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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Winter Haven Recommendations

    My wife and I have Jared's 11' Trail Lair hammocks and currently use the 12' UGQ Hangar tarps. They are great tarps for the summer but fall short on what I consider ideal for the winter due to the lack of doors and large cat cuts that allow a breeze under the hammock (much appreciated during a summer storm). The distance between trees is very rarely too short and we use Dutch's 15' dyneema straps to compensate for this. We are considering going with silpoly XL winter haven tarps with three poles and no cat cuts for winter hangs in order to keep the wind and driving rain/snow out. I know that a longer 13' tarp would require my trees to be further apart than with a shorter tarp and that the length may interfere with hammock straps for how low I can go in storm mode. Btw we use dutch's continuous ridge line for the tarp with a wasp and soft shackles. What is the general consensus on the length of the tarp and the distance of the tarp off the ground in storm mode ? Would an 13' XL silpoly tarp allow me to get say one foot off the ground and still have some slight head height ? I guess that I'm trying to get the best of all things...almost six feet head height inside and still allow for hunkering down into storm mode without having to lower the tarp along with maximum coverage.

    I am considering the 13' length because my wife likes the room and our tarps tend to be gathering places for cooking and general banter during a light storm for the ground dwellers in our party when hiking with friends. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    The length of tarp doesn't calculate in storm mode height of tarp. The width of the tarp would be more important here.

    You get more usable space with the longer tarp and obviously can keep dryer with doors.
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

  3. #3
    michigandave's Avatar
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    The Winter Haven is a great tarp and I've got an older 12 footer with the external pole mods. Plenty of room, but the ones Jared is making now with the internal poles are awesome. A couple of my buddies have them and they are bulletproof.

  4. #4
    OneClick's Avatar
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    I don't know about the 6' height, but I will say you're definitely doing less crouching around. I would DEFINITELY recommend the cat cuts. I was trying to make a 100% wind-proof shelter in the winter, but still added them. It's not like it leaves a big 6" gap like some tarps. Jared used a very modest curve for the cuts. They just keep it nice and taut.

    Below you can see my 12'. This is a nice tree spacing, but a 13' tarp would have been sloppy. I struggled to even get the 12 in here (see the doors wrapping the tree on left). I could have closed them, but I needed some air flow.




    Some things I learned:

    1. The most important is airflow. On another trip (not shown above) I had things battened down tight. Doors closed and 12" off ground, but snow piled to block most of the wind. By morning everything was soaked/covered in crystals. It got down to -16F. Did blocking the wind keep me "warmer"? Absolutely not. I get the need to stay out of the wind, but trying to prevent it in the winter is a death sentence. I had a -10F sauna going on all night. Another night was completely out of the question; my quilts were sponges. So bottom line, let things breathe in the winter! Don't worry too much about that gap at the bottom.

    2. 12' length, just right!

    3. The 3-pole setup, overkill IMO. I wish I just went with the single in the center. On the trip I just mentioned, it was cold and I didn't even feel like messing with stuff. I put the middle pole in an called it a day. Plenty of room, nice and taut.

    4. Side pullouts were a total waste for me. I'll never use them. This is a winter-only, pole-only tarp for me.

    Here it is with just one pole installed; the -16F trip. Now that I think of it, I may have had one side open and still got damp. Winter can be tough!
    Last edited by OneClick; 06-28-2019 at 08:28.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I was leary of cat cuts because my current tarp has larger cuts than I see on yours. Last winter they allowed a good solid air flow under the tarp. I like the poles in a tarp because on our last trip in march a serious storm came in with very heavy rain and wind gust over 20+mph. Luckily we were pitched under some hemlocks that took the brunt of the storm but it was still "eventful". Three other tarps in our group did not fare so well and one had water in the hammock. I fully understand and agree that having some ventilation is desirable even in the cold. My hangar has cat cuts that are too high for my taste because I have to get real real low for the cut to be below the hammock leaving very little head height. It's so humid here in the south that even a semi "A-Frame" style pitch can cause droplets to form on the underside and drip on you at night during the summer.

    Insofar as the length affecting the height I was under the impression that a longer tarp is harder to get lower due to length interfering with the hammock straps. If the 30 degree hang were to make a "V" shape then at some point a horizontal line would intersect them. Aka shorter tarps can go lower in the "V" shape. Am I wrong in that assumption ? Another reason that I want the XL is because of the additional width for side coverage to the ground hence I wouldn't have to go quite so low to get good coverage. That last trip I had the cat cuts about 30"+ off the ground and the driving rain was trying to come in sideways with the wind. We got some splash effect on our quilts. I will get an UQP soon for that.

    We have two poles that are on a slant atm on our tarps and they work well. Being that Jared's are straight up I figured three would do well in very heavy rain/wind issues as well as if I ever get to go somewhere that there is some real snow.

    This is how mine was pitched when all [email protected] broke loose in the weather. I probably should have lowered it. Notice that in the first pic you can see the bottom of the quilt just barely. Tarp was too high. It was set just above my head so that I didn't have to duck down. Mother nature didn't give us enough warning or perhaps we didn't listen to her enough . Notice the width on our trees. Finding some below 20' is an issue sometimes and under 15' is rare.
    20190413_084430.jpg

    20190413_084418.jpg
    Last edited by Grey Mouse; 06-28-2019 at 15:17.

  6. #6
    OneClick's Avatar
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    I went with the Silpoly XL (gray tarp above) after my Superfly seemed a bit short on a winter trip. Then it rained. With extra winter gear I struggled to keep everything dry underneath. It's nice to have the extra space. Nothing against the Superfly; I used it for year without any issues in the winter.

  7. #7
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    I like your tarp Oneclick. It is really nice and the cat cuts are not too high. It looks really spacious. I'll definitely go with the snaps on mine. I would never use side pull outs though. I've never even owned a tarp with them lol. Do you happen to know what your width is with it being an XL? My current set up is only 116" wide according to UGQ's site.

  8. #8
    OneClick's Avatar
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    It's about 135" wide. I LOVE the snaps. It gives it a nice clean look and completely blocks out the wind and rain.

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