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  1. #1
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Winter Tarp primer/questions/opinions?

    So Cannibal posted in another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    I've got a lot of time under a winter tarp, so ask away. I'll answer as best I can.
    For those of you who have spent a lot of time cold weather hanging and have tried multiple size/style tarps, what do you consider the ultimate size for a winter tarp? And if you have a favorite Winter tarp, what is it, and why? Post pics if possible.

    I now have several options besides my 11x14, and it gets tricky deciding which to take with as my CCS 11x14 is my go-to tarp summer or winter, and the others just haven't had the time that the CCS has, and it is hard to try something new when coverage/reliability/versatility counts so much this time of year. I can close off the ends and pitch the ridge either 11 or 14 or off-center/custom length, as there are multiple tie-outs along the edges, it's lightweight, and it has never let me down.

    I had Brian make me a custom winter tarp out of my own material which should be here any day, so I expect to be torn as to my new favorite.

  2. #2
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Question #1 -
    What is the relationship (if any) of a 4 wall winter tarp (think WB superfly) and a winter hammock sock? Do they perform the same task (stop the wind)? If the same, will a 4 wall winter tarp give an estimated 10*F temp bump (like I hear a sock does)? Should someone use them at the same time?
    Benefits of each?
    Cons of each?

    (I'm FULL of questions!)
    Last edited by animalcontrol; 12-17-2008 at 13:08.
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  3. #3
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalcontrol View Post
    Question #1 -
    What is the relationship (if any) of a 4 wall winter tarp (think WB superfly) and a winter hammock sock? Do they work together or do they perform the same task (stop the wind)? If the same, will a 4 wall winter tarp give a estimated 10*F temp bump? Should someone use them at the same time? Benefits of each? Cons of each?

    (I'm FULL of questions!)
    I can answer the sock/4 wall winter tent question as to my experience.

    Sock and tarp will work together, and in fact IMHO are an ideal combination for sub-freezing temps. While both stop the wind, the sock is SO much closer to your body and the heat, it delays the release of your body heat to the outer elements/heat robbing wind much better than the open space of a 4 wall tent. The sock is also more easily adjustable for comfort level than just a 4 wall tent - if you get too warm, you don't have to get out of your hammock to vent. A 4 sided tarp does similar work, but not as efficiently, as the space you are heating is much larger. You will see a comfort gain by a 4 sided tarp, but more in line with a wind break. As to actual temperature gain with a 4 wall winter tent, if the tent is fully closed and protected, there should be a temperature gain, which would be most notable after time spent inside the tarp, but not as much as with the sock. Together (tarp and sock,) your little cocoon can gain 10* + easily. The largest temp gain with sock/tarp combo I have had was 18*; but man, did I have the condensation inside the sock! And that was with my fully waterproof VB sock.

    I can use my HECU (BB sock) on its own, but I lose the benefit of the tarp coverage when it snows/rains. I can use the tarp on its own, but I lose the 10* almost immediate temp boost and blocking those stray bursts of wind that seem to find any crack in your tent. Together, it is a nearly perfect sub-zero system - keep the area around/under your tarp/sock dry with the tarp, and keep your booty/body a little warmer with the sock.

  4. #4
    yeah, i would generally agree, the sock is best for temp gain, and some wind protection, especially against drafts coming in through the vent of the tarp. you need some vent to combat condensation on the sil, although if it's really windy i think you could close things up pretty tight and the opening for the suspension and the bottom edges may be enough venting (again, if it's windy) if not you may need to open the doors some to get enough venting. so the winter tarp is more to block the main force of the wind and provide sheltered space outside the hammock, while the sock blocks the rest of the wind and provides heat gain. so depending on conditions, you might be better with one or the other or both.

  5. #5
    do you know the deminsions of a good size winter tarp or where i can find them? like i said i want to try to make my own.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Grizz had a good idea with this thread:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ht=winter+tarp

    Take a regular tarp, and add doors using grip clips.

  7. #7
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irrationalsolutions View Post
    do you know the deminsions of a good size winter tarp or where i can find them? like i said i want to try to make my own.
    From the warbonnet Superfly:
    "The Superfly is my “severe weather tarp”. it is convertible between a 4 walled hammock shelter and a flat tarp . The main body is an elongated cat cut hex measuring 11’ on the ridge, and 10’6” at its widest.

    There are 2 overlapping doors per end, one big and one small. The overlap allows for some flexibility in pitch while still allowing for full closure. Both doors can also be swung outward for various windbreak options or rolled up.
    "
    pics
    jacksRBetter HammockHut:
    "40 square feet of protected floor space.
    10 foot 3 inch ridge line.
    5 feet tall at the ridge line
    ."
    pics
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

  8. #8
    thats a good idea but what measurements work for you? i really dont want to have to make more than one of these to get it right. all this is really helpful i would be a lot worse off if i didnt find this place.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    In my opinion, I like a large winter tarp. 10' would probably be the least amount of length I'd choose.

    I use tarps to block wind and rain. I don't notice any real temp gain except in the worst of conditions; any port in a storm. Now, if you 'wall it in' by pitching it close to the ground, sealing the doors as much as possible, and piling leaves, snow, branches up along the bottom gap you will notice a bit of an increase in heat retention. However, as others have said, condensation might become an issue.

    For me, a winter tarp is my studio apartment in the woods. I want room to futz with stuff if needed, to cook and eat my dinner/lunch/breakfast/snacks. I want to change clothes (assuming I have extra clothes) out of the wind and rain or snow and sleet. I want room to make gear repairs if necessary. Basically, I want to be able to move around under my tarp without crouching or being concerned about something being too close to the edge of the tarp and getting wet. It is my bubble.

    WBG can probably tell you the dimensions of the original SuperFly I carried on the AT. It was luxury by comparison to other tarps out there at the time. I require a tightly pitched tarp, so cat cut edges are a given. I also want flexibility in the set-up; if it doesn't need to be bombproof one night, why would I want to have to set my tarp up in that manner?

    Size and weight are accepted penalties during the cold trips. Even the hard core SUL folks came looking for the hiker "with that tarp over there" when it was ugly outside. If those folks can see the value in it, it ought to be a no-brainer for the rest of us. Size does indeed matter for me and my winter tarp selection, but don't assume that's only the length of the ridge. The girth is a very important item and the main reason I was a strong advocate of the pull-outs on the current SuperFly.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irrationalsolutions View Post
    thats a good idea but what measurements work for you? i really dont want to have to make more than one of these to get it right. all this is really helpful i would be a lot worse off if i didnt find this place.
    I would use the dimensions animalcontrol posted for the SuperFly. I think the Speer Winter Tarp is 10x11. I don't know much about the JRB model and haven't seen it in action yet, but the first two I've seen/used a great deal and they are both (JRB probably is too) excellent in their designs.
    Trust nobody!

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