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5 Simple DIY Hammock Rain Fly Ideas

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In a perfect world, every hammock camping trip is accompanied by perfect weather – but you already know that’s not how it goes in real life.

Even during the summer months, a trip into the great outdoors can mean dealing with rain and wind. That’s not to mention camping in the winter where snow is a common occurrence.

A rain fly or a tarp is essential to limiting how much rain or wind affects you in camp. It will keep you warm and dry in your hammock. Some DIY hammock rain fly designs even add an extra element of insulation to your setup.

You don’t need to buy a special rain fly and with a little DIY ingenuity you can make your own rain tarp for hammock camping with just a few simple steps.

Here are a few of our favorite DIY hammock rain fly ideas.

1. DIY Hex Ripstop by the Roll

Interested in do-it-yourself, but still don’t want to put in much effort?

Then this DIY hammock tarp is for you. It actually utilizes a tarp kit complete with a tarp, drawcord, cord locks, and more. No cutting is required.

Buy the kit and follow the instructions to set up one of the easiest DIY hammock rain flies we’ve come across.

Required Items:

Making the Rain Fly:

  • Note Different Instructions – Before you begin, it’s important to note that the instructions that come with the tarp kit are slightly different from the ones in the video.
  • Sew in Guy Lines and Ridge Line – This method requires you to sew a small tube on each of the four ends of the tarp for the guy lines as well as a small tube along the middle of the top of the tarp for the ridge line.
  • Attach Ridgeline to Anchor Points – The first step is to attach the ridgeline to the anchor points using the included carabiners.
  • Attach Guy Lines to Ground with Stakes – Stake the guy lines into the ground to hold the hammock tight at your preferred pitch.
  • Tighten with Cord Locks and Tensioners – The included cord locks and tensioners can be used to further tighten your tarp setup to provide ample protection from the weather.

2. RevHiker Ultralight DIY Hammock Rain Fly

Make your own hammock tarp for under $10 with this super lightweight DIY hammock rain fly from RevHiker.

The chief benefits of this method are the low price and super lightweight. This DIY rain fly is far lighter than more expensive store-bought models.

Note that the downside to these benefits is a lack of durability. This setup isn’t exactly the toughest and requires careful use.

Required Items:

  • Eco Green Painters Drop Cloth
  • Cord or Rope for Ridge Line
  • 4 Guy Lines
  • 4 Tent Stakes
  • Duct Tape

Making the Rain Fly:

  • Reinforce High Use Areas – Because this setup isn’t nearly as durable as other DIY methods, it’s important to reinforce high-use areas with duct tape. In the video, the ridge along the top of the tarp where the ridgeline goes as well as the edges of the tarp is reinforced with the duct tape.
  • Add the Guy Lines – Duct tape short guylines onto each of the four corners of the hammock tarp.
  • Set Up the Ridgeline – To set this rain fly up, you must first attack the rope or cord used for the ridgeline to the two anchor trees or to the two hammock straps.
  • Set up the Tarp – Drape the tarp over the ridgeline so that the four corners extend equally on each side. Adjust the pitch depending on the weather.
  • Stake the Guy Lines – Stake the guy lines into the ground to pull the four corners of the tarp tight. Adjust the angle of the guy lines to change how tight the tarp is against your hammock.

3. Backcountry Banter Hammock Tarp

Every backpacker knows that lightweight gear is of utmost importance.

That’s where this DIY hammock tarp comes into play. It’s among the lightest options – DIY or store-bought – that we’ve ever seen.

That said, it does take slightly more work than some other DIY methods, including a good amount of sewing.

