How to Keep Water From Seeping into Your Hammock
One of the biggest misconceptions about hammocks involves water. People have a tendency to think that hammocks are the best way to stay high and dry while camping. The reality is that while you're not going to get wet from water pooling inside of your tent, chances are that you can get just as wet from water dribbling into your hammock. This problem can also occur whether or not your rain tarp is properly positioned and doing its job.
There are a couple of ways that water can migrate into your hammock and create a pool in the inside. First water can travel down your ridge line, tie outs or suspension line and simply keep moving until it seeks its lowest level. Another common source of water intrusion comes from defective or worn parts that used to be designed to block the flow of water when they were in good condition. In both cases, it doesn't take a lot of rain to create multiple streams of water that can end up in the bottom of your hammock.
Blocking the Suspension Channel
The easiest solution is to take a piece of string or cordage and tie it along your suspension line near to the eyes on either side. Make sure the knot is thick and that both ends of the cordage dangle straight down. It's best to center the cordage so that the ends are similar in length. This will help to channel more water away at a faster rate. The large knot helps to create a barrier that will force the water down the cordage instead of over the hump and further along your suspension line. You can also attach a similar set of knotted cordage along the ridge line where you're hanging your tarp from as well.
Properly Positioning the Tarp
If you are dealing with drips coming in from your tarp near to where the ends meet the ridge line, chances are that you can solve that problem by placing the ridge line on top of the tarp instead. As it turns out, water likes to travel along the ridge line, but dip below the tarp at the edges. By hanging the tarp from the ridge line, you can eliminate this problem altogether. The easiest thing to do is to attach 2 carabiners across a continuous ridge line and use them to anchor the tarp. Any water that runs off of the ridge line will strike the top of the tarp and roll down the sides and away from the hammock.
Hopefully these two solutions will work for you if you are plagued with this annoying and persistent problem. However, another way to avoid the formation of drips and puddles in your hammock while you sleep is to test everything before you settle in. Run a little bit of water down and across your lines and see where it goes, making these or other adjustments as necessary. This little trick can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to helping you to stay high and dry all night long.