Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Cat cut tarp storm pitch: flat or sharp ridge line?


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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Cat cut tarp storm pitch: flat or sharp ridge line? on 04/24/2011 16:52:28 MDT Print View

So I've been playing with my Echo I shelter from HMG. This is my first tarp. I can get various pitches nice and taut, but I'm wondering what is better in storms and wind.

1. A pitch where the sides are relatively low to the ground with a flatter ridge line. This provides a bit more coverage area and seems to provide lower profile side panels. (less for the wind to catch on)

2. A pitch where the sides are lower to the ground but with a more pronounced and angled ridge line. This would seem to block wind and rain a bit better, but cuts into the covered area and gives higher side panels.

3. A flatter ridge line with the sides very low to the ground. This would maybe shed wind and rain the best, but would greatly cut into head room.

So how do you pitch your cat cut tarps in wind and storms, and why?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Storm pitches on 04/24/2011 18:48:13 MDT Print View

Steeper walls shed snow better and give you more headroom at the expense of floor area.

Less steep walls shed wind better and gives you more floor area but at the expense of headroom.

I use a GG Spinnshelter and in its true "storm pitch" the aspect ratio is set by the door width. This makes the shelter 40" tall and 55" wide which I think is a pretty good compromise of headroom vs. space. So a little less steep than 45 degrees works well.

Andrew

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Storm pitches on 04/24/2011 19:46:00 MDT Print View

Thanks much, Andrew. So with the less steep walls, do you find it breezier than a taller a-frame with walls closer to the ground? I know, I know, it's a tarp so it it'll always be breezy. But any internal breeze difference?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Cat cut tarp storm pitch: flat or sharp ridge line? on 04/