So, today I found myself over at the local milsurplus store to pick up some mosquito netting to see if I could make mesh gaiters/bug defeaters for my sandals and lower legs (trying to cut down on the DEET that I use and the amount of rocks I have to shake loose over the course of a day).
Looking at the headnets there, the lightbulb over my head flickered into fitful, surly life. Kinda like Frankenstein's monster after his sixtieth beer...
Anyway, I realized that one of these head nets could be made--with minimal alteration--into a double-ended mesh stuffsack for a tarp.
Photos will be forthcoming tonight after I get back from work, but here's the lowdown:
- One (1) anti-mosquito head net with elastic adjusters at either end. Approximately $4.00 US.
- Two (2) mini linelocks (Wallyworld and Joanne's fabric sell them if you can't find them anywhere else, but there are a plethora of online dealers that sell these). < $1.00 US.
- One (1) seam ripper, pair of sharp scissors, or good knife (an x-acto knife will work). < $5.00 US.
- Ten (10) minutes of spare time. Priceless.
- Locate the seam where the elastic is joined to itself inside of the sewn mesh channel at one end of the net.
- Edit: Locate and carefully seam-rip (with a seam ripper, the tip of your knife, or the end of your scissors) the tie-outs attached to one end's elastic band. These need to be removed in order to allow free movement of the band inside of the channel.
- Carefully (you really don't want to cut the seam that holds the channel together here) cut a hole large enough to draw the elastic out through the mesh.
- Run the elastic through the linelock and self-knot it so that it won't slip back through the lock when closed.
- Repeat the above steps for the opposite end.
- Stick your tarp inside and run your ridgeline tie-outs through both ends. Cinch the elastic down.
That's it. Fin. Edit: I screwed up the first time on my directions. You need to remove the elastic tie-outs that come with the net in order to allow one of the bands to move freely in its channel. This has been corrected above.
Though, I suppose if you wanted to get creative, you could reinforce the tear you just made through the netting to extract the elastic. Since the thing is costing me maybe $5 (I already have scissors), I'm not too worried about it. If I find it's starting to fray, I'll throw some duct tape on it.
Oh, and the finished weight? Approximately 15 grams or 0.5 ounces. Versus the Hennessy snakeskins I was keeping my tarp in, that's a savings of 45 grams or about 1.25 ounces. It also avoids the issue of folds in the tarp (which I found I was getting in about the same places with the snakeskins, due to the way I had to roll up the ginormous Hennessy Hex in order to fit it inside).
Photos to follow later tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Photos below. Apologies for the graininess and low quality. These were taken with my cell phone in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
Materials (from top-left, clockwise: No-See-Um head net, two mini linelocks, seam ripper, scissors, and el-cheapo folding knife):
Detail of elastic tie-outs (these need to be removed):
Detail of elastic seam (it's kinda hard to see; it's in the very middle of the channel); you need to make a hole and pull this out:
Detail of stopper knot (I just used two overhand knots stacked on top of each other):
Tarp in bag (MSR Groundhog for size comparison):