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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"
    "Of all the things that matter, that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done is not among them." ~ Mike Dooley
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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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    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!

  10. #10
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    My tarp is 13.5' X 10', in winter: I hang the tarp at about eye level (I'm 5' 7") & stake it as if it was a MacCat*, leaving teh ends at ground level free, I then fold them in & stake the ends making a double door at each end of my tarp. My one & only time doing this was monday night, temp got down to at least 23 degrees. I also use a hammock sock, so thought I wouldn't really notice any differece as I have spent the night in similar temps using just my MacCat type tarp & the sock, I was wrong: The Left flap facing North came loose around 0200, I noticed just a few minutes after (about 15) I heard it start to flap that it was indeed a few degrees cooler inside my sock. I rolled over & went back to sleep, around 0300 I got up & fixed it. Again, I noticed a near immediate change in temp, this time it was warmer.
    The wind that night came from every direction**, so I can't say the flap blocking the wind did or didn't make a difference. I do know that it was noticably warmer inside the tarp with the flaps closed as opposed to them being open.

    Note: this method would also work all season when/if privacy was an issue.

    *From the side it in fact looks like a MacCat when set up this way.
    **Literally the wind directon on the local weather channel was changing every 30 seconds or less, hitting all 12 points of the compass in under 2 minutes.
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