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  1. #1
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    DIY pole mod for hammock tarps - no sew, use your trekking poles.

    Howdy folks. I haven't been around in a while, I've been busy doing stuff like updating my guidebook, hiking, working, etc. Anyhow I thought I might come over here and share something I started playing with the other day...

    Background: HOI had mentioned getting a pole mod done to his tarp, and when HOI mentions something, I learned a long time ago it is probably a good idea to pay attention to him. To that point I hadn't really thought much about them, even though I have seen some nice pics of some. A day after that discussion I went on a hike about 100 miles, so I had a lot of time to think about how to do it and be light, the desire was to not add anything, or much of anything to my kit, especially when I am still trying to keep the hammock under a pound. It also helps if whatever I carried could do something else like be a pack frame or a fishing pole, or something.

    Then I spent a night at a shelter in the Smokies (no I didn't sleep in the shelter) with a thru-hiker using a LightHeart tent. If you haven't seen one (I know most of you are like me and hardly notice tents) it has a cool way of making an A frame using hiking poles: http://www.lightheartgear.com/LightHeart_Gear/Home.html

    I got the idea that maybe I could make a pole mod that used my hiking poles in a similar manner. When I got back I did some looking around and then started playing with it. Today I finished making the prototype mods to my gear and I'm taking it out at the end of the month for 100 miles of the BMT to test drive it:

    ]Finish product - about 30 grams added to the my entire packing list:
    3 grams added to the tarp
    25 grams for the pole joiner
    2 grams added to the poles

    Today when I got home I finished out the project. Test hike coming up the 29th for 100 miles on the BMT.


    Outside view of one of the sides. The pole is resting on the ground, the pole strap is staked out.


    Toggle attachment made with handy twig. The pole attachment point is only a gram per pole. These poles are carbon fiber ski poles (saves some weight) but I have played with this same concept using adjustable trekking poles - they have the added benefit of being able to change the length based on the terrain you set up on. That said, this works even if the poles don't touch the ground.


    Two wear prevention pads are on the tarp now to reduce abrasion on the tarp. I'm using gorilla tape for these. 1 gram per pad. I got the idea for gorilla tape from WV.


    Originally I was going to do this elaborate sewing, taping, and gluing project to make the center hold point, but then I got an easier idea. To stitches required for this loop, and it is held on by VHB tape so it is stronger than rivets. It is actually less than a gram, but I call it a gram.

    The joiner, or ridge pole (gotta get a name for that) is made from a 12" length of 1/2" Sharkbite PEX pipe bought from Home Depot at ~$1.90 for a 5' length of it. So I have a lot extra if we decide this works and want to add it to other family hammocks. http://www.sharkbite.com/

    Initially I was going to figure the optimal angles for the ends and heat mold this stuff (one of the interesting properties of this pipe) but on my first test rig I liked the spring effect it has, so I decided to not modify it in any way - yet...

    Oh, and now I have a 12" pipe to use on un-piped springs to make getting water more convenient.


    Tarp shown with the head end closed. At this point the bottom is just flapping open so that you could enter and then stake it closed once in. And you still have lots of floor space plus the extra support of a site "spar" to the tarp to help handle high winds.
    Last edited by SGT Rock; 04-17-2011 at 20:16. Reason: fix title
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  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Nice...some great ideas there.

    Are the baskets on your poles removable? With enough wind there might be some danger of the baskets slipping off that Gorilla tape pad.
    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 SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Don't know, I haven't tried to take them off.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    Congrats...you have a fantastic concept brewing there...

    I agree with AS that I'd be looking at ways to bulletproof the roof area...I'd be wary of the basket, and the pole endpoints as well.

    I'd fear that any significant slippage with force during setup, take down, or wind could end up in a puncture to your tarp
    (Is that Cuben...if so, that would really hurt ).

    I'm not on site, so cant judge the stability of the system near the top connections...maybe it's just fine as it...if not, I'd be looking for a way to easily remove the basket and maybe even point, to somehow connect to the sharkbite section...

    Enjoy...Jim

  5. #5
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    The pole ends get stuck in there rather well, they aren't about to slide out. It takes some force to jam them in there, and then to take them out when you are taking the system down. The toggles on the tarp ends that connect to the poles are also putting tension on the system that keeps them pulled in tight to the "ridge pole", it takes some force to hook those toggles up.
    NO SNIVELING!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Curt's Avatar
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    Interesting idea. The image of tungsten points ripping through that tarp is hard to get out of my head, but I'm guessing they are indeed secure or you wouldn't risk it.

    BTW - are those bamboo poles? Any details on weight/where to find them/strengths and weaknesses?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I'm making a video now to address some of the concerns. The poles are Komperdall carbon fiber poles with a bamboo veiner to protect against those bruises that death to most carbon fiber poles. This isn't the exact model but close: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/i/1...Ski-Poles.html
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  8. #8
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Nice design SGT! Actually keeping the baskets on might help to deter rubbing and premature wear on the tarp! Although I think a little larger piece of tape might be in order, but if it is a stable as you say then might be good the way you have it!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

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  9. #9
    Senior Member SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I think they are good. The video should be ready on Youtube in about 20 minutes or so +/-. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video gets in 60 pictures per second so it is worth about 48,000 pictures or 48,900,000 words.
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  10. #10
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    I think they are good. The video should be ready on Youtube in about 20 minutes or so +/-. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video gets in 60 pictures per second so it is worth about 48,000 pictures or 48,900,000 words.
    Cool, look forward to it!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

    "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift---thats why its called a present" - Master Oogway

    It's always best if your an early riser!

    I like hiking as it's like exercise!

    My Blog

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