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  1. #21
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Denver, CO
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    Warbonnet ON!
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    Ryvr, wise words for a new hanger.

    There is nothing wrong with standing on the backs of those who went before, nothing. I am in total agreement with you there. I stood on the backs of headchange4u, Just Jeff, angrysparrow, Coffee, the Jacks, SGT Rock, and a whole slew of others. I'm very grateful for their bad experiences being posted for me to take lessons away. Let's not forget, underquilts are still pretty cutting-edge in the hammock kingdom...and I do love my underquilts.

    New hangers deserve the fruits of our labor, part of why we're here. I just don't want the new folks to get the impression that the big tarps are necessary for a pleasurable and dry experience in the woods. This one thread is here to offset some of the "go bigger" threads, nothing more. Discussion, disagreement, and arguments are just as important to advancing the hammock hobby as they are to any advancement. I just want to make sure all opinions on the matter are easily found amongst all the tarp posts. The more you know.....
    Trust nobody!

  2. #22
    KefWalker's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    ABQ, NM
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    WBBB 1.1 DL
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    Cannibal's post reminds me of when I became an advertising photographer. I distinctly remember a colleague of mine, who was in the business a long time and was my mentor, telling me to forget about acquiring the latest and greatest equipment until I had mastered my technique and learned how to push the equipment I already had to its limits (and know what those limits were). It was the best advise I ever got.

    The best equipment doesn't do you any good if you can't get the most out of it. Right now, I'm a newbie with one hang under my belt. I KNOW I haven't pushed the limits of my hammock and tarp, but I look forward to trying...;-).
    Solvitur Ambulando - Diogenes

  3. #23
    sir_n0thing's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Madison, WI area
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    Homemade
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    TBD
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    There's a fair amount of "what you like" involved in tarp selection. I like my big tarp for the ability to seal the sucker up if I so desire, or pitch open in "porch mode" if that's how I feel. It's the large range of options that trips my personal trigger. As always, YMMV, HYOH, etc.
    Another big bonus for me is I can get both my hammock and my daughter's under the same tarp, which at her age is important to her until she's more comfortable in the woods.
    "I know the feeling - It is the real thing - You can't refuse the embrace!" | "Go n-éirí an bóthar leat."

  4. #24
    Senior Member Ryvr's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Brantford Ontario, Canada
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    DIY Lazy Ryvr Bridge, Ridge Runner
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    Hahahaha sometimes I miss the point of things ( It's nothing new for me )

    On the note of tarp sizes then... When planing for my first hang I struggled with a 12x10 and a 10x7 tarp. On just about every arguement I could come up with, including weight,compression, ease of setup and availability of trees far enough apart the Small Tarp won.

    For me that last one was very important as Algonquin can be very densely wooded in many places, particularily when some of the group are still tent holdouts, and they take up the good spots because the ground is flat.
    When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.

  5. #25
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    College Station, TX
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    HHExplUL; WBBB; SmokeHouse; ROO...
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    I've used the stock HH rain fly in some pretty hard down pours and as long as it was hung low, I have never gotten wet. It's simple, light, and has never failed my HHUL Explorer set up.

    I also use a Kelty Noah's 12x12 when hanging with my wife, (it's big enough for what I refer to as the honeymoon suite), and at some point in time I'll get one even bigger for that same purpose with a door arrangement for her privacy.

    On some occassions I'll use a HH Hex and enjoy plenty of coverage.

    My go to is an 8x10 Integral Designs Sil Tarp - I like that it is small and light and that it's shape provides lots of options.

    Bottom line is that I agree with much of what has been posted on this thread. Develop skills with small and enjoy the spaciousness of large as budgets and interests allow.

  6. #26
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Portland,OR
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    OES 12 x 10
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    After thinking about it a bit, I might use a smaller tarp if it were just me, but my wife won't hang if it's not next to me under one tarp. So I get the "small tarp" qualities of having to pitch it just right, saving weight by sharing gear, and good views because the tarp is always high and wide. It not often that I get to close up my winter tarp. This goes to show that application matters when selecting a tarp.
    Last edited by miisterwright; 09-15-2010 at 14:24. Reason: Left out "not": ...if it's not next to me..
    ~Bryan

  7. #27
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    WV
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    Warbonnet BB, 1.1 single
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    This is great discussion!

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    Would you not rather have confidence in your skills, more than the gear? Those skills are only learned and refined with use, instead of relying on 'more or bigger'. )
    Well I have been learning over the last few years and what I've learned is that I like a bigger tarp. And I do mean that with all seriousness.

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    What if a limb fell on your large tarp, a day or two from the trailhead? Wouldn't it be better to take a knife and salvage a portion of the material, tie out the corners, and know you could use it safely and effectively to stay dry (and even comfortable)...
    What if the same limb fell on my small tarp? (You don't have to answer this one. I just couldn't resist. )

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I have nothing against large tarps! I have a couple. But sometimes they get in the way of learning good hammocking skills, and I think that's a shame.
    AS, this is a sincere question . . . What skills do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I think Cannibal just wanted this thread to be food for thought. That was the point of my post also. HYOT (Hang Your Own Tarp)
    Absolutely!! Let the discussion continue.
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  8. #28
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    near Memphis, TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    AS, this is a sincere question . . . What skills do you mean?
    Many of the ones I described in my first post above. Learning to read the terrain to find your spot, reading the wind to decide which direction to pitch, making sure that your tarp is low and tight to the ridgeline, setting the guys out very snugly, etc.

    It's not rocket science, but it does take practice to do well.

    By overcoming the wind or bad site selection with more tarp fabric, some folks just won't learn good site selection and pitching skills.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  9. #29
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    this is a sincere question . . . What skills do you mean?
    For me, it's all about taking stock of your site selection overall. Picking an adequate site to hang is pretty easy when you have a tent around your hammock. Selecting one that will help provide cover for you and your small tarp takes a little more effort and thought. Dead pine trees in the Rockies have helped remind me that site selection can be of extreme importance. A small tarp reinforces that habit IMO.

    Edit: I'm getting slow.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #30
    i personally like a bigger tarp and feel a few extra oz is worth the extra peace of mind it provides. sure you can get by with a smaller tarp most of the time but on those occasions where the weather wasn't what you expected or you end up at an exposed campsite you'll be glad to have the extra coverage when you actually do need it. for me personally, my tarp would be one of the last places i'd want to sacrifice coverage to save weight. (but i'm not super gram conscious with my kit either)

    keep in mind that a tent is going to have a rainfly that provides full side coverage, and if that's the kind of protection you want for your hammock setup then a large tarp is that equivalent. also keep in mind that most newbies are coming from tents and are already used to that level of coverage.

    like someone else pointed out, lots of folks want to buy something that will cover them in 3+ seasons without having to buy multiple tarps right away. imo, a smaller tarp is more of a specaialty item that you use when you trust the forecast or in warm weather, or once you feel a little more confident in your skill set. many folks (depending on where they live/hike) may not want to have a small tarp as their ONLY tarp simply because they might feel limited or underprepared if the forecast calls for say cooler temps and a good chance of wind and moisture. a big tarp covers you under most or all conditions whereas a minimal tarp is better suited (imo) for less than severe weather.

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