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Thread: Tarp Folding

  1. #1
    Member cashkeith's Avatar
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    Tarp Folding

    I know I've see several of y'all use snakeskins for your tarps, but what do you suggest on folding technique if you don't have/use snakeskins? Do you stuff or roll? Also if you do roll, how do you roll it up without getting it on the ground (namely, especially if it's muddy)? Any and all tips/tricks/techniques are welcome.
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    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Before I added skins, I stuffed. I unhooked one end of the tarp and stuffed it directly into bag as I moved towards the opposite end. Tarp never touched the ground.

    Although folding doesn't seem to be a problem for CF tarps, Silnylon and PU Nylon it's best not to fold, as the seams will cause unneccessary wear of the waterproof coatings and therefore could cause leaks.
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    Bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catavarie View Post
    Before I added skins, I stuffed. I unhooked one end of the tarp and stuffed it directly into bag as I moved towards the opposite end. Tarp never touched the ground.
    ...
    Exactly what I used to do before I switched to tarp sleeves. I was always told to stuff gear so that's all I've ever done with tarps, clothes sleeping bags etc.
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    I leave one tie on the tree and then fold the tarp in half, then again and again until I have a long thin "rectangle". I untie the part still on the tree, then roll it to the bottom. This keeps it off the ground and doesn't allow any air to get trapped so it packs small.

    If the tarp was wet, I first flip it over the ridgeline so wet side is against wet side and then do the above. This traps the wetness inside itself. I then open it up at the earliest moment to dry it out. I have laid it out in the sun while having lunch while on a long distance hike to dry it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member HamMike's Avatar
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    I undo my lines from the stakes, unhook one side, fold it in half toward the attached side, then keep folding it in half until its small enough to unhook the other side and roll up and slip it in it's stuff sack. If it's wet I just put it in the mesh pouch on the outside of my Ohm.
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    Member cashkeith's Avatar
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    Great tips. Keep em coming. One other detail, I'm not currently using a RL, just each beak tied off to the tree with it's own rope. What do y'all use and does it make a difference in your tear down instructions?
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    No separate ridgeline for me. I tie the ends off directly to the trees. Actually I bring the guyline around the tree and then tie a slippery tautline hitch back on the tarp, this creates a "V" for the hammock suspension to pass through since it is slightly higher on the tree.

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    I stuff my Hennessey Hex tarp into a WalMart ditty bag. Works great for me.

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    Stuff, don't fold. If you fold the same way everytime, you'll create small creases, which, eventually, can compromise the integrity of the fabic and, more importantly, your ability to stay dry. If you're going to use a stuff sack, use it as intended: for stuffing. Personally, I've never used snake skins, but it's just a matter of personal preference.
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    Member cashkeith's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I too have always been a 'stuffer' with my tents and sleeping bags. So it makes sense to continue the practice with the tarp.

    This is what I've come up with for now at least with the ENO ProFly. I installed a grommet in the bottom of the factory stuff sack; making it into basically a quasi-black bishop sack. The tarp is a cat cut so with all four corners released from the ground (cords remaining attached to the tarp, and fig 8 wound up to their respective bundles), and the two attachments to the trees still in place, I take one pair of the corners, flip the cords up into the tarp and begin rolling it diagonally towards the RL. This starts making a long tube. Once I read the RL (approx. 1/3 of the way down the RL), I release the end with the sack and begin stuffing the tube I have made thus far. Then with the sack in my armpit, I continued rolling and stuffing until i reach the point I can reach the other tied end. Untie it, dress the cord as I did the four ground corners and stuff it in the top of the sack. Close the sack and dress the cordage coming out of the sack through the grommet. As I said really like a black bishop sack.

    I think this will work out really nicely. The size of the factory stuff sack fits nicely in the exterior pouch of my pack so it's ready anytime I need it without opening the pack. With the black bishop mod done to it, I can attach the sack with the tarp still inside to one tree. Then when I open the sack, the cord is right there to pull out the tarp to the other tree. Doesn't appear to lend itself to hitting the ground in either setup or tear down. Also, the 'tube roll/arm pit tuck' technique seems to make the packing very manageable with high winds since the sail is rolled up prior to stuffing.

    Thanks again for your tips and confirmation that stuffing is still the right way to go. -ck
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