Flat Tarp help
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Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
Flat Tarp help on 03/23/2011 14:19:14 MDT Print View

6' x 8' flat tarp

I am working on my design for a flat tarp to serve two main purposes. Both equally important, they are to learn 3 season tarp camping and to create a versital winter kitchen roof. My design has evolved quite a bit from a large mansion of a tarp to what I feel would be a good start to the sport. Sleeping under the tarp would be me and my dog in the 3 season mode. In the winter it would be pitched in any number of arrangements based on how the snow kitchen is coming together and available natural tie out locations. The material is 1.1 silnylon, the triangles represent grosgrain tieouts. So here are my questions:

1. Would this be a good size for both winter kitchen and tarp camping for dummies?
2. The 6 foot sides are the front and back for tapring so is it a big deal to have the seam not down the ridge line?
3. Is it purly asthetic to have the seam in the middle of the tarp or could I eliminate one cut and have a 5' section and a 3' section?
4. The many extra tie out locations seem logical for my winter kitchen roof needs. Does it look like I am missing any that make alot of sense for either use? I also intend to not pitch this in the same way for several tarping seasons to learn the ins and outs of why people pitch their tarp the way they do.
5. How should I reinforce each of these locations? For edges I am thinking a 3" x 3" right triangle on the inside after I sew around the perimeter. For the middle of the tarp locations I am thinking a 3" diameter circle on the inside.
6. Does it seem like I am forgeting anything?

Thanks

Edited by earn_my_turns on 03/23/2011 14:22:11 MDT.

John West
(skyzo)

Locale: Borah Gear
flat tarp on 03/24/2011 12:04:03 MDT Print View

I just made a flat tarp recently too, and I really like it so far. As for your questions

1)an 8 X 6 tarp is not huge by any means, but it will be fine for what you want to use it for, in an A frame setup, there is a bit of space underneath, definitely plenty if you also use a bivy.
2)If you are going to have to use two widths of silynlon, you might as well just make two 3' panels so that the ridgeline is down the middle. I am not sure if having the seam off to the side like that would cause any issues, I wouldnt think so, but I could be wrong.
3)Like i said in that last question, Im not real sure about that one, I dont think ive ever seen a tarp with a ridge seam down the side.
4)You have plenty of tie outs, I just sewed the 8 basic ones on mine, and it works fine for the pitches I have practiced recently.
5)I did the same thing on mine, and based it off one that a friend had made. Both of ours have 4" traingles, and 4" circles in the centers. He has his tarp for 2 years and its still holding up fine
6)I dont think so, one thing you might consider though to simplify this project alot is to make a 5X9 tarp. This will prevent having to make the seam down the middle, and most silynlon comes in bolts that are about 60-64" wide, so you will have a little over 5 feet width. So for only 9-10 inches less on the width, and a foot longer on the ends, you could have a pretty easy project. Just putting a hem on the outside edges, and sewing on the reinforcemnets/pullouts. This is what I made, and I really like the space underneath it in combination with a bivy. The extra foot is really nice if you are a taller guy.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Flat Tarp help on 03/24/2011 12:41:30 MDT Print View

1. Would this be a good size for both winter kitchen and tarp camping for dummies?
I think this is a little small. I use a tarp mostly in the north east (ADK's usually) and have found a couple feet overhang is needed to keep things dry in a rain storm. Soo, I tend to about 9'x9'. (Actually I think it is bigger than that. I start with two 60" pieces of sil nylon, stitch them together, them "hem" them around, spacing loops as I go. Usually a 5" piece of strap, folded in half, stitched at 45 degrees. Corners are stitched along the hems.

2. The 6 foot sides are the front and back for tapering so is it a big deal to have the seam not down the ridge line?
It adds a slight amount of strength and some stretch resistance. As long as it is seam sealed, no difference other than mentioned.

3. Is it purly asthetic to have the seam in the middle of the tarp or could I eliminate one cut and have a 5' section and a 3' section?
See above.

