to put up the hammock first and then attach the poncho to the tree straps at both ends.
Bottom line for me is that I'm mixed. I liked using this poncho a lot walking on the trails, going through brush (with a little shock-cord belt to keep the fabric in). It worked fine as a hammock cover in the conditions I encountered, but I'm concerned about wind. At some point I'll try to put it over the hammock not on the diagonal, but just with the length of the poncho along the hammock. Hopefully that will handle the wind situation. It will require two more stakes, but more importantly, I'm not sure off hand if it will cover the very ends of the hammock well enough. TBD.
Brian LewisJul 23, 2007 at 1:36 pm #1396255
I carry a Gossamer Gear double SpinnSheet (3.3 oz.). It also is used for cooking fly, staging area for packing and unpacking, and ground cloth if I have to go the the ground. I lay it over the head end of the hammock under the poncho and secure it on the ridgeline with binder clips. On the foot end I lay my DriDucks jacket (6.0 oz.) over the ridgeline and secure with binder clips.
The poncho will work without the extra gear, but requires much more careful site selection.
The one thing that still irritates me is that the snake skins must be outside the poncho to keep the hammock line dry, but that means you have to remove the snake skins before you can hang the poncho.Jul 23, 2007 at 1:37 pm #1396256toddBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: SE USA
Thanks for the ins & outs, Brian!
I'll hold off on the poncho awhile….
ToddJul 24, 2007 at 7:19 am #1396318Jason TurnerMember
You have a link to those pics you mentioned?Jul 24, 2007 at 9:29 am #1396338
Hi Richard. A concern I would have about laying a tarp or rainjacket or whatever directly over the hammock is ventilation. Depending on the type of weather you're in, I'd be concerned about condensation inside, plus it just seems like it would be a whole lot less pleasant to be enclosed that way. Perhaps this is a regional thing, i.e., where you live might have typically dryer air or something — still, it can't be all that pleasant (?).
Snakeskins — I've never used them. I have a compression stuff sack that helps with the ugly bulk of two open-celled-foam underpads, allows me to leave the supershelter system attached.Jul 24, 2007 at 10:22 am #1396341
The link to the best picture is:
Is is one of those "patch the roof" situations. You can't patch the roof when it is raining, but it doesn't leak when it is not raining. I carry the Spinnsheet for other reasons. I drape it over the hammock line, but not the hammock and secure it with the binderclips before I retire. It is not needed unless there is wind, but wind will cure the condensation problem. I was hanging in a thunderstorm Saturday night. When the time between the flash and bang was less than three seconds I got up and deployed the Spinnsheet and moved the stakes closer to the hammock. I enjoy the view too much to put something over the hammock full time. Yes, I do have to get out of the hammock and adjust my rigging when the weather turns ugly.
I hike mostly in arid Colorado.Jul 24, 2007 at 4:20 pm #1396370
I pitched the same way Brian did and encountered the same issues. The right head end and left foot end are exposed to windblown rain when the GoLite poncho is pitched diagonally. I did try to set up the poncho longways instead of diagonally in my yard and it left several inches on either the head or foot or both exposed. I did research all the ponchos I could find to see which one had the largest dimensions and the GoLite was the biggest. I'm thinking that, if I want a poncho that can adequately do double duty as a hammock rainfly, I'm going to have to make one myself. Sounds like fun to me!Jul 25, 2007 at 11:17 am #1396455
Very helpful comments, from both of you — thanks. Now I don't have to bother trying the puptent-like setup with the Golite, as I was guessing it will be too short.
Richard, I think I understand now. You're putting up a separate cord to hold up the poncho, and if weather sufficiently threatens you drape extra stuff under the poncho but over that line, right?
I guess I should try that approach; instead of a spinnsheet, I might be able to just drape my driducks coat (if carrying one) over to protect, say, the head end, and maybe my spinnchaps (again, if carrying them) for the feet or something like that. Or large plastic garbage sacks are universally useful in wet weather and weigh maybe 1 oz each.
Having to tie a separate line to the tree seems a bit awkward to me (though of course the way to go if it's raining during setup time). I found my 50' of triptease cord to be a real pain in doing this, always getting tangled, catching in brush, etc. The last thing I need is something to make hammock setup time even more time consuming!
Brian LewisJul 25, 2007 at 12:03 pm #1396463
I attach the poncho to the Hennessy clips just like a regular fly. The extra stuff goes under the poncho, but on the outside of the hammock. The jacket is at the foot end so that it is handy when entering/exiting. A trash bag or pack liner would work fine. The binder clips (.1 oz.) are used like clothes pins.
I do NOT like some of the changes I have made in my routine to sleep in a hammock. I liked making my morning cocoa under the tarp while still in bed. I liked having a covered place to organize gear and food. However, the increased comfort makes it worthwhile.
My primary shelter was a poncho and bivy before the hammock. If I had used a rain jacket and tent the transition would have been much more difficult.
Some people do not like ponchos. I converted about 1968 when I discovered the benefits in a football stadium. Football, rain and a poncho seemed to lead to cuddling. I guy that looks like me needs technique.
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