Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Please help me chose a tarp design.
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Please help me chose a tarp design. on 03/09/2010 20:05:03 MST Print View

I just ordered 10 yards of silnylon from Noah Lamport for $3.00/yard plus a $5.00 cutting fee. I don't really need it, but at that price I thought it would be fun to make another tarp. I'm looking for suggestions regarding the design of the tarp.

I've already made a 8X10 flat silnylon tarp as well as a small cuben fiber tarp with a catenary ridgeline. (Like I said I really don't need another tarp) The cuben tarp is nice when I want to go very light and the 8X10 flat tarp is nice for it's ability to be used in may different configurations. However, I find that I almost always end up setting it up in an A-frame configuration. So I would like to make a fairly large tarp with a canterary arch and am looking for impute regarding what others favorite tarp designs have been.

I'm not looking so set any weight records with this tarp, but am particularly concerned with stability, comfort, and simplicity of use. I was thinking something along the lines of 9' wide and 10' long with 10 tie out points (4 on each side and 2 for the ridgeline). I thought about making one end wider than the other, but I think I would prefer not having to worry about which end is which when setting it up. Adding guy line tie outs on the wall of each side, like in the Ray Way tarps, looks like it would add stability and space, but also looks like it could be cumbersome. I'm also considering adding breaks on both ends, but do not have any experience with these and am unsure how far they should go down/out and if they are difficult to get taught. These are just my thoughts. I'm open to changes based on recommendations.

This tarp would be used to shelter my wife, 2 year old daughter, and myself. We don't tarp camp much when the mosquitoes are abundant, (we use a tent in those instances) but we do end up camping a decent amount in foul weather. Any impute is very much appreciated.

jeremy duncan
(jeremyduncan) - F

Locale: Midwest
tarp design on 03/10/2010 00:49:25 MST Print View

This is what I am going with. I am using it for a hammock, but it might be nice to have "doors" for you wife and daughter.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: tarp design on 03/10/2010 02:39:50 MST Print View

I must say Jeremy, that does look rather neat.
Weight?
Experiences?
My only suggestion might be to have another anchor loop mid-way down the side, just in case. Don't have to use it after all.

cheers

Mark Andersen
(MarkA) - F
Agreed on 03/10/2010 09:50:18 MST Print View

I agree--I like it a lot! About how big is the area covered when set up as shown in the picture? Enough for 2-3 people? Seems like a straightforward design that would give lots of protection when needed, lots of ventilation when it's nice. Any additional measurements would be helpful (along the seams on the short sides, etc.).

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
The spectrum of shelters on 03/10/2010 10:15:39 MST Print View

I've been curious about curving the outer edge. It seems like it would help tighten the outer edge of the tarp. I like the idea of having plenty of tie out options, but if you added a loop in the middle of a catcut rise I wonder how it would affect it.

Jeremy, Thanks for the diagram. That design looks very robust, especially for hammock camping protection. I was considering something along those lines but possibly expanding the flaps that fold in at the ends sufficiently to put a zipper on them and close off each end entirely. I'm not sure how that would affect the simplicity of getting a taught pitch or how well it would work when weather is nice and I want to pitch it higher off the ground and more open. I also don't want to get carried away and end up just making a floorless tent.

It seems like there is a spectrum of shelters from light, simple and versatile, yet relatively more exposed and progressing to heavier and less versatile but with better protection:

Simple flat tarps
Tarps with a catenary ridgeline
Tarp constructed to eliminate/reduce the opening found on a traditional A-frame setup.
Tarps with bug netting
Tarp tents
3 season tents
4 season tents

I guess single wall tents and bivies should fit in there somewhere. It's interesting the way some bivies are nothing more than a bag, where others are really just very small tents.

Aaron Knapp
(amknapp4)

Locale: Midwest
Noah Lamport's Silnylon on 03/10/2010 16:57:03 MST Print View

Brett I had a couple questions for you. (or anyone else who has worked with Noah Lamport's silnylon) I am also looking to make a tarp and the price you paid for the fabric seems pretty good to me. I was wondering if the fabric you got is 1.1 oz/yd or is it the 1.9 oz/yd they talk about on their website?

I was also wondering if anyone had any experience with whether or not their silnylon was completely waterproof. They only mention their fabric as being water resistant.

I guess I was just wondering if when you ordered from them you were able to find a lighter/more waterproof fabric than what they have listed online. Thanks for your help.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Re: Noah Lamport's Silnylon on 03/10/2010 17:53:11 MST Print View

The salesman I spoke with affirmed that it was in fact 1.3oz/yard. I don't think it is listed on the website. I haven't received it yet, but I have ordered 1.3 oz silnylon seconds from other places and I have never had any issues with the quality or waterproofness of the fabric. I don't expect this to be any different, but if it is I will post that information here.

