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  1. #1
    Member TheNumberSix's Avatar
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    Entry Level Tarp: Tarp Orthodoxy

    I have watched 50 or so YouTube videos on the construction, set up, and use of the camping hammock. I have noticed that everyone has these ultralight high end purchased or DIY silNylon tarps. Is there any reason, remember my lack of sewing skillz, that should not use a Mao-Mart or Harbor Freight Tools tarp? Especially in my hanging infantcy I am not real comfortable sewing a tarp. Hemming the fabric on my tied hammock was pushing the envelope...I used packing tape to hold the fabric in-place whilst I thread injected.

    TheNumberSix

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    No, those tarps are just fine. The lighter fabrics like Silnylon, Spinn, and Cuben are used by people who need lighter gear for backpacking or other pursuits. If you don't mind the weight, normal poly tarps work great.
    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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    As long as the tarp is durable enough, and you don't have weight or bulk issues, you can use anything you want. The main reason people use the high end tarps is that they pack small and light, and hammock forums is a pretty backpacking-focused site.

  4. #4
    Member Magoober's Avatar
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    i realize this is a bit off topic, but kudos to your packing tape idea lol. Usually I eyeball and fold as i feed the material into the machine (unless it is something fairly nice/expensive i am working with, then i pin it first), but i bet it would go easier and faster with a packing tape roller. i'll have to give it a whirl next time!
    I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.
    -Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
    packeagle's Avatar
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    The tarps you speak of normally owned by backpackers where weight and bulk are a large issue. I really like using a blue poly tarp for winter and car camping because they are large and offer privacy and coverage. Plus the ends can be closed to block wind. That being said the cool factor of the high end tarps is a big draw for some. If you are comfortable using a poly tarp then go for it. Guide Gear has a tarp that is popular around these parts that could probably serve as a middle ground if you want something a bit more fancy, but a harbor freight tarp is all you really need for weather protection.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Weight and bulk , really, are the biggest differences in tarps. That value is expressed in dollars.

    Ease of setup also is a factor. A decent hex or cat cut tarp pitches a little smarter. Mine comes with guylines attached to little rings and stow in little pockets where they tie in. The little rings make excellent truckers hitch loops.
    Easy and quick setup and takedown, ready for the next time.

    If it keeps you dry, it's a good tarp.


    S

  7. #7
    Black Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magoober View Post
    i realize this is a bit off topic, but kudos to your packing tape idea lol. Usually I eyeball and fold as i feed the material into the machine (unless it is something fairly nice/expensive i am working with, then i pin it first), but i bet it would go easier and faster with a packing tape roller. i'll have to give it a whirl next time!
    I just picked up two products I'll be experimenting with, for use in DIY tarp making, both do the same, one is permanent no-sew, the other isn't ..called HeatNBond & Stitch Witchery , I also placed an ad for torn sails for free to prototype my ideas into... I'm kinda hoping the no-sew variation works for obvious reasons ...

    "

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  8. #8
    Black Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNumberSix View Post
    I have watched 50 or so YouTube videos on the construction, set up, and use of the camping hammock. I have noticed that everyone has these ultralight high end purchased or DIY silNylon tarps. Is there any reason, remember my lack of sewing skillz, that should not use a Mao-Mart or Harbor Freight Tools tarp? Especially in my hanging infantcy I am not real comfortable sewing a tarp. Hemming the fabric on my tied hammock was pushing the envelope...I used packing tape to hold the fabric in-place whilst I thread injected.

    TheNumberSix
    Poly's are a great {inexpensive} way to figure out just what you'll want in terms of size as well as configurations that work for you ... and there'll be times when no tarp is needed ... have fun and welcome to the madness

  9. #9
    Senior Member thekalimist's Avatar
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    i used a poly tarp for backpacking for almost two years until i switched to sil-nylon. They work fine, albeit a little noisy and require a bit more fuss to get a tight pitch. that said I wouldn't have any problem hanging under a poly tarp- which is not to say i'm planning on it anytime soon.....
    ...in it for pics.

  10. #10
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    met a hammock section hiker 3 summers ago who had a blue tarp like you are describing. he simply kept it lashed to the outside of his pack to negate the bulk penalty. it seemed to work pretty well for him...

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