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Thread: Sock vs Tarp

  1. #1
    New Member rgambord's Avatar
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    Sock vs Tarp

    Does a sock offer more warmth and weather protection than a tarp? It seems like it should, but the lack of tie-outs makes me wonder how much fun it is in the wind. I'm planning on 4 seasons backpacking.

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    Dutch's Avatar
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    Socks are meant to hold in warmth but they really aren't meant to be protection from the rain. Tarps really don't hold in warmth, but a good tarp pitched right will block a lot of the wind which is half the battle. I prefer a top cover and a tarp with either no doors for 3 season or a 3 sided tarp for winter.
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    Doctari's Avatar
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    Additionally, Socks are meant to breath, a sock that will keep the rain off will get you wet with condensation. Wet is cold.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

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    Senior Member ljcsov's Avatar
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    I'd be very paranoid to try to use a waterproof sock. Sil isn't breathable and I'd be extremely concerned with carbon monoxide poisoning. People have even experience closed calls with tents meant to be breathable. This seems like a death wish in comparison.

  5. #5
    New Member rgambord's Avatar
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    Well now I'm a bit confused. Ground campers can use a bivy shelter to protect from the elements. What is stopping a similar design that wraps around a hammock?


  6. #6
    New Member rgambord's Avatar
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    I first got the idea for a hammock sock/bivy from this site

    http://www.tothewoods.net/HammockCampingDry.html#Bivy

    I don't mean to be a noob!

    Edit: Sorry, double post.

  7. #7
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I'm glad this is being discussed because I've been thinking about tarps vs socks.

    I agree that a significant portion of a sock should be breathable, probably the top and then the sides & bottom could be less breathable and therefore more wind resistant.

    I wouldn't go with a sock unless temps were well below freezing, eliminating the chance of liquid precipitation. Then perhaps a minimal tarp to protect the breathable top of the sock from snow and spin drift.

    I've been thinking (in those conditions) that a sock may require less material than a tarp as big as a house. Also, the sock isn't structural like a tarp and could possibly be made from a combination of 0.33 oz/sy cuben and 0.65 oz/sy 7D nylon. This, along with a minimal cuben tarp could perhaps end up being the best bang for the weight.

    I would seem to me that the sock would be extremely important in holding in heat in very cold sub-freezing conditions. The cuben sides & bottom would offer wind protection (perhaps the sock should have tie-outs).

    However, I haven't hung in Minnesota. Therefore, this is all theory!
    But, if I did live there, I would be experimenting along these lines.
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    RootCause's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    However, I haven't hung in Minnesota. Therefore, this is all theory!
    That can be remedied easily! C'mon up, we'll find something for ya.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    An all weather sock... one flaw in my opinion....

    It's raining.... you want to cook, go to the bathroom. You open the sock and the rain soaks everything. Seems like a poor design for the rain.

    I have a winter sock. Looking forward to report results after this winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgambord View Post
    Well now I'm a bit confused. Ground campers can use a bivy shelter to protect from the elements. What is stopping a similar design that wraps around a hammock?
    Most bivies have a waterproof bottom and breathable/water resistant top. There's also this netting area over the face, with a zippered weather cover.

    They totally suck if it's not cold. Condensation city. Breathable fabric doesn't breath - not the stuff that's storm-worthy anyway.

    And as noted, like socks, you can't cook in them, sit up in them, read a book in them... it would totally suck to be out in 15+ hours of rain in a bivy, on the ground or in a hammock.

    I have a hammock cover (breathable ripstop) and a tarp, and never shall the cover be used alone. But it'll go out when it's getting colder.

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