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  1. #31
    MikekiM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Nothing wrong with having multiple tarps and choosing the best one for the expected conditions.

    I might take a teensy little asym if little or no rain is expected. Why take a tarp at all if it isn't going to rain? Because there are pine needles and acorns and bird poop and other assorted flotsam and jetsam falling out of the canopy all the time.

    ^^^^This^^^^

    I still day hike and sadly, I've had hiking partners experience heat exhaustion and only fluids and shade helped, so I made a very small day tarp, recently replaced by an 11' 0.9 silpoly membrane Asym that will be in my pack any time I don't carry a larger tarp. It packs stupid small.. about the size of the can of soda. My others are both 12' 1.1 silpoly hex's.. one with doors and one without. Not long ago I had a Mamajamba and felt like I needed doors, so I got a Superfly. Now that the weather is turning nice, I'll likely reach for the no doors unless the forecast is questionable.

    Quote Originally Posted by arcana73 View Post
    In my opinion, and for my needs, its not worth the price. A silpoly tarp is light enough to get me through a 10-15 mile hike on a backpacking trip. It gives me shade when the sun is out, and its cheaper to replace if anything happens to it. Also the CF tarp is just to "loud" for me.
    ^^^^ And This ^^^^

    None of my tarps are at DCF weight territory off by about 5oz, but both are 12' and weigh less & have less bulk than the 11' silnylon counterparts I had (Superfly & Mamajamba). I use oversize noseeum stuff sacks and the silpoly packs so easily. There are countless other places for me to carve 5oz out of my kit.
    Quote Originally Posted by kitsapcowboy View Post
    You should DIY that tarp. Available DCF material only has about 54" of usable width off the roll, so it will be more like a composite Thunderfly than a Mountainfly, but it will still provide good coverage and be uber-light compared to conventional fabrics. There's only a touch of math, and then the rest or the design for a half-door hex is actually fairly straightforward. If you're accepting the all the challenges that come with hiking the entire AT, building exactly the tarp you'd like to bring for yourself will be a cinch, relatively speaking, even if you don't already have the skill set under your belt.
    ^^^^ And last, This ^^^^

    At this point, all of my shelter options are DIY. I took the best of what I thought I needed and spent a few hours building the tarps. I would love to DIY with DCF, but the learning curve is far too steep and cost is move than I want to allocate. I really appreciate the cool factor of DCF, but for me, it isn't worth the cost.
    _______________________________________
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  2. #32
    Senior Member HoosierT's Avatar
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    DIY : If you're into DIY, I've seen very little on how to make your own Dyneema tarps. Haven't looked, and it's probably out there, but not as readily available as, say kitsapcowboy's ongoing saga chronicling the innovate use and abuse of Xenon Sil...
    Can't comment on how much instruction is on this forum as learned my ways over on BPL. However, I will confidently say that making a DCF tarp is world's easier than sewing Silpoly even though I've probably made 10+ Silpoly tarps compared to three DCF tarps (one was actually a tent). It is certainly more risky from a cost/mistake perspective so you have to be confident going in. I slept under my half-beaked DIY DCF tarp two weeks ago in Roan Highlands in 40 mph winds and it help up like a dream and I didn't get Wet aside from condensation under the tarp rubbing on my hammock. It truly is a wonderful material to DIY and use in the field.

    This was in the morning before we tore down camp, directly behind overmountain shelter.
    Last edited by HoosierT; 05-03-2018 at 14:06.

  3. #33
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierT View Post
    ...I will confidently say that making a DCF tarp is world's easier than sewing Silpoly even though I've probably made 10+ Silpoly tarps compared to three DCF tarps...
    LOL, to each his own, brother, because after completing my first-ever DCF project (a tarp), I would argue exactly the opposite. However, in support of your perspective, I'll add that having done one DCF tarp, I do believe the next one will go together more easily now that I have a little experience. Also, even that I had zero experience with DCF before the project, with care, attention, patience, and a fair time investment I was still able to land on my feet and pull the project off with quite satisfactory results.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member HoosierT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsapcowboy View Post
    LOL, to each his own, brother, because after completing my first-ever DCF project (a tarp), I would argue exactly the opposite. However, in support of your perspective, I'll add that having done one DCF tarp, I do believe the next one will go together more easily now that I have a little experience. Also, even that I had zero experience with DCF before the project, with care, attention, patience, and a fair time investment I was still able to land on my feet and pull the project off with quite satisfactory results.
    For sure, everybody's different. One big reason I find it easier is that I generally ONLY work with Membrane Silpoly which has a couple of challenges. For one it is quite thin and stretchy, not to mention slippery as snot. Also, Gluing the reinforcements with Silicone is a chore. On the other hand, DCF shares almost none of those traits and being able to slap some tape on the back of the reinforcements and slap 'em on like stickers is quite pleasing. I will say this though, there are quite a few variations on how you can accomplish a DCF tarp build. My latest tarp took the easiest of the lot. I did a simple 1" overlap seam for the ridgeline using 1" 3M tape. Then I cut and taped the reinforcements, standard fare for any material in terms of the cutting and shape. But I did choose to roll hem the perimeter on this one. My previous two had taped hems and that added a bit of time and unneeded weight. Unfortunately, I never had time to put together any tutorials on how to work with DCF so the community will greatly benefit from what you're putting together being that your write-ups are always of great value and detail.

