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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lupus's Avatar
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    Looking for material to make a cheap and lighweight DIY tarp. . . I came across. . .

    I was looking for a way to make a lightweight (comparable to silnylon) and inexpensive tarp when I came across this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqaSYONkTFQ

    Well, it certainly is cheap. I read somewhere that using 2 mil plastic sheeting weighs about 1.4 oz's/2yd.

    That's about what Silnylon weights.

    Does anyone have any experience using a plastic dropcloth as a tarp? Do you know how durable it is?

    I'm thinking it would be great to experiment with different DIY tarp designs and sizes till I get it just the way I want, all before spending the time and money to DIY a tarp out of 30D silnylon.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  2. #2
    New Member hangingforpeace's Avatar
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    Shower curtains work well too

  3. #3
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Back during my misspent youth I camped along the Kancamagus Highway and later on in the Wichita Mountains using a plastic drop cloth as a tarp. Drape it over a picnic table or a handy limb or deadfall and there you go----

    Not sure how well it would work hanging from a ridgeline, there was never much load on them the way I used them. I was careful to avoid punctures and used rocks and such to hold down the edges. I imagine there would be some load at the tie out points when used as a hammock shelter.

  4. #4
    Senior Member webhanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
    I was looking for a way to make a lightweight (comparable to silnylon) and inexpensive tarp when I came across this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqaSYONkTFQ

    Well, it certainly is cheap. I read somewhere that using 2 mil plastic sheeting weighs about 1.4 oz's/2yd.

    That's about what Silnylon weights.

    Does anyone have any experience using a plastic dropcloth as a tarp? Do you know how durable it is?

    I'm thinking it would be great to experiment with different DIY tarp designs and sizes till I get it just the way I want, all before spending the time and money to DIY a tarp out of 30D silnylon.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    They tend to be a bit fragile but doable. The experimentation use is a good idea though. I might steal that one.

  5. #5
    Moondoggy's Avatar
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    Just be careful you don't end up in a bad situation! Try tyvec! But if you need an affordable tarp try Etowah ultralight outfitters they have all types of tarps for under a 100$
    High ground is dry ground!
    Moondoggy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    I remember Chammock's experimenting with ultra-light weight clear plastic for a DIY tarp, which ultimately failed. Click HERE to see.
    "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.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsissewa View Post
    I remember Chammock's experimenting with ultra-light weight clear plastic for a DIY tarp, which ultimately failed. Click HERE to see.
    I wouldn't exactly call that a failure. He had issues with his first generation tieouts that he appeared to rectify.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Ray Jardine went into a lot of detail, about his early days as a guide, and teaching survival skills, about using plastic sheets. Look on his website, it might save you some time in the planning stage.

    I have played with using them as a pattern for what I wanted to make. My designs are always seriously flawed, so I do a lot of adjusting or readjusting.

    Some of the very best discoveries have been made as a result of trying to make or do something else entirely.

  9. #9
    WV's Avatar
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    Oh Boy! Another excuse to dredge up the Cubenist Manifesto. (There's actually some good info on using poly for a lightweight tarp here.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lupus's Avatar
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    I am a Cubenist with cubenite tendencies.

    "Weight is an object, but only to the limit that there is money in my wallet."

    Love the Cubenist Manifesto.

    If you watch the video, he reinforced along all the edges and across the length of the pull of the guylines.
    Eagle Scout, June 1987
    Eagle Patrol--SR830

    "A man stands tallest when he stoops to help a boy."

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