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Tarp Suggestions
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JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Tarp Suggestions on 04/16/2008 16:01:16 MDT Print View

I have in my possession enough material to make a 10X10 tarp. However, I am debating back and forth about a cat cut or straight square.

The tarp is intended to be a dual puprose item...

#1 - String over my hammock when solo
#2 - For use as a windbreak shelter when packing with wife and daughter
#3 - For use as a sleeping shelter pitched low to ground

The question I have for those more experienced than I, is there really any advantage in have a catenary cut or have you survived just fine on a traditional cut?



Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Tarp Suggestions" on 04/16/2008 19:10:30 MDT Print View

The catenary cut will significantly increase your ability to pitch the tarp in a taut manner.

Randall Miller
(speyguy) - F

Locale: Cascadia
Tarp suggestions on 04/16/2008 22:37:43 MDT Print View

I have a DIY 10 x 10, and if the weather is really nasty, I like to put one of the sides all the way to the ground to seal out the wind. If the tarp had a cat cut, it would be up off the ground at the apex of the curve and let the wind through. Cat cuts are viewed as being superior in high wind conditions. With a square cut tarp, I feel as though in high wind conditions I can stake the two sides directly to the ground and improve the overall aerodynamics by stopping the wind from getting through the bottom. I’ve never really seen the advantages of a cat cut tarp. I think they look cool! But for the most part, I think they are the latest trend gimmick in tarps. I know I am setting myself up for some thrashing, but keep in mind it’s just my humble opinion. I think I can get my square cut tarp just as taught as a cat cut but resulting in better coverage and superior utility. I also hammock and will use the 10 x 10 for covering 2 hammocks or if I’m solo and expecting heavy rains (I‘m in the Pacific NW). Otherwise I use a 5 x 9 for summer type conditions.

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Tarp suggestions on 04/17/2008 13:55:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Randall. Those are the kind of comments I was looking for. I know a lot of folks rave about the tautness. In fact I could see some advantage if you were using it for a hammock only. I think that is where my hesitancy comes in. Not wanting to sleep under a flapping hammock! :)

I've tried to prioritize what is more important to me and I keep coming back to wanting to just do a square cut and be done but I've had this nagging argument about the cat cut. Guess I'll wait and see if anyone else chimes in.

David Erekson
(finallyME) - F

Locale: Utah desert
Tarp Suggestions on 04/18/2008 12:31:53 MDT Print View

Just make a flat one. If the tautness is a problem, then put cantenary curves in it. It is easier to make a flat tarp a cantenary tarp, then visa versa. YMMV :)