Cindy Herrera

Author Archives: Cindy Herrera

Car Camping Essentials – Tips for a Relaxing Trip

Bring everything but the kitchen sink

When you go car camping, you aren’t limited to a large degree on what you can take with you. That’s the beauty of it. You can bring everything you need and want, plus more, ensuring that you will be comfortable and entertained on your camping trip.

You would be hard-pressed to roll a full cooler of iced beer down the trail, but if you can get your car near your campsite, a new world of camping is opened up to you. Check out our previous articles containing basic essential camping gear to fully complete your car’s kit.

These car camping essentials have some items that you could consider less than necessities, but if you packed your car’s trunk with nothing but essential gear (i.e. survival items) you’d be planning a one-way camping trip. You have to bring along some comforts and entertainment, especially if you have kids with you. A lot can fit in a car trunk, let’s not worry about available space just yet.

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Weird Survival Tools Every Prepper Should Own

Whether you are in the wilderness or other outdoors, away from home, preparing for emergency and survival is very critical. Knowing what survival tools to put together will make all the difference and ensure you survive all odds. Keep reading to learn about the weird survival tools you must not fail to have in your survival kit.

#1: A Knife or Multi-tool

A knife or multi-tool is one of the essential tools you must not forget to pack in your survival kit. There are so many things you would need a knife or multi-tool for in a survival situation. Typical examples include the following;

  • Wood shaving – to make a tinder
  • Cutting rope or chord
  • Opening cans swiftly
  • Preparing a game
  • Cutting off obstructive tender branches while in the wood
  • ...and more

A multi-tool refers to a pocket-size, folding device that features a knife and other tools such as screwdrivers and pliers. The device provides the benefit of having different useful tools in a petite package. Some survival enthusiasts would rather go for a non-folding simple fixed-blade knife or other types of folding knives. Whatever is your choice, the most important thing is to ensure that you pack a cutting device for survival purposes.

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How to Choose a Hunting Backpack?

Your gear will have a big impact when it comes to hunting trips. Many people that love the sport will spend a lot of time thinking about it and planning. A part of the planning includes all the items you need to carry with you, not just to help you catch something but also for safety reasons. You would want to have the best items so you can be sure you can rely on them.

The goal should be to maximize the space you have in your backpack because there are many things you need to bring with you. You also need to be able to access the stuff quickly and quietly. There are a lot of great products you can find online, you just need to do your research. Read more about these hunting backpacks.

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How to Keep Your Electronics Charged While Camping and Hiking

There once was a time when taking electronic devices with us into the great out-of-doors was pretty much unimaginable. Fragile and costly, such devices offered few benefits to campers and backpackers, particularly those fascinated in going ultralight. But terms have changed and now it is not surprising to take a host of gadgets with us when catching the trail or simply car camping for the weekend with the family. Everything from smartphones and tablets, to headlamps and GPS trackers, are powered by rechargeable batteries these days and having them functioning can be a true challenge.

Fortunately, there are now some great resolutions prepared for charging our electric devices while on the go. So, whether you’re traveling out for just the day or weeks at a time, these are the best ways to limit your devices from running out of juice and enhancing nothing more than dead weight in your backpack.

There are a few various ways to keep your gadgets charged while you’re out in the forest and the option that is right for you will depend on your specific needs and the conditions, you’ll be using them in.


If you’re tenting with a vehicle, the most obvious solution to your charging needs is to take some energy from the car. Small electronics like phones and tablets can be restored via a 12-volt adapter to the car’s smoke lighter (or many newer vehicles just have a combined USB port in the dash).

If you’ve taken a laptop to the campsite though, you’ll most likely need an energy inverter to convert the car’s 12-volt power to the 110 volts your computer requires. In the latter’s position, be careful to not run the car’s battery down to point where it won’t rise again. It’s best to only charge more extensive devices while the engine is running.

Solar Panel

Nothing says off the plate like a set of solar panels. As long as the sun is glowing you’ve got power. That’s also one of the most important downsides to them though. The time it takes to charge devices is massively dependent on the power of the sunlight reaching it.

