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  1. #1
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Fold-up Tarp Skin

    I used HH skins on my HH hammocks last summer. Liked how quickly one could pack or unpack a hammock, didn't like the long tube for packing.

    So I've been doing without skins ever since. In particular I've been folding my tarp. I was on the trail last weekend and was folding up the tarp in a bit of a wind. Was reminded of doing this all the time this winter, and how I didn't like it. I'd been using the "stuff it!" approach, but like my gear a little more compressed, and more like a rectangle than a cylinder.

    I decided I would make a skin for the tarp, and use some lightweight tulle material I got from the $1 bin. Questions about skins and comments about using tulle showed up yesterday, it was raining so I couldn't do house maintenance, and so I whipped up a skin. It does things a little differently than I've seen before, so I thought I'd share.

    I cut the tulle 12' x 13 inches. That long because I have one tarp with a 12' ridgeline, that wide because I'm aiming for a finished shape that is closer to a rectangle than it is to a large intestine. I marked the cut lines using my laser square to show where the straight line lies, and put down masking tape. I cut it with a hot knife.

    Knowing the reputation of tulle to be a PITA to sew, I figured I'd make my tube by folding the rectangle in half the long way (so that is 12' x 6.5 inches), then embed the cut edges into a strip of bias tape, and then sew down the edges. Going through the machine there is bias tape being feed through the feeder dogs and bias tape approaching the presser foot, and so no way for the tulle to snag.

    I made separate channels for draw-strings for the ends, and sewed them on. Here I just made a rectangle about 12.5" x 2", hemmed the edges, and then pinned the tulle edge in between opposing edges of the channel fabric. Sewed it up, got a channel. Tulle did not touch machine.

    I put also a pocket on the outside. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Finally, to support the notion of folding and holding the skinned tarp, I put on a couple of small circle rings, sewed to the bias tape edge. To these I attached loops of shock cord, with a toggle for tightening. I placed the rings at a distance of 2" and 10" from one end of the skin.

    Here's the tarp skinned. Note the shock cord and loops. The black and yellow cord is the drawstring for the channel, here tightened up some.



    Now I disconnect the cord on the end of the tarp shown above, and start folding the skinned tarp in segments of about 1 foot. The place of the shock cords at 2" and 10" from the end make estimating 1 foot pretty easy.



    Once it is folded up, the shock cords on the end away from the tree is looped over and tightened up to hold things, while I disconnect the other cord, wind it up, and tuck it away. Then the second shock cord is slipped into place, tightened, and we're done.


    The skin with pocket, drawstrings, shockcord, and toggles weighs 2 oz.

    Now I'm off to a 4th of July picnic...

    Grizz

  2. #2
    Senior Member Annie's Avatar
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    That's REALLY nice!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    **shadowmoss scribbles notes**
    Bad spellers of the world Untie!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DGrav's Avatar
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    Grizz, that is very slick!

  5. #5
    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    another fine product by Grizz

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gailainne's Avatar
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    Sorry

    I'm not sure I get this ? whats the advantage of skinning the tarp ? dependant on the mat'l I find some tarps are prone to stuffing, (Kathmandu) and some prone to folding (HH) I have a small sack designed for both, the kathmandu is about 3" diameter by 12" long, the HH is approx 12"x12", why would I want a sack 12' long ?

    Hoping someone (Grizz) will enlighten me, and not turn out out to be too thick

    Regards

    Stephen

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gailainne View Post
    Sorry

    I'm not sure I get this ? whats the advantage of skinning the tarp ? dependant on the mat'l I find some tarps are prone to stuffing, (Kathmandu) and some prone to folding (HH) I have a small sack designed for both, the kathmandu is about 3" diameter by 12" long, the HH is approx 12"x12", why would I want a sack 12' long ?

    Hoping someone (Grizz) will enlighten me, and not turn out out to be too thick

    Regards

    Stephen
    The main advantage for me is that it is easier to put and and take down a tarp in wind, using a skin. Especially these big ones ( the one in my photos is 11' x 10'.) Putting up because the profile is a lot lower with the tarp inside the skin, so you can tie it to the trees and center it without fighting the wind trying to blow it and you through the Lairig Ghru. Taking down because all the rolling into the skin is done while the tarp is still suspended, the trees are like an extra pair of hands, or rather, gives you the full use of both hands to do the folding. You fold/roll the tarp into the skin about a metre at a time, slide the skin over that bit, do it again, etc.
    Even without wind, folding up the tarp using a skin is a little less cumbersome than folding it by hand.

    Others like to hang the skinned tarp but not unroll the whole thing, so that if they retire under clear skies and it starts to rain a little, they can pop up and finish the job quickly.

    So a tarp skin is clearly a bit of kit that isn't necessary, but it does add functionality with a marginal weight penalty, and so has a loyal following within the hammocking set.

    Grizz
    Last edited by GrizzlyAdams; 07-05-2008 at 17:34.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Grizz, quit making me feel bad about my lack of time and skill to DIY! Seriously, I know you're working on house projects this weekend like I am, so how the h*** do you find the time? I'm so tired at the end of a day with the wheel barrow that I'm ready to drop - you aren't human, are you? Are you a Terminator from the future that just gave up on finding your target, and now makes gear to while away the time? Do your servos ever need lubrication?

    Very cool.

  9. #9
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishinFinn View Post
    Grizz, quit making me feel bad about my lack of time and skill to DIY! Seriously, I know you're working on house projects this weekend like I am, so how the h*** do you find the time? I'm so tired at the end of a day with the wheel barrow that I'm ready to drop - you aren't human, are you? Are you a Terminator from the future that just gave up on finding your target, and now makes gear to while away the time? Do your servos ever need lubrication?

    Very cool.
    I'm sure you work harder at the house/yard stuff than I do...and I have two brawny sons at home this summer for the heavy stuff. Anyway, I thought about what this skin might look like while I was scraping paint, and then when it started raining, well, painting is out and trimming the hedges is out and mowing the yard is out, and digging for the retaining wall is out, so what is a guy to do?

    Well I coulda worked on the presentation slides due in a week or the paper due in one week or the one due in two weeks or the demo due in two and half weeks. But what's the fun of that?

    This project was really pretty quickly put together. Which was good because it stopped raining. And the deadlines didn't stop.

    Grizz

  10. #10
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    And the deadlines didn't stop.
    "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." - Douglas Adams
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

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