Lately I have been enjoying setting up a hammock more than setting up a tent. Even in the winter! One trip that I picked up from a friend is to string a line above your hammock and create an A-frame shelter to protect yourself from the elements. The picture shown above is my setup during last summer’s week long scout camp up in the High Uintas in Utah. This setup works great in the winter also with one addition. Bring a second sleeping bag, unzip the end and feed your hammock through. Zip up the end tight and pull over yourself inside the hammock creating an extremely warm cocoon.
Here is what the 1984 printing of the camping merit badge pamphlet has to say about trail tarps.
The simplest of all tents, a trail tarp is a large piece of waterproof nylon or canvas fabric with grommets along the edges for the attachment of cords. It can be pitched in many different ways - as a lean-to, pyramid, or pup tent. The advantages of a trail tarp are its light weight and versatility; however, it has no floor, provides no protection against insects, and on a rainy night you may get a little wet. Tarps are fine for fair weather camping and for use any time as patrol dining flies.