If you’re using it at noon in the sands of Arizona, expect your devices to be up and running in a few hours. If you camp in endlessly cloudy locations, like the outskirts of Seattle, it’s performing to take a lot longer.

Solar panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes and some are more comfortable to use than others. The best option for camping is the semi-rigid technique of panels which can be folded down when not in use; this way you can buy a big panel system that still simply fits inside of a backpack.

If you’re not getting enough sun during the few hours, you’re at camp, it will be necessary to rig up an accessory to your backpack so that the panels can charge your device while you hike.

Battery Pack

This is probably the modest way to get some energy in your battery. A variety of different sized battery packs are sold ranging from models that are barely larger than a tube of lipstick to others that consider a few pounds and can charge up numerous devices.

If all your bringing is a smartphone, you might just want to add a battery-operated case to it. Battery cases fit comfortably on the phone and provide an extra few hours of power with around 2,000 mAh of charge.

If you’re bringing several electronic devices, like a Bluetooth speaker, headlamp, and phone (all of which charge via USB), it’d be better to get approximately that has closer to 20,000 mAh.

Know that no matter what the producer claims the battery pack has for mAh, this is only an optimistic guess. The extended you own the battery pack and the more it gets used, the less charge you can expect it to hold.

Additionally, if you charge it and then don’t directly use it, expect it will lose some mAh. Always be conservative in your evaluation of how much power is needed and then choose a battery pack that meets or beats those needs.


Getting all your devices charged and care them that way can be an irritation, so only bring the things you need on each trip. Excess electronics are just somewhat else that can break, so pare it down to just the necessities.

Also, be conscious that batteries lose some of their capacity as the temperature drops. You may have noticed that your mobile will show low battery in sub-zero temperatures, but once you get it inside and warmed up, it has a sensible charge left. In colder temperatures, keep electronics warm by holding them close to your form when they’re not in use.

There was a time when backpacking or camping was a way to get away from all of the accessories of modern life. But these days we habitually head into the wilderness with a host of devices in draw, most of which require frequent charging to keep them from becoming nothing more than dead mass.

How To Choose The Best Hammock Tarp On The Market – Witty Camper’s Guide

One of the first lessons my father taught me about camping is that you should always think outside the box. He said: “Cindy, don’t settle for sleeping on the ground. Rise above others’ expectations. Sleep in a hammock”.

He is a funny man, and he packs his life lessons so smoothly, that I’m always intrigued by them.

However, I listened to his advice. I still go for a hammock rather than a tent.

the best hammock tarp

If you know a thing or two about hammock camping, you are well aware that although it is beautiful to lay in a hammock and stare at the stars, you have to set up a shelter at some point if you want to stay dry and safe.

Well, this is the moment when hammock tarps come in.

Today, I will help you choose the best hammock tarp on the market. I will stay true to the genius advice my father gave me, but I will incorporate them into the camping knowledge I gathered over the years.

Let’s begin!

How To Choose The Best Hammock Tarp?

the best hammock tarp

Choosing the best hammock tarp becomes much easier when you know what to look for. There are a few factors which will determine the quality of the tarp and whether it is the one for you or not.

I’ve learned the art of picking the best hammock tarp from an experienced hunter, and I am glad to share my knowledge with you.

Let’s dive in together:


As you know, hammock tarps come in different shapes and styles. Whichever you decide to choose, you have to keep in mind that size matters.

The rule of the thumb is following - your tarp needs to extend between 5-12 inches over each end of your hammock or shelter area. This way your ends will stay dry if it rains. If you neglect this rule, the ends might get wet, and water can seep into your hammock during the night.

I prefer to sleep in a 10-foot-long hammock. However, when set it up correctly, your hammock will sag which figuratively “shrinks” it length to just over 8 feet. In this case, a 12-foot long tarp will provide you with enough coverage.

