Tarp Size Question
Hey folks, I'm planning on buying my first hammock setup in the near future. My priority will be for use when backpacking. I've read plenty of accounts where hikers had wished for a bigger tarp, but haven't read any reports where someone thought they had too much tarp. So my question is, has anyone had problems setting up a tarp because it was too big (e.g. couldn't get it taught, had too pitch too steeply)?
As a frame of reference, my first trip will be 3 nights through cape chignecto park in nova scotia. I've never been there, but it looks like there might be fairly dense evergreens, which doesn't seem ideal for hammock hanging, and even less ideal for throwing up a big wide tarp. My plan is to get a warbonnet blackbird, and either a warbonnet edge or mamajamba tarp. I don't mind the extra weight of the mamajamba, so any opinions on which to choose? Or any other issues I'm not considering? Thanks for any input.
I think a bigger tarp is a good choice for a new hanger... most new hangers get too small of a tarp and they are not ready for the learning curve that comes with a small tarp... you can use a stock HH tarp in a heavy downpour if you know how to use it... many ppl have me being one of them...
the good thing about a bigger tarp is no learning curve or very little i should say .... but after time most hangers end up getting a smaller tarp as they become more seasoned to hanging and using a tarp...
you can always save the bigger tarp for your winter setup ;)
my first Real hammock tarp was the JRB 11x10... and man she was a great tarp... i wish they made it in a Cuben model cause i would buy it LOL
i could get by with a OES micro no problem ... but give that same tarp to a new hanger and they will get wet
i say get a big tarp or a nice 3 season to start out with... once you get good at using your tarp move down to a smaller size tarp for nice weather... ;)
A Bigmambajama is not diificult to work with or set up and as G.L.P. said for a new hanger, not a bad option.
Either tarp is a good choice IMO. I just ordered an Edge tarp today! The big difference is the MamaJamba has panel pulls on the body (and of course it's bigger). I think either tarp isn't going to be "too big". I'm counting ounces for my setup and it was a tough decision for me. I was originally going to get an OES Micro, but decided a cat cut was better for my situation. Edge is the best deal for its size. OES makes some good tarps as well, and they're really nice about giving advice for your situation. I plan on getting my Cuben tarp from them (one day when I can afford it).
G.L.P. is right when he says it's better to start big and get smaller. And as you were saying, no one complains about a tarp being too big. Also the tarps you're looking at are 3 season tarps, the big ole' 4 season tarps can be a bit tricky to hang properly and figure out.
There's a lot to learn on this website, so welcome and be a sponge! When I got here I was amazed at how knowledgeable and nice everyone was. Soon you will feel drunk with knowledge and master of all that hangs! There's a guy here named Shug that has some GREAT videos, and you can see some of the tarps in action! I'll link his videos for ya.
Shug's Videos- These are his tutorial videos, he also has a link at the bottom to more!
the other side of the "bigger to smaller" tarp thinking is this: you may not be as careful setting up and not get as skilled. i, personally am glad that i learned with a smaller tarp first, before getting a bigger one for winter...
Either tarp is a good option but I def go with the bigger one. I'm a big fan of big tarps. The more coverage the better IMHO. I use an 11 by 10 and an 11 by 8 tarp for 4 seasons and personally would not down size myself.
Hey there Hikeabout, I would like to here more about you hike in chignecto park NS. I have been wanting to go there for a few years now and I only live a few hours drive so how does some one in Mass find out about that trail? A few years back I did the Fundy footpath and Fundy N.P which is the sister trail on the New brunswick side of the Bay of Fundy and looks across to chignecto . I'm jealous:)
Originally Posted by hikeabout
I started out with the big heavy Kelty Noah 12, plenty of room, but could never get it as tight as I would like. I still use it if I know it's going to be cold and rainy. I have since gone with the AHE Shangri La, 11' by 9'10" at the head, and I think 7' at the foot in. It's a tapered tarp. I really like it and have weather some pretty heavy rain storms under it just fine.
One thing to add to all the great advise that has already been given, is, what would you like to do with it?
Sit down under it and watch the storm?
Cook under it?
Move around under the tarp to get your things situated for the night?
Or just lay in your hammock?
These questions will most likely lead you to a larger tarp, but, it doesn't have too!!! It's all a matter of what size tarp you have, how its used, but it doesn't have to be 13ft by 11ft or whatever to give you enough coverage to do camp chores under! But GLP is right that after some use and experience you can get away with a smaller one, I for one like the middle of the road tarp, like a 8x10, or a MCD (maccat deluxe), or the mamajamba! All these are fairly close in size (give or take a few inches) but will serve you very well, my personal taste is a rectangle tarp!
There are a couple SPINN mamajambas on ebay right now.
I have a SIL Mamajamba and love the extra room it gives me.
I couldn't imagine having anything smaller. We have even crammed two hammocks under one before. Was very tight and we bumped all night, but it worked. Just make sure you get something with panel pulls as it helps with creating more room.