4. The many extra tie out locations seem logical for my winter kitchen roof needs. Does it look like I am missing any that make alot of sense for either use? I also intend to not pitch this in the same way for several tarping seasons to learn the ins and outs of why people pitch their tarp the way they do.
This is the big reason for a square tarp. More versitile than a smaller rectangular tarp.

5. How should I reinforce each of these locations? For edges I am thinking a 3" x 3" right triangle on the inside after I sew around the perimeter. For the middle of the tarp locations I am thinking a 3" diameter circle on the inside.
Well, untill you finalize designs, I would not. Less damage to material with fewer stitches and less elaborate stitching.

6. Does it seem like I am forgeting anything?
Nope. Go for it, and have fun!

One hint. Much of the wind blow dammage can be releived by elastic cords between the tarp and the stake. A doubled hair tie helps a lot.

Jim Morrison
(Pliny) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Flying wedge and other stuff. on 03/24/2011 22:46:23 MDT Print View

I don't know if this will help or not but this is my experience. I tried a 5x7 blue plastic tarp to sleep under and while in theory it looks large enough, I found that it was not. When it rained hard drops of water splashed into the interior and got everything wet. I wrote in my notes after that hike that 8x10 should be minimum protection in a rain storm. Much later someone on a climb I was on had erected a "flying wedge" from an 8x10 and it looked pretty cozy. The flying wedge is usually tacked right down to the ground so splashing isn't a problem at least on the sides. I carried a 6x8 tarp for cooking and a temporary shelter (like on a day hike), but in most cases I believed it was two small for more than 1 person. I guess it depends on weather, number in the party and the like. Have you thought of trying out a size with a piece of visqueen (plastic sheeting) to see how it works.Flying wedge configuration

John West
(skyzo)

Locale: Borah Gear
flat tarp on 03/25/2011 09:41:38 MDT Print View

I agree, I think a 5x7 would be way too small to sleep under. But....I also thing an 9x5 is too small to sleep under, without a bivy. A bivy makes things so much easier, not having to worry about getting things wet. Yes, you could get an 8X10 large tarp, but it would require a bit larger area to set up, and you are still without bug protection in the buggy season. On the other hand, you could pair a 6-7oz 5X9 flat tarp with a decent bivy (my SMD meteor weighs 6.5oz) and have a total shelter with bug protection for ~14oz. A 8X10 tarp in silnylon will weight anywhere from 13-15oz, so its about the same, and you get bug/splash/wind protection from the bivy. Not all bivys have to be claustrophobic either, the Meteor has plenty of head room.

Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
7.5 x 10? on 03/27/2011 16:10:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I will go with a larger tarp. I am thinking an 7.5 x 10 would be nice, only 1 cut on a 5 yard long piece of silnylon. So it would be about 7.5 x 10ish depending on what the edges look like and the finish width of the fabric I get.

The last (and first) piece of silnylon I got had what looked like machine teeth holes all along both edges. Do you cut those off and then sew or leave them on and double over the edges?

Does a larger tarp become more difficult for a first time tarp camper to pitch on my own. As much as I have tried to make my dog help set up camp he always wants to take a nap as soon as we get there.

Thanks

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: 7.5 x 10? on 03/27/2011 16:27:30 MDT Print View

"The last (and first) piece of silnylon I got had what looked like machine teeth holes all along both edges. Do you cut those off and then sew or leave them on and double over the edges?"

I usually cut those off.

If you really want to get the most width out of your fabric you could put the holes in a seam, they don't weaken it too much. They might be aesthetically displeasing.

The fabric is usually stronger than necesary so you could just ignore the holes and use it anyway.

The distance from the edge of the fabric to the holes is only about 1/2 inch so it doesn't make that much difference.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: 7.5 x 10? on 03/27/2011 16:36:47 MDT Print View

"As much as I have tried to make my dog help set up camp he always wants to take a nap as soon as we get there."

Make the dog to supervise the tarp pitching.

I am also starting the sewing of a shelter of about the same dimensions, except that it has more of a slightly curved ridgeline in its shape. I'm still thinking about how to bring those two edges together into a seam that will be stormproof.

--B.G.--