I was on a long canoe trip most of last week. Because of pretty miserable weather, the Allegheny River was way high, debris-filled, and fast. These conditions, and a capsizing that led to a loss of gear, caused my group to use all of the available rope we had to tie down gear in the canoes and at campsites. As a result, a couple of nights I had to use bungee cords (shock cords) to suspend my tarp above my hammock. I mean I bungeed the corners of my stock Claytor JH tarp directly to the trees. The cords I used were the usual hardware store kind and they were stretched relatively tight in use.
I was wondering, does anyone think I damaged my tarp? I inspected it and it seems OK and it stayed watertight, but now I'm not sure. I had always assumed that nobody uses bungee cord because the constantly varying tension is not good for the tarp. Am I off base in this assumption? The Claytor tarp is a urethane-coated 210T nylon, if that makes a difference. Any thoughts out there from the tarp experts?
I'm not a tarp expert, but I seriously doubt that you did any damage to the tarp. A bungee will not exert more force than I have used to tie my tarps tight in strong winds, and I've never had a problem with tarp damage. If you can't see any damage (stressed material, tears, etc) and it still is watertight, then use it and don't worry about it!
Also, you say that nobody uses bungee cords....well, they do, sort of. The JRB style tarp tensioners are popular among several members here. Not nearly as heavy as regular bungees, though.
[ I had always assumed that nobody uses bungee cord because the constantly varying tension is not good for the tarp. Am I off base in this assumption? Any thoughts out there from the tarp experts?[/QUOTE]
I by no means consider myself an expert, but I use a section of bungee cord on my ridge ties and my tie-out lines. I think they actually prevent over stressing the tarp during high winds. Also, if you stretch them pretty tight before bedtime, they make up for the stretching of the nylon as it gets wet. Just my experience...
another non-tarp-expert here, but i agree w/ the others... the flexibility is probably easier on the tarp.
The photos in my gallery show my use of bungees full time...I have never damaged my tarp and I'm going on ten years of use now.
I find that as nylon is wet, and then dries, it sags and then tightens...the bungees allow for that keeping the tarp taught, and it's great because it also allows the tarp to spill air when the wind gusts.
[QUOTE=SuperTroll;25936]The photos in my gallery show my use of bungees full time...I have never damaged my tarp and I'm going on ten years of use now.
As an infantry scout in the Army the only shelter we carried was our poncho. We had 4 camo bungee cords and made poncho "hooches" by attaching one to each corner and then to a branch or bush and the drawstring of the hood to a flexable overhead branch. They were surprisingly stormworthy. I had the same poncho for several years and it served me well. If my back were still that young, I could go really lightweight!
I use bungee cord to keep my tarp taught all the time, no failures. I personally think it can save your tarp in the event of a really strong gust. They even sell ball-and-bungee devices for the grommets in some tarps.
Those are really clever. I have some of that theraband from a catapult project, and I will probably make myself a pair.
Originally Posted by angrysparrow
They work really well. Lets my tarp tensioners take the stress of heavy wind rather than my BlackCat.
Originally Posted by ZDP-189
Less likely to have my tarp ripped apart in hurricane force winds. Not that I'd be hanging during one.