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  1. #1
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    Linville Gorge, Big Rain, Wal-mart Sil Tarp, Misting, and a Neat Sheet

    On Friday and Saturday last week I took a group of Scouts to Linville Gorge. We parked in the Table Rock Picnic Area parking lot, arriving at around 2:00 in the afternoon on Friday. From there we headed to the top of table rock for a sack lunch. The views were amazing! Then we headed down little table rock trail to where it intersects the Spence Ridge Trail. We followed Spence Ridge Trail to the Linville River Trail, followed that downstream about 2 miles and set up camp. We had three hangers, and five ground dwellers.

    About 8 PM we started getting some heavy rain. I had my fingers crossed that my diy tarp made from silnylon I found in the dollar bin at walmart would work. I had tested it with a hose at home, and it seemed fine. After about an hour i felt a little mist splash on my face. Then five minutes later, same thing. I searched around for a leak, but couldn't find anything obvious. A few drops were forming on the inside of the tarp in random locations, then when a large drop would hit the tarp it would splatter the large drop and I would feel it with my face. Sort of like a Chinese Water Torture. For about 30 minutes I lay there trying to figure out how to solve this problem. I had a neat sheet tied under my DIY narrow foot bridge, and I could see that it wasn't needed underneath. So, I tied it on top, over the ridgeline, under the tarp. This prevented any splatter from hitting me. The rain continued for about 6 hours. I stayed dry and warm. I had a wally-world ccf pad underneath, and a jrb quilt on top. Temp was about 45. The next day we hiked around a bit, then out. We logged a total of 17 miles on the trip.

    Here is my question. Is this splatter because wally-world sil is junk, or was it because of heavy rain pushing its way through the fabric? In other words, has anyone experienced this with first quality silnylon?

  2. #2
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    I have camped in ongoing rain and slept wonderfully all night under my Preacha's Wife tarp, and not had any leakage whatsoever. I'm questioning whether you've got DWR or silnylon.

  3. #3
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    I'm questioning whether you've got DWR or silnylon.
    That could very well be the case. I've come to realize that all this great silnylon that I got from the $1.50 isle in Walmart is not actually all silnyon. Apparently, DWR can pass off pretty convincingly as sil.

    Grab a glass jar and an elastic. With your tarp make a little cup in the top of the jar and elastic around to keep it in place. Fill with water and see how long it takes to begin dripping into the bottom of the jar. If it takes all night, you've got sil. If it starts leaking in under an hour, I'm pretty sure you've got DWR.

    I'm afraid I made my first couple tarps with DWR that I thought was sil. They're still great for very light rain, but I can't count on them.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    I'm questioning whether you've got DWR or silnylon.
    Could be DWR. But it looks and feels just like my JRB 10x11 Sil tarp. I'll try the overnight cup test. I've done it for a few minutes, but never overnight.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    I have a silnylon tarp tent made by antigravitygear that I've slept in through some hurendous storms, no leaks!!! So since that stuff is leaking, it's probably not the coated/waterproof silnylon. I've bought the seconds from outdoor wilderness fabrics and they are waterproof (and a great bargin too)

  6. #6
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I have heard of even name brand sil tarps "misting" in heavy rain. Sil is only waterproof to 1 or 2 lbs psi ( if that much) so large drops hitting at high velocity might be able to cause a bit of spray. Or so I have heard. But my JRB has not yet let any noticeable water through either when testing with a garden hose and nozzle or during heavy down pours.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Maybe too obvious of a question, but did you seam seal it?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Maybe too obvious of a question, but did you seam seal it?
    Sure did. It was pretty clear that it wasn't coming from the seam. It almost looked like a spot or two in random locations that either were allowing water through, or condensation was building up. It just didn't seem likely that it was condensation because there is so much ventilation and it seemed like too much moisture.

    I'm wondering if it could be 1.1 oz coated on both sides? Does sil fray on the edges before you sew it? This did. But I've never worked with sil other than the wally-world stuff. I have a JRB sil tarp, but I clearly didn't sew that, and I don't know what it looked like before it was sewn.

  9. #9
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    BillyBob's right, even silnylon can sometimes "mist" in a heavy, long rain. Not sure if the rain is exceeding the waterproof limitations of the silnylon, or condensation forming inside & being pounded into a mist from the rain hitting the outside.

    But... I too have long had doubts about some of the stuff so many have found at Wal-mart being silicon impregnated nylon (silnylon).

    And no, silnylon doesn't fray along the cut edges before you can get it sewn. so sorry, my guess you have made yourself a DWR tarp. Good practice though... & still fairly water resistant<G>.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #10
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    I've bought silnylon 2nd's from owf and the silnylon mystery material from Wallmart and sewed both of them. No problems, no leaks afterwards and no fraying of the edges from the owf material. The walmart stuff was very breathable, also feels lighter than the 1.1oz stuff from owf. And it frayed big time. I've use the walmart stuff to make pillow sized bags with draw tight tops and cordlock. These I stuff with my clothes or a jacket and use as a pillow when camping. Works very well for that. I've also made a bunch of these sacks and given them to my scouts for their clothes/pillow bag.
    With the "real" silnylon that I've used for tarps and tent/tarps, the only water on the inside has been from condensation and with these type of tents, you can get a LOT of condesation. To the point that you may think it's leaking. Since you used Walmart material, I'd most likely think that it's not the waterproof type and more like the same stuff I've bought from Walmart. Use it for other things like I did or maybe, since it was so cheap, use that as your pattern material if you're gonna be making something else.

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