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  1. #1
    Senior Member jbphilly's Avatar
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    Hey, I've been lurking for a while but just registered with some questions...I've got a Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter (ultralight version) which I love. There's no comparison to sleeping on the ground...in a hammock I'm awake and ready to roll at the first light; on the ground I have trouble getting up before 8 thanks to all the time I spend waking up at night.

    Anyway, I'm getting ready to do the Israel National Trail, probably one of the coolest long distance hikes in the world. But the first 40% or so of the trail is in the Negev desert and there aren't going to be trees. I'm going to go with just a tarp and groundsheet in the desert and then pick up the hammock in Jerusalem for the second half.

    So I need treeless setup ideas for three to four weeks of desert trekking. My tarp is 2x3 meters (6 and a half by 10 feet) and I'll probably be taking a wooden hiking stick but not trekking poles. I'm not expecting much if any rain in the desert, but I am expecting a solid amount of wind, and freak rainstorms are not unheard of at all.

    The combination of having one stick to use as a support, rather than two, and wanting to leave as few openings to the weather as possible, makes me incline to setups that have only one opening. But an A-frame is definitely the simplest. Some possibilities for that include using my stick as one support, and running the other line to a hiking partner's tent. Or shelling out the money for trekking poles, but I still prefer the sturdiness of a wood stick for walking.

    So, the questions/issues:

    1. Any good suggestions of simple treeless ground setups? Preferably with one opening only?
    2. When pitching an A-frame, I find that even with the corners fastened, the fact that the line isn't attached to the tarp the whole way along makes it somewhat unstable even in a medium breeze. Any tips on dealing with this?
    3. The tarp has four corners tabs or loops for attaching lines, plus ones in the middle along the longer (10 ft) side. No extra loops in the center of the shorter side, which would be really handy for tying it to the center line. I'd like to add my own loops if possible since it seems better than just stuffing a rock in and tying the rope around that. How might I go about adding some?
    4. What are some good knots I should use for tying corner guylines and for attaching the center support line? In the latter case it'd be nice to have something that would give me some flexibility with moving the tarp back and forth on the line in an A-frame situation.
    5. Possibly the biggest issue is that I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've found ground here that's soft enough to get some stakes into. I don't think even if I had two trekking poles that I could count on being able to get them firmly into the ground, to say nothing of putting down 4-8 stakes! Any ideas on dealing with hard ground?

    Thanks for any help!
    Last edited by jbphilly; 02-14-2011 at 08:00.

  2. #2
    Member refund's Avatar
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    wow Tuff question, haven't used a setup like that one before. But before you drop cash on trekking poles, have you thought about getting a solo tent? I bought one from BassPro that was only about $30, and have seen them for the same price at Gander mtn. and other places. The solo tent if in the price range seems to me would be the most stable platform for your need. and if you get one cheap enough you don't have to worry about losing it or getting it stolen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    Info on this page, also a download.
    http://www.equipped.com/tarp-shelters.htm
    Print out some rectangles 2x3 units in size (to match your tarp) and start folding.



    For staking, how about using some recycled tyvek shipping envelopes to make some bags? Fill with rocks and tie-out to them.

    For sliding the tarp along the ridgeline, use a prussik knot.
    Last edited by CajunHiker; 02-14-2011 at 08:21.
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  4. #4
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Plenty of great tarp set up options on youtube.
    Search "tarps".
    Sewing on the extra tieout points is pretty straight forward. You can do them by hand in one night, if you don't have a machine. Locate where you want them, cut some 5 inch pieces of 1" webbing, fold them over the tarp edge, leaving an exposed inch and a half for tying to, stitch thru the webbing/fabric/webbing. Use polyester thread, not cotton!
    You can add reinforcing patches if you'd like prior to sewing on the tie outs.
    Melt the rawcut edges of your webbing first to prevent further fraying.

    One pole limits your set up options, but it can be done.
    Any chance of picking up a stick along the trail during the day? No need to carry a extra stick or pole that way. Or a seperating hiking pole, 6' long, that seperates into two 3'?
    Sand fleas may be an issue? Carry some kind of bug protection!

    A continous ridgeline may solidify your tarp against the winds. Plus it gives you a spot to hang stuff while under the tarp.

    Test your setup before heading out. Lots of ways to string up and stake a rectangle tarp. Folding in the corners can create doors. Staking down three corners and propping up one, creates a diamond set up.
    With extra tie outs and another pole, your options improve.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dave41079's Avatar
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    http://hikinghq.net/gear/tarp.html

    Look at the flying diamond or trapezoid setups for single poles.

    http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs375...._7693205_n.jpg

    Something like that maybe? Whatever you do, practice practice practice before you go out. Try it out in inclement weather, as close to the worst possible you think you'll expect. Better to know it won't work before you go, than find out halfway through a trek and be stuck with it.
    Visualize whirled peas.

  6. #6
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Sounds like a very interesting hike. I know nothing of this hike and haven't hiked desert conditions but the first thing i think of is sand storms. I wonder if having a single pole tarp tent of the Kifuru design might be something you should consider, something that allows you to open or close it down.
    https://kifaru.net/TIPI2009.html

    Kifuru is pricey but might give you some ideas.

    bill
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    desert hiking

    I have some Grand Canyon experience, but not Israel. I use a 8'X10' piece of Tyvek. Most of the time it is the ground cloth, but on the rare time I have gotten rain I fold it over and secure the sides with binder clips to make a "burrito."

    I own a Integral Designs UniShelter, a Mountain Laurel Designs event bivy and a TarpTent Sublite. But I use a $10 piece of Tyvek because it works best.

    The tyvek can be pitched as a tarp by tying sheetbends into the corners and putting a pebbles in the tyvek secured on the opposite side with a clove hitch.

    Silnylon does not provide good shade. Tyvek is much better.

    Depending on the temperature a NeoAir pad or a Warmlite Down Air Mattress are not as comfortable as a hammock, but you should be able to sleep.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
    - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Senior Member ringtail-THFKAfood's Avatar
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    down load tarp pictures

    I will download a picture of a tyvek tarp set up to my gallery. Moderators feel free to delete if this is off-topic.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
    - Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Member
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    You might be able to tie the ridgeline out to a cactus or rock if you're only carrying one stick, then fold two of the tarp corners together to create "doors". Otherwise, staking 3 corners of the tarp down and then the 4th to the stick would create a pretty wind resistant shelter (provided it's pitched with the stick corner facing away from the wind of course). Just make sure the stick is secured to the ground with a couple guylines and you ought to have a pretty stable shelter.
    Last edited by Slanket; 02-15-2011 at 11:59. Reason: Grammar.

  10. #10
    sandykayak's Avatar
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    Six Moons Design Solo Lunar is a beaut:

    http://sectionhiker.com/tarp-tents-s...tent-squall-2/

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