What type of tarp do you plan on making?

Edited by ascientist on 03/10/2010 17:54:09 MST.

Ryan Miller
(ryanmiller) - F
tarp on 03/10/2010 17:56:10 MST Print View

Here is a simple design that meets most of your criteria.tarptarp

Edited by ryanmiller on 03/10/2010 18:00:04 MST.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Re: tarp on 03/10/2010 18:06:17 MST Print View

Thanks for the photos. I think I will make something very similar. I'll probably add a ridge-line tie-out so I have the option of setting it up without poles. I think I may also have the brakes continue further down.

Edited by ascientist on 03/10/2010 18:08:36 MST.

Ryan Miller
(ryanmiller) - F
excellent on 03/10/2010 18:14:19 MST Print View

No problem, post some pics when you finish.

Ryan Miller
(ryanmiller) - F
I agree on 03/10/2010 18:17:41 MST Print View

Hard to tell in the pic but the back is closed off 90% of the way to the top with a gap left to vent, I plan on having the front beak optional but I havnt tackled that yet.

Aaron Knapp
(amknapp4)

Locale: Midwest
Re: Noah Lamport's Silnylon on 03/10/2010 18:40:28 MST Print View

The seconds I've used from Quest have worked well also. And this price seems like its hard to pass up. As far as the tarp goes I plan on keeping it simple since this is my first project that will heavily depend on the strength of the seams. I've never reinforced tie-outs or anything like that so it'll be a learning process.

The tarp will mostly be used over my hammock and I think I'm just going to go with a simple 8 X 8 design and pitch it diagonally across the hammock like the Jack's R' Better website shows with their 8 X 8. Seems simple and effective.

I'm by no means set with this and am open to anyone's suggestions on how to improve it. Thanks. Hope all goes well with your project.

jeremy duncan
(jeremyduncan) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: tarp design on 03/11/2010 01:24:55 MST Print View

I am still in the process of making my tarp. The picture is of an example I pulled from the web. Sorry that I didn't make that clear.

The design is a modified version from something else I found on the web. Originally, the head/foot sides were curved. A fellow hammock hanger recommended that I make those edges straight, claiming that (in his experience), you can still pitch it very taunt.

I chose not to curve the ridge-line, so that I did not lose headroom (also, a flat felled curved seam on silnylon is a bit outside my sewing abilities). People that I asked who have tried both ways, a straight ridge-line will pitch taunt, as well.

My tarp is cut and about 3/4 sewn. I will probably be done and have chance to set it up this weekend. I will post pictures and take more measurements to post then.

I may add tie-outs to the mid/sides, depending on how it pitches.

So far (without tie-outs), it weighs 14.4oz.

Side note: Hemming the curved edges has been a pain in the butt! I really hope going the cat-cut route is worth it.

Edited by jeremyduncan on 03/11/2010 01:26:22 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: tarp design on 03/11/2010 02:25:37 MST Print View

Hi Jeremy

> Hemming the curved edges has been a pain in the butt!
Lots of pins and sew with the fabric under significant tension between your front and back hands.

Cheers

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Re: Re: Re: tarp design on 03/11/2010 05:50:39 MST Print View

Jeremy,

Thanks for the update. I'm still up in the air about the whole cat-cut thing so I'm anxious to hear what your opinion of the final product is.

Brett Rasmussen
(ascientist) - MLife

Locale: Grants Pass, Oregon
Results on 03/29/2010 13:30:09 MDT Print View

I finished this a few weeks ago. Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm happy with the results. I retrospect I probably would have done a flat ridge-line as the curve can be excessive when using poles for support rather than tying to 2 trees.Tied to 2 treesUsing poles as supports3 layer reinforcement tie-outs

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
Adorable... on 03/29/2010 14:21:28 MDT Print View

Looks great!

Frank Deland
(rambler)

Locale: On the AT in VA
nice cat cut on 03/29/2010 16:56:37 MDT Print View

Nice job. Taut pitch! I think you will like the cat cut. Silnylon sags. I find with a flat, long ridge line, a center pole and line tensioners really help.

For hammock tarps, look at the option at Jacks R Better. He has one that only needs one tie-out on each side edge. If you are interested with a MYO, they will help you with the design.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=19526&startat=20

Edited by rambler on 03/29/2010 16:57:56 MDT.