  5. #35
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierT View Post
    Can't comment on how much instruction is on this forum as learned my ways over on BPL. However, I will confidently say that making a DCF tarp is world's easier than sewing Silpoly even though I've probably made 10+ Silpoly tarps compared to three DCF tarps (one was actually a tent). It is certainly more risky from a cost/mistake perspective so you have to be confident going in. I slept under my half-beaked DIY DCF tarp two weeks ago in Roan Highlands in 40 mph winds and it help up like a dream and I didn't get Wet aside from condensation under the tarp rubbing on my hammock. It truly is a wonderful material to DIY and use in the field.

    This was in the morning before we tore down camp, directly behind overmountain shelter.
    That is some icky weather!

    I've been caught in stuff like that a few times and it's very low on the fun scale. But it certainly validates your tarp-building skills!
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  6. #36
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierT View Post
    For sure, everybody's different. One big reason I find it easier is that I generally ONLY work with Membrane Silpoly which has a couple of challenges. For one it is quite thin and stretchy, not to mention slippery as snot. Also, Gluing the reinforcements with Silicone is a chore. On the other hand, DCF shares almost none of those traits and being able to slap some tape on the back of the reinforcements and slap 'em on like stickers is quite pleasing. I will say this though, there are quite a few variations on how you can accomplish a DCF tarp build. My latest tarp took the easiest of the lot. I did a simple 1" overlap seam for the ridgeline using 1" 3M tape. Then I cut and taped the reinforcements, standard fare for any material in terms of the cutting and shape. But I did choose to roll hem the perimeter on this one. My previous two had taped hems and that added a bit of time and unneeded weight. Unfortunately, I never had time to put together any tutorials on how to work with DCF so the community will greatly benefit from what you're putting together being that your write-ups are always of great value and detail.
    Many thanks. Now that you shed light on the subject, I see we are actually much closer in perspective.

    I am not a big fan MEMBRANE Silpoly for exactly that reason; it's too light, flimsy, and delicate for me. Being harder to sew and requiring special tie-out methods, added to its reduced trailworthiness, have made it a no-go for me, and I'll always choose something less temperamental and more robust if I can.

    Conversely, my DCF tarp, while small, was completely "no-sew" save for one box-X stitch at each corner. The corners were four layers carefully offset and bonded, so there was a lot of clamping and curing. The entire 1/2 perimeter hem was folded and 3M taped with a single piece on each edge, and laying that down without interruption or significant flaw was the most difficult part. I tested roll-hemming on a small scrap after I was done and found that much easier, as you suggest. I think I'll still be taping hems in the future, but it's got to know.

    Last edited by kitsapcowboy; 05-04-2018 at 14:16.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member HoosierT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitsapcowboy View Post
    Many thanks. Now that you shed light on the subject, I see we are actually much closer in perspective.

    I am not a big fan MEMBRANE Silpoly for exactly that reason; it's too light, flimsy, and delicate for me. Being harder to sew and requiring special tie-out methods, added to its reduced trailworthiness have made it a no-go for me, and I'll always choose something less temperamental and more robust if I can.

    Conversely, my DCF tarp, while small, was completely "no-sew" save for one box-X stitch at each corner. The corners were four layers carefully offset and bonded, so there was a lot of clamping and curing. The entire 1/2 perimeter hem was folded and 3M taped with a single piece on each edge, and laying that down without interruption or significant flaw was the most difficult part. I tested roll-hemming on a small scrap after I was done and found that much easier, as you suggest. I think I'll still be taping hems in the future, but it's got to know.

    Sounds a lot like how I built my first DCF tent. I didn't even sew the tie outs on that one. They were made from folded and taped DCF and were adhered under the reinforcement patches. I also did multiple layers of reinforcements with varying fiber angles. I decided, on the tarp in the above video, that most of that is overkill and went simple. Reinforcements are all a single layer of 1.0 osy DCF, no attention to orientation. Tie outs are 1/2" grosgrain sewn on with two lines of bartacking (like Mountain Laurel Designs who is the pioneer of DCF and said to have the best construction). Perimeter was a simple 1/2" rolled hem, sewn. After using it in those winds I'm confident that these simpler build techniques are more than sufficient.

  8. #38
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierT View Post
    ...Perimeter was a simple 1/2" rolled hem, sewn. After using it in those winds I'm confident that these simpler build techniques are more than sufficient.
    I believe you. Sounds like a nice alternative. Thanks for sharing the benefit of your experience.
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  9. #39
    MikekiM's Avatar
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    Thank you to both of you gents for sharing.

    I just finished two Hex 12's in silpoly and an asym in 0.9 silpoly membrane.. None were particularly difficult to build, especially since I've done a little of sewing. That said, I am a little jazzed at the idea of making a DCF tarp. Not that I need it, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Standing by for the tutorials!!
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    You wonder why I love to sleep alone, in the woods, in a hammock.. I wonder why you don't...

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