View Full Version : Poncho/Fly conversion?

2005-03-31, 22:44
Howdy all,
New to the list, and new to hammock camping. I have just recently taken the plunge into the lightweight camping genre, and am super psyched about my new HH. My question is simple: Has anyone opted to attach a hood to thier fly, to make a rain poncho? I Know the Sarge has a few ideas on this, just wondering how it works on it practice. Thanks

2005-04-01, 00:43
Varous experiments have been tried. See the thread:
_Why 8x10 instead of square tarps?
__Then look up Jacks R Better's web sight,
Or you could just type 'pan a note.

I'm a token tent packer in a nest of hangers, but It sure Looks Like Fun.

SGT Rock
2005-04-01, 02:24
It works, but I started getting concerned about getting pinholes in my tarp from wearing it like a poncho. I figured that I didn't need water coming through my tarp when I am sleeping.

2005-04-01, 12:42
Hmmm...pinholes would suck. I guess it would matter how tight the tarp was tied around you as a poncho. I think it may be worth a try though. It would probably be prudent for me to try an inexpensive poncho like the exped, and save the fly as is so I don't ruin it to quickly. Thanks everyone.

2005-04-01, 14:04
Oddly, this topic has been on my mind all week . . .

I wouldn't modify my shelter fly into a poncho hybrid, but I would (and am) modding an old tent floor) into a poncho/survival garment/emergency fly. If I already had a real light weight poncho, I'd just add pull outs to make it usable as a small fly.

My thoughts have been like this: I've always loved my Cameleon multi-use garment. It's basically a hex skirt with a drawstring & zippered tube coming out of the center. It can be used as various styles of pocho/tunic/shirt, pants, you name it. I thought a while back it would make a decent emergency wrap araound shelter. Later I realized it could be staked at corners as a rain fly. During my coldest hammock sleep out, it served as all the top cover I wanted (@ 45 F --- a real freeze for South Florida). But this one is made from white cotton---too bulky and heavy for the trail, and not at all moisture resistant. I generally wear it as pants for neijia workouts.

So, this past week I ripped up my old tent for parts. The floor is a hex somewhat larger than the Cameleon. It's 8 ft down the long center seam, and 6 1/2 ft wide across. Obviously too small for a full time fly, but OK if you get caught out. Add the tube for the hood/waistband, etc. across the center seam, and there you go.

I'll be working up two of them, as soon as I can get assistance sewing (I just can't sew, OK?). One will be the oversize model, which will serve primarily as a poncho/rainshirt/pack cover garment. The second one will be smaller (e.g., original Cameleon dimensions for my size), and serve mostly as rain pants/shorts/trail kilt. Both will have pull tabs at the six corners, so the garments can also serve as small flies.

'Scuse the rambling style. Trying to be at least semi-clear. I don't have the address for the Cameleon source handy (they seem to have no Internet presence, by the way). If there's any interest, I'll post their address. The pattern costs about USD 15 as of last year. The patterns are for all sizes, too, and I'm pretty sure Sgt. Rock's platoon here is creative enough to really run with this.

Happy Friday,

Rage in a Cage
2005-04-01, 14:37
The reason I have not gone this route is because most of the places that I hike regularly have an abundant supply of locust trees and saplings. The thorns on these things have ripped up my pants, shirts, rain gear and one thermarest. I have always liked the idea of a multi-use poncho/tarp/fly but have been reluctant to try it because of the ever present gear eating thorns and snags. I could almost guarantee that I would put holes in anything that I wore. I agree with the Sgt. I don't need water coming into my hammock.

That doesn't mean that you will not be successful. You may be able to take better care of a poncho than I can. I might convert an old tent fly to be used as a poncho/pack cover for the warmer months and try it, but I doubt that I depend on it to protect me from the rain. It might make a good temp shelter/poncho for my survival kit that I use on dayhikes. Now that I think about it I believe that I might just make one for the survival kit. :)

Aussie Nutter
2005-04-02, 02:52
I just had a US poncho sent over for me and i was wondering if anyone has used one as a hammock tarp as it seems just big enough but i havent tried it yet. Its always handy to have multi use gear, if something gets damaged you have a substitute.

bearbag hanger
2005-04-02, 11:05
I've tried using a poncho as a canopy for the HH. Always managed to screw up what I did with the hood and rain would usually find it's way through that point.

But, I've had very good luck using the poncho as an undercover. In my case a Integral Design Sil-poncho. More versatile than the HH undercover. The IDSilPoncho has shock cord on the back edge which allows it to be gathered up and plenty of tie outs to attached to the HH using the JacksRBetter attachment system. I put the back edge near my head and the un-shock corded edge goes down by the feet. There are tie outs near the HH stablizing lines and am able to get a close, but not too close, fit. Would be better if the IDSilPoncho had shock cord on the front edge as well. It helps make the HH much warmer than without it. And keeps the JacksRBetter quilt dry when I'm using it. I think using the IDSilPoncho by itself, for me at least, makes my HH comfortable down to about 60 degrees.

2005-04-02, 11:43
While I'm all for multi-use, I wouldn't want to risk the 'roof over my head.' Especially since silnylon flys, ponchos, et al, are available, light, and pack down to nothing.

Blues Brothers
2005-10-03, 14:39
Hey SGT Rock...

I was wondering if you had any feedback on your hammock tarp/poncho. ....

Does it leak through the head hole when used as a tarp?
Do you sweat like crazy when wearing the poncho while hiking?
Do you find yourself still carrying a rainsuit or pack cover?
Have you used the poncho/tarp by itself without the hammock (esp. in cold weather)?
Has the wear and tear of using it as a poncho caused holes?

I am trying to determine how to handle my pack cover, rainsuit, and the poncho/tarp (if I make one). I figure in the summer I won't need a rain suit or pack cover if I am carrying the poncho/tarp (I hope). The coldness of the winter will require me to take my rainsuit as an outer layer; however, I am uncertain if I can get away without a pack cover. I hate carrying a pack cover, but don't want my cordera pack to absorb 1 pound of water during a storm. Regardless, I want to make a bigger sil nylon fly for my hennessey to serve as a dining fly and to offer more protection in a windy storm. Just trying to figure out if making the fly into a poncho would give me any value. Thanks....

2005-10-03, 19:17
Blues Brothers,

You do not need a hood for an effective cape... just fold your tarp in half on the seam....find the center go out 8 inches or so to each side of the center and add a 8-10 inch ribbon....if you don't want the ribbons to dangle put a button on one side and a small loop on the other...the seam will make all the work self reinforcing...don't forget to re-seam seal....This works well on a square tarp of about 8x8...9x9 and 10x10 will probably drag, but feel free to try, experiment with binder clips and string on the clips... larger rectangles may be too awkward/and or drag, again testing is easy and non distructive with a couple of black binder clips....

This works real well on JRB 8x8 tarp with its diagonal seam....couple of additional buttons and loops and the front closes fairly well too... Carol Crooker of BPL.com is currently testing a tarp with these mods.... (you may need to be a member to read trip reports and or use BPL forums)

Realize to use this approach it is important to have a good hat that handles rain well like a Tilley.

But then I'm Biased.