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  1. #1

    Ridgeline for tarp?

    I've been hammocking for five years now and use a HH ULBA with ring buckles and straps, DIY KAQ and, until Christmas, the smaller stock HH tarp. Santa brought me an Equinox 8x10 silnylon tarp (Campmor). I had my sights set on the Macat from OES, but who can argue with Santa?

    I have had shock cord tarp tensioners on both side tie outs and one of the ridge tie outs. It saved the tarp in 40 mph winds and keeps it nicely taut otherwise.

    My questions: [1] the seam and ties will run transversely pitched along the 10 ft axis. Do I need a ridge line under (or over) the tarp to support the fabric and, if so, does the constant abrasion ruin the silnylon? In other words, can grommets handle the tension without additional support?

    [2] I have been searching the forums here and it appears from the photos that only about half seem to use tensioners. I have played with most of the designs and like the shock cord type. But, now I would need quite a few. Does everyone use them, and what type?

    Happy New Year to all!

  2. #2
    Mule's Avatar
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    I use shock cords on all my ties outs. I make a double loop of 1/8 inch with the loops about 6 inches long, ie., use about 14 inches of bungee.
    I use some sort of tightener for the ridgeline, like a figure 9 or something. I have not tried using shock cord on my rigdeline. I will be looking for everyones reply about that. Mule
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  3. #3
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    If you're talking about tensioners on the ridgeline, I've not had a lot of luck with that. I'm not sure of the "physics" behind it, but I believe that you'll need the ridgelines to be fixed. The tensioners, shock cords or bungees used on the sides will absorb the wind energy. When I tried the tensioners on the ridgeline, it essentially removes any fixed points and the whole thing blows around and never stays taut. When I tie the tarp wide, I use my JRB tensioners. When it looks like a rough night and I'm setting up low, I just use some of those WallyWorld tarp balls and stake those directly. The WallyWorld tarp balls weigh about 8 0z. for a set of 6, but they held nicely in gusts over 50 mph. I do put a rock or a log on my stakes at that wind speed as those stakes might make quite the projectile if dislodged.

  4. #4
    I have never used a ridgeline for the stock HH tarp. If I use a ridgeline for anything else I use a trucker's hitch and really tighten it. I usually tie the tarp directly to the tree strap biners or below them with a tautline hitch. I'll have to look at the Wallyworld tarp balls or a DIY version.

    I'm wondering if the fabric of a larger tarp can handle the tension of a 10 foot span (or longer if I use it diagonally) without tearing out the end grommets.

  5. #5
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. dribbles View Post
    I have never used a ridgeline for the stock HH tarp. If I use a ridgeline for anything else I use a trucker's hitch and really tighten it. I usually tie the tarp directly to the tree strap biners or below them with a tautline hitch. I'll have to look at the Wallyworld tarp balls or a DIY version.

    I'm wondering if the fabric of a larger tarp can handle the tension of a 10 foot span (or longer if I use it diagonally) without tearing out the end grommets.
    Those "tarp balls" at WallyWorld are about 4 bucks for a pack of 6 or 8. They are just shock cord with a rubber ball on the end. I think the length of the loop is about 8 inches without being stretched. When I used my JRB 10X11, it withstood 40-50 mpg gusts pretty well with the cat cuts to the side. I just tie the actual ridgeline below my straps with 9ize or a tautline hitch.

    As far as a diagonal hang goes, my Kelty Noah 9 is over 12 feet on the diagonal and it will take quite a beating without fail as long as it's taut. Of course the Kelty is cat-cut and made of pu coated poly. It is really easy to get the Kelty taut however it's hung due to the cat-cut though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Heber's Avatar
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    I have used the Equinox 8x10 silnylon tarp quite a bit while hammocking. I don't use a ridgeline for the tarp. I just run guy lines from the grommets in the tarp to the trees and hang so that the tarp doesn't touch any part of the hammock. Initially I did worry about the fact that the seam ran along the short axis. But in practice it hasn't seemed to matter. I get a pretty tight pitch (although probably not as good as a cat-cut tarp) and good coverage. I've never used tarp tensioners.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I don't use tensioners on the ridgeline. I tested it and I didn't like how it allowed the wind to blow the centerline of the tarp far enough for rain to come in. I think fixed lines on the ridgeline and tensioners on the tie-outs is the best solution for most setups.

    I use JRB STLs or homemade versions of that style.
    http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeGe...ensioners.html

    I've never run a ridgeline cord under a silnylon tarp. I'd be concerned about it causing leaks, but I know a few people here do it and haven't complained about it leaking. But I also have never used a sil tarp with grommets so I can't comment on how long the grommets will hold up.

    Re: the physics behind ridgeline tensioners, I think the biggest thing is that they have to work against gravity, where tensioners on the side tie-outs are working with gravity. So you need stronger tensioners. But if you have a fixed ridgeline the side tensioners should be enough to keep the tarp tight, and the fixed ridgeline will keep the tarp right where it needs to be.
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