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Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
MYOG 3-man tarp idea on 12/03/2007 20:39:30 MST Print View

I am thinking of making a tarp, for a 3-man long distance trip in South Australia. There just doesnt seem to be anything commercially available that fits the bill and either doesnt weigh too much or cost a fortune or both.

So, I am thinking:
2 pieces of Thru-hiker spinntex 0.97 spinnaker. I already have one piece at 54inch (4.5 feet) width and 3 yard length. So I get another of the same, and stitch them lengthways together, to form ~ a 9x9 tarp, with a 9 ft ridge-seem. I like the fabric specs, the feel of it, and it could be possible to get the finished tarp down to 11oz or less...? Plus guylines and pegs...guylines might find double duty as pack compression straps for our three packs. We don't use trekking poles. We will find appropriate natural poles if they are needed.

Some thoughts...

Does anyone have any doubts about whether this is large enough for three guys? We dont mind being cramped to the max. We will have full sleeping bags, but no bivies. Chance of a night in the rain on this trip is about 1/12 for the first 4 days, and after that about 1/60. If we get slightly wet for one night, it wont bother us, though we will have down bags, backed up with a set of polypro thermals, a synthetic-fill jacket (mine will be a Thru-hiker kinsman currently under construction), socks, beanies, gloves. Rainwear will be something like a Montane Featherlite H20 Jacket; terrain will be rough and often scrubby so poncho's are out of the question. We can also use our packs as half bivies if we have to (They are water resistant nylon).

If the weather comes in, I am thinking of pitching it with a modified A-frame, with one end and a whole side on the ground, and the other end and side raised slightly, and a slight ridge. This I am thinking will give just enough room to fit us all under, and only the outer person would really have a chance of copping spray.

Any recommendations for sewing technique for the ridge, tie outs, etc? What about using glues? I think Ive seen this referenced to before on here.

I would also like to put a tie out, or two, on each panel (given its such a large tarp). I like the look of the non-sewn ones on the MLD Grace duo tarps. Any ideas here?

I like the idea now of one large tarp for the three of us (rather than multiple tarps of smaller sizes), as this minimises extraneous weight from guylines, pegs, etc, and also minimises total pitching and "camp-chore" time between the team.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Adam

Edited by oysters on 12/03/2007 20:48:53 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: MYOG 3-man tarp idea on 12/04/2007 02:04:09 MST Print View

> a 9x9 tarp, with a 9 ft ridge-seam.

> Does anyone have any doubts about whether this is large enough for three guys? We don't mind being cramped to the max.

You will be a bit cramped, but it should be OK provided that you don't cop a lot of wind. But what about mossies?

Using the packs as half-bivies ("pied d'elephants") could be a neat solution if it does rain a bit. (Just had a typical Sydney bucket load in 15 minutes here ...)

Guy ropes - buy some very light Dacron or Dyneema, from BPL or from a kite shop.

Pegs - maybe 6 BPL Ti wires, and sticks or rocks for the rest?

Personally, I would double-sew the ridge, then seam seal it using some extra fabric and some silastic. Tie-outs - reinforce with some heavier fabric and silastic/fabric. Must reinforce and distribute the load. Whether you then use eyelets or tape loops - not a lot of difference in weight.

Cheers
Roger

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Re: MYOG 3-man tarp idea on 12/04/2007 14:21:29 MST Print View

But what about mossies?

OZ has skeeters too?

Personally, I would double-sew the ridge, then seam seal it using some extra fabric and some silastic.

MYOG silnylon seam tape ... interesting idear. No more worries about high stress loads enlarging needle holes?

Tie-outs - reinforce with some heavier fabric and silastic/fabric. Must reinforce and distribute the load. Whether you then use eyelets or tape loops - not a lot of difference in weight.

Definitely reinforce the tie-outs. this picture shows a great way to do that ... at a weight cost ... but 3/4" or 1" grosgrain works as edging on silnylon tarps and weighs little. I'm not a fan of eyelets (grommets) for guy lines on anything lighter than webbing, they fail, not if ... when. Yes, sail makers use them (I THINK they still do) but look at the lengths they go to ... not UL.

Jan Rezac
(zkoumal) - MLife

Locale: Prague, CZ
Tarp size on 12/04/2007 15:11:20 MST Print View

I'm using a tarp about 3 x 3.5 m in size. It is well suitable for three, even with gear.
When there is a rain expected and the campsite is not sheltered enough, I stake the windward side of the tarp directly to the ground without any guylines, and pitch the tarp as low as possible to reduce it's profile. It is not very comfortable, but we have withstood really nasty storms and stayed dry (my sleeping bag was completely dry, but only thanks to my breathable bivy).
This tarp sleeped even four at lighter rain with no wind, we had two tarps in the group, but surprised in the middle of the night by a rain, we were lazy to pitch them both.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Mozzies, etc on 12/04/2007 15:16:00 MST Print View

I'm not fussed about mozzies. We never have any trouble with them in winter in the Flinders. They aren't much of an issue in SA; there just isn't enough water lying around. It's only ever a problem if you camp right next to stagnant water-which is hard to come by-or next to the Murray River (Ross River Fever-ick).

I have some aircore pro guyline to use for guys, 6 BPL Ti Nail stakes, and ten of the 1gm BPL Ti Skewers-will probably take 5 or 6 of those.

I'm not too keen to sew webbing tape along the entire edge of the tarp, but the idea would probably still work well on the 4 corners, with about 4 inches of webbing each way, and a reinforcing triangle. For the side tie outs (3 along each edge?) I might try something similar to the MLD tie outs, though there wont be things like the MLD reinforcement square.

Dont worry guys, I dont like the idea of eyelets.

Sounds like the size should be passable then-we don't have to store gear underneath it.

I'm all excited now-time to get ordering some material I think.

Roger-good to hear it still rains in some part of Australia!

Cheers,

Adam

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: MYOG 3-man tarp idea on 12/05/2007 02:41:30 MST Print View

Hi Jim

> But what about mossies?
> OZ has skeeters too?
Sigh. and not only mozzies.

> MYOG silnylon seam tape ... interesting idear. No more worries about high stress loads enlarging needle holes?
That's definitely the idea. But note it takes about 3 DAYS for the stuff to cure properly. A chemical bond actually forms.

> Reinforcing
Yes, needed, but not along the whole edge!
Some eyelets are only about 3 mm ID: very light. Easy to get guy rope through.

Cheers

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
3-man tarp idea on 12/07/2007 15:52:55 MST Print View

I don't know about the terrain where you are going, but there are many places on this earth where it is really, really hard to find a flat spot large enough for more than 1 person. If you find a spot that isn't on a slope, then often it has bumps and hollows, which will give you a backache if you attempt to sleep on them, or else there is dense undergrowth everywhere. With one person tarps, you can just camp on the trail, which is usually flat and usually 2 feet wide, just enough for the body, plus an additional foot of cleared space on either side for the sides of the tarp to avoid hitting the brush. I often camp right on the trail. If you try to get 2 or 3 people side by side, there is a good chance some or all of the people are going to be very uncomfortable. Which is why I would always recommend a separate tarp per person, other than the case of an intimate couple sharing a quilt, in which case they'll just have to keep lookign for a decent 2-person piece of ground to camp on.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
tarp for three on 12/08/2007 19:54:49 MST Print View

...or take the 9x9 as a roomy two person tarp, and take another one person tarp.which could be used by itself or used to make the 9x9 even larger, or provide a nice beak off one end of the larger tarp. One person still will not have to carry a shelter. If it is windy and rainy, you will be glad to have the extra space. For instance, I find a Golite Hex crammed with three, nice with two plus gear.