View Full Version : Improvising a Rain Fly

2008-08-22, 10:32
This probably should have gone under hammock camping but oh well . . . feel free to move it if necessary.

Since some of you guys are prior service I figured this would be a good place to ask . . . have any of you found a good way to improvise a rain fly for a hammock using the standard issue army poncho?

I tried the other day and given it's rectangular shape overall shortened length, it didn't seem to work out too well though I haven't actually slept through rain with it yet.

Also, with my hammock being a "parachute" hammock . . . is it getting a little wet that big of a deal . . . especially if I'm in my bivy sack?

2008-08-22, 18:41
The standard GI poncho is too small for even the (cramped) 1965 GI hammock unless you have it slung for just sitting in. When we slept in those things in the service of President Nixon, we just used a piece of plastic cut to size to sleep under. We snapped ponchos together numerous ways to effect tents and lean-tos but you always had to support the hole where the hood is to keep it from collecting rainwater.
I think you'll be happier with a dedicated fly.

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-22, 21:50
Yea I second that 8x10 is as small as I would want to go. Now that does not kill all the poncho's out there. just limits them. Just requires more thought...

For more info after this post again.

2008-08-22, 23:25
Ponchos are too small unless you take two and clip them together, but then they aren't all that waterproof with a massive seam for water ingress and two hoods to sort out.

If you have a sewing machine and some skills, I'd recommend making a suitable fly out of silnylon or oxford. Tale the grommets and press studs idea off a mil poncho to make it multi-use.

The other option is this -


Aussie issue hootchie (or Shelter, Individual) slung over a hammock. These are expensive here (about US$80), but you can mail order them from Australia or the UK. They also come in OD green instead of AUSCAM. These are actually about 25% lighter and take up less bulk when rolled than a US poncho. They are also about 25% bigger. I know because I own both.

If you want one, let me know and I will track down a reliable supplier for you. Here's a link to Ray Mears' online store with some more pics and info - http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/81-Australian-Waterproof-Hootchie-Flysheet. I can't comment on the price.

You might be able to find the UK version called a "Basha", which is the same thing but in UK DPM camouflage. http://shop.tacticalthings.com/images/Army-Basha.jpg

The other option is the USMC field tarp in reversible coyote brown/Woodland MARPAT. I haven't used one, but the idea is simple, so I doubt they screwed it up.
http://i23.ebayimg.com/03/i/001/04/a2/b660_1.JPG - these are rare as hen's teeth at the moment, but all you ex-Devil Dogs might have a good chance at getting one through channels or via buddies.

2008-08-23, 00:06
Dunno if it would work, but, ever think of pitching it opposite corners, so its on the diagonal? MAY give you enough protection during a storm. I carry one with my day gear, but, other than field time, never set up a hootch as a civvie. Got pretty creative in the army with these though.