Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Jersey Shore, NJ
Hammock: BIAS Hiker Lite
Tarp: HG Winter Palace
My DIY: Byer Moskito Hammock + Funky Forest Tarp
Well, I finally got my Grand Trunk Funky Forest Tarp ($29.95 @ bargainoutfitters.com) and spent the afternoon figuring out how to hang it. There are no instructions accompanying the product.
The tarp comes in a stuff sack with cinch and mini-carabiner. There's another cinch sack with six surprisingly light stakes. They're probably aluminum, but they're much lighter than the lightweight aluminum stakes I currently own.
The tarp came with six tie-out cords (the packaging said I was getting six 14' tie-outs, but they were actually 7 ft. long) with a flimsy plastic doohickey with two holes that one would expect you would use to tension the tarp/cord. My old Coleman tent has the same tensioners. However, the rope is too slippery, or too small in diameter, for the tensioners to work, so I just wrapped the cord around the tensioner a couple of times.
The first thing I did was measure the tarp on the diagonal since I was concerned it wasn't a true 10' x 10' tarp, which should yield a 14' ridgeline. Sure enough the ridgeline was 14 feet so I'm happy about that. Anything shorter wasn't going to work too well with my Byer Moskito Hammock.
I know whoopie slings aren't great for hanging tarps, but I used a couple anyway just to see how the tarp hung. I was in a hurry because a thunderstorm was coming in. I attached the whoopies to the grosgrain loops on the ridgeline. However, that seemed to put strain on the center seam running down the diagonal. I decided to try hanging it below a ridgeline, feeding the rope through the five grosgrain loops sewn into the center seam/ridgeline.
I then built a couple of quickie prusik loops to tension the tarp along the ridgeline. I like the way the tarp hangs below a ridgeline rope much better.
The whoopies I use on my Byer Moskito Hammock, as well as the annoying twenty ropes that spread the hammock out, were covered by the tarp, but I decided I wanted more tarp coverage so there was no way the ropes/whoopies would get rain on them, dripping down and soaking the hammock. Therefore I used another Amsteel Blue whoopie and a soft shackle to make an adjustable ridgeline for the hammock. This shortened up the hang of the hammock, bringing the twenty ropes and whoopies further under the tarp, giving me a warmer fuzzy about staying dry.
I also ran the ridgeline through the two hoops on the mosquito net, and it now stays off the face much better than it did with the mosquito net suspension cord that came with the Byer. I also get a much sturdier ridgeline for hanging stuff using carabiners or soft shackles.
The tarp takes up a pretty big footprint so I tried drawing in the tie-outs to take up less width. This seems to work pretty well and not only shortens the width of the footprint, but might provide better wind and blowing rain protection.
Since I still had two grosgrain loops on each end that weren't utilized, I pulled these together with a soft shackle. It seems like this might come in handy during blowing rain. Oh, the corners of the tarp have grommets, but I'm not touching those.
I sure hope it rains like crazy so I can see if this tarp leaks. I'm probably going to seam seal it anyway just to be sure. Assuming it keeps me dry, then I'm overall pretty happy with the DIY setup of Funky Forest Tarp, Byer Moskito Hammock and whoopie sling suspension. Total cost so far:
Two 8 ft. Amsteel Blue whoopie slings = $8.40
One 10 ft. Amsteel Blue adjustable ridgeline = $4.20
One 3.5 inch Amsteel Blue soft shackle: $1.00
Two 8 ft. tree huggers = $5.20
One Byer Moskito Hammock = $35.00
One Grand Trunk Funky Forest Tarp = $35.00
Cheap ridgeline nylon rope = $3.00