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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Pitching tarp in wind

    I was wondering if anyone has a system for pitching a tarp in winds. It seems that whenever I go to do this I get my tarp blowing all over the place. I've tried staking out corners but then when I raise the tarp the wind still catches it. I'd rather lot carry snake skins and even when I would hav them once you start putting first corner down then the tarp gets crazy on me.

    Also, what kind of wind gusts can these things take since I always chicken out then it starts behaving like a kite and I pack it up instead of take the change it rips with all the wind. I'm lot taking hurricane forces. Just some light gusts.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Scotty Von Porkchop's Avatar
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    Snake skins on the tarp help deployment but mostly it's picking as sheltered a spot as possible. Remember if the winds are enough to rip the tarp it's also enough to pull down some widow makers down on you.

  3. #3
    Member Pshaw's Avatar
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    I second the snake skins, they help so much. I've put a tarp up in the wind for the first time before and it sucks, I even had others helping. If they are really strong you don't want to much tension on the tie outs.

  4. #4

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    It's a topic you don't see on the forum hardly ever, I can only presume that even the experience hangers still struggle with it now and again. I certainly do, though I don't use snake skins. I usually fold and roll my tarp then just wrap my lines around that, it's a recipe for a rats nest when setting up in wind, so don't do as I do! I got taken to school hard on some of my earliest outings in high winds, so much of what I learned came through doing it wrong. So I recommend that age old addage, practice! If you're at home and expecting some weather it's a great opportunity to setup in the backyard, ESPECIALLY IN RAIN, then do it!

    Much of your success setting up is in site selection and in choosing how you want the wind to hit your tarp. I'm not a big fan of setting up with the wind hitting directly from the side, in fact I'll often set with the wind coming from the head end of my tarp and just close down the doors on that windward end. A direct side wind just pushes the tarp up against you in the hammock all night, often disturbs your sleep. Even with side panel pull outs it can be annoying.

    What works best for me in wind is a CRL (continuous ridgeline) attach the tarp to the ridgeline then set the leeward (downwind) guyouts first, then the windward side.

    David

  5. #5
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Another vote for snakeskins.
    I was on Mt Rogers in gusting wind, tried to setup but just wasn't successful. Tarp flying all over the place and I just keep picturing it getting punctured by a branch.
    After that I got snakeskins and it hasn't been a problem.

  6. #6

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    Interesting. I try to get into the trees to block the wind, like a CRL and stake the windward side first. Better yet tie the windward side to something like a tree or bush. I also go low on the windward side and look for any reasonable way to break the wind so it is not whistling under me in the hammock. Given choice I try to take the wind on a quarter instead of either head or side on. That is where a beak or door can come in handy.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member paulw's Avatar
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    I got a ddxl tarp it is huge 4.5 metres X 3metres so I have to be careful with the wind ,I only camp in the mountains and we can get winds to 100 klm gusts in the blink of an eye ,and the snake skins have been my biggest help of everything, next in usefulness ( since you don't use snake skins ) would be bungee loops on my guy tie outs ,shug has some good videos on these ,they definitely help sort of like a shock absorber ,worth checking out and easy to make ,

  8. #8
    Alamosa's Avatar
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    It depends somewhat on the type of tarp you are using and other conditions.

    For a simple hex tarp (summer), I definitely want the wind coming from the side so the tarp will block it. It is usually not too bad if you let the wind help you. Attach it to the trees first and it will just blow out to the side. Then I bring the windward side down and anchor it so it blocks the wind while setting up the other side.

    For a tarp with doors, I do like to point the end into the wind. The tree will be the first point of breaking the wind and the end presents a smaller surface for the wind to hit. Again, I let the wind help me. I start with the tree away from the wind and let the wind keep the tarp out of my way while I hook up the other end. Then attach the tie outs.

    For winter when the snow is deep and the anchors are being tied to snow anchors, it can be a bit more of a challenge as the lines will need to be wrapped around the sticks before they are buried in the snow. In this case, I will usually detach the lines from the tarp, wrap them around the stick, bury the stick, and let the snow set for at least 30 minutes. The part that is more challenging is that you don't have the tarp hanging from the trees to check positioning before setting the anchor points. Experience as to how the tarp will hang and where the anchors will be is very important.
    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
    (known as a win-win on this forum)

  9. #9
    designer@quickdata.com's Avatar
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    Been there, been blown away by that. I use split rings between the tarp D-Rings and Figure -9's. I put a loop around the stakes and adjust the tension at the figure-9 on the tarp. One gust opened the split ring. If I were along I would have worked at it until the tarp was up but I had someone else with me and she wasn't as keen to use it as a "learning experience" - so we settled into our cot-tents. But I can see how keeping the tarp in snakeskins reduces the "sail away" aspect until you get those ends anchored. It is nice to have the trees in the right location for a wind block. But sometimes you have to take the trees you've got.

    My vote, if possible, is to get out of the wind - even if you have to give up a choice view. But I know that isn't always possible - especially in campgrounds when you are accommodating ground sleepers along with your hammock setup.

  10. #10
    lostagain's Avatar
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    there's also a hidden trick to setting up and that's knowing in advance where the wind may be coming from and whether or not it will quarter on you in the night. Many's a sailor who's been fooled by wind that's changed direction in the night or suddenly. How do you know this? watch the weather reports before going out. They'll usually mention what general direction the wind will be coming from for that night and for the next day. So, as has been said, site selection and foreknowledge are keys to getting the tarp up in the wind. As for me, I use a bishop bag and hook one end of my CRL up first, then just drag the tarp over to the other tree letting it flap until I get the other end secured, then I stake out the windward side before moving to the leeward.
    Remember...no matter where you go...there you are.

    "I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion". - John Steinbeck


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