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  1. #1
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    Best DIY tarp for me?

    Hi.

    I have read a lot of thread about tarp and still can't decide. Too much choice? I have already worked with silnylon and will use this time again. Here what i'll do with my tarp:

    Solo Hammocking 2-3 times each year (more if wife decide she like it). Usually when bicycle touring.

    As a an A-frame for bivying when ultra-light bicycle touring with my wife or alone maybe 5-6 night each year.

    As a rain protection (pitched flat or at an angle) when car camping or bike touring (ate least 15-20 night each year). We bring a full-on tent then. In 2 years, we will leave for a one year South America bicycle trip so we will bring this tarp as rain protection.

    One choice would be Blackcat from Blackbishop. This tarp is really nice. Could it be only ground pitched as an A-frame? Other pitch maybe usefull too for us. Big enough for 2 hammock in emergency?

    Are non catenary tarp better for my need? If i use catenary side, am i better to stay away from catenary ridge since i want to pitch in different configuration?

    Since i usually carry the tarp by bike (or backpacking) i need something light, in a small stuffed package, dependable. Best size then? Is perimeter grosgrain webbing really needed on silnylon tarp?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    By far the most versatile is the rectangular tarp. 10x11 is a good size. At a minium, put 3 tie outs on each side (1 on corners and 1 in the middle of each side). This will allow you to hang it A frame on the 10' direction and the 11' direction. Some folks also add panel pull outs like the Warbonnett tarp.

    Adding cat cuts allows for a tighter pitch and reduces a little weight. It slightly limits you pitching options, but I've seen pictures of the Black Cat tarp pitched in all sorts of configurations, A frame, Diamond, etc.

    If you want to hem the edges, grossgrain is not needed. I use gross grain because I can bind a tarp faster than I can hem it.

    I would imagine you could leave the edges unfinished if you want and not have to hem them either. You can always put a pebble in the fabric and tie a knot around it for tie outs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbouchar View Post
    Hi.

    I have read a lot of thread about tarp and still can't decide. Too much choice?
    Aint that the truth!

    For my first tarp I traced my friend's HH Hex... not much design thought went into that one.

    Weds night I sat down at about 8pm to do my final research and start my second tarp. I gave up at 4am and went to bed with the design that I think I'll do, but not a firm decision yet.
    The more I read, the more conflicted I became.

    After a few hours of reading I settled on the Ogee shape that Gargoyle has started making.
    For obvious reasons he isn't giving dimensions, and it took me a couple of hours of playing with angles and sizes in google sketchup to settle on what I think are the right dimensions. It would have been quicker, but I'm new at using sketchup and really slow.
    Without dimensions on the Ogee I was having trouble getting a feel for the relative size. Once I had dimensions I realized that I want a wider tarp that will give more vertical protection. Since I'm 6'4", I like to hang my tarp a bit higher than most so I don't have to scrunch down too much to get under the tarp and to the hammock. With only 30-32" of vertical coverage on the sides at each end (yes, the middle provides more) I felt that I would have to pitch the tarp closer to the hammock ridgeline than I want to. So, if you use a tarp similar to how HH does, where it sits right at the hammock ridgeline, then I think the Ogee is a great design that is incredibly flexible. I can't stand having the tarp that close, so I don't think the ogee is right for me... although I may try one at some point, as there is much about it to like.

    Anyhow, since I want long sides that allow me to pitch the tarp higher and still get wind and weather protection on the sides, and I also want doors that I can seal off, I'm thinking I'll do one like this:


    It is a crude drawing, and I've got odd dimensions based on the exact length of sil that I have left, but I think this is the basic shape I'll use.
    One of the vendors here on HF does something like this, I just don't recall who.

