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Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/05/2010 07:59:12 MST Print View

Is it possible to pitch a cat cut tarp Lean-to style and get a tight pitch?

I ask, because I'm looking at 8'x10' tarps, and the Spinntwinn is most appealing for the weight and price. Sometimes, on nice days, I like to throw up a Lean-to for the views. But since Spinnaker is a loud fabric, if the pitch wasn't tight, it could be quite noisy.

I've considered ordering fabric and making my own Spinnaker 8'x10' flat tarp, but the not cat cut would be more difficult to pitch A-Frame style and keep it tight enough not to flap and crackle in any wind.

I also priced out a Cuben 8'x10' Super Tarp from MLD, but while I could spend some of my tax return on that, I think for the price, I'd live in constant fear of damaging it.

I could certainly go with a flat sylnylon tarp, but BPL has made me such a weight-obsessive that the extra 4-5 oz for that make me cringe.

And to think 2 years ago I was carrying a Big Agnes tent that weighed 3.75lbs and was pleased with that.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/05/2010 09:37:16 MST Print View

I have been considering the same idea Jim. I was thinking an 8x10 flat made from the 1.5oz/sq/yd Cuben Zpacks uses would be pretty sweet.

Flat tarps def seem to be the way to go if you want one shelter for all 3 season conditions in the Northeast at least.

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
Re: Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/05/2010 10:08:03 MST Print View

I have a cat cut tarp (two, but the larger one I don't pitch on the ground). I have pitched in a flying diamond and experimented with a wedge.

I hiked with someone who used a Spinntwinn - she had it pitched in all kinds of configurations, as we were battling wind three out of four nights. We tended to favor spots in among large boulders (Sierras are full of those, don't know where you are going) and low spots in trees. She most often used an A frame with one end pitched low, the other on her staff - she borrowed a trekking pole one time to do a full ventilated A frame too. She ended up with large rocks sitting on the edges of the tarp itself as the wind was throwing around stakes. It seemed fairly versatile to me, at one point she had it pitched lean-to style with a boulder on her right forming the other wall. Did not notice a lot of wind flap but it's spinn so there was an occasional crinkle if the wind gusted just right. I believe she'd been using it a while and they tend to get less noisy as you go along?

My sil tarp was stable until a gust yanked the front corners off the stakes - I needed bigger rocks. No wind flap as I was asleep until the gust hit (and scared me into a early morning run for a cathole, but I digress). I've had very good results with sil cat tarps for ground and hammock use - I had one pitched head into the wind and with the tarp tightly staked to the ground between two trees it was a bombproof wind-shedding shelter, was able to use my stove in without a flicker of the flame.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/05/2010 15:43:19 MST Print View

Jonathan-By my calculations, a 1.5oz cuben tarp would weigh about the same as a 1.1 silnylon one; I supposed the cuben would be more durable and not stretch?


Thats all great info. I suppose it depends on skill and creativity. The one big advantage that a flat tarp would have over a cat tarp would be the ability to pitch it with an 8' ridgeline on the chance that was the largest spot you could find.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/06/2010 06:43:56 MST Print View

hey Jim,
yea the switch to the heavier cuben would be to combat sil stretch, not weight.

Russell Slater
(russellds) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: Catenary Cut Tarp Pitching Options on 02/19/2010 12:07:34 MST Print View

Check out the SpinnTwinn users manual:

It has a bunch of different pitches in it.