Pro tip: I learned over the years that big tarps are ideal for bad weather, while smaller ones are better for sunny days. Big tarps offer you protection, but they are usually heavier and have limited ventilation, which leads to condensation. So, for optimal airflow in sunny weather, choose smaller tarps.


As you start your search for the best hammock tarp, you will come across different shapes. Most commonly, campers and outdoor enthusiasts use hexagonal, rectangular, catenary and diamond (square) shape. Each one of these provides different coverage. Also, various shapes have different amounts of anchor points.

This is important for you because it will affect the ease and the convenience of the setup.

Make sure to find the one that will suit your needs regarding coverage space and comfort.


Let me tell you a secret.

If you want the cheapest option that comes with tons of advantages, you should go to the hardware store. A blue polyethylene tarp can serve as a versatile shelter. They are very durable, and you can pick one for less than $10. If you have mean staking skills, you can build hundreds of different shelters out of it.

Unfortunately, there is a good reason why we invest in more expensive tarps. Blue plastic tarps are bulky and take up a lot of space, which makes them impractical for most of the campers. If you are a backpacker, this is probably a deal breaker for you.

When I was a child, we used to go car camping, so the bulkiness of these tarps wasn’t such a problem. However, I still remember the annoying noise this material made as we set it up and packed it back to our car. It was rather loud. This can be a problem when you are trying to sleep on a stormy night.

So, if you want to purchase the best hammock tarp, check if it is lightweight.

Today, the silnylon (ridgeline) tarps are the most popular kind. They are a bit more expensive but surprisingly light, and they offer excellent durability. Additionally, ridgeline tarps are waterproof.

If you can get a tarp that cuts down on the weight and space significantly while providing the same protection, why wouldn’t you invest a few bucks more?


All of the other aspects of the hammock tarp could be ideal – size, shape, price - but if it is not durable, it is not worth a buy.

You are purchasing something that is supposed to protect you from rain, snow, sun, and wind. This means it has to be sturdy. Waterproof and tear resistant features of the fabric are absolutely necessary.

The finest quality hammock tarps will barely show any effects of wear, even after it has been used in harsh weather conditions. The fabric should also dry on the sunlight and clean easily because your water and soap resources will probably be limited once you set your campsite.

Top 5 Hammock Tarps On The Market – My 2018 Reviews

Now that you know what to look for in hammock tarps you are ready see the best models on the markets. I tried all of them out for you, and I will use that experience to point out their good sides and their flaws.

Let’s begin!

Hennessy is here to present you their amazing, 70D PU-coated polyester ripstop rainfly. It works with all of their hammock models and provides generous protection from sun, wind, and rain. The rainfly is hexagon shaped, and it is 139x108” large. You’ll have to invest a few more bucks to purchase this bad boy, but you won’t regret your decision.

What I really liked about this hex fly is its versatility. It can be pulled down all the way to the ground for added protection, but it can also be pitched between two hammocks to create a perfect work marquee. It is lightweight, compact and has useful pockets for the ropes. I camped in the woods during heavy snow, and Hennessy tarp held out perfectly.

On the other hand, I have to admit, once you pack it, it can be a bit bulky. It is quite large, so you’ll have to figure out how to put it up on your own. In my opinion, the cords are too thin, so I would recommend you to bring a replacement or purchase thicker ones.

Things I like

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    It is lightweight and packs away easily.
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    It holds up great even during heavy snow.
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    The pockets for the ropes are beyond useful.
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    It is durable.

​Things I don't like

  • It is a bit bulky.
  • It might be larger than you expect.
  • The cords could be thicker. 

If you are looking for a quick and affordable camping solution, Bear Butt double hammock tarp is the model you should consider. It measures 12’ 10” down the middle and 9’ 4” on the sides, which makes it extra spacious. You don’t have to worry, Bear Butt’s model is made of waterproof polyester fabric that will keep you dry in rainy weather and cool in hot, sunny days.

