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  1. #1
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    Tarp Size Question

    Hey folks, I'm planning on buying my first hammock setup in the near future. My priority will be for use when backpacking. I've read plenty of accounts where hikers had wished for a bigger tarp, but haven't read any reports where someone thought they had too much tarp. So my question is, has anyone had problems setting up a tarp because it was too big (e.g. couldn't get it taught, had too pitch too steeply)?

    As a frame of reference, my first trip will be 3 nights through cape chignecto park in nova scotia. I've never been there, but it looks like there might be fairly dense evergreens, which doesn't seem ideal for hammock hanging, and even less ideal for throwing up a big wide tarp. My plan is to get a warbonnet blackbird, and either a warbonnet edge or mamajamba tarp. I don't mind the extra weight of the mamajamba, so any opinions on which to choose? Or any other issues I'm not considering? Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    I think a bigger tarp is a good choice for a new hanger... most new hangers get too small of a tarp and they are not ready for the learning curve that comes with a small tarp... you can use a stock HH tarp in a heavy downpour if you know how to use it... many ppl have me being one of them...
    the good thing about a bigger tarp is no learning curve or very little i should say .... but after time most hangers end up getting a smaller tarp as they become more seasoned to hanging and using a tarp...
    you can always save the bigger tarp for your winter setup
    my first Real hammock tarp was the JRB 11x10... and man she was a great tarp... i wish they made it in a Cuben model cause i would buy it LOL
    i could get by with a OES micro no problem ... but give that same tarp to a new hanger and they will get wet

    i say get a big tarp or a nice 3 season to start out with... once you get good at using your tarp move down to a smaller size tarp for nice weather...
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  3. #3
    Bubba's Avatar
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    A Bigmambajama is not diificult to work with or set up and as G.L.P. said for a new hanger, not a bad option.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JalapeñoBen's Avatar
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    Either tarp is a good choice IMO. I just ordered an Edge tarp today! The big difference is the MamaJamba has panel pulls on the body (and of course it's bigger). I think either tarp isn't going to be "too big". I'm counting ounces for my setup and it was a tough decision for me. I was originally going to get an OES Micro, but decided a cat cut was better for my situation. Edge is the best deal for its size. OES makes some good tarps as well, and they're really nice about giving advice for your situation. I plan on getting my Cuben tarp from them (one day when I can afford it).

    G.L.P. is right when he says it's better to start big and get smaller. And as you were saying, no one complains about a tarp being too big. Also the tarps you're looking at are 3 season tarps, the big ole' 4 season tarps can be a bit tricky to hang properly and figure out.

    There's a lot to learn on this website, so welcome and be a sponge! When I got here I was amazed at how knowledgeable and nice everyone was. Soon you will feel drunk with knowledge and master of all that hangs! There's a guy here named Shug that has some GREAT videos, and you can see some of the tarps in action! I'll link his videos for ya.

    OES Website
    http://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/


    Shug's Videos- These are his tutorial videos, he also has a link at the bottom to more!
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=15516


    Happy Hangin'
    Ben
    Pass the Apple Pie

  5. #5
    Banned
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    the other side of the "bigger to smaller" tarp thinking is this: you may not be as careful setting up and not get as skilled. i, personally am glad that i learned with a smaller tarp first, before getting a bigger one for winter...

  6. #6
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wags View Post
    the other side of the "bigger to smaller" tarp thinking is this: you may not be as careful setting up and not get as skilled. i, personally am glad that i learned with a smaller tarp first, before getting a bigger one for winter...
    my first tarp was a stock HH tarp so i learned the hard way fast LOL
    for some a smaller tarp is ok to start out with but for the most part it's better to get a nice size 3 season tarp to learn with ... i know a few ppl that will not use a hammock again because they had one bad night with a stock HH tarp...
    but like you i'm glad i started out small ...
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Given your selections, I'd choose the Edge.

    While I do see the value of a larger tarp for a new hanger, I tend to agree that the best way to become proficient with a tarp is to require proficiency. You learn tarp skills pretty quick when you start getting wet due to poor setup. I don't necessarily think folks should start with the napkin tarps (OES Micro, HH Asym, WB Diamond Fly, etc.), but a nice 'in-the-middle' tarp is a better option for both coverage and education IMO.

    The issue with large tarps in densely wooded areas is mostly about the ridge length. You can always pitch a wide tarp steeply and fit it just about anywhere, but you need the distance between trees to be enough, cause you can't really fudge that....much.
    Trust nobody!

  8. #8
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    size matters?

    On the Colorado summer hang I had the only small tarp, a MLD UL Hammock Tarp (5.1 oz.). We had a lot of rain. I stayed dry, but when people got together to share meals and to swap lies, it was NOT under my tarp.

    It you hike long days solo then a small tarp is fine.

    If you occasionally want to set up to appreciate the view rather than be sheltered then you need a bigger tarp.

    On the other hand I will not carry a tarp that requires more than two stakes per side. If you need three stakes per side, then add the two you need for panel pulls, then two each end for the doors you are carrying more weight in stakes than I carry in the tarp. Any each stake needs some guyline. Managing twelve stakes with guylines is more than my pea brain can handle after a long day of hiking!

    The rule is the same as all gear. Match your gear to your style.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
    - Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by food View Post
    On the Colorado summer hang I had the only small tarp, a MLD UL Hammock Tarp (5.1 oz.). We had a lot of rain. I stayed dry, but when people got together to share meals and to swap lies, it was NOT under my tarp.

    It you hike long days solo then a small tarp is fine.

    If you occasionally want to set up to appreciate the view rather than be sheltered then you need a bigger tarp.

    On the other hand I will not carry a tarp that requires more than two stakes per side. If you need three stakes per side, then add the two you need for panel pulls, then two each end for the doors you are carrying more weight in stakes than I carry in the tarp. Any each stake needs some guyline. Managing twelve stakes with guylines is more than my pea brain can handle after a long day of hiking!

    The rule is the same as all gear. Match your gear to your style.
    Although the weight doesn't worry me too much, I would like to limit the hassle and complexity at the end of the day, so your point about extra stakes, guy lines, etc. is well received. I hadn't put too much thought into that aspect.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Either tarp is a good option but I def go with the bigger one. I'm a big fan of big tarps. The more coverage the better IMHO. I use an 11 by 10 and an 11 by 8 tarp for 4 seasons and personally would not down size myself.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

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