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Tarp Buying Basics

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My hammock is 11' long.  Does this mean I need a 12' ridgeline tarp to make sure I'm covered?

If you have an 11' hammock, you have about 109" of hammock (if the sag is optimal) within the 11' ridgeline.  Your 11 ft tarp has 132" of coverage That leaves you with 11.5" on either side, so you should be fine with a 11' tarp.  Using a 12 ft tarp with an 11 ft hammock can cause a couple of issues.  First and foremost, the length of your tarp may interfere with your hammock suspension, causing wear and tear.  To avoid wear and tear, you have to pitch the tarp vertically higher, which can leave you with poor coverage underneath.  Lastly, it can be harder to find trees which are far enough apart to hang a 12 ft tarp versus an 11 ft tarp.  That being said, plenty of folks order the 12' and make it work.  If you are in a heavily wooded area, then you would have more choice locations to fit that length in.

 

I have a bridge hammock.  How do I make sure I have enough clearance so my poles do not puncture the tarp?

Bridge hammocks are becoming very popular.  You can request that the panel pullouts be spaced further apart, to compensate for the spreader bars and avoid potential damage to the tarp.  This option is available for all tarps featuring panel pullouts (except for the Dyneema Fiber Hex Tarp).