My favorite thing about this tarp is the fact it comes with all of the necessary equipment. You will get the needed line and two metal stakes to secure it. Also, it is lightweight, and it can be easily packed in your backpack. As I said, it is ideal for the spur-of-the-moment trips, as you can set it up within minutes, by simply swinging it over the hammock and securing it to the same trees or posts.

Unfortunately, this rainfly can be used only in the diamond setup so that you won’t have many options in your hands. Also, I would like it to be a bit bigger and more durable.

Things I like

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    The price is fantastic.
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    It comes in five different colors.
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    It comes with the needed line and two stakes.
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    The seams don’t leak.
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    It is lightweight.

​Things I don't like

  • The tarp can be used only in the diamond setup.
  • The material is thin and doesn’t seem too durable.
  • It could be a bit bigger. 

There is no doubt I like Chill Gorilla models, so I decided to present two of them. The first one is 10’ tarp with a square design. This lightweight, tear and puncture resistant rainfly has 170” long diagonal centerline. That is a lot of coverage space! It comes with nine tie-down loops, stakes, ropes and tensioners.  Also, if you register on their website, this product will be covered with free Chill Gorilla’s no-hassle warranty.

I was astonished how lightweight and handy this hammock tarp is. It has multiple anchoring points, and the set up can be done in minutes. It is reliable, and it will keep you dry. It even comes with a rainproof gear sack, which means you’ll have no problem taking it on trips in rainy weather. Chill Gorilla’s square tarp is ideal for backpackers and above all – affordable.

Unfortunately, it is not compatible with other Chill Gorilla products, such as their bug netting. Also, the grommets are made of aluminum, and they are too soft, so I recommend you to buy sturdier replacements. At last, the material might leak on the seams.

Things I like

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    It is affordable and versatile.
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    The instructions are clear.
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    It is spacious and easy to set up.
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    It is compact and great for backpackers.

​Things I don't like

  • The tarp is not compatible with other Chill Gorilla products (e.g., bug netting).
  • The grommets are too soft, and it might leak.
  • The center tie might be off center.

If you prefer hex tarps over square ones, Chill Gorilla still has you covered. Just like the previous model, this one as well comes with free, no-hassle warranty. It is made of polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon, which makes it highly durable and truly waterproof. This hammock tarp is about 20% larger than other brands’ models, which means you will have sufficient coverage, wherever you go.

I decided to go hard on Chill Gorilla’s hex tarp, so I took it out in awful weather conditions. The rain was pouring for hours! Amazingly, there was no drip or my hammock. Even though there was some condensation, which was expected, I remained completely dry.  Other than that, you’ll get a lightweight, practical rainfly that dries quickly and can be set up even quicker.

However, the material is a bit heavy, which means you might want to reconsider if you are a backpacker. Also, the stuff sack is pretty tight, and if you don’t fold the tarp correctly, it probably won't fit in it. At last, I noticed some fraying on the edges, which means it is not as durable as expected.

Things I like

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    The shape provides excellent coverage.
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    It is lightweight and super easy to set up.
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    It will protect you from both rain and condensation.
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    It dries quickly in sunlight.

​Things I don't like

  • There might be some fraying on the edges.
  • The stuff sack could be a bit larger.
  • The material is pretty heavy.

If you want a genuinely lightweight hammock tarp, Eagles Nest Outfitters is here to offer their ProFly rain tarp. Weighing only 22 ounces, this tarp is easy to pack, fold in a backpack and store away once you are back from your adventure. It is made of polyurethane-treated 210D ripstop nylon, which offers excellent durability and amazing water-shedding capabilities.

ENO’s tarp has extra-long tie outs and six points to connect, which gives you more opportunity to set it up wherever you want and feel completely secure underneath it. Also, it offers the best balance between coverage and footprint. At least, its stuff sack has a clever design which makes pulling the tarp out much easier.  

However, it is a bit expensive when compared to other models I presented today. Also, its price is even higher, when you take into account the fact that it doesn’t come with the stakes. You have to buy them separately. In my opinion, the material doesn’t seem sturdy enough; it is too thin which might indicate flimsiness.

