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  1. #1
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    the perfect size?

    Heres the deal. i know there are TONS of threads asking about tarp choices, and believe me ive read them... but its hard to find exactly what you are looking to hear in someone elses thread, so here it goes.

    Im new to hammocking, not new to camping, but am looking for the perfect tarp as my first purchase. I am on an extremely tight budget, and not super worried about weight, and found the campmor tarps that i can buy about any size and shape i could want, for 30-40$.. but my question is, which size do i want?!

    The dilema here is that, since i will only have one tarp, i want it to offer coverage for the heaviest rain storms, but i also want it to be small enough that during the good weather, i can look out in the woods and enjoy nature without being in a cacoon of tarp.

    This leads me to my final question.. should i be looking for a 8x8, 9x9 or 10x10 tarp to lay on the diagonal, or a 11x11 11x8 tarp or a 12x10 or something like that as a rectangle? i have no idea what size will offer enough coverage to cook under, have a little dry space, while still letting me feel open to the woods. [EDIT: IM STUCK BETWEEN A 9x9 AS A DIAMOND, OR A 10x8, 10x10 OR 10x12 AS A RECTANGLE SETUP. UNLESS ANYONE HAS A BETTER SIZE, I NEED HELP BETWEEN THESE! THANKS! SORRY FOR THE CAPS!]
    So and recomendations, personal prefernces, anything! that you have to say about the size and configuration of my new tarp, please do! thanks in advance, Nils
    Last edited by convertee; 05-28-2011 at 21:53.

  2. #2
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    21 views and nobody has a suggestion? anything guys. anything!

  3. #3
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    What's your hammock length? Some are longer than others so thats really a good starting point. But despite tarp style (Diamond, Rectangle, Hex, etc...) you want atleast 1 foot of tarp overhang at both the head and foot end of your hammock.

    Personally I like a Hex tarp, gives good coverage in bad weather and can pitch one side up for porch mode to give good views and lots of room. Although a simple rectangular Wally World blue tarp is a good starting point untill you know specifically what you want in size, shape, and weight.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  4. #4
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    Most tarps you want at least an 11ft ridgeline.

    as far as the sides - if you go with a larger tarp for cold or wild rain storms
    you can always get creative & prop up corners with branches to get a view during nicer weather

    out of the choices you listed above - personally I would go with the 11x11

    It is what you feel the most comfortable with.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    thanks guys. and shadowalpha, im assuming you are saying an 11x11 set up like a rectangle... otherwise it would be huge and as for hammock length, its an eno double and im 6'1, with probabaly a 109 ish ridgeline? not entirely sure...

  6. #6
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Well a 9x9 setup as a diamond would give you roughly a 12ft 8in ridge line on your tarp. So that would more than cover you for good weather. Although alot of people don't seem happy with diamond tarps in foul weather due to poor wind/sideways rain coverage and not alot of moving around room when pitched low.

    And if you're looking for smallest possible tarp size an 8x8 gives you 11ft 4in ridge line which gives you approximately 1ft on either end of your hammock.

    Just remember with diamonds to pitch them lower than you think you need to for maximum coverage.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  7. #7
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    thanks catavarie. im stuck between a 9x9 diamond, or a 10x10 or 12x10 set as a rectangle.... someone help me out!

  8. #8
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Well if your not worried about weight, and want maximum coverage for bad weather go for the 12x10 setup as a rectangle. Will allow you to pull the corners in on the ends as "storm doors" for those summer time thunderstorms that seem to appear from no where. And you can always pitch it leanto style with it folded over on itself for views in clear conditions.


    The reason for so many options is that there isn't one perfect answer for everyone everytime, just a what will work best for each situation. One person might want a small cat cut Hex tarp in conditions someone else wants a BMJ.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  9. #9
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    warbonnet's bmj or oes's maccat deluxe IMO are the perfect size. a nice balance b/t coverage and not too much crap to deal with. 4 stakes only.

  10. #10
    RootCause's Avatar
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    I use a DIY 10'x10'.

    I've found that it's not the size that lets me be open to the views or sheltered from the weather- it's how I pitch it. When the weather is good, I pitch the sides high, or (set up square) toss one half over the ridgeline for a great sky view. In the event of rain then, it's a quick move to pull the tarp to full coverage and tie it off at the corner stakes.

    When the weather is poor or windy, I pitch the sides low. Or will pitch one side lower than the other so I can use hiking poles to make a porch.

    Since you're new to hammocking, two things you might consider: one is that you're not using a tent, but you don't really need the enclosed coverage a tent provides. Second is that tree selection can be an important element for a good hang. Depending on which way the weather is coming in, select your trees so that you can catch the breeze under your tarp, or use your tarp to block the wind.

    It's not like this takes a ton of practice, just a willingness to be open to all the possibilities. Put a few nights under your belt, and it all gets really easy!

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