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  1. #1
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Cat Cut Tarps And Why There So Appealing

    Okay being new to hanging and new to this forum I am without a doubt and idiot when it comes to the advantages of cat cut tarp and a plane old tarp. Having said that I have used tarps of one kind allot in my life from camping to hunting and fishing and to cover boats up but none of which would warrant a cat cut tarp.

    I would like to understand the concept of cat cut tarps and why they are so preferred over a plain rectangular tarp or something of that nature. I know that tarps can be and are made allot lighter than others because of material but just cant quite grasp what about the cat cut is more appealing.

    So I am open to your opinions and will look forward to any and all that feel they would Like to give me there’s.

  2. #2
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    Once you lay in a hammock with a non-cat cut tarp in a 20mph breeze and listen to those tarp edges sound a lot like a snare drum, you'll know. If you are a light sleeper you may not even sleep much. The cat-cut distributes the tension from the pullout(s) along the edge of the fabric. In the case of my favorite tarp, the Macat, you have a pair of side pullouts on each side for a total of four, this also makes for a quiet, taut pitch and I think it is worth the weight penalty.

  3. #3
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    Getting the edges of rectangular or other straight edge tarps tight is tricky. They're always looser between the tie-outs than at the tie outs. And if you do the middle tends to sag.

    The uniform tension lines in fabric follow catenary curves. So it makes sense to cut the tarp to follow those lines. Then the tension is uniform and there's less chance of loose edges that flap and flop. Flapping in high winds will cause failures as the edges snap back and forth. Just like you see on the edges of frayed flags...

    That's why cat tarps are so popular. Even tension through out... The shape can be any shape as long as there are catenary curves along the edges between tie outs, and/or along the peak line too...

  4. #4
    Senior Member whitefoot_hp's Avatar
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    I have a straight edge tarp that functions well. It does require an extra stake in the center. However it has its advantages.

    Its better suited as a ground shelter than many other cat tarps. In zero degree weather, i dont use my hammock for weight concerns and the cost of adequate insulation.

    I have beaks or endcaps on it that help protect from blowing rain, but a cat tarp can have the same.

    The extra stake out in the center helps distribute the tension of the other corners, and helps pull the tarp away from the hammock.

    So while the cat tarps have their advantages, they are not the only good choice.

  5. #5
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    Most rectangular nylon tarps tend to deform (stretch) to approximate a cat tarp edge profile if pitched tight enough. I have a couple that I have used for years that exhibit this.

  6. #6
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Old Boy Scouts were taught to use a tautline hitch and tighten it up before turning in or at the mid night bio break.... there tarps stayed tight.... Alternately , today there are any variety of self tensioning lines that also work to keep the tarp taut.... Infact, silnyl stretches when wet, so a decent rain and or heavy dew means even cat cuts should be retightened periodically or automatically.

    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys/gals Or Who Ever

    So The Cat Cut Is To Not Be Flapping In The Wind Okay So If I Wanted To Buy A Cat Tarp What Size Is Really The Most Practical Understanding Everyone Has An Opinion But For This Thread What Is The Most Practical.

    Let Say I Want To Cook Under My Cat Cut Tarp Or Change Clothes Under It When Its Raining. Or Simply Just Get Out Of Sun And Into Some Shade.

    How Many Tie Outs Are On Cat Cut Tarps? Do I Need To Have Walking Stick To Make It More Efective Or Can I Use It With Just A Ridge Line And Some Tie Outs?

  8. #8
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    As I said before, Cat cut tarps come in ALL shapes and sizes...

    And will have similarly as many pitch options as their non-cat brethern in the same shapes and sizes... Square, rectangle, hex, trapezoid, with beaks, without beaks, etc, etc...

    Use a similar size tarp to the ones you use now for those things.. Its not magic, just a little curved on the edge...

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