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  1. #1
    Senior Member McSpartan's Avatar
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    Tarp Patch and Repair

    While at Scout camp a few weeks ago I chose hammock and tarp over canvas tent and cot. Absolutely thrilled with the hang - best week of camp sleep ever. Imagine my chagrin at returning to camp and finding a 3" gash in my tarp (BMJ). From the markings it appears that a stick, with a scout attached to it, hit the tarp. I later found that out that scouts from another troop were the culprits (I hung a little bit too close to a path). What to do? I thought I might have to send the tarp to Brandon and have him perform a professional job. So I e-mailed him and received a much better answer, and a process for the fix (his response came within 2 hours .

    It worked out so well that I e-mailed him again to get approval to share the results and process here. Here's to hoping you never use it.

    Brandon did not have spare material for this particular tarp (made in China batch) and suggested I use the stuff sack. That worked out fine since I recently made some snake skins and have several other stuff sacks I can use as needed. The patch fix is completed with nothing more than pure clear silicone, Brandon suggested GE's silicone II, just make sure it's clear because it comes in all kinds of colors. You can get this at any of the big box hardware stores.

    Using the silicone, spread a thin complete layer on the patch and then stick it on the tarp and rub it on there good, smoothing all the air bubbles out and making sure the fabric around the tear is put back together neatly (my tear was not too ragged, but I did cut away a few loose threads). Make sure to use a patch that is a bit larger than the tear. You can manipulate the patch and the fabric after you get it on there, the patch will slide around on the tarp somewhat so you can fine tune the position and straighten out any creases once you get it on there. The silicone dries very slowly (overnight) and stays "workable" for awhile.

    Be sure to orient the ripstop grid of the patch to align with the ripstop grid of the tarp, this way the patch and the tarp have the same stretch characteristics when pulled on. Also, be sure to cut the patch so the corners are rounded off, and make sure the very edges of the patch get glued on too. you can wipe off any excess with a cloth.

    For a tear this size, Brandon adivised that I should be able to get away with patching only one side, either side will work. No sewing required. That's it.

    The results were great. The tarp now has "character". Thanks to Brandon for a quick turnaround with great advice. I continue to be impressed by his service.
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  2. #2
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Looks good. Will probably last a long time. Its cool that Brandon replied so quickly...not really surprised.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tendertoe's Avatar
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    I had the same prompt assistance and guidance with my Spinn Mambajamba hole last season with similarly great results. Looks awesome and should function with no issues.

  4. #4
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    The patch will last a long time... I've got one I did that way about three years ago and it is still holding fine ... and still exuding character!
    Last edited by Hawk-eye; 07-07-2011 at 04:39.

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  5. #5
    Bruciehi5's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting the repair how-to! Great photos, great description
    and a handy how-to to know! I hope I never need it!

  6. #6
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Thanks McSpartan and Brandon! Now I know how to make a simple repair if I have to...and knowing is half the battle....

  7. #7
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    At West Marine they sell ripstop sail repair tape. It has an adhedsive back but this probably would not work too good on sil and you could do a patch with it like mentioned. Its fairly inexpensive. Works great on tarps / tent flys that has the polyurethane coating. Fixed many troop tent flys and tarps with it. I would patch both sides then coat it with seam sealer. This could be another alternative instead of sacrificing a stuff sack. Thanks for posting the fix on a sil tear. Good info.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Find the stick wielding scout and use a portion of his backside skin for the patch. That behavior is just plain wrong. But then so is this solution. But it felt good to type it.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  9. #9
    Senior Member McSpartan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Find the stick wielding scout and use a portion of his backside skin for the patch. That behavior is just plain wrong. But then so is this solution. But it felt good to type it.
    Was very glad it wasn't one of ours. Your solution is similar to one that crossed my mind at the time

    Quote Originally Posted by richtorfla View Post
    At West Marine they sell ripstop sail repair tape. It has an adhedsive back but this probably would not work too good on sil and you could do a patch with it like mentioned. Its fairly inexpensive. Works great on tarps / tent flys that has the polyurethane coating. Fixed many troop tent flys and tarps with it. I would patch both sides then coat it with seam sealer. This could be another alternative instead of sacrificing a stuff sack. Thanks for posting the fix on a sil tear. Good info.
    That's good to know too, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by raiffnuke View Post
    Thanks McSpartan and Brandon! Now I know how to make a simple repair if I have to...and knowing is half the battle....
    Roger that. Honestly, the hardest part was deciding to cut into my nice stuff sack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruciehi5 View Post
    Thanks for posting the repair how-to! Great photos, great description
    and a handy how-to to know! I hope I never need it!
    I hope you never need it either. Kudos to Brandon's willingness to share and ease the pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    The patch will last a long time... I've got one I did that way about three years ago and it is still holding fine ... and still exuding character!
    Hoping this is the last piece of "character" this particular tarp will get. It now has a story to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tendertoe View Post
    I had the same prompt assistance and guidance with my Spinn Mambajamba hole last season with similarly great results. Looks awesome and should function with no issues.
    It helps to know I'm not the only one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Looks good. Will probably last a long time. Its cool that Brandon replied so quickly...not really surprised.
    Well said. Now need to cut a patch from my tarp to seal up my stuff sack.
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  10. #10
    Member Tiger Rag's Avatar
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    Hope I never have to experience this but good to know the solution if it happens. Thanks for sharing!

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