If there is one thing I hate about hammock camping it's the tarp. I can hang a hammock just fine but always struggle with the tarp. I fiddle with that thing until other camp chores require my attention and the tarp stays where it is until morning. A lot of time I hang without the tarp due to nice weather. I'm wondering if the size of my tarp has something to do with it. 14x10 (which is way to long) and 5 tie-outs per side. A big part of me thinks the problems have a lot to do with the cat cut design. I know practice makes perfect (which I have done plenty of) but I need a reason to get a new tarp:D
I'm primarily using my warbonnet blackbird. Which size/cut of tarp do you prefer? Do you have a design you don't feel works well with this hammock? I'm looking for good coverage with minimal fiddle factor being a must. Thanks for suggestions.
There's a WB Superfly in the for sale section, better hurry if you want it!
14 X 10 seems mighty big just to cover a hammock. I use a MacCat Deluxe. It's large enough for good coverage, without being too big. I just had doors added by 2QZQ for extra weather protection, and in case I need to set it up as a ground shelter. I also have a 12 X 15 OES tarp that we use on our river trips as a group/kitchen shelter. There are a lot of different cat cut designs out there. Some are easier to pitch than others. I struggled a lot with the Kelty Noah in anything other than a diamond pitch. That's why I finally sold it and got the OES which is also a cat cut, but a much better design for a straight pitch. Look at OES, WB, and AHE....all very good products.
Just set up my MacCat Deluxe over my blackbird for the first time today, great tarp, great coverage, very little fiddle factor especially with line locks for the tie outs. I'd highly recommend it.
I also have a JRB 8x8, SWT, Stock HH Tarp, and the JRB poncho tarp. I think out of all of them the maccat deluxe is the best combo of coverage and simplicity.
AHE and WB and some other vendors sell very similar tarps, i think you would be happy with any of them.
a hex tarp is hard to beat for simplicity and coverage (only 4 stakes). a diamond is going to be simpler, but you lose alot of coverage
I take it that you typically pitch your 14'x10' with the 14' length being the ridgeline length? If that is the case you are going to need a pretty long span between the trees to pitch it effectively. It is possible to rotate your tarp and pitch it with the 10' length being the ridge line? You could pitch it it right to the ground and have some decent head room in the tarp. Or pitch it out nice and wide for max coverage.
Originally Posted by Roadtorque
If you are looking for an excuse for a new tarp, one can't go wrong with any of the tarp offerings from any of the cottage vendors on hammockforums. I personally have an 11' Ogee tarp, it is pricey but the flexibility it offers and large coverage for it's weight is unmatched, IMHO.
IMO a hex tarp is perfect for good coverage with a super tight & easy pitch and is lightweight.
My tarp is just 6" shorter (just as wide) than yours, but I have a square cut rectangle not the Cat Cut, so in good weather (Minimal wind) I can rig mine with just 4 tie outs & it will do just fine, or I can add up to 3 more tie outs / side if need be.
Some tips that may help with your tarp: FIRST & foremost, get the ridgeline as tight as you can!! I find figure 9s help with that. THEN do the lower tie outs, get the corners snug*, ALL 4 OF THEM & then worry about the "Extra" ones. I'd do the middle ones first then the remaining tie outs. The self adjusting tie outs available at JRB will help keep the ground/lower tie outs snug.
*at about a 45 degree angle from the tarp.
I absolutely love my Maccat Deluxe. Works very well and I've easily sat under it in pouring rain to make a meal.
Warbonnet Superfly here, I've never had a problem setting it up even in terrible weather.
Getting snakes for your tarp can help a lot too, but even without the snakes I've been able to set my tarp up in a blizzard.