Weather Can’t Stop You: Best Tips for Hammock Camping in the Rain (2023 Edition)

We all have that camping trip planned out in great detail, and then the weather forecast decides to ruin it with a rainy, wet weekend. However, even if the rain won't let you up, you can still make your hammock camping adventure enjoyable and memorable!

Whether you're an experienced camper or just getting into outdoor exploration, this post has helpful tips on how to properly set up camp when you need protection from Mother Nature's downpour.

Keep reading for our 2023 edition of best tips for hammock camping in the rain!


Take Away Key Points:

- When setting up your hammock, find the right trees and avoid weak branches to keep you optimal while in the hammock

- Larger tarps for more protection are sold separately and they add extra weight, so pay attention when installing the hammock

- With the proper tree for your shelter to avoid accidents and make the construction carry the water

Camping hammock setup in the rain: The right guide for you!

If you opt for hammock camping instead of tent camping in rainy weather conditions, this guide is for you.

Follow our recommendations below to enjoy the hammock camp the whole year round.

Essential hammock camping items for the rain

Essential hammock camping items for the rain

To successfully hammock during the fall, there are certain items that you must have.

First, a camping hammock is essential. Camping hammocks are not only comfortable but they also provide a better night's sleep compared to an air mattress on the ground in a tent. It's recommended that you opt for quick-drying nylon camping hammocks with built-in mosquito nets to keep moisture and critters away in wet weather.

Additionally, a larger double hammock would be ideal for those who plan to layer up or cuddle for added warmth.

Hammock tree straps are also necessary to hang your hammock easily from trees without damaging the bark. When it comes to sleeping gear, a 3-season or winter sleeping bag rated for cold weather is a must. Mummy-shaped sleeping bags are the best design for use in a hammock.

Lastly, a waterproof rain fly or tarp will keep you warm and dry, providing shelter from cold winds, rain, snow, and other elements. Be sure to select a rain fly that works well with your style of hammock.

Extra items for more convenience

If you want to ensure a comfortable and warm experience while hammock camping during winter, it's strongly recommended that you bring along the following gear.

A pillow is a great addition to your rain gear to insulate your head and make your sleep more comfortable.

A hammock sleeping pad can provide an extra layer of insulation and cushioning for a cozy night's rest in a hammock.

Another essential item is an underquilt for extra protection of your backside from the cold and to prevent cold-bottom syndrome while sleeping in a hammock.

A top quilt is similar to an unzipped sleeping bag and provides extra warmth on top.

Additionally, you may want to consider sleeping bag pods, which are like sleeping bags that wrap around the hammock while you sleep inside in your sleeping bag. These pods can help maintain a warm and comfortable environment throughout the night.

Choosing the right clothes to keep you warm 

hammock camping in the rain

The clothes you decide to wear during cold and rainy hammock camping are crucial to your overall comfort throughout the trip. An outdoor enthusiast must wear layers of breathable and waterproof clothing.

Layering is the best way to dress for cold weather while camping in a hammock. The first layer - the base layer, is made from moisture-wicking materials like polyester and spandex to keep you dry from pouring rain. It's important to avoid cotton at all costs since it retains moisture.

The wind layer goes on top of the base layer to protect against elements like wind and moderate rain. While not always necessary, it's an added measure to stay dry during rainy days.

The insulation layer is the third layer and should provide warmth for insulation. Microfleece is an excellent material for this layer.

The outer shell layer is the final layer keeping two layers dry. This layer can be taken off when you go to sleep in your hammock. It should be both wind and waterproof.

Additionally, boots, socks, scarves, gloves, mitts, and warm hats are essential to staying warm while hammock camping in cold weather.

How cold is too cold for hammock camping in the rain?

For hammock hanging, it's best to ease yourself into cold-weather camping. It's not advisable to start in the middle of winter when temperatures can drop to -40˚C with the wind chill.

Instead, it would be better to try out a night or two in the fall to familiarize yourself with cold-weather hammock camping before venturing into frigid temperatures. It's important to understand that it's okay to turn back if it becomes too cold and rainy for you. It's encouraged even because your comfort and health are paramount.

Hammock camping is possible during any season, including cold and wet weather. With the right gear for hammock camping, you can stay warm, dry, and comfortable while enjoying the outdoors.

How to find the best spot for hammock camping in the rain?

If you're looking for the best spot to hammock camp in the rain, there are several things to consider. 

First, you'll need a larger asymmetrical hammock tarp for the most coverage from wind and rain. Look for a campsite with plenty of tree cover and a wind barrier such as a large boulder or dense forest area.

Additionally, set your hammock anchor points higher up than usual and make sure your hammock tarp is open so that one side is getting hit by the rain. You should also choose your camping spot at higher points so that water doesn't puddle up at the site.

Finally, make sure you have the right large tarp based on personal preference and weather conditions.

Hanging a hammock properly in the rain 

Hanging a hammock in rainy weather conditions can be tricky, but with the right preparation and the right equipment, it can be done safely.

