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  1. #1
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Silly questions, tensioners, and cold weather

    I've read on this forum about how tarp tensioners will freeze and not do their job in freezing weather. This has me wondering . . .

    Do silnylon tarps still stretch as much when it gets into freezing temps? And do the tarp tensioners actually break in freezing weather?

    I don't have much experience hammocking in freezing temps and was wondering about how all this works. I mean, if everything kinda freezes up together, does it matter if the tarp tensioners don't stretch as much?

  2. #2
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I've heard of the tensioners that are made from latex tubing freezing. I wonder if the shock cord tensioners are more or less prone to freezing?
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  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    I've read on this forum about how tarp tensioners will freeze and not do their job in freezing weather. This has me wondering . . .

    Do silnylon tarps still stretch as much when it gets into freezing temps? And do the tarp tensioners actually break in freezing weather?

    I don't have much experience hammocking in freezing temps and was wondering about how all this works. I mean, if everything kinda freezes up together, does it matter if the tarp tensioners don't stretch as much?
    Here in Minnesota winters my tarp tensioners do freeze. What happens is that they stay stretched out but if you were to put it in your pocket awhile they return to normal. I take mine off this time of year and my silnylon tarps seem to stay stretched fine.
    Last edited by Shug; 11-18-2008 at 09:39.
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  4. #4
    2Questions's Avatar
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    I switched to solid EPDM tensioners I made from Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS). They are definitely heavier but have not suffered the frozen "stiff" affects as regular Theraband tensioners I made have. I put an eyelet on one end and a snap hook on the other about 8" long overall. They can easily now be used on all my tarps.
    BTW Happy Camper, are you planning to do a NJ hang in January? I'm going to try and make it.

  5. #5
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Questions View Post
    BTW Happy Camper, are you planning to do a NJ hang in January? I'm going to try and make it.
    Only if all the planets allign just right. The chances will increase if I can share a ride with someone.

    It looks like the Mt Rogers and NJ hangs are same weekend. Mt. Rogers is a five hour drive for me and the NJ hang is 6. And that's if the roads are good.

    I keep playing with the idea of going to one, but brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I gotta keep practicing with my gear to see how it goes. Sat. night I think it's predicted to go to 24 degrees at my house plus a nice wind chill.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    When it gets so cold that your silnylon tarp freezes completely solid, there's no need for tarp tensioners. Of course, there's always a likelihood that your tarp might break into little frozen pieces, but at that point I doubt you'll care too much. . j/k.


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  7. #7
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    When it gets so cold that your silnylon tarp freezes completely solid, there's no need for tarp tensioners. Of course, there's always a likelihood that your tarp might break into little frozen pieces, but at that point I doubt you'll care too much. . j/k.
    Yeah, you may be kidding, but I have nightmares of this happening to me at a winter hang on Mt. Rogers someday!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Here in Minnesota winters my tarp tensioners do freeze. What happens is that they stay stretched out but if you were to put it in your pocket awhile they return to normal. I take mine off this time of year and my silnylon tarps seem to stay stretched fine.
    Thanks Shug, Seer of All Questions Freezing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    Yeah, you think you're being funny, but I have nightmares of this happening to me at a winter hang on Mt. Rogers someday!



    Thanks Shug, Seer of All Questions Freezing.
    Oops. Sorry. I was just kidding. So far it has not gotten THAT cold at Mt. Rogers, and also I'm sure we could find you tons of "extra" quilts and other winter gear to keep you warm. Some people bring extra gear for folks that might have forgotten something or for new folks who would like to try hanging out in a hammock.

    What is the freezing temp for silnylon, anyway?


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  9. #9
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    I worry about the sil becoming more brittle and ripping more easily in a strong wind when it gets below freezing, although there is no evidence of this that I can refer to. But Shug is right - you bring the tensioners in to a warm location (like a pocket) and they regain their original shape. They won't break, to my knowledge, as they are limited by the cord running through them (DIY, per JustJeff's instructions.)

    What is the story with the shock cord tensioners, one of the alternate options? Do they suffer the same fate? I know Grizz has the shock cord tensioners on at least one of his tarps. Grizz, you out there? Or anyone else who has used the shock cord method?

  10. #10
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    Oops. Sorry. I was just kidding.
    Yes I know! I was just kidding too. I have been down to 18 degrees, baby -- once ! But I haven't consistently stayed out in the cold in a hammock for a long weekend. I'm curious to know if I can and actually have fun and not just freeze! I don't wanna have to change my trail name.

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