I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing my 3×3 tarp with a DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp. A tiny bit smaller but weighs in at 460gms.
A perfect tarp for backpacking to keep the weight down. The DD Superlight Tarp has 19 attachment points like their other tarps which allows it to be set-up in literally hundreds of different ways (see my post on Tarpology)
It can be used as a hammock tarp, set-up on the ground as a ‘tent’, group shelter and many more uses!Weighing only 460g and packing up very small it is ideal for anyone looking to cut their pack weight down to an absolute minimum.
Made from strong ripstop nylon with PU 3,000mm coating (completely waterproof even in the heaviest storms). Like all of their tarps it is fully waterproof and taped along the central seam.
The Superlight Range is more expensive than their other products due to the higher cost of using the lightest materials.
Size:3m x 2.9mColour: Olive Green, Coyote Brown, Sandstorm Yellow and Sunset Orange.
(exc Pegs & : 4 x Pegs & Guy Lines, Stuff Sack).
Ive used this tarp a few times now and it has replaced the standard 3×3 DD Hammocks tarp in my Day Bag due to weight and size. Also it goes in my multi day bag as an alternative to pitching a tent.
The DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp is used if I get caught in the rain for a shelter to make some food or a brew. I carry 4 lightweight pegs, a ridgeline and 4 guy lines if I’m in the forest.
If I’m hiking along the coast then I will take hiking poles to help erect a shelter. Carrier Bags can be handy on the beach to fill with sand / pebbles to help with the guy lines.
Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents. I like the idea of having a choice of whether to hang between the trees or ground dwelling when there are no trees or weather and environment puts you on the ground.
You have the ability to adapt and also being lightweight you are not carrying items that you won’t need.
To be able to deal with these scenarios my kit is as follows.
This then gives the ability to hang or ground dwell. In the hammock setup you won’t feel the cold on your back as the sleep mat will be used in the hammock with the sleeping bag.
In the ground setup with your can setup a a-frame tarp using a ridge line if you have anything to tie too or you can use your walking poles and guy lines.
Another option for Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents is the hex peak setup but this leaves the tarp open on the front but utilising the poncho as a door you can overcome water egress. In this setup there is plenty of space in side to keep out of dripping rain but it is vitally important to setup with the rear of the shelter facing the wind.
There is an option for a fully enclosed tarp tent, this will stop any water egress apart from running water underneath but down fall is it will heavily condensate up due to no air flow.
So using this setup you have the ability of both hammocking and ground camping. If you had the DD jungle hammock you could lose the poncho as the base of this hammock is waterproof but I like the idea of having the poncho if the heavens open whilst walking, using it as a temporary shelter whilst stopping for lunch etc or using it as a door with the hex peak setup.
This setup with the rest of your lightweight kit shouldn’t bring your weight over 10% of your body weight.
I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.
This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.
A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
Micro adventure wild camping on a beach
Camping on the cliff
I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.
This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.
I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.
I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.
So many people are taking powered devices with them when they head for the hills nowadays.
Whether the device is for navigation? Photos, videos or something else they mostly are power hungry so if you are out for a while they will need recharging.
A smartphone is a great companion when out as it can cover nearly all aspects of many devices.
It can be your map, gps, camera, video camera and obviously emergency contact (if in range).
But they all need a recharge at some point and having a Power storage outdoors is a must.
With the increase of drones being used for filming its either a case of increasing your pack weight by carrying portable power or carrying something to recharge enroute.
I’ve tried a few options for portable power and the best setup I have found is a 22400 mAh battery pack and a small solar charger.
The battery pack in itself isn’t light but it can fully charge a iPhone 7 times and if you have you smartphone on low power mode it won’t need charging fully everyday.
This is a great way to have a Power storage outdoors. I use this battery pack for up to 4 days hiking. This will charge phone and a few camera batteries.
Other things to save power consumption on your smart phone:
Turn off WiFi & Bluetooth if not needed
Put device into airplane mode if you don’t need to receive calls
Turn brightness down on the screen
Make sure no apps are running in the background.
Purchase a battery pack cover for smartphone
Now, as battery packs there are many different solar chargers from the small solar chargers that will trickle charge a battery pack to the larger panels that will be able to recharge a battery pack or a device (depending on the weather).
The panel I use is from a company called ‘PORTAPOW’.
It has Two voltage regulated USB output sockets with SmartCharge technology to charge the latest smartphones and tablets from Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia etc directly at high speed.
It weighs 310g / 0.7 lbs and a compact 23cm x 16cm x 2cm when closed (smaller footprint than an iPad) or 23cm x 32cm x 1cm when open – making it significantly smaller than other solar panels with similar power.
Flexible 22% efficiency PET laminated monocrystalline panels woven into a tough waterproofed polyester fabric case making it suitable for use in the rain, a pocket on the back keeps the USB sockets protected.
Folds shut with hidden magnetic clasps for storage.
8 mounting loops around the panel to attach it to a backpack, bicycle, etc.
The pocket is large enough to store a smartphone during charging.
The built-in stand lets you angle the panel towards the Sun and keeps the panel clean and off the ground.
Angling a solar panel correctly can have a huge impact on the energy captured.
I have found that this panel will directly charge my iPhone or camera but I find it is best to have the panel recharging the battery pack constantly and have to device plugged into the battery pack to charge to keep your Power storage outdoors.
Even on a cloudy day there is enough power to recharge either my camera battery or iPhone.
One other point is not to reply solely on a electronic devices especially for navigation or emergency assistance as devices can fail leading to no power or if they take a tumble or get wet always have a backup method of summoning assistance like leaving a copy of your route with a check in time or using a GPS tracker.