Required Items:

  • Ripstop Nylon
  • Shock Cords
  • Nylon Webbing
  • Guy lines
  • Plastic Clips
  • Polyester Sewing Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors

Making the Rain Fly:

  • Cut the Tarp – Cut the ripstop nylon to size. A rectangle or square is the easiest shape to use, but a diamond shape also works.
  • Reinforce the Edges – Sew along the edges of the ripstop nylon to reinforce the edges and prevent fraying in the future. This step adds a lot of durability.
  • Add the Guy Lines – Sew or glue a short 6-inch piece of nylon webbing to each of the four corners of the tarp. Tie the guy lines to these. Stake out the guy lines to hold the tarp in place while in use.
  • Install the Ridgeline – This tarp includes a ridgeline along the top of the tarp rather than underneath it. Attach hooks to each end of the tarp’s peak for the ridgeline to slide through.
  • Add the Plastic Clips – Plastic clips on the guy lines and the ridge lines make the hammock tarp much easier to take up and take down.

4. DIY Sportsman Ultralight Tarp

Though this hammock tarp is slightly heavier than other DIY versions, it’s one of the most durable that we’ve ever used.

It’s capable of 3-season use, meaning that it’s suitable for heavy rain but will most likely falter in heavy snow.

We also love this ultralight hammock tarp because it’s so versatile. Hang it from two trees, on two hiking poles, or with just about any other hammock setup.

Required Items:

Making the Rain Fly:

  • Select Your Materials – A variety of different materials can be used for this project. The video tutorial specifically uses Membrane Silpoly fabric and HyperD300 reinforcement fabric, both available at Ripstop by the Roll.
  • Cut to Size – Cut the Membrane Silpoly Fabric so that it will adequately cover your hammock when you cut it in half. Roughly 6 yards of fabric should do the job.
  • Hem Outside Edge – Hem the outside edge of the fabric with your sewing machine and thread to increase durability.
  • Reinforce Four Corners – Reinforce each of the four corners by sewing a small triangle of the reinforcement fabric to them.
  • Reinforce Ridgeline – Sew a thin strip of reinforcement fabric along the area where the ridgeline will be for more durability. Another idea is to sew two thin strips of fabric to this area with a thin space in between, so that the ridgeline can be strung through it like a tube.
  • Attach Guy Lines to Corners – Sew one guy line to each of the four reinforced corners.
  • Attach Carabiners to Ridgeline – String the ridgeline through the middle of the tarp and then attach a carabiner to each end.
  • Set Everything Up – Clip the carabiners to your hammock straps so that your new DIY hammock rain fly sits above your hammock. The guy lines are then tightened with stakes in the ground.

5. Cheap Bastard’s Hammock Hex Tarp

It’s rare for a DIY project to be both cheap and extremely high quality – this hammock tarp is that rare exception.

It costs well under $25 and will last for multiple seasons of use. It’s surprisingly durable despite the fact that the plastic sheet doesn’t look like it should stand up to very much wear and tear.

The great thing about this DIY tutorial is that it can easily be followed exactly or used as a basic guideline for a customized project.

Required Items:

  • Low-Density Polyethylene Plastic
  • Clear Duct Tape
  • Guy Lines
  • Ridgeline
  • Tent Stakes

Making the Rain Fly:

  • Cut the Plastic to Size – Cut the plastic material so that it will properly cover your entire hammock when folded in half.
  • Reinforce the Edges – Use the clear duct tape to reinforce the edges of the tarp, especially where you made your cuts, to improve the durability and toughness.
  • Reinforce the Ridgeline – Use a strip of clear duct tape along the ridgeline of the hammock to minimize wear and tear.
  • Attach Guy Lines – Duct tape one guy line to each of the four corners.
  • Attach Ridgeline – Set the rainfly over the ridgeline so that the ridgeline holds it in place over the hammock.
  • Set Everything Up – Attach the ridgeline to your anchor points or to your hammock straps with the tarp draped over the top. You can also attach the guy lines to the tent stakes to hold the tarp at your preferred pitch.

Final Thoughts

If you are handy and don’t mind trying out different designs, these DIY hammock rain fly projects are perfect. For those outdoors people who prefer to buy a professionally made rain tarp for hammocks, read this guide.

For more DIY hammock gear guides, check out these other articles:

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