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  1. #1
    New Member ekitel's Avatar
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    Stealthy fly for Switchback? and in general

    I'm thinking about a JRB Cat tarp or WB Superfly though both are 11' long and I've read that may or may not be enough for a hammock as long as this.

    I'm also thinking of just getting a Claytor diamond for now and wait until something more suited specifically to the Switchback comes along. It's 13' long.

    In any case I want an inconspicuous color. I understand from Scott Littlefield that it's hard to find silnylon in more subdued colors except for grey and black which don't seem quite stealth enough.

    I'm also very interested to try a winter/door type tarp. Using the HH diamond I sometimes have to pass up nicely hidden spots to find one that has more natural wind protection which can be hard to do from the road on a bicycle.

    I have no illusions that more stealthy colors will make me invisible. At some point the tarp outline is going to be visible to anybody who's looking at it but if you don't notice it first then you're not going to look at it. Somebody might pass by close enough to notice it but there's always a good chance that they're paying more attention to where they're walking or driving and if they don't catch the color of your gear out of the corner of their eye then they won't notice you.

    I don't expect not to be noticed ever, just to minimize it as much as possible while still enjoying a comfortable and convenient hang.

  2. #2
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    Ekitel, I know what you mean. I'm a cycle tourist as well and I have the same stealth needs. You're in luck. Last year questoutfitters.com added foliage green silnylon to their stock. I made a 10x11 tarp out of it last year and it looks like it's come down in price since then. It's about $10/yard, which is pricey compared to some other sil, but it is as natural a color as you're going to find. I've been unable to find my own camp several times when that is up.

    My touring buddies are in Brooklyn too, by the way. Get that sil and you'll be able to camp in Prospect Park undetected.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  3. #3
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    For stealth, the best colors I've found that will work well in most locations is a subdued brown or olive. Jacks R Better makes 11x10 tarps in both of these colors, but I haven't seen them in person. Hennessy has their 11x12 Hex Tarp in brown, which is what I have and am satisfied with. Where do you plan on using the tarp; deciduous, coniferous, urban?

    I don't care for the camouflage patterned tarps because the pattern tends to repeat on such a large surface, which causes it to stand out to me. The taught surface also makes the pattern more apparent and the slick surface causes reflections. Of course, a pattern that is large enough to avoid repetition will confuse the eye and be better than a solid color. A solid color will take the shadows from surrounding trees and that pattern won't repeat.

    I use camouflage netting over my solid colored tarp. The netting adds about a pound, but the artificial leaves blow in the wind, and some spray paint disrupts the pattern quite well. Also, on sunny days the netting makes a great sun shade. It is extremely windy today so I can't set up my stealth system. If I can tomorrow I'll get you some pictures of how I hide. I don't claim to be an expert in camouflage, but I have studied it extensively for the past 10 years.
    Last edited by Trooper; 12-24-2009 at 17:25. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    New Member ekitel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    Last year questoutfitters.com added foliage green silnylon to their stock. I made a 10x11 tarp out of it last year
    Do you have a photo?


    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    My touring buddies are in Brooklyn too, by the way. Get that sil and you'll be able to camp in Prospect Park undetected.
    That's funny! Did you read where I posted about that here: http://www.hapsmap.com/city/126285/new-york

  5. #5
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    That's funny! Did you read where I posted about that here: http://www.hapsmap.com/city/126285/new-york
    Haha, no I didn't see that. Great minds think alike. You know, I'm not sure if I do have a decent photo of that tarp. It tends to come down at sunrise and come back up after dark. I'll see if I can get a photo of the fabric posted tonight, taken indoors.

    One of the big giveaways seems to be all the flashy chrome and steel on my bike itself. This tarp is big enough that I can park my bike behind it to hide the bike, but before I had that I carried a small sheet of fabric to drape over the bike.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  6. #6
    New Member ekitel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    Where do you plan on using the tarp; deciduous, coniferous, urban?
    I'm thinking mainly for the countryside and forests. My instinct tells me that brown is the best overall, and particularly for more arid climates with more coniferous (bark and dry needles) and exposed dirt and rock. I think the dark greens are better for lusher climates where it can resemble green shadows in the forest. Black might be great for urban because black plastic and garbage bags are so common but I think I'll leave the buildings to the homeless and squatters

    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    I use camouflage netting over my solid colored tarp.
    Cool! Where did you get it from?

  7. #7
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    I have a brown tarp too, and the foliage green is really more of an olive, a Spanish olive to be precise. Seeing them side by side, there's not a huge difference in stealthiness. The ground is brown, and so are tree trunks. I've hung with people using black tarps, and they're just as good as the light gets low, but are pretty visible in the daytime.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  8. #8
    New Member ekitel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    One of the big giveaways seems to be all the flashy chrome and steel on my bike itself.
    I usually lay mine down and on the ground so the underbrush prevents it from being seen in the distance. I think if anyone sees it they've already seen the tarp. I also try to be careful with reflective parts on the bike and panniers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Trooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekitel View Post
    I'm thinking mainly for the countryside and forests. My instinct tells me that brown is the best overall, and particularly for more arid climates with more coniferous (bark and dry needles) and exposed dirt and rock. I think the dark greens are better for lusher climates where it can resemble green shadows in the forest. Black might be great for urban because black plastic and garbage bags are so common but I think I'll leave the buildings to the homeless and squatters
    I would trust your instincts except for black. Black causes the brain to register it as a void, so too much of it causes a logic error to the viewer because they think they are looking at a whole in the time-space continuum. Black generally works best in small amounts. The "forest green" typically doesn't blend well either, but the exception that I have found is evergreen forests.

    My camo netting was acquired decades ago, but I recently found some nearly identical stuff at Cabela's: http://www.cabelas.com/p-0021457.shtml

    I like the green/brown because it is cheaper and I spray paint it to look like the Flyway Camo. I also have small and large leaf versions in various colors, so I can layer them making quite an optical illusion. If you have an old military poncho or a fishnet hammock, I can tell you how make your own net.
    Last edited by Trooper; 12-24-2009 at 19:52.

  10. #10
    New Member ekitel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    I've hung with people using black tarps, and they're just as good as the light gets low, but are pretty visible in the daytime.
    Sometimes I'll want to stay in an area and go for a hike during the day or ride to town for supplies or entertainment while leaving camp setup or take it down and hide everything in the bushes. I don't even think to put a tarp over it but that and/or a net might be helpful for some stealth stash scenarios. I have the black cotton duck panniers so they do blend in well with the deep shadows under low, dense vegetation.
    Last edited by ekitel; 12-24-2009 at 18:33.

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