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  1. #1
    Senior Member Chocolatier's Avatar
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    Tarp Questions for Blackbird?

    Blackbird's due in a week and a half (provided Brandon doesn't decide to make his vacation permanent ;-) and have been researching tarps.

    I'm getting old and crotchety and don't do much cold-weather camping, so rain coverage and weight are my priorities. Also, spouse is a bit sensitive about me having just spent $160 on a hammock, so I'm being cautious about the $$$. Here's where I am so far:

    MacCat
    Pros: Well-made, light (10.2oz), roomy.
    Cons: Expensive, hex requires extra more stakes than square

    JRB 8x8
    Pros: Fast and easy to pitch, light (9.4oz)
    Cons: Moderately expensive, less coverage and room

    Current Tarp
    A 5x7 rain fly I picked up from REI or EMS some years ago. It provides adequate coverage for my ENO Singlenest (barely), but is probably too small to be useful for the incoming WBBB, true?
    Pros: Free, seriously waterproof
    Cons: Small (5x7), heavy (24oz)

    DIY
    Per the "Blackcat" instructions
    Pros: Light, customized, inexpensive
    Cons: My DIY skills are pretty much limited to cooking and making chocolate.

    Thoughts? Recommendations? Other suggestions?
    What size tarp should I be looking at for a WBBB?
    --Chocolatier (Master Chocolatier and Amateur Hammocker)

    Dancing Lion Chocolate
    DancingLion.us
    Twitter: LoveOfChocolate


    Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso.
    Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick. ~Spanish Proverb

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    First, congrats on your bird!

    I don't think you'll be happy with your current tarp. Blackbird just takes up some real estate. You mentioned 'cold' being one of your priorities, so I'd stay away from any diamond shaped tarp; no real side protection from the wind. The Blackcat is a great cost option, but it does take either a little skill or a butt-load of patience and will have the same cons as the MacCats, or any other hex. Warbonnetguy makes a couple of tarps that would meet your needs too. He has a smaller version of the Big Mamajamma, but I don't see it on his website. Again, hex tarps.

    For someone concerned about the cold, their budget, and weight I'd pretty much have to steer you towards the Speer Winter Tarp. It provides in all three of those categories. It provides a large footprint and can be sealed-up reasonably well, it is a bargain at just over $100, and all that for 16 oz. Biggest "con" based on your hex concerns is the need for a couple more stakes.

    It meets all your criteria with one negative. In my experience, that's about as close as you can ever hope to get.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
    Hogg Tyed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    For someone concerned about the cold, their budget, and weight I'd pretty much have to steer you towards the Speer Winter Tarp. It provides in all three of those categories. It provides a large footprint and can be sealed-up reasonably well, it is a bargain at just over $100, and all that for 16 oz. Biggest "con" based on your hex concerns is the need for a couple more stakes.

    It meets all your criteria with one negative. In my experience, that's about as close as you can ever hope to get.
    I would have to agree it covers the BB nicely!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogg Tyed View Post
    I would have to agree it covers the BB nicely!
    I also agree. I really like my SWT. Mule
    There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    ... I'd pretty much have to steer you towards the Speer Winter Tarp.
    That's what I am using.
    -b

    "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." - Dr Who

    my scouting resources

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chocolatier's Avatar
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    Hi Cannibal, Thanks for the response.

    Actually, cold *isn't* one of my concerns--I'm most interested in rain coverage and weight.

    Yeah, I'm leaning away from the DIY option. Heard a bit about Brandon's tarps, but they're not on his website.

    The hex (and staking) doesn't really bother me a whole lot--I'd just leave the guylines tied and looped so I can put it up fast.

    What size would you recommend for the BB?
    --Chocolatier (Master Chocolatier and Amateur Hammocker)

    Dancing Lion Chocolate
    DancingLion.us
    Twitter: LoveOfChocolate


    Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso.
    Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick. ~Spanish Proverb

  7. #7
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    MacCat deluxe, silnylon
    4 MSR Groundhog stakes (1 of them will double as a cat-hole tool)
    ask Brian about a deluxe in Black, if stealth is an interest

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chocolatier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinfhaz View Post
    MacCat deluxe, silnylon
    Roughly 8x10 for a cat, then. Brian's tarps do look nice...
    --Chocolatier (Master Chocolatier and Amateur Hammocker)

    Dancing Lion Chocolate
    DancingLion.us
    Twitter: LoveOfChocolate


    Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso.
    Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick. ~Spanish Proverb

  9. #9
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Cannibal mis-states the coverage of the "Diamond tarp" which is really a square as not having side protection actually it has quite a bit more than the standard Mac Cat you cited in the original post.... Scroll down this page for a pictorial comparision of the two referenced tarps. http://www.tothewoods.net/HammockCampingDry.html... If you are seeking light weight and great protection top and side and not a winter tarp at $89 the JRB 8x8 is hard to beat.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    go with the Speer Winter Tarp and don't let the name fool you. It can be used year round.
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

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