I was looking around for information on hammock camping and I came across a question.
What size tarp do I need for hammock camping?
For hammock camping, I’d recommend a tarp about 10’ x 10. You can get a larger tarp if you need more coverage, but for most people 10’ x 10’ will provide a good balance between coverage and portability.
With a 10’ x 10’ tarp, you get large coverage with the 14’ diagonal ridgeline. This provides plenty of surface area to keep you dry when hammock camping.
If you’re in need of a rain tarp for your hammock, I would recommend you the Rain Fly Evolution 10 x 10 rain tarp kit.
When Would You Need a Larger Rain Tarp?
There are a few times when I could think you’d need a larger rain tarp.
The first being if you’re using a larger hammock to camp with.
If you’re camping with somebody in a double hammock, you’re going to take up more area than someone who is camping in a single hammock.
Therefore, it’s easy to see why you might need a larger tarp to cover your hammock.
In this case, you’ll want something like a 10’ x 12’ tarp.
The second case being if you want a little extra shelter from the rain for your gear or for comfort purposes. If you’re going hammock camping with your dog for example, you might want extra protection if your dog sleeps beneath your hammock.
If you know the weather is going to be bad, or just want some extra protection, a larger rain fly is the way to go.
In this case, a good 10’ x 12’ tarp will also do the job great.
If you need a good 10’ x 12’ rain tarp for hammock camping, I recommend you out Rain Fly Evolution's 10 x 12 complete rain fly kit.
How Big is Too Big of a Rain Tarp?
I’d say anything larger than 12’ x 12’ starts to get into the unnecessarily large territory.
Even for a double hammock, a 10’ x 12’ should offer plenty of protection from the rain and snow during your winter hammock trips. For those who don’t want to risk getting a single drop on them all night long, you could even go with a 12’ x 12’ tarp.
Any larger than 12” x 12” I find it to be excessive.
Sure, it works and keeps you dry. But you’re also sacrificing portability. A 12’ x 12’ tarp will take up a bit more room in your backpack than a 10’ x 10’ or even 10’ x 12’ tarp.
How Small is Too Small of a Rain Tarp?
Even though I recommend a 10’ x 10’ rain tarp, you can get away with a smaller tarp.
At a minimum, I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than 8’ x 8’.
A tarp 8’ x 8’ leaves with you an 11.3’ ridgeline. It works for keeping the rain off, but any smaller and you’re risking getting wet if the rain starts coming.
So, 10’ x 10’ is my recommendation, but you can get away with a 10’ x 8’ or even 8’ x 8’ hammock tarp if you’re careful.
What About the Thickness of a Hammock Tarp?
If you’re wondering how thick your hammock tarp should be, I wouldn’t overthink it.
You can get away with anything from a heavy 10 oz canvas tarp to a tarp as thin as a black trash bag.
It comes down to your preference and needs for portability.
Here’s my recommendation:
Get something lightweight, but not so thin it can’t handle debris falling down during a rough storm.
Ideally, this is “ripstop” nylon is no more than a few millimeters thick. This way it balls up nicely for storing in your pack.
Plus, it’s nice and light too. I know I’m not the only one that appreciates a lighter pack.
My Favorite Hammock Tarps For Camping
Finally, here’s a few hammock tarps I would recommend for those who are looking to buy one.
Firstly we have the standard 10’ x 10’ size.
I recommend you check out Rain Fly Evolution's 10 x 10 rain tarp kit.
For those who need a larger tarp for activities like double hammock camping, I recommend Rain Fly Evolutions 10 x 12 rain tarp kit.
Finally, for those who want a smaller tarp for the smallest hammock pack possible, I recommend you try out this 8 x 8 rain tarp.
As you can see, the size of hammock tarp that you’ll need depends on your situation.
For most, however, the 10’ x 10’ rain tarp will do just fine.
Let me know if this article was helpful for you. I’m glad I could share what I learned about hammock tarps with you.