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  1. #1
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    Winter tarps ... the real deal?

    Most of us over 40 have learned that '' For every problem there is A solution which is nice, neat, easy, plausible and WRONG."

    The PROBLEM is wind with rain, sprinkle or heavy fog which can readily dampen the spirit and more.

    I am ready to buy a SWT or JRB (I like the door thing) but a comment on the forum by someone who experienced the PROBLEM revealed a winter tarp might not be the real Full Meal Deal. The wet got in cuz the ''doors'' couldn't be closed well enough.

    There are of course some limitations where site selection and/or orientation can mitigate the damage.

    I realize most of us (I suspect) do not consciously head out into the maw of a substantial storm to test ourselves and gear.

    Any other real life EXPERIENCES by members with a winter tarp....good or bad .... in really bad weather ?

    I like things simple and prefer not to gear up with lots of hammock accouterment: storm shelters, end caps, hammock bivies, bottom shields and attendant fuss to get a great night's sleep. I hoped a WT possibly with one other light piece of hammock gear will do the job.
    Last edited by riverkeeper; 04-11-2008 at 13:27.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    That's probably the main reason for me going with the JRB over the SWT. In reviewing the photos on the websites it apears the JRB offers the ability to close up shop a lot more than the SWT. I don't know this for a fact but that's the way it apears to me. With that being said I'd also point out that having the option to close the doors is not an excuse to forget everything you ever knew about pitching a tarp. Make sure when your pitching the tarp that your putting the broadside into the wind. If you pitch with your opening to the wind YOU ARE GOING TO GET WET unless your sleeping in a bubble. I think the benefit of the Winter Tarps is that they give you the ability to reduce the opening size to a more managable opening for the cold and wet that in a severe storm will inevitably find some way to get in. Murphys says no matter wich way the wind was blowing when you set up your tarp it is going to change 90 degrees in direction to blow straight in. But this is JMO!

  3. #3
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mahem View Post
    That's probably the main reason for me going with the JRB over the SWT. In reviewing the photos on the websites it apears the JRB offers the ability to close up shop a lot more than the SWT. I don't know this for a fact but that's the way it apears to me. With that being said I'd also point out that having the option to close the doors is not an excuse to forget everything you ever knew about pitching a tarp. Make sure when your pitching the tarp that your putting the broadside into the wind. If you pitch with your opening to the wind YOU ARE GOING TO GET WET unless your sleeping in a bubble. I think the benefit of the Winter Tarps is that they give you the ability to reduce the opening size to a more managable opening for the cold and wet that in a severe storm will inevitably find some way to get in. Murphys says no matter wich way the wind was blowing when you set up your tarp it is going to change 90 degrees in direction to blow straight in. But this is JMO!
    I imagine Youngblood and Pan will be along shortly to comment. That will be fun, like the Mad Max movie, two men in, one man out...

    but seriously, I'm wondering why there would be so much of a difference between the two w.r.t. closing off the ends. Both have 10' ridgelines and 11' sides. Both are essentially rectangular, although the SWT looks to be a little more aggressive with the cat cuts. The distance from the ground corner of the tarp to the tie-out on which the side pivots to close the door is important; the smaller that is, the narrower the tarp and the steeper the pitch will be when the doors' corners are brought together.

    Said differently, if there is a difference between the two tarps, it seems to me to depend on the placement of the pivot tie-out, and THEN the question is not so much how closely you can bring the doors together, but what shape does the tarp have when you do.

    Grizz (who has seen a SWT and owns (gasp) 2 JRB tarps)

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I thought they both had 11 foot RLs and 10 ft widths in normal use, except the JRB also is designed to pitch alternatively with a 10 ft RL and 11 ft width? Don't know if the Speer has that option?

  5. #5
    Hooch's Avatar
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    I don't own a JRB trap, nor have I seen one in action. But knowing the Jacks' reputation for turning out high quality gear and having a SWT myself, you really can't go wrong either way, IMO. Whatever you choose, you're sure to be happy, covered and dry.

  6. #6
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    must be quittin' time

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I thought they both had 11 foot RLs and 10 ft widths in normal use, except the JRB also is designed to pitch alternatively with a 10 ft RL and 11 ft width? Don't know if the Speer has that option?
    A SWT with an 11' ridgeline would explain a difference. I couldn't tell definitively from the text or picture for the tarp on the Speer site. So I just went back and went through the blurb "From the Designer of the Winter Tarp" and he says the ridgeline is 11'. Case closed.

    I should have been able to work this out from first principles though, because to get 11' wide with the seam on the ridgeline--which I can clearly see in the pictures of the SWT---you need over 66" wide sil, which is unusual. In "close of the end mode" of the JRB tarp, the hem runs down the side of the tarp, not along the top. Clearly this multi-tasking between my day job and flashing past HF posts is taking its toll, I gotta get my priorities straight here!

    If the distance from corner tie-out to pivot tie-out is the same on both tarps---which it probably isn't--the SWT will be narrower when you close up the end than a JRB tarp.



    Grizz

  7. #7
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Oh crap. Don't get the mathletes started this close to the weekend.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    My question is not so much WHICH of the 2 winter door tarps is better RATHER
    IF either of them will REALLY WILL handle winter wind-rain much better than a regular cat cut approx similar or slightly smaller size.

    I know given their size both may handle set up like a 1-armed 800 pound gorilla in heavy wind.... think jibing in heavy down wind without a winch.

    Speaking of which ... do you use DIY snake skins or black bishop bags on these mini spinnakers.

    Edit-- Designer-builders should not be reluctant to chime in with experiences from pre production testing or personal use. I am strongly inclined to get a larger tarp. And I am also intimately familar with the concept YMMV and design pride. No problem it is jsut that I do not want to spend this kind of $ when the design is rev 1.0 Recently Retired with more time that money ... I hope.
    Last edited by riverkeeper; 04-11-2008 at 15:16. Reason: Can't get it right the first time.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Senior Member GREEN THERAPY's Avatar
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    I don't have a winter tarp, but have been out a few times in the conditions of wind rain and fog. Using a hammock cover/sock has kept me dry and warm. The advantage to the winter tarp I think would be to have a weather protected area to store gear and cook which I can do with the tarp I already have. Why clutter up ones pack with extra's that are "nice" but certainly not neccessary. Could see more of a use for it in drifting snow conditions perhaps, but here on the West Coast of Vancouver Island thats not an issue, its the rain.
    What I lack in knowledge I MORE than make up for with opinions.
    Green Therapy

  10. #10
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    Oh crap. Don't get the mathletes started this close to the weekend.
    worry not old wrinkled friend, I have better things to do this weekend (involving keeping the IRS off my case )

    Grizz

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