I used 2nd run silnylon to make a 12 x 8’ tarp, I sewed the two pieces together and found the slippery sil so frustrating to work with I needed a new way to make my tie outs.
I started with a 3/8” steel ball bearing, I placed it 1” in from the corner and brought the end of the nylon under and whipped the ball in place with a 550 paracord inner strand. I then tightened a double Girth hitch knot on the inside of the whipping, after completing the 4 corners a storm came in (Colorado storms move fast) and I got to test the 4 corners done as stated above in 30+mph winds. The wind kept switching directions so both sides of the tarp got a workout…I checked the tie outs after 1 hour of crazy winds and all 4 looked great.
After thinking about what the steel ball was doing I realized that the ball size was not important, so I swapped all the steel ball bearings with airsoft pellets (plastic BB’s). I tried to weight the 10 airsoft pellets I needed to do all my tie outs and they were less than 1 gram for the 10 of them. With 6 tie outs and 2 door tie outs per side I was able to complete all ten in under 15 minutes…not bad. Yes some water does collect at the tie outs, but it is a tiny amount.
I hope this helps some people making a DIY tarp.
Head strap: I had never heard of this until I read about them in an old camping book. I made mine with 1.1oz ripstop with dimensions of 5” x 24” I just tied knots at each end, I went with 1.1 ripstop because it will let me head breath better than a heavier fabric. I attach the strap near the top of the backpack closest to my back and set it up so when I put it on my head and loosen the shoulder straps just a little it takes all the load without having to adjust my waist belt. All you have to do is re-tighten the shoulder straps and the head straps falls forward over your chest.
I really works great, not hard on my neck at all with my 25 pound fully loaded backpack. Used with the waist belt it is a great relief to not have any load on my shoulders… it is so light and easy to make…give it a try!!