To hang a hammock properly in rainy weather, you should make sure to use straps or rope that is waterproof and rot-resistant not to collect water. You should also avoid hanging your hammock too close to the ground, as this will increase the chances of it getting wet.

Additionally, you should check for any loose knots or frayed edges before setting up your hammock.

When setting up your hammock, you should make sure to secure it tightly between two trees or posts at least 10-14 feet apart. You should also aim for a 30-degree angle between the strap and the ground when attaching your hammock.

Lastly, if possible, try to find trees that are sheltered from direct rain by nearby structures or foliage, and avoid dead branches.

Top 3 tips to pitch the hammock tarp

If you're camping in rainy weather, it's recommended that you pitch the right tarp first before hanging your hammock. This will ensure that your hammock gear stays dry during the setup process.

Start by hanging the ridgeline of your hammock tarps lower on the trees than the suspension of your hammock. Create a V shape with the guy lines to provide adequate space for your hammock suspension to fit in between the tarp suspension. Once your tarp is draped over the ridgeline, secure it down with guy lines that are staked to the ground or attached to nearby supports such as trees.

To prevent rainwater from dripping down the suspension lines and soaking into your hammock, use a drip line. Tie ropes that hang down from the suspension lines and drip lines to direct the water away from your hammock. The drip line adds full coverage making you and your gear stay dry while you sleep.

How to stay warm in the hammock in the rain

When hammock camping in cold weather, it's crucial to prevent the loss of body heat and stay dry. Without proper insulation and clothing, cold air can easily penetrate your hammock, sleeping bag, and clothing, making it difficult to sleep. To avoid this, follow these tips to ensure you remain warm and comfortable throughout the night.

Firstly, staying dry is paramount. In addition to using a rain fly, it's essential to keep your clothes dry as damp clothes can lead to extreme discomfort or even freezing. Change into a fresh set of clothes if necessary. However, avoid wearing too many layers that can cause sweating and overheating, leading to freezing.

Secondly, raising your sleeping bag by placing a sleeping pad underneath ensures heat retention and insulation for your backside. Additionally, consider hanging a foil emergency blanket above your hammock and under your tarp size to reflect your body heat back onto you for extra warmth.

Lastly, hammock quilts provide the extra insulation needed in colder weather. Depending on how cold it gets, you may need a top quilt and underquilt to stay warm in your hammock. By implementing these tips, you can enjoy a comfortable and warm hammock camping experience in cold weather.


Do you need a tarp when hammock camping?

Yes, you need a tarp when hammock camping. A tarp is essential for keeping you dry and warm in wet or cold weather. Tarps come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials to suit different needs. They can be used to provide shelter from rain, wind, snow, and other elements.

Additionally, tarps can be used to create an enclosed space for privacy or protection from bugs. When choosing a tarp for hammock camping, consider the size, shape, material, ease of setup, and weight of the tarp.

How do you keep rain from running down hammock straps?

hammock water breaks and drip lines

One way is to tie narrow cotton strips to the suspension to act as a drip strip. Another way is to twist your hammock straps, which will break up the flow of water going down them.

You can also place multiple drip lines down your hammock suspension until the point where the tarp stops the rain from hitting it. Lastly, you can tie a knot of cord on your ridge line to intercept any water running down.

Are hammocks OK in the rain?

Yes, hammocks can be used in the rain as long as you take certain precautions. It is important to hang your hammock higher off the ground than normal to prevent splashing water and mud onto it.

Additionally, you should use a tarp to provide maximum coverage and prevent the pooling of rainwater. You should also bring your hammock inside when it is raining heavily or if there is a chance of thunderstorms.

Do hammocks get ruined in the rain?

Hammocks can get damaged or ruined in the rain if they are not properly taken care of. Rainwater can soak into the hammock fabric and cause mold and mildew build-up. Over time, this can weaken the material, and the fabric may tear or rot.

Can a hammock get wet?

Yes, hammocks can get wet. However, it is important to dry them quickly and properly after they get wet to avoid mold and mildew forming. It is also important to waterproof your hammock if you plan on camping in the rain.

How to waterproof a hammock?

For cotton, silk, canvas, and polycotton hammocks, Nikwax Cotton Proof wash-in waterproofing is an easy and effective option. Simply follow the instructions on the product packaging and you'll have a waterproof hammock in no time!

For synthetic materials such as Elltex or nylon, you can use a spray-on or brush-on Nikwax product. This will provide your hammock with an extra layer of protection against water damage.

Finally, if your hammock doesn't have a DRW coating (durable water repellent), you can use a spray-on DWR waterproof treatment for added protection against moisture.


When hammocking in the rain, ensure you use the full coverage of the equipment, and ensure you protect your hammock fully. Even the smallest hole in the hammock or tarp can cause you some wet clothes and storm doors. So, ensure the proper shelter to prevent from water flowing inside your tarp and hammock. 

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