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  1. #1
    Brian's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Call to all tarp users - looking for some samples

    Hey all, I just completed a week long course on using our Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) on campus, and I've got a bit of time to get familiar with the instrumentation and so I've got to find some samples to image. So I immediately went to what I'm familiar with...

    What I'm looking for is a piece, maybe a few square centimeters at most, of some very well used tarps. Preferably 100+ nights. I'm interested in looking into the effect that time/wear/UV has on different fabrics common to the backpacking world. Now I've got the ability, I would love to get a real close look (10 nm max, although probably looking at the micron level for this test ) at some well used silnylon, spinntex, cuben, or anything else you've got. The key is well used, I'm looking for some well used/loved fabric to get a good sample comparison from.

    Now I know that I'm asking for a part of your tarp, but I would be more than willing to discuss some kind of reparation/patching/free gear if a few people would be willing to help me out - if you think you may be able to, shoot me a PM or email. And of course I'll post the results I get once I hopefully get some good images. Thanks again!
    Brian MacMillin
    www.OutdoorEquipmentSupplier.com
    Home of the MacCat and OES 4-Season Hammock Tarps

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but I've got an old poly tarp that's been out in the yard for quite a long time getting beaten on by sun, wind, and falling tree branches... I'm talking the cheap hardware-store tarps here.

  3. #3
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I have my stock tarp from my ULBA that saw 172 nights While I did the AT. PM sent
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  4. #4
    Brian's Avatar
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    I've got a silnylon sample headed my way thanks to Dutch - still looking for some other fabrics...let me know! (Cannibal, that means you)
    Brian MacMillin
    www.OutdoorEquipmentSupplier.com
    Home of the MacCat and OES 4-Season Hammock Tarps

  5. #5
    Dutch's Avatar
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    Something I thought of is you might try looking at an old flag. My boss has had me repair several flags and some I had to take completely apart. I noticed a great deal of differennce from material that was hidded in a rolled hem or the canvas strip that has the grommets. It would give you a good sample of weather and sun dammage. Although you may be exclusively looking for backpacking gear the material is close and certainly is weathered. It is going to be interesting to see the results.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  6. #6
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    You may be able to get something from a retired sail if you know anyone who races boats.
    DIY Gear Supply - Your source for DIY outdoor gear.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I've got a silnylon sample headed my way thanks to Dutch - still looking for some other fabrics...let me know! (Cannibal, that means you)
    I've been off the grid this weekend. Moab was very cool! So thanks to all the folks that suggested it.

    Now then, you want me to do what?!
    You must be out of your dang mind. Is someone threatening you if you don't get your hands on my tarps? I know some pretty nasty people out there I can call if you need me to.

    Do you have to cut it? Can I send it to you whole and get it back that way? I'm not sure I could do that. I mean, they kept me all safe from the elements and whatever kind of bigfoots there are out in the woods. As thanks for all that, I have to cut em? I'd feel too bad. Yes, I'm well aware that I'm a big ol softie in these matters. No need to rub it in.

    I'm really tired from a long couple of days in the desert. Anybody ever been stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam (1:30 - 4:00 in the afternoon) in THE DESERT! I'm talking parking lot; only 2 miles covered in that time. Trust me, best to be avoided! Anyway, I'm hoping this is all part of a bad dream. If not, I guess I'll just have to consider it.

    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    Trust nobody!

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    I've been off the grid this weekend. Moab was very cool! So thanks to all the folks that suggested it.

    Now then, you want me to do what?!
    You must be out of your dang mind. Is someone threatening you if you don't get your hands on my tarps? I know some pretty nasty people out there I can call if you need me to.

    Do you have to cut it? Can I send it to you whole and get it back that way? I'm not sure I could do that. I mean, they kept me all safe from the elements and whatever kind of bigfoots there are out in the woods. As thanks for all that, I have to cut em? I'd feel too bad. Yes, I'm well aware that I'm a big ol softie in these matters. No need to rub it in.

    I'm really tired from a long couple of days in the desert. Anybody ever been stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam (1:30 - 4:00 in the afternoon) in THE DESERT! I'm talking parking lot; only 2 miles covered in that time. Trust me, best to be avoided! Anyway, I'm hoping this is all part of a bad dream. If not, I guess I'll just have to consider it.

    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I hope this is a bad dream.
    I know what you mean Cannibal. It took alot of courage to cut my tarp. It was an extra since I don't have the hammock anymore, but man it was tough. I believe you and i share the same gear fetish. I first sat down with it and told it that it had lived a long life, seen more miles than most other tarps ever will. I also pointed out that although it's time was over, it can be reborn into a rainskirt and maybe a stuffsack or two. And the donated pieces will go to be studied and may help others in the future. Then we had some libation together for old time sakes. We held each other for one last time and once my tarp was completely unware....snip, off came a corner. It looked at me as if to say "why". It kept me dry and warm for months and now I sent pieces by the US mail. Not even priority or anything. Since then remaining part of the tarp lies motionless on my basement floor. When I close eyes I can still hear the the sound of the of the scissors first cutting throught the grossgrain, then quickly passing throught the sil until it hit the grosgrain on the other side. I've never actually parted with a piece of gear before. I hope the first cut is the deepest. Now that I have one under my belt maybe i can get rid of that snake bite kit and yellow egg carrier that just takes up space.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  9. #9
    Brian's Avatar
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    Make sure you tell it that it's neighbor threads will be coated with gold...no really, it's getting a golden coating to work in the machine. Perhaps that will ease it's suffering.
    Brian MacMillin
    www.OutdoorEquipmentSupplier.com
    Home of the MacCat and OES 4-Season Hammock Tarps

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    I know what you mean Cannibal. It took alot of courage to cut my tarp. It was an extra since I don't have the hammock anymore, but man it was tough. I believe you and i share the same gear fetish. I first sat down with it and told it that it had lived a long life, seen more miles than most other tarps ever will. I also pointed out that although it's time was over, it can be reborn into a rainskirt and maybe a stuffsack or two. And the donated pieces will go to be studied and may help others in the future. Then we had some libation together for old time sakes. We held each other for one last time and once my tarp was completely unware....snip, off came a corner. It looked at me as if to say "why". It kept me dry and warm for months and now I sent pieces by the US mail. Not even priority or anything. Since then remaining part of the tarp lies motionless on my basement floor. When I close eyes I can still hear the the sound of the of the scissors first cutting throught the grossgrain, then quickly passing throught the sil until it hit the grosgrain on the other side. I've never actually parted with a piece of gear before. I hope the first cut is the deepest. Now that I have one under my belt maybe i can get rid of that snake bite kit and yellow egg carrier that just takes up space.
    That almost brought a tear to my eye. Just too sad to bear.
    Trust nobody!

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