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  1. #1
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    JRB 11'x10 and original stuff sack

    I have now abandoned snake skins for our tarps and returned to using the JRB stuff sack that came with the 11'x10' tarps.

    I remembered something I watched a long time ago - sailors reefing the sails.

    I asked myself - how different is putting a sail away than putting a tarp away? On a windy day, the tarp is a sail !!!!!

    Well to begin with I don't use a spar with the tarp. Yes, but I do use the ridge line above the tarp - that could be a substitute spar.

    So down to the hammock lab.

    Strung the ridge line and the JRB 11'x10' tarp.

    Then took some 2 mm Zing-It (any guy line cord will do) and cut 7 lengths - sorry didn't measure the length, just use what you think appropriate:

    1. one for each end - 2
    2. one for the mid-point - 1
    3. two in the middle of each side - between the end and mid-point of the tarp - 4


    Call these "reefing cords":

    Tie a bowline on one end of each reefing cord and around the ridge line cord - so that the reefing cords are hanging from the ridge line cord.

    Starting in the middle, gather the tarp up to the ridge line and hold the gathered tarp in one hand along with the ridge line. Now use the mid-point reefing cord to tie the gathered tarp. After some experimenting I found that it is easiest for me to wrap one way around the tarp and ridge line cord, around the reefing cord, reverse direction and wrap tarp again and then finish with a half hitch. I can easily do this with one hand while holding the tarp and ridge line cord with the other hand.

    Then moving towards one end repeat for the middle of that section and then the end.

    Repeat for the other middle and end.

    The tarp is reefed to the ridge line cord.

    Unfasten ridge line from one tree and stuff cord and end of tarp into original JRB stuff sack. Continue stuffing until entire tarp is back in sack. Use knee to compress and pull draw string tight. I leave a short length of the ridge line cord sticking out and use that to tie the ridge line to the first tree at the next hang.

    I started with 5 reefing cords, 1 one one each side between the end and mid-point. I increased it to 2. The increase in the reefing cords makes the stuffing easier.

    Reefing the tarp in this manner keeps the tarp under control while stuffing and keeps it from blowing around. With the tarp reefed, it cannot billow out and get away from you.

    I find that for me, using the stuff sack makes a smaller final package than the snake skins. It takes me a little longer to reef the tarp than pulling the snake skin, but I gain in a smaller final package.

    Another point: JRB puts a tie out on the mid-point of their 11'x10' tarp. I use a mini-biner through the tie out and clipped to the ridge line. This serves 2 purposes.

    Originally I have used the mid-point tie out for years like this to keep the tarp seam ridge line from being pulled too far away from the cord ridge line. This keeps the top of the tarp nice and high with the sides tight.

    Since the JRB tarp can be used with either an 11' or 10' fabric ridge line, the mini-biner now serves a second purpose for the JRB 11'x10' tarp: a pivot.

    I can hang the tarp and ridge line from the stuff sack and if I decide to use the other tarp fabric ridge line length, I can simply pivot the tarp around the mini-biner, reattach the new tarps ends (formerly the middle of the sides) to the cord ridge line and re-guy the sides. Done. Using the ridge line cord and mini-biner keeps the tarp under control, off the ground and out of your arms while switching.

    We've found that reefing the tarp works better for us. YMMV
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  2. #2
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    interesting idea TeeDee...visual learner here....need pics (never sailed...I have no idea what a 'reef' or 'reefing' (maybe wrapping line around your tarp or sail) is) Any sailing websites that might show the concept?
    the minibiner on the top ridgeline tie out is GENIUS!...I thought about how to utilize that tie out yesterday and never quite made it that far down the path..thanks for the tip!
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

  3. #3
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    I don't have a digital camera so cannot post pics.

    Tried Googling reefing, but didn't find any pictures worth using.

    Maybe a sailor can give a better description and knows of a picture.

    Or maybe I'm using the wrong term
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  4. #4
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Sounds cool but I too need pix!
    I have your over-the-tarp set-up in my back 40 right now with my new SWT and saw a couple of folks in the Linville Gorge doing it so had to give it a run.
    Is the advantage the tarp going back and forth on the ridgeline for adjustment? any other pros?
    cons?
    I thankee TeeDee.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  5. #5
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    I second the pics, borrow someones cell phone! =) Of course I would like to see your innovation, as i am currently extremely satisfied with the method you gave me with the prussics.

    I also got away from snake skins, too much volume in the pack for me too. Are you using a jrb stuff sack with the nylon tightening, or a regular draw string stuff sack? I think i could get the spinn deluxe down real small with one of my small jrb stuff sacks, but dont wanna compress it so much.

  6. #6
    bonsaihiker's Avatar
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    Wow. I've been playing with my JRB 11x10 today and did the same thing with the mini-biner so I could use it as a pivot!

    I like the idea to reef and then stuff the tarp with the ridgeline attached--that one I did not figure out. I love the toggled ridge line btw....

