While at Scout camp a few weeks ago I chose hammock and tarp over canvas tent and cot. Absolutely thrilled with the hang - best week of camp sleep ever. Imagine my chagrin at returning to camp and finding a 3" gash in my tarp (BMJ). From the markings it appears that a stick, with a scout attached to it, hit the tarp. I later found that out that scouts from another troop were the culprits (I hung a little bit too close to a path). What to do? I thought I might have to send the tarp to Brandon and have him perform a professional job. So I e-mailed him and received a much better answer, and a process for the fix (his response came within 2 hours .
It worked out so well that I e-mailed him again to get approval to share the results and process here. Here's to hoping you never use it.
Brandon did not have spare material for this particular tarp (made in China batch) and suggested I use the stuff sack. That worked out fine since I recently made some snake skins and have several other stuff sacks I can use as needed. The patch fix is completed with nothing more than pure clear silicone, Brandon suggested GE's silicone II, just make sure it's clear because it comes in all kinds of colors. You can get this at any of the big box hardware stores.
Using the silicone, spread a thin complete layer on the patch and then stick it on the tarp and rub it on there good, smoothing all the air bubbles out and making sure the fabric around the tear is put back together neatly (my tear was not too ragged, but I did cut away a few loose threads). Make sure to use a patch that is a bit larger than the tear. You can manipulate the patch and the fabric after you get it on there, the patch will slide around on the tarp somewhat so you can fine tune the position and straighten out any creases once you get it on there. The silicone dries very slowly (overnight) and stays "workable" for awhile.
Be sure to orient the ripstop grid of the patch to align with the ripstop grid of the tarp, this way the patch and the tarp have the same stretch characteristics when pulled on. Also, be sure to cut the patch so the corners are rounded off, and make sure the very edges of the patch get glued on too. you can wipe off any excess with a cloth.
For a tear this size, Brandon adivised that I should be able to get away with patching only one side, either side will work. No sewing required. That's it.
The results were great. The tarp now has "character". Thanks to Brandon for a quick turnaround with great advice. I continue to be impressed by his service.