Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Using A Tarp Or Basha With The Handy Hammock

I Recently Wrote A Post On The Much Talked About Handy Hammock, Including The Associated Video Review. And Briefly Mentioned Trying A Tarp Or Basha In Conjunction With The Hammock. I Have Now Tried This And Here Are My Findings.
Back in October I wrote a blog post regarding the UK designed Handy Hammock, which is the lightest self supporting hammock in the world. I was lucky enough to be sent one to try out and as you will see in the video review I did, I was very impressed with it.
However, this particular design of hammock was mainly aimed at the beach, garden users, due to the reason you can pitch the hammock without the need for two tree's. And as we are bushcrafters spending a lot of our time in woodland, it goes without saying there are usually ample tree's to chose from for a typical hammock or tarp setup.

But that doesn't mean we should dismiss this innovative design. In the appropriate situation, this hammock could be a great asset to any outdoors mans (or womans) kit. And with the addition of a suitable shelter, like a tarp or basha, it soon becomes an alternative and fun way to sleep or relax outdoors, without being affected by the elements.
Now I already knew that the guys at Handy Hammocks were working on a prototype canopy that would custom fit the current setup. But as it wasn't yet available for general release, I decided to have a play around myself, with an old British army basha.

Once I had erected the Handy Hammock in the comfort of my own garden (TIP: Always test out your new gear or ideas in your garden before venturing out into the field) it didn't take long to realise that it would be a relatively simple conversion of various items, to put together a form of shelter for the hammock. The British army basha was the perfect length to stretch between the ends of the supporting struts.
And with the addition of a couple of karabiners and a few short lengths of paracord, the basic shelter was set up.

All that remained now was to peg out the corners using bungees. This worked fine, but due to the ridge line of the tarp (not an actual paracord ridge line) being so low to the hammock, it didn't leave much head room under the tarp. Ideal for heavy rain, but in finer weather would have been a little restrictive. So a couple of walking poles attached to the side loops of the tarp soon sorted that out, raising the headroom underneath to a more acceptable level.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, the guys at Handy Hammock are working on a prototype canopy, which they are in the process of fine tuning, to get it just right. But as you can see from their photo, the concept is both innovative and fit for purpose. I for one am looking forward to trying one of these canopies on my Handy Hammock, when they are released for general sale in 2013.
That said, although not the prettiest of setups, I would be more than confident to spend a night or two using the Handy Hammock, in conjunction with an appropriate tarp or British army basha. Knowing that I would get some degree of protection from the rain, if required. This setup won't in any way be as good or replace the canopy concept that we eagerly await from Handy Hammocks, but for me will do for now and I enjoyed playing around with the different ideas.


  1. Original (Handy Hammock's) design is the first hammock tarp I know of, that comes with a mandatory pole. I understand how the design works, it's yet another brilliant idea put together by those folks, and I think I'll see it used and abused in the future. Cheers!

  2. Thank you once again for your great feedback and comments. Yes, I agree, they do have some clever concepts up their hammock sleeves...