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  1. #1
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Cool DIY Cowboy Trail Boss Convertible Tarp (Hammock-to-Ground)

    The subject of emergency ground camping persists as a real bugaboo among hammock campers, who have discovered the comfort and joy of hanging and are loathe to give it up under any circumstance.

    I set out to discover what I could do to modify my hammock tarp design for efficient use on the ground to create a versatile, optimized double-duty all-purpose shelter. I came up with a tree-to-ground convertible tarp concept I call the Trail Boss.

    In cowboy parlance, the trail boss was the senior rider on a cattle drive, managing a crew of a dozen or more drovers to move livestock on the range. He had more toughness and experience than any other rider on the drive, the skills to respond effectively in emergency situations, and the refinement to handle the business end of things when the cattle were brought to market. On the trail, his authority was second to none.

    I am pleased to announce that this Trail Boss DIY project is the subject my first published DIY tutorial now online in the Articles section of the Dutchware Gear website. My sincere thanks go out to Dutch and Alex for their collaboration and assistance with this project. There will be many more DIY tutorials to come...

    The Trail Boss tutorial contains complete step-by-step construction details for this tarp, and you can purchase everything you need to build it from DutchwareGear.com.

    Here was my result...







    Type: All-season multipurpose square hammock tarp with multiple ground pitch options (compatible with single or double internal pole modification)
    Materials: Dutchware Xexon Wide Silpoly waterproof fabric, 300D pack cloth, 1.5" and 5/8" poly grosgrain ribbon, Mara 70 thread, misc. hardware
    Ridge Line Length: 132" (11 feet)
    Width: 132"
    Enclosed Footprint ("doors" shut): Approx 30 sq ft (5.5' x 5.5')
    Weight: Approx 21.2 ounces (600 grams)

    The Trail Boss is an efficient, all-season widebody hammock tarp that is optimized for additional pitches on the ground to provide wraparound weather protection in a variety of “bushcraft-style” configurations using some hiking poles (or trail sticks) and the same tarp ridge line, guy lines, and stakes used over a hammock. Finished size is about 132″ square. The Trail Boss can also be used over two hammocks hanging side by side! It is as spacious on the ground as it is between two trees, and it can be used with net tents or bug bivys.



    Questions and comments are welcome in this discussion thread. Thanks for reading this project report.


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by kitsapcowboy; 06-07-2018 at 10:34.
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  2. #2
    punkisdead's Avatar
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    That's pretty awesome. One of these days I may have to try and DIY a tarp again. First attempt didn't go so well.

  3. #3
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Exclamation DISCLAIMER

    This DIY project report was submitted to this forum for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. Use any methods, ideas, or inspirations contained herein strictly AT YOUR OWN RISK. I accept no responsibility whatsoever for any injury or harm that befalls others owing to information presented here, and I accept no responsibility for any errors the post contains.

    I do not in any way advocate that others should do anything I have presented here; this thread is strictly DOCUMENTATION OF FACT. Readers beware.

    There is a lot of great information on Hammock Forums available from members with much more substantial experience, better ideas, and better methods than mine. SEEK IT OUT.

    Thank you for your attention.
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  4. #4
    kitsapcowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkisdead View Post
    That's pretty awesome.
    Thanks, punkisdead
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  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Half serious...have you considered naming your tarp set up configurations, especially the more complex ones?

    Pic #1 = traditional peak
    Pic #2 = Conestoga-style
    Pic #3 = Origami Bat
    Pic #4 = Concorde

    That way, if an unfortunate camper wants to remember a particular set up during a howling windstorm or other ground-effect event, he/she can go to the memory bank and think, "Ah, Kitsapcowboy's Cowboy Trail Boss tarp's Origami Bat set-up will be perfect!" - rather than, "Pic #3 oughta do it, but was Pic #3 that bat-thingy or the supersonic thingy?"

    Great lookin' tarp, btw.
    The game is the best teacher.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Sweet design - should be especially perfect for people in the west where going to ground isn't always avoidable.
    Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más... - Antonio Machado

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Just reviewed the instructions on the DWG website. Very thorough. I've been sewing since I was a kid but I couldn't combine my love of sewing with my love of the outdoors until vendors such as DWG provided the fabrics and components to make tarps, hammocks, underquilts, etc. Being able to choose fabric type, color, and compenents along with my own iteration of design is priceless although my credit card is starting to hurt!

    Love that the HF community is willing to share ideas and provide inspiration. Keep it up.

  8. #8
    Dynamystic's Avatar
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    That is one spacious tarp and a very ingenious method for the ground pitch. Nice work. Do you have any pics of it being used with a tandem hang? You know I'm curious... ;-)
    Be what Is to Become,
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  9. #9
    Cabmanhang's Avatar
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    That is a sexy beast of a tarp. Love the multi-functional design and the fact that it appears to do, both, ground and hammock very well!

    Really excited about the future of the articles section at dwg with your excellent contributions. The Trail boss report looks thorough and easy to follow. A phenomenal DIY resource to go along with the great products at dutchwaregear.com, is a hammock community WIN. Thanks for everything, Cowboy.

  10. #10
    punkisdead's Avatar
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    I bet with some inside pole mods, this would be awesome for a bridge hammock. Hint, hint.

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