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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/28/2010 15:50:25 MDT Print View

During my last trip I found out that I did not like slithering under the front beak of my silnylon tarp to gain entry.

Silnylon tarp with beaks pitched at Cherry Gap on the AT June 2010

I made up my mind to find a cure for this problem when I returned home. My first remedy was to construct a flat tarp with multiple pitch options.

Polymax 42 Flat Spinnaker Tarp pitched in a flying diamond

I gained height of entry, multiple pitch options and some bulk. :-(
My new spinnaker flat tarp weighs .59 ounces more than my silnylon tarp did.

Unfortunately or fortunately for me it is pouring rain. This gave me time on my hands and the opportunity to let my imagination and my sewing machine run wild. I set about making the entry of my sinylon tarp easier / higher.

With some #5 waterproof zipper from Quest Outfitters, a roll of Gutermann thread, some sharp scissors and some nerves I set about my task.

Front view of SUL Silnylon tarp beak waterproof zipper

I stitched a "patch" of sorts at the top to reinforce where the zipper was cut into the silnylon beak.

Silnylon tarp beak zipper reinforcement patch

I stitched across and right through the zipper at the top to locate the reinforcement and make a "zipper stop".

Silnylon tarp beak zipper bottom detail

The bottom zipper stops are actually top stops from Quest. I cut off the metal zipper pulls and replaced them with short pieces of Triptease.

The ends of the zipper tabs were box stitched for strength and reinforcement.

After the addition of the waterproof zipper my silnylon tarp now weighs 13.05 ounces. That's still .6 ounces less than my flat spinnaker tarp. :-)

BTW all of the tarp weights are with lines and tensioners attached.

I am now in a bit of a quandary. Use the flat tarp or the beaked tarp? :-)

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 08/29/2010 17:52:07 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Nice on 08/29/2010 13:11:44 MDT Print View

Nice work. That should be a great mod.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/29/2010 13:22:34 MDT Print View

Sounds like a large flat tarp in Spinnaker, what is the dimensions?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/29/2010 17:47:27 MDT Print View

@ Dan,

Thanks for the kind words. :-)

@ Roger,

8' x 10' rectangular flat tarp made out of Polymax 42 Spinnaker fabric. I used 3/4" grosgrain ribbon to make six tieouts and put 1/4" brass grommets in two of them for placement of trekking poles to support the ridgeline. The weight with lines attatched tips the scale at 14.10 ounces.

After rechecking the weight difference I noticed that the wieght difference is only .6 ounces more than my nylon tarp. Decimal points are really important. ;-P

It is still rather bulky stuffed in its sack.

I need to edit the weight in my original post.

I added two loops of 1/2" grosgrain on the underside of the tarp for support of my bivy's bug net.

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 08/29/2010 17:48:23 MDT.

Dan Montgomery
(theDanarchist) - F

Locale: Hampton Roads, VA
Re: Re: Re: A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/29/2010 18:49:40 MDT Print View

Wow. Good work. When the rain stops, please post pix of the silnylon tarp, pitched, with the zipper in action.

I, too, hate the slithering. And I'm tall, which makes it more difficult to avoid. I guess I need to learn to sew.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Re: A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/29/2010 19:42:35 MDT Print View

Dan,

Thank you Dan. Pictures will be forthcoming as soon as I can fit inbetween the raindrops. According to the Weather Channel's website that won't be until next Sunday. >-b

I took over my wife's sewing machine in November of 2009 and haven't looked back since. ;-)

Find a used all metal geared machine. Good ones are out there to be had for under $100.00. Have it cleaned, oiled and adjusted. Dive in with some cheap material and "good thread". Practice making stuff sacks and straight seams. Once you are comfortable with your machine move on to felled seams and larger projects. When you can do felled seams and stuff sacks with drawstring closures you're ready to do a pack or a tarp.

Read the articles in the MYOG forum by Jay Ham. He has articles regarding sewing primers, more advanced stitches and an articles describing how to make a stuff sack, pack and tarp similar to my nylon tarp out of 5 yards of spinnaker material.

Almost all of the projects I do involve nothing more than a straight seam. It just looks more complicated. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: A Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 08/31/2010 15:18:18 MDT Print View

Dan M.,

Weather seems to want to cooperate but my schedule doesn't.

Here is a link to my inspiration for this modification.

Pictures of mine will be forthcoming. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
The Pictures of a Cure for the Slithering Hiker on 09/03/2010 14:01:38 MDT Print View

Dan,

The weather and my schedule finally cooperated.

Here are the pics hot off of the SD chip. ;-)

Silnylon tarp pitched with beak zipper closed

Silnylon tarp pitched with beak zipper open and beak rolled back

Silnylon tarp pitched with beak zipper open and happy hiker underneath

It is 31 inches from the tops of the blades of grass in my yard to the zipper tab fully open. It's not a skyscraper but now I can fall into my shelter with ease rather than crawl into my shelter slithering like a snake. ;-)

Many thanks to my lovely, loving wife for taking the pictures of me under my shelter.

Party On,

Newton

Dan Montgomery
(theDanarchist) - F

Locale: Hampton Roads, VA
Nicely done! on 09/04/2010 09:11:02 MDT Print View

That looks great. So does your grass, by the way. For that reason, I'm being careful not to let my wife these photos.