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  1. #1
    New Member Xchaos's Avatar
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    How small is to small?

    Can't afford cuben so I am looking to make a sil nylon tarp but want as light as possible, but also want enough coverage to stay dry. I have a large tarp already so looking for small lightweight tarp that I can take when no major storms are in the forecast for just a wknd getaway but still want to have a tarp just in case something blows in. So I am asking veterans what they would suggest, I am sure someone has already figured out this dilemma but haven't found a thread on it so I started this one, thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Durham, NC
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    My current small tarp has an 11 foot ridgeline and is 8 feet across at the widest points. Cat cut hex tarp provides best coverage for small size/low weight, IMO. Although many do "enjoy" their asym diamond tarps for truly minimal coverage.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

    Trail name: Radar

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Brute1100's Avatar
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    Tadpole seems to be big enough to keep people dry and weights like 12 oz or so... That would be the size I would shoot for...
    Live, Laugh, Love, if that doesn't work. Load, Aim and Fire, repeat as necessary...

    Buy, Try, Learn, Repeat

  4. #4
    Senior Member tight-wad's Avatar
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    8x8 pitched as a diamond kept me dry and snug in an all night thunderstorm.

    The trick is to get the hammock as close to the ground as possible without touching (when you are in it ), and the tarp as close as possible to the ends of the hammock.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sodakgrrl's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    My first hammock was a HH Hyperlite with the stock rainfly. I'm sure it was just psychological, rather than physical, but it didn't seem to offer enough coverage. So I switched to a bigger, cat-cut DIY cuben and have been really happy with it.
    "You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole." Capt. H. P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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    "Everything takes longer once a cat gets involved." sm

  6. #6
    New Member Xchaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catavarie View Post
    My current small tarp has an 11 foot ridgeline and is 8 feet across at the widest points. Cat cut hex tarp provides best coverage for small size/low weight, IMO. Although many do "enjoy" their asym diamond tarps for truly minimal coverage.
    Thanks Catavarie, I also like the Cat cut tarps over the diamond tarp. I will probably go with about an 11' ridgeline or maybe 10' my ridgeline for hammock is 100" just didn't know if I could go smaller than your 8' wide and still stay dry or not. Most silnylon comes in widths of 62" and was wondering if that would be to narrow, I kinda think it would be to narrow but curious if someone has tried it already.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    The 8 feet is at the tieouts at the top of the cat cuts it is around 7'2". I've been in a couple of worm drowning storms under it and it covers my 10 foot hammock (~102" ridge line) very well with a surprisingly large amount of space underneath. If I was to go as small as comfortable I could probably take an addtional 6"-9" off each side, but don't think I would feel as secure in a big storm. As it is right now, if a storm rolls in while I'm asleep I simply pull my hiking poles out of the loops dropping them below my hammock and let the porch side hang lower to cover from that side better.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  8. #8
    Senior Member OldRagFreeze's Avatar
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    I used a 10' x 5' tarp (http://www.hammockbliss.com/all-purp...rproof-shelter) for the first year and it was fine... For sitting in the hammock. I upgraded to a Superfly, not because I was getting wet with the smaller tarp but because I wanted the option of hanging out under my tarp if I get stuck in bad weather for extended periods.
    "We're the Sultans of Swing."

  9. #9
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    I have used a DIY sil poncho, about 5' x 8.5', hung on the diagonal. It was much bigger than the original tiny Hennessy tarp I had, so it was an improvement. I like this length ridgeline (almost 10') better than longer ones, so I made a tarp with more coverage by sewing triangular pieces onto all four sides, such that each end had a beak with a vertical end seam about 2' long. This gives great coverage. But for minimal weight and sewing, try just a piece of sil 62" wide x 102" long.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    During the summer I find the stock HH tarp to be just fine, and light.

    Shoulder seasons and winter I prefer to move under something a little bigger, even if only to block wind.

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