    Thanks for the post!
    --Scott <><

    "I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful... because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...." --Robert Traver

  7. #7
    Senior Member Barefoot Child's Avatar
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    Hey,Tee-Dee
    ..yes you have the sailing term correct. Reefing involves securing the sail to the spar, gathering it up and wrapping a line (reefing line) around it so that it is not open to catch the wind, you can even put a reef in just to reduce the amount of wind the sail catches. If you think of an olde' timey square sailing ship (think..Tall Ship) and remember all of the rigging rats leaning over the spars and untieing the reef lines and then seeing the sails unfurl downwards you might understand what the process of reefing a tarp would be like. of course, putting a reef IN would just mean gathering it up and wrapping it with a reef line, just like you discribed. I hope this might help get a visual picture for non-saillor types.
    It sounds like a great idea when wind conditions make your tarp become a loose sail in the wind. It has worked in the sailing world for centuries.
    "If'n I'm gonna fall, someone is gonna' watch."
    Sean Emery

  8. #8
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Sounds cool but I too need pix!
    I have your over-the-tarp set-up in my back 40 right now with my new SWT and saw a couple of folks in the Linville Gorge doing it so had to give it a run.
    Is the advantage the tarp going back and forth on the ridgeline for adjustment? any other pros?
    cons?
    I thankee TeeDee.
    Shug
    I find several advantages to the ridge line cord and reefing for us:

    1. easy to string between the trees. For me trying to tie off one tarp ridge cord and then the other is more bother. Before I knew about snake skins, this meant a real hassle with the tarp, trying to hold it and feed it out, etc, tie one end then hassle the tarp trying to tie the other end, repeat to adjust positiuon. Before snake skins, I could run the ridge line cord tree to tree and then hang the tarp from the ridge line cord - easy toggle to the prussics - done.

      The snake skins helped, but they didn't help on the next point,
    2. easy adjustment. String between the trees and slide to where I want it rather than adjusting each end. Note that snake skins can still be used with the ridge line cord, you just have to include the ridge line cord inside the snake skin.
    3. less wind interference. Snake skins helped on this, but reefing is better for me.


    Being able to finally stuff that JRB 11'x10' back into their stuff sack really sold me. Impossible to do without the reefing or being able to duplicate their folding technique (try folding it in the wind ). Then when I compared that tarp in the stuff sack with another 11'x10' in the snake skin, that was it, no more snake skin. I haven't weighed, but I think the JRB stuff sack is lighter than snake skins.

    I'm still in the last century. I was forced to buy a cell phone when the wife had surgery - no image capability. I purchased 2 yrs and 1,000 min and have 3 months left on the time and 992+ minutes. When asked, I tell people quite seriously that the only person I really want to call can be contacted with a whisper at any time - my wife.

    So that also means no digital camera - I look at my film camera and shudder paying the price for a digital with the quality and resolution I would demand.

    So I guess a written description is about the best I can offer right now. The image I had in my mind was of those old masted sailing ships and a storm blowing up and the sails flapping madly in the wind and with sailors out in the rigging and standing on a single rope along the spar and hauling sail up and tying it off so that the sail bunched up next to the spar. You must have seen at least one of those movies.

    If you can picture that in your mind then that is what the reefed tarp looks like. Just substitute ridge line cord for the spar. When reefed the tarp is bunched up against the ridge line cord. Pulled tight where the reefing cords are tied and looser between the reefing cords. The reefing cords act like a very, very sparse snake skin in containing the tarp so that it can be stuffed.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  9. #9
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot Child View Post
    Hey,Tee-Dee
    ..yes you have the sailing term correct. Reefing involves securing the sail to the spar, gathering it up and wrapping a line (reefing line) around it so that it is not open to catch the wind, you can even put a reef in just to reduce the amount of wind the sail catches. If you think of an olde' timey square sailing ship (think..Tall Ship) and remember all of the rigging rats leaning over the spars and untieing the reef lines and then seeing the sails unfurl downwards you might understand what the process of reefing a tarp would be like. of course, putting a reef IN would just mean gathering it up and wrapping it with a reef line, just like you discribed. I hope this might help get a visual picture for non-saillor types.
    It sounds like a great idea when wind conditions make your tarp become a loose sail in the wind. It has worked in the sailing world for centuries.
    Thanks Barefoot Child. I never know when I get a term right or wrong in a field I'm only barely acquainted with.

    Yeah - I've found that reefing the tarp is a whole lot easier than trying to hassle a tarp blowing in the wind into a snake skin. Gathering the tarp into your hand and tying it just turns out to be much easier for me. I left Hennessy style double snake skins for a single constant diameter tube because the tarp ALWAYS developed a "bubble" in the middle and it was impossible to get the air out of the bubble and the tarp into the double skins. A single tube didn't have that problem, but reefing is even easier for us and less bulk. I have some real narrow webbing, about 1/4" wide and some real small ladder lock buckles that fit and I'm considering using them to compress the tarp in the stuff sack even more like JRB uses on their compression sacks for the quilts. That would make for even less bulk. Got the webbing and buckles at the dollar store - cat collars and leashes.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  10. #10
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    AS someone who is new to hanging and doesn't even have my first tarp yet it is great to hear that so many of you have over the years tried different methods and chosen a preferred system. It makes it easier for those of us who are new to the fold to wade through everything. The reason TeeDees method rings true to me is that i spent yrs on the west coast of bc in the spring storm conditions where tarps,tents and poles would be blown to bits. We came up with our own methods at the time to deal with the situation but nothing very refined. I to am a visual person and if someone here adopts TeeDees method than i would like to encourage you to take not only pics but make a short video. For some reason i have difficulty reading pages of instructions off the computer screen or in hand with out visual aid. Thanks TeeDee
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

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