    So, I'll have the hex for a more open setup, and the... whatever you call that shape... for a more closed, cool weather setup.
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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  4. #4
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcress View Post
    Since I'm 6'4", I like to hang my tarp a bit higher than most so I don't have to scrunch down too much to get under the tarp and to the hammock. With only 30-32" of vertical coverage on the sides at each end (yes, the middle provides more) I felt that I would have to pitch the tarp closer to the hammock ridgeline than I want to. So, if you use a tarp similar to how HH does, where it sits right at the hammock ridgeline, then I think the Ogee is a great design that is incredibly flexible. I can't stand having the tarp that close, so I don't think the ogee is right for me... although I may try one at some point, as there is much about it to like.
    Been PMing with Gargoyle and wondering if I'm off base on my assessment of my height vs Ogee design. Turns out Gargoyle is taller than me and it works for him. May have to revisit this...
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacra533 View Post
    If you want to hem the edges, grossgrain is not needed. I use gross grain because I can bind a tarp faster than I can hem it.
    I usually hem edge. I a not sure i understand bind it. Do yo mean you bind grosgrain webing over unhemed silnylon edge? If so, you get grosgrain webing (binding), silnylon, grosgrain webing (binded) and you sew everything together (1 pass or two)? It would be really interesting for me to try!

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbouchar View Post
    I usually hem edge. I a not sure i understand bind it.
    Binding w/grosgrain is quicker for me also.
    In my case, my old Singer 19-51 has a binding foot.
    I feed in the end of the grosgrain in the appropriately sized slot and the foot folds the grosgrain in half. In the middle of the fold is a space to feed in the fabric so it is sandwiched between the grosgrain when the needle gets to it.

    I also have hemming feet, which work OK, but are really difficult to use with sil.
    No such issues with binding w/grosgrain. sil works just fine with the binding foot.

    This is what I have:
    http://www.singer-featherweight.com/...islotbndr.html
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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  7. #7
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    9 X 12

    I have built some paper model to play with.

    I am thinking a 9' X 12' tarp right now. It could give me lots of rigging option. With the 12' ridgeline, it can give a fully enclosed Winter tarp (hammock or ground), big cooking tarp and big A-frame tarp (hammock or ground). With the 9' ridgeline, it can give a tall A-frame tarp. It can also be rigged to be a slanted pyramid tarp tent. Someone have tried this one? It seem a good idea for a winter ground setup.

    Take a look at my paper model on my website.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by gbouchar; 11-09-2010 at 17:30.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbouchar View Post
    I usually hem edge. I a not sure i understand bind it. Do yo mean you bind grosgrain webing over unhemed silnylon edge? If so, you get grosgrain webing (binding), silnylon, grosgrain webing (binded) and you sew everything together (1 pass or two)? It would be really interesting for me to try!

    Thanks!
    I fold 1" grossgrain over the unhemmed silnylon edge and sew it. I have a binding attachment that does all of this for me. I just have to keep feeding the sil into the center of the binder. This video is a good demo. Obviously, they are using prefolded acrylic binding tape, but it works the same way with grossgrain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkWUU3j4Qrc

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big Jim Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjcress View Post
    Binding w/grosgrain is quicker for me also.
    In my case, my old Singer 19-51 has a binding foot.
    I feed in the end of the grosgrain in the appropriately sized slot and the foot folds the grosgrain in half. In the middle of the fold is a space to feed in the fabric so it is sandwiched between the grosgrain when the needle gets to it.

    I also have hemming feet, which work OK, but are really difficult to use with sil.
    No such issues with binding w/grosgrain. sil works just fine with the binding foot.

    This is what I have:
    http://www.singer-featherweight.com/...islotbndr.html
    RJ, any chance you could video your binding foot in action? I have one of these but can't get it to work, operator error I'm sure!

  10. #10
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbouchar View Post
    I have built some paper model to play with.

    I am thinking a 9' X 12' tarp right now. It could give me lots of rigging option. With the 12' ridgeline, it can give a fully enclosed Winter tarp (hammock or ground), big cooking tarp and big A-frame tarp (hammock or ground). With the 9' ridgeline, it can give a tall A-frame tarp. It can also be rigged to be a slanted pyramid tarp tent. Someone have tried this one? It seem a good idea for a winter ground setup.
    cool- tarp origami!
    KM(who is not above 'borrowing' a good idea when she sees it...)

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