So DemostiX (or anyone else who wants to reply) - give me your honest evaluation: Will Tyvek tarps keep my two sons dry for a four-night hammock hang? Last time I hung at Lake Lila, NY, my Hennessy Hammock kept me dry through five inches of rain in one night.
I'm on a limited budget for this trip, but I want the same rain protection for my sons' hammocks. Getting wet might turn them off hammock camping for life. I just don't have enough money to buy a real tarp for them and Tyvek seems like the best option for a cheap, reliable tarp.
That guy you mentioned on E-Bay (frequentfire, I think) will make custom Tyvek tarps with tie-outs - I'm checking with him on price for a 14x9 or 16x9 tarp. He only has 9-ft wide Tyvek. He will also add tie-outs, but I'll have to see how much he charges.
If the price is under $20 per tarp (with or without tie-outs), I'll probably buy it. If not, I'll hit up my friends in the construction industry and make my tarps from scraps using Tyvek tape, with a bunched up pebble and a Larks Head knot for tie-outs. I'll probably reinforce the corners and other tie-out areas with Tyvek tape as well.
I'm thinking I can use some Amsteel Blue for a ridgeline and just lay the Tyvek over it. However, water might run right down the ridgeline, under the Tyvek, and onto the hammock. I could always use drip strings, or tie-outs on the ridgeline with Prusik knots to connect to the ridgeline. I'll probably experiment in the field.
I've been experimenting in the backyard with a 7x7 Tyvek ground cloth and I am really encouraged that this will be the ultimate cheapo tarp solution. Tyvek is really easy to hang, and seems to remain taut, There's the noise problem with Tyvek in wind and rain, but I would listen to a continuous loop of Brittany Spears all night if it kept me dry.
Does this Tyvek tarp sound like it will work for me in my situation? Dry and reliable for one five-day trip, no matter how much it rains, and under $20 per tarp is about all I care about. I really don't want to have to give up my dry Hennessy to a whiny kid who's getting wet.
BTW - I tried the generic blue tarp and the grommets ripped with virtually no tension. I'm not going that route.
Somewhere in my future is a OES Cuben tarp. Santa, take note.