This is the main problem with most (I'd say "all", but I can't say that for certain: I've not seen all of them) camo patterns. They're great for a human body-sized object wearing separate garments: the repetition isn't obvious at any angle you're likely to see the object. However, with a tarp that's ten or twelve feet long, well...
Originally Posted by swankfly
Actually, the Speer tarps are made with horizontal seams. They seem to work well, from all accounts (never owned one myself, so I can't speak from personal experience).
A piece of spare line can be hung along those edges, and forest duff added via knots or other methods. I carry a bit (~20 to 30 ft.) of mason's line around as a general-purpose thing anyway, so it's not an added burden--except for time. And, as Napoleon said, "...Ask me for anything but time." When I'm stealthing, it's usually due to a very long day and an unwillingness to try and make it to the nearest designated camp spot.
I also agree with the earlier poster about the straight lines. A jagged edge or perhaps use of the "ghillie" type leaves around the edge might soften that some. Now you are adding weight...
To be honest, I'm not as big of a fan of those for wide use. If you're hunting, you can pick your hide to match your camo, which makes those specific patterns very useful. However, hanging your tarp means covering a fairly wide open area with it, where generic color patterns may be better than specific reproductions of foliage. Especially if you hang in a wide variety of environments. Besides, by the time someone gets close enough to notice the details of both of those patterns, (s)he's going to notice something suspended in the air that's as large as a tarp, camo or no camo, as long as it's along his or her sight line.
I have never seen the popular hunting camo's in large patterns, but they may be the best ones for the woods. Mossy Oak and RealTree.
Me, too. But cuben has a relatively high albedo, even in the solid colors that some folks produce tarps in. The plastic film is "shiny", regardless of the underlying pattern or color, from what I've seen. Still, it'll be interesting to see...
I am really interested to see what the guys at HG come produce with the camo cuben.
Not all of 'em; I've got an old-school US woodland pattern pup tent sitting somewhere in the shed from my ground-dwelling days. Still and all, I generally agree; most consumers seem to want to be seen out in the woods rather than blend in. Meh. Personal taste, I guess.
Tent manufacturers seem to go the complete opposite way with bright oranges and yellows...go figure.
Either way, I prefer solid colors for my tarp--both due to weight (I'm not aware of any 30d sil that comes in a camo pattern, though I'd be delighted to find one) and concealment. Solid colors tend to blend better than a repeating pattern; see above about the length of a tarp. Now, if I could find a pattern that wouldn't repeat with a strip 12' long and weighed the same or less than 30d sil...well, I'd certainly be tempted...
For now, I'll stick with the camo hammock (where the folds in it prevent obvious repetition of the pattern) and simple subdued colors for everything else. The weight penalty is a bit much otherwise; and simple distance, site selection (don't let yourself be backlit by the sky), and late-to-bed-early-to-rise should get me through those times that I have to stealth. As long as nothing shines, well, it's hard to see more than fifty or an hundred feet through decently thick woods at night...heck, I'm more worried about someone smelling my wood stove...