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Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-)
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-) on 02/06/2010 16:49:59 MST Print View

I've been bitten by the MYOG and SUL bugs. Deet will not get rid of them. Relief only comes in the form of sewing another piece of SUL gear. :-)

I read Jay Ham's article and have sewn a SUL stuff sack, pack and experimental tarp. Experimental because I've never done it before and I used $1.50 per yard Wal-Mart DAC (digital army camo) nylon for the material.

So here's the rub! It appears that I can sew well enough but can someone tell me how to go about pitching one of these things quickly and easily? I nearly worked up a sweat in 49 degree weather. :-( I should also mention that it was windy. There were 16 mph winds with gusts up to 26 mph. :-( :-(

Help me out, please! Tell what I did right, wrong and most of all how to put the thing up! :-)

As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's 4K of them so everyone who would like to help me figure out how to pitch this thing before I "pitch it" :-) can see what it is I am working with.

Front view of SUL tarp experiment

When I make the tarp that I plan to use on a section hike of the AT this summer I will be using 1.1 oz silnylon. I have no idea what the Wal-Mart nylon was coated with. I thought it was PU but it felt a lot heavier so I think it was PVC.

Rear view of SUL tarp experiment, left side

I didn't use a catenary curve on the ridgeline for this experiment. I just learned how to use the spreadsheet two days ago. :-) The tarp was sewn two weeks ago.

Right side view of SUL tarp experiment

I will be using a cat curve on my final rendition of this tarp. I hope it will help me get rid of the ripples in the pitch.

Front view of underside of SUL tarp experiment

I tried the stick in front and could not get the pitch high enough. :-( If necessary I'll add @ 14 inches to the ridgeline between the two seams so that my 5' 10' frame can sleep in the center in my 81" (size regular) sleeping bag leaving the hiking pole in the center position. Measuring the ridgeline between these two points on my experiment yielded a 76" result. I'd like just a little more coverage if I'm going to be behind my hiking stick.

I'll just be here counting my stakes until some caring hiker decides to take pity on me before I pull out what little hair I have left. :-) :-)

Party On ! 2010

Newton

Edited by Newton on 02/06/2010 16:53:22 MST.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F

Locale: Walking With The Son
Re:Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-) on 02/06/2010 18:05:13 MST Print View

Nice job on the tarp! Yes, a cantenary cut will cut down on those wrinkles, but you might want to lower the whole pitch a little (allowing you to use the front pole outside, freeing up your interior space) and pull those front two corners a little more forward also.

Pitching in the wind can be one of the most frustrating times to peg down a tarp shelter, especially if you are solo or new to a particular pitch. One of the quickest and easiest ways to pitch an "A" in wind is to stake out the back corners to the ground, then put up your front pole and front corners. Put up your back pole and readjust the rear corners. Finally peg your sides out, and readjust everything that's lose or flapping. The key is practice. Also keep in mind the windier it is, the lower you'll want your pitch to help shed wind and weather.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
re: Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-) on 02/06/2010 18:08:50 MST Print View

Newton, You've got a good looking tarp. With a little practice you should be able to set it up in just a few minutes. Wind does make it more difficult so it might be best to learn on a nonwindy day. I know with MYOG stuff you are going to try it out as soon as it gets done, but try again without winds.

Here is my process...

1 - lay tarp out flat and stake down rear guyline corners approximately where you think they should be when pitched tight (practice helps get them close on first attempt)

2 - Stake out front guyline corners, again judging best where they should go.

3 - Stake out the front guyline and pole. It should be able to stand on its own.

4 - Stake out rear lines and pole.

5 - Stake out the sides

6 - Make adjustments to get a tight pitch. If you are good at approximately putting out the stakes in steps 1-5 this takes little effort.

Jamie

Edited by jshortt on 02/06/2010 18:10:41 MST.

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Pitching My Tarp Experiment on 02/06/2010 18:22:13 MST Print View

Check out the video on Gossamer Gear's website of Glen Van Peski pitching a SpinnTwinn tarp. The secret in wind is to hold the rear of the tarp & rotate yourself until the wind is at your back, thus allowing the tarp to unfurl downwind. The back of the tarp is secured first using this technique, then the front. BTW, I think your tarp looks cool! Very stealthy.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re:Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-) on 02/06/2010 19:18:09 MST Print View

George,

Thanks for the kind words and advice.

BTW I loved the video of you and the kids hiking in Shenadoah. Cool!

Jamie,

+1 for your kind words. I promise to practice when there isn't as much wind. :-)

James,

+2 for your kind words also. I checked out the video on Glen's website. He made what I did look like the Keystone Cops meet the Three Stooges in Chicago. (windy?!?) :-)

I particularly like the way Glen uses the webbing or grosgrain with the grommets to locate the front and rear hiking sticks. It might be that his method could be adapted to this style of tarp. It sure seems like it speeds up the process tremendously in his video.

I feel that MYOG bug biting me on the ear again. He's whispering, "Try it, you might like it."

As far as the pictures go guys the wind was coming from the side. That was my first mistake but I had to claim artistic license because I wanted it to face that way for the pictures.

If you noticed my avatar, I'm a "hanger". But I'm a heavy hanger who is looking to go from a 2 1/2 lb hammock to a pound or less total tarp and bug net setup.

I see the under construction light flashing again. :-)

Thanks again guys for your time and interest.

Party On ! 2010

Newton

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
price? on 02/07/2010 11:45:33 MST Print View

How much did that tarp cost? It's waterproof right?

Edited by radlations on 02/07/2010 11:46:23 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: price? on 02/07/2010 23:15:04 MST Print View

Michael,

>>Experimental because I've never done it before and I used $1.50 per yard Wal-Mart DAC (digital army camo) nylon for the material.<<

I spent @ $10.00 at Wal-Mart for the materials to make this tarp. As we speak it is not waterproof but it could be if I were to seam seal it with some Seam Grip seam sealer.

>>When I make the tarp that I plan to use on a section hike of the AT this summer I will be using 1.1 oz silnylon. I have no idea what the Wal-Mart nylon was coated with. I thought it was PU but it felt a lot heavier so I think it was PVC.<<

This was meant to be an experiment and never meant to be used on the trail. I have ordered my materials for the "real thing" from Quest Outfitters. The total came to $78.44 for everything that I will need.

And now please pardon the thread drift here.

THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HAVE WON THE 2010 SUPERBOWL!

GO SAINTS! :-) :-) :-)

Party On ! 2010

Newton

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: re: Pitching My Tarp Experiment :-) on 02/08/2010 07:22:11 MST Print View

I use the same steps as Jamie, except I switch around steps two and three. This is the so-called Ray Way two-stick pitch method.