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  1. #1
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    SUL polycyro (shrink wrap) tarp

    I must have been really bored on this rainy weekend. I made 8.75 x 13 super ultralight tarp from a polycryo window insulation (shrink wrap) kit. The tarp is now being tested in a downpour we're having. It's working great, so far. I think it only weighs about 6 oz.! Not sure about the weight, I'll have to go to the Post Office and weigh it. This stuff is surprisingly strong. I believe it's the same material used for the groundsheets Gossamer Gear sells. I found a kit with a 62" x 210" piece. The kit also included 90' of double sided tape. I used two kits. I taped the two pieces together with the double sided tape. I then used the double sided tape to make "hems." Then I used Gorilla Tape to make the tieouts, one 6" piece and one 2" piece in the middle of the 6" piece, making the middle two inches not sticky, if you get what I mean. Used some cheap poly string for tie outs, and a Zing-it ridgeline from my real tarp. So far so good. The wind has only been about 10 mph, and an inch of rain has fallen on it so far in the last four hours. Keeping my fingers crossed!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Funny Money's Avatar
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    Way to save weight!

    I expect it weighs a few oz more though. Please report back! That's a great looking tarp.
    -- Funny Money
    ------------------
    Love 'em while you got 'em

  3. #3
    Member JDShearer's Avatar
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    I've been thinking of doing something like this. Great idea! What did the window kits cost you? I was thinking it could be reinforced with tape if need be. I'm interested in hearing an actual weight on this as well as how long the plastic will last. Nice job.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    When the sun hits it, is it going to shrink up!?!!?
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    Seriously though. Cool idea. I never would have thought it would be strong enough for a tarp. Thanks for sharing your idea!
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  5. #5
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    The rain turned to light snow overnight, and the tarp is still standing and holding up well with 1/8" of snow on it, no wind. I added a pole mod using a pole from a backpacking tent. It's and easton aluminum pole 124" long, but should be about 10" longer or so. I made some adjustable pole pockets that are removeable out of a 3"x3" piece of leather with four holes punched in it and ran some zing-it through the holes, leaving about a 6" tag end so I could tie them onto the middle tieouts. Those seem to work great. Pole really helps with the snow, which is wet and sticking to the tarp. I can only imagine what a foot of the stuff would do. I don't know if I would trust it in the back country, but so far so good. It would make a good emergency item. I don't know if it will shrink. I made it extra long (13') in case it does.
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  6. #6
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    Seam Failure!

    After one plus inches of very heavy wet snow buildup on the tarp, which probably weighed 20 lbs. or so, the center seam failed as I brushed it off with a broom and was shaking the tarp. It held up better than I thought it would! If there were no center seam or used stronger tape, it would still be up. Maybe a strapping tape center seam. Strapping tape would be lighter than the Gorilla tape.

  7. #7
    Chammocks's Avatar
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    Conclusion:

    Tarp is in shreds. Wind of 20 mph destroyed it. Back to the drawing board!

  8. #8
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chammocks View Post
    Seam Failure!

    After one plus inches of very heavy wet snow buildup on the tarp, which probably weighed 20 lbs. or so, the center seam failed as I brushed it off with a broom and was shaking the tarp. It held up better than I thought it would! If there were no center seam or used stronger tape, it would still be up. Maybe a strapping tape center seam. Strapping tape would be lighter than the Gorilla tape.
    I'm thinking that Tyvek Tape would be as strong as gorilla tape, and the glues would not fail in time. Probably would be lighter, too...

    John
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  9. #9
    Senior Member Funny Money's Avatar
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    You all need to read this:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...hread_id=59450

    It's been a cool thread.
    -- Funny Money
    ------------------
    Love 'em while you got 'em

  10. #10
    Senior Member Browny's Avatar
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    Shug needs one of these, makes his cuben seem positively opaque!
    I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.

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