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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2009
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    how do you determine the size of tarp you need?

    I think I'm going to do some hammock camping this summer and need to complete my set up. I'm going to sew my own mac cat tarp but need to figure out how big it needs to be. How do you determine how large the tarp needs to be?
    Since fabric is 60 inches wide, a tarp that is 10ft wide would be nice... That means and 11 or 12 ft long tarp.
    thanks,
    scott

  2. #2
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Middlebury, IN
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    whoop dutch!
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    Too long, and a tarp will interfer with your hammock suspension in some settings.
    Which hammock are you using? That can be a determining factor.
    What seasons do you hike or camp in? Cold and windy weather, its nice to batten down the hatches and and still have space.
    And, are you a gram weenie?

    8x11 is a good all round size for most situations, offers good rain protection ('cept for the worst storms), light, good pack size.

    10x12 is a little heavier. But its a great size and can be set up tight for the worst weather, strung high on one side for a cool porch and excellent views.

    Check your fabric as well, not all tagged fabric is actually 60 wide, exactly. Some fabric I bought was 57 and some 64-65, its a fabric thing.? (like 2x4 is not 2x4)

    Buy a little extra, to allow for hems and seams, if you want it exactly a certain length.
    I don't worry about it much. If you want it 11 feet long, cut it at 11-4, + or -, depending on the size of hems your doing. Or if your using grosgrain, cut it exact.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    onrope buckle
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    Are you going to backpack, or car camp?

    8x8, in a diamond pitch, will get you by, and is light and packable.

    If you're car camping, go big...all that extra space is pure luxury.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  4. #4
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    It needs to extend beyond the ends of your hammock by at least 6-8", and be wide enough to protect you from windblown rain. That can be done by about 6-7' wide if you want to take the time for good site selection. I'd consider those the minimums.

    Check stats on commercial tarps to give you a better idea. Personally, I think the MacCat Standard is about the right size for nearly all conditions. I've started taking a larger tarp for winter...currently the JRB 11'x10'. It has loads of space and I can close off the ends, pitch it like a porch, etc.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  5. #5
    Senior Member mitch's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Renton, WA
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    I use the 3 X 4 m (10'x13') Claytor large fly all the time. Some say it's way to big, but I have found that it gives me many different set up options. I have set it up as a diamond fly by folding the corners over the top and tying them back. And because it has extra ridge line loops a foot in on each edge, I can make the length 1 or 2 foot smaller if needed.
    Last edited by mitch; 04-25-2010 at 20:45.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doctari's Avatar
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    Mine is 13.5' x 10' & suites ME fine. It's "heavy" at 32 Oz, but regardless of the weather, I stay dry AND can still walk around under the tarp. I am somewhat limited in campsite selection as my hammock can hang from trees about 9' apart, but the tarp requires a minimum of 14' so therefore if there is any chance of rain, my minimum distance is 14'. Although in reality, I can hang the tarp sideways & go down to about 10.5'.

    My "Huge" tarp also has a lot of surface to act as a sail in windy conditions (67 square feet) so again, I need to be somewhat selective of where I hang in iffy weather.

    I wouldn't trade my tarp for any other.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

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