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  1. #1
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    Ridgeline for tarp? Or not?

    I have always thought that having the extra support from a ridgeline would keep the tarp holding up better over time. However, this past weekend I got a new (longer) chord and when I was on the trail I ended up scrapping the ridgeline idea, took my old (short) ridgeline, cut it in half, and used the two pieces on the ends of my tarp instead.

    This was a quicker method to do what I had, but after I got to looking at the tarp it looks like its designed for this method anyway. There is a single loop along the ridgeline (top seam of the tarp) with a tie-in webbing angled in towards the center then the very ends of the tarp have a double ring set. I tied the ropes to the single ring, passed them around the trees, and ran them through the split rings with a half hitch to secure it.

    Again, the no extra ridgeline method seems easy, and less material. Should I put the extra rope in there to span the distance regardless? Is there any other benefit to having a full rope ridgeline other than the extra strength?

    On a side note, I've always hung my tarp with the seam facing down. I think that might be backwards, but not sure it matters.

  2. #2
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    Hanging a tarp from a ridgeline makes it easier to move it up & down so it's central over your hammock but I know what you mean - I hang mine from a prusik at each end & the seam becomes structural making the ridgeline go slack. Got me thinking now...

  3. #3
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    Spandit - you've got me confused. I know what a prusik is, and I get the idea of hanging the tarp from one to move it forward or backward over the hammock, but if you string a ridgeline and slide the tarp to center it, hows that slacken up the ridgeline???

    Also, how big are your prusiks? Do you have any pictures showing the set up?

  4. #4
    I made a continual ridge line for my tarp and several friends. Makes it easier for adjustment and you can switch it from over the top to underneath the tarp depending on preference and weather conditions. Also in bad weather its nice to be able to set up the tarp then your hammock and be able to center it all the way you want fast and easy. I highly recommend a continual ridge line, you will love it.

  5. #5
    Bubba's Avatar
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    It sounds like spandit is running a continuous ridgeline with prusiks for the ends of the tarp. The slack referred to can occur once the other guylines are tightened. After centering the tarp and tensioining the prusiks, further downward tension can cause increased inward tension on the prusiks and the section of ridgeline running over the tarp can slacken.

    The tarp you have has slight upward catenary cuts in the ridgeline and the grosgrain acts as a continuous ridgeline. Running cord from each end is how I do it. I have some zing it loops made into prusiks larksheaded on each end of the tarp's ridgeline and then 12 feet of zing it running through the prusiks to the trees. I use the prusik to shorten the line and to tension and centre the tarp over the hammock. I typically do not create a "V" with my tarp ridgeline for my hammock suspension to run through. Doing this is just as easy as an above the tarp continuous ridgeline and since my tarp like yours has the catenary curve I do not like using a continuous ridgeline under my tarp.
    Last edited by Bubba; 07-29-2012 at 22:07.
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  6. #6
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    Basically the tension that was originally in the ridgeline is taken up by the tarp which renders the section of line that is between the ends of the tarp slack. I can draw a diagram if it helps but it's not as complicated as it sounds

  7. #7
    the ring on the underside of the ridge seam is for the attachment of the removable doors, it's not meant to be load bearing.

    the split ring attached to the end of the ridge seam is weight bearing, you can attach your line directly to it

  8. #8
    Member
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    I have run without a ridgeline, but I much prefer one for a few reasons.
    I find it easier to adjust the tarp left or right - CRL with prusiks.
    I like the ridgeline to hang stuff that I dont want so close to my hammock (or face), like shoes, wet clothing and extra gear.
    I have a self-tightening ridgeline. It does not work as well as using the guy lines taking up the slack, but its easier, and there is no chance of making a projectile from a spike.
    I can keep the tarp loose but still have nice tight sides if weather permits.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chapinb View Post
    I have run without a ridgeline, but I much prefer one for a few reasons.
    I find it easier to adjust the tarp left or right - CRL with prusiks.
    Same here. Much faster to adjust it over the hammock.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Oper8or's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post
    Same here. Much faster to adjust it over the hammock.
    Same here. The only thing I might change is the material my prusiks are made from. I watched a vid (Shug) of prusiks made from shock cord. That seems as though it would do well for keeping tension on the ridgeline even if the temps change and the tarp wants to slack up. My only concern is the strength of shock cord. Is it strong enough to hold up under a heavy snow? I dont plan on being in 5ft of snow, but its worth considering for those who do get into the really nasty stuff.
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