So, today I found myself over at the local milsurplus store to pick up some mosquito netting to see if I could make mesh gaiters/bug defeaters for my sandals and lower legs (trying to cut down on the DEET that I use and the amount of rocks I have to shake loose over the course of a day).
Looking at the headnets there, the lightbulb over my head flickered into fitful, surly life. Kinda like Frankenstein's monster after his sixtieth beer...
Anyway, I realized that one of these head nets could be made--with minimal alteration--into a double-ended mesh stuffsack for a tarp.
Photos will be forthcoming tonight after I get back from work, but here's the lowdown:
- One (1) anti-mosquito head net with elastic adjusters at either end. Approximately $4.00 US.
- Two (2) mini linelocks (Wallyworld and Joanne's fabric sell them if you can't find them anywhere else, but there are a plethora of online dealers that sell these). < $1.00 US.
- One (1) seam ripper, pair of sharp scissors, or good knife (an x-acto knife will work). < $5.00 US.
- Ten (10) minutes of spare time. Priceless.
- Locate the seam where the elastic is joined to itself inside of the sewn mesh channel at one end of the net.
- Edit: Locate and carefully seam-rip (with a seam ripper, the tip of your knife, or the end of your scissors) the tie-outs attached to one end's elastic band. These need to be removed in order to allow free movement of the band inside of the channel.
- Carefully (you really don't want to cut the seam that holds the channel together here) cut a hole large enough to draw the elastic out through the mesh.
- Run the elastic through the linelock and self-knot it so that it won't slip back through the lock when closed.
- Repeat the above steps for the opposite end.
- Stick your tarp inside and run your ridgeline tie-outs through both ends. Cinch the elastic down.
That's it. Fin. Edit: I screwed up the first time on my directions. You need to remove the elastic tie-outs that come with the net in order to allow one of the bands to move freely in its channel. This has been corrected above. Though, I suppose if you wanted to get creative, you could reinforce the tear you just made through the netting to extract the elastic. Since the thing is costing me maybe $5 (I already have scissors), I'm not too worried about it. If I find it's starting to fray, I'll throw some duct tape on it.
Oh, and the finished weight? Approximately 15 grams or 0.5 ounces. Versus the Hennessy snakeskins I was keeping my tarp in, that's a savings of 45 grams or about 1.25 ounces. It also avoids the issue of folds in the tarp (which I found I was getting in about the same places with the snakeskins, due to the way I had to roll up the ginormous Hennessy Hex in order to fit it inside).
Photos to follow later tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Edit: Photos below. Apologies for the graininess and low quality. These were taken with my cell phone in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
Materials (from top-left, clockwise: No-See-Um head net, two mini linelocks, seam ripper, scissors, and el-cheapo folding knife):
Detail of elastic tie-outs (these need to be removed):
Detail of elastic seam (it's kinda hard to see; it's in the very middle of the channel); you need to make a hole and pull this out:
Detail of stopper knot (I just used two overhand knots stacked on top of each other):
Tarp in bag (MSR Groundhog for size comparison):