Things I like

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    The tarp is entirely waterproof.
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    Line tie outs are extra-long.
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    The stuff sack has a line you can grab to pull the tarp out easily.
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    It has a fantastic balance between coverage and footprint.
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    The cord management system makes the set up much more straightforward.

​Things I don't like

  • Stakes are sold separately.
  • It is expensive.
  • It doesn’t seem sturdy enough.


the best hammock tarp

Don’t worry.

You won’t make a mistake, whichever hammock tarp among these five you choose. I selected the best ones on the market, and all of them offer excellent performance.

You won’t make a mistake, whichever hammock tarp among these five you choose. I selected the best ones on the market, and all of them offer excellent performance.

The most important thing is to stay dry on rainy days and cool in sunny ones, and all of the tarps fulfill this requirement.

However, the rain fly that ultimately won me over is - Chill Gorilla 10' Hammock Waterproof Rain Fly Tent Tarp.

It is square shaped, which makes it more versatile. It is incredibly spacious, which means I can share it with my friends or use it to protect my gear. Also, it is affordable, which is quite essential for the outdoors enthusiast like me, who purchases new camping equipment more often than new clothes.

I hope you’ll find this guide helpful and you will quickly select the best hammock tarp for yourself. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave me a comment. I’ll be happy to hear your opinions.

I hope you’ll find this guide helpful and you will quickly select the best hammock tarp for yourself. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave me a comment. I’ll be happy to hear your opinions.

What are you waiting for?

Grab your hammock and your new tarp and head out to your new adventure!

Finding The Best Underquilt For Your Hammock: 2020 Buying Guide

Update 2020!

A lot of people already have a hammock in their backyard, but outdoor enthusiasts often take things to the next level by bringing their hammocks with them on camping trips.

If you plan on going down that route, too, you need to make sure you have something to keep you warm, though. While a sleeping bag will do the job, opting for the best underquilt seems like a better option, overall.

Stick around to learn why!

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Hunt and Lunch: 5 Ways to Record Your Camping Adventures

Update 2020!

There is something magical about getting outdoors, hunting, camping, fishing and being a part of nature. There is no experience quite like it. If you are someone who does a lot of camping or you know someone who does, the other thing you know is that they love to share their experiences.

Before computers and other devices, you could have friends over and show them a slideshow or photos of your adventure, but the size of that group and the amount of information you could share was extremely limited by the size of your friend group, the size of your living room, and how much beer you wanted to provide.

However, there are more ways to record your camping adventures now, and they are a great way to share them not just with your neighbors and friends, but with the world.

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The 5 Best Tubes Of Glue For Shoes That You Can Use

Update 2020!

For a long time, I was always taught, by my father, to save as much money as humanly possible. This meant fixing things when they break, instead of buying new ones and fixing them yourself instead of taking them to a shop.

The same goes for shoes – if the sole breaks off, just glue it back on and keep going. Yes, even when you’re in the wilderness. It’s much easier and cheaper than carrying a second pair, I’ll tell you that!

So, today I’ll be talking about how to find the best glue for shoes on the market, how to use it and I’ll review some of the best products around.

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Why Are Yeti Coolers So Expensive? The Answer Will Surprise You!

Update 2020!

I have been in and out of scenarios where I needed a cooler to keep some of my edible items cool for a long period of time. This could be for packing a bag for lunch, bringing beverages and meats home from the market or it could be something more complicated such as planning for a long camping trip in the great outdoors. The one common theme about coolers is that they keep your items cool until they’re ready for consumption.

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The Essential Girl Scout Camping List

Update 2020!

We don’t want to be a sexist, but let’s admit it: girls are pretty picky at almost everything! And for a boy or girl scout, getting packed and prepared is needed; but then again, preparing is more complicated if you’re a girl.

When you let your daughters go camping, you let her develop her sense of independence through exploring and experiencing new things. Learning new and helpful life hacks in the wilderness can encourage her to be more self sufficient and resourceful. Through this experience, she will grow smarter, utterly responsible, and diligent.

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