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  1. #1
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    DIY tarp with DWR ripstop help

    I am getting ready to make a tarp using DWR Ripstop, which comes 60 inches wide.

    I am new to hanging (4 dry nights so far), so I have no experience other than what I have read. I want to make a tarp that will keep me dry in a driving rain.
    What style is best, and where is a good place to start, links would be beneficial.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    DWR is NOT appropriate for a tarp. It will not be waterproof.

    You need something like Silnylon or PU coated fabric.

  3. #3
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    +1 on the Sil or PU-coated nylon. Both can be found at DIY Gear Supply.

    Sil-nylon (or just "Sil"; short for "silicone-impregnated nylon") is generally lighter and longer-lasting than PU-coated (polyurethane-coated) nylon, but is generally more expensive as well. For a backpacking tarp, I'd recommend 30d (denier, a measure of thread weight) sil; it comes in in the 1.4 oz/square yard range. For a car camping tarp, whatever is cheapest is probably best.

    DIY Gear Supply also offers a good selection of tarp plans. Each has a list of required materials to make the tarp and covers all of the steps involved.

    Personally, I'd recommend the hex tarp, unless you're intending to camp in deep winter (where wind blockage is more important than protection from rain); the hex tarp offers a good compromise between cost, ease of set-up, ease of construction, weight, and coverage. There's a reason that the majority of hammock tarps on the market today are one kind of hex or another.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me! If I don't know the answer, I can probably point you in the right direction to find out.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    yeah you need Silnylon NOT ripstop .. DWR coating is not waterproof it's more for shedding light rain or mist for a short period of time once ripstop gets soaked it will bleed through
    don't waste your time sewing up a tarp out of ripstop save it to make a hammock or something else
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Grinder's Avatar
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    DWR equals "Durable Water Resistant".

    'Nuff said.
    grinder

  6. #6
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    you can also make your own silnylon if you already have the regular ripstop, here is a thread with some really good info on doing it

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=2011

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  7. #7
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    To elaborate on what others have already said...DWR is essentially the same as plain ripstop. It's just just a very light coat of water protection aimed for minimal protection.

    DWR is usually used as a breathable material that you don't want to get wet like a sleeping bag. If used as a tent it's going to be far better than nothing but water is going to soak through it and start dripping pretty quick so the only way you could stay dry with DWR is to off-set the tarp and hammock ridge-lines so it drips off to the side...trying to use different trees for tarp and hammock is going to be a PAIN.

    If you already have DWR material, don't freak out, there are still plenty of coating options for you to "finish" the tarp after it's made. There's already a link to how to coat with silicone for $10-15 and an hour or two of your time. I'd considered coating my own silicone to get the color of ripstop (bright green).

    If you don't have material yet, 1.4oz silnylon 2nds can be found easily (DIY Gear Supply is where I got mine--navy blue) and usually for around $6/yd...I have made PU and sil tarps in the past month and prefer the sil material but either work...The main reason I prefer sil is because it's coated on both sides which makes drawing up patterns easier than one-sided PU. Sil is slippery as well, which repels water slightly better but is also slightly harder to work with (I iron and pin sil more than PU). Sil is also lighter than PU and more easily re-coated after years of use.
    Last edited by jordo_99; 09-07-2012 at 11:54.

  8. #8
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    Talking Thanks

    Looks like I am going to try and make my own Sil. Great info everyone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by al_daniels View Post
    Looks like I am going to try and make my own Sil. Great info everyone.
    I have no experience doing this, but I would definitely recommend looking around for what ratios people use for this (silicon to mineral spirits). I would HIGHLY recommend pitching the tarp when you coat it. (1) this is going to be the shape the coating is expected to perform in and (2) this will allow the fabric to stretch slightly and allow the coating to penetrate better.

    I've heard a few people using (roughly...just recalling from memory) 1:5 for seam sealing and 1:20 for a single layer coating. I think I saw another person who did 1:30 and did at least 2 layers.

    I had also seen a video on youtube where someone just had a bucket and soaked their tarp for a minute and then hung it up taught...it's the quick and dirty way to do it but it's not likely to give as light and even a coat as "painting" it to a taut pitch by hand.

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