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  1. #1
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Video: How I fold my tarp

    Having followed various threads the past few years involving tarps, my sense is that I'm part of the minority of people who don't use the very popular snake skins.

    I'm aware of the various advantages that are regularly cited by those who like them, but for me the extra weight and bulk were not worth it (yes, I actually tried them... 2-piece and single!) for the minuscule benefit of deploying in the wind, and for keeping the tarp readily deployable if you want to stargaze and yet be able to string up the tarp quickly if it starts raining. Stargazing isn't high on my list because I'm usually asleep in about 3 minutes anyway, and I always fully deploy the tarp so that I don't have to leap out and finish rigging the tarp if it starts raining at 2 am. I sleep better knowing that everything in camp — including the tarp — is squared away. And besides, stuff other than rain falls from the sky and trees!

    So, with that in mind the question sometimes arises, "well then how do you stow your tarp without a snake skin?"

    Well, here's my little video describing the process. If you don't want to watch me pull the stakes and do a little prep, you can skip ahead to around the 4-minute point and start there.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45hKn8ctloQ
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Why haven't I ever thought of wrapping my stakes up in the middle of my tarp like that! Cool video. Always great to pick up bits from others.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for making the video! Can't wait to see what else you've got.

  4. #4

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    Nicely done.

  5. #5

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    Love that accordion-like folding of the tarp - very neat and tidy. I have been pulled to the power of the snake skin side of the hammock force, however, but I will lock that trick away.

    Good stuff. Keep em coming. I love tips like how-tos like this. Something like that folding trick can save someone tons of frustration.

  6. #6
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucky716 View Post
    Why haven't I ever thought of wrapping my stakes up in the middle of my tarp like that! Cool video. Always great to pick up bits from others.
    Glad you found something of use. Just have to make sure they, as well as tarp/cordage, are totally dry before storage at home.
    Quote Originally Posted by mmveets View Post
    Thanks for making the video! Can't wait to see what else you've got.
    You're welcome, and I think I'll stick with the tarp topic and discuss knots and deploying in the wind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    Nicely done.
    Thanks, Bob. I hope you're wrist is healed soon and we can hit the trail. The best weather of the year is ahead!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tpatter View Post
    Love that accordion-like folding of the tarp - very neat and tidy. I have been pulled to the power of the snake skin side of the hammock force, however, but I will lock that trick away.

    Good stuff. Keep em coming. I love tips like how-tos like this. Something like that folding trick can save someone tons of frustration.
    Thanks, and I'll do some more vids. In the demo of course I had to slow down but in the field it can be done very quickly after a bit of practice.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  7. #7
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    I zigged when I shoulda zagged. It looks easy when you do it.
    I always buy stuff sacks two to three times larger than most vendors ship with their tarps.
    Your method of guyline wrap stops tangling in its tracks. Since you don’t impart a spin or coil on lines, when rolling them up—you have no tangled lines—especially if when deploying later, you unroll your lines rather than pulling coil off the end of tarp—giving kinks-twists in your line.

    When I carry stakes, they are in a water bottle—one of the easiest to collapse-squeeze almost flat bottles.
    Hoping water bottle with screw on cap will protect other gear from stakes.

    But the proof is in the pudding. You have probably been packing stakes with your tarp—with no damage to tarp, for some time.
    Proof it works!

    By packing stakes, guylines, and tarp together, there is less chance of forgetting to pack smaller items—like stakes and guylines.

    Good to learn new skills from someone who actually backpacks and camps regularly.

  8. #8
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Ha, thanks Grappler!

    I started out folding it in half, and then half again, but the bundle was too big. Then I folded in half again and it was too small. So the zig-zag was the 'Goldilocks' solution, and it has the side benefit of making it a bit more manageable when unfurling it to deploy.

    Yep, never had any stake damage packing just as shown. The freezer ziploc is tough enough that it protects from the pointy ends... which are really rather dull after quite a bit of use. And I really do like the fact that everything tarp-related is inside that one stuff sack.
    Last edited by cmoulder; 07-27-2021 at 18:48.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  9. #9
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Can’t remember the exact number or even if it’s absolutely true or just a rule of thumb

    Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half seven times...at a certain point folding in half becomes impossible...is it the seventh fold in half?!?!?

    So many truisms and sayings that are taken as fact. And I have trouble remembering which is which.

    Just now checked paper fold in half. Was ok folding 6 times, but was not able to get that 7th fold.
    After each fold, I folded next fold at 90* spin to previous fold. If I had just continued folding in half, I’d end up with a narrow rectangle shape paper that would not even get to 5 folds.

    Your zig zag folds can easily exceed 7 folds!

    Of course, what do I know, as I pronounce the word Science with only one syllable!!!
    Ha!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stovemandan's Avatar
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    Great video....nicely done....thank you!
    Fancee Feest = preferred alcohol stove of "informed backpackers"

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