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Thread: Mylar Tarp Test

  1. #1
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    Mylar Tarp Test

    I had an Adventure Medical Kit Emergency Blanket lying around, so I thought I would try it out as a tarp. At 4.5' x 7', this is too small to use as a hammock tarp, but I figured it was worth trying, since AMK makes a slightly larger (5' x 8') blanket that could potentially be used as a hammock tarp, and it certainly seems possible to combine two of these to still have a low cost lightweight option for a tarp.

    Anyway, for my test, I set up a ridgeline and used sheet-bend knots to tie off the corners. I pulled it fairly tight, but it could have been tighter. If this were to be modified to be really used as a tarp, it would need to have reinforcement for the center line, reinforced corners, and possibly a grommet in the middle of the sides that would allow a third tie-out on each side.

    It took about 15 minutes to set up, and I left it up for about half an hour. It did not tear in that time. When I untied the corners, the material had clearly weakened. Part of the metallic underside had rubbed off, making it look somewhat thin. While up, it worked to keep rain off of me, though it was just a light sprinkle and not a downpour. I would not have wanted to set this up in high wind (though, really, who would want to set up any tarp in high wind?). Noise was not particularly problematic.

    Overall, I think if a trip <3 nights was planned, this would be a viable option without reinforcement. I think it could provide needed comfort, but I would hate to trust my life to it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Frawg's Avatar
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    That looks workable, pitched lower, if you had to go to ground. It'll be interesting how the 5 x 8 works for you. Would duct tape reinforcement of the tie points help with the wear?

    Good show!
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  3. #3
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    this is off topic but cool tree!

  4. #4
    Senior Member jonesy's Avatar
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    thats one crazy looking tree ..gotta love nature..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_huber View Post
    I had an Adventure Medical Kit Emergency Blanket lying around, so I thought I would try it out as a tarp. At 4.5' x 7', this is too small to use as a hammock tarp, but I figured it was worth trying, since AMK makes a slightly larger (5' x 8') blanket that could potentially be used as a hammock tarp, and it certainly seems possible to combine two of these to still have a low cost lightweight option for a tarp.

    Anyway, for my test, I set up a ridgeline and used sheet-bend knots to tie off the corners. I pulled it fairly tight, but it could have been tighter. If this were to be modified to be really used as a tarp, it would need to have reinforcement for the center line, reinforced corners, and possibly a grommet in the middle of the sides that would allow a third tie-out on each side.

    It took about 15 minutes to set up, and I left it up for about half an hour. It did not tear in that time. When I untied the corners, the material had clearly weakened. Part of the metallic underside had rubbed off, making it look somewhat thin. While up, it worked to keep rain off of me, though it was just a light sprinkle and not a downpour. I would not have wanted to set this up in high wind (though, really, who would want to set up any tarp in high wind?). Noise was not particularly problematic.

    Overall, I think if a trip <3 nights was planned, this would be a viable option without reinforcement. I think it could provide needed comfort, but I would hate to trust my life to it.
    m_huber,

    Don't you potential trust you life on your gear every day, given that mother nature and personal bad luck are free form variables? ....Given these facts I don't see how you can state this is viable for 2 nights...

    Emergency option, maybe.... But I would not recommend it based on your stated findings.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    After using a space blanket in a emergency I discovered the regular gear is better in a pinch... So I was thinking a space blanket as a good ground sheet nothing more as it really is too small, more fun for Boy Scouts and then I found this gem..

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...1&postcount=28

  7. #7
    Senior Member gunn parker's Avatar
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    Love that tree, what is it and is that normal growth?
    Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
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  8. #8

    tarp

    Thanks for the review

  9. #9
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    The reason I said that it would be suitable for 1-2 nights, but not more, is that it seems to have stress on the corners that would cause it to fail after a couple of nights. I would be wary of using it for any long period of time because putting it under tension and then folding it up would allow cracks/holes to form, which would allow water to percolate through. Also, with a shorter trip, you would have a better handle on what kind of weather you would be facing. This would protect you from an unexpected storm, but I wouldn't want to be under it during a hurricane. If I get a chance, I might try setting it up multiple days in a row to see how it holds up. I'm a bit busy with my thesis research right now.

    The tree is a live oak on the campus of LSU near my apartment. This particular tree is fairly old, but it is typical of how they grow. There are a number of places around Baton Rouge where you can see similar growth.

  10. #10
    any other comments on this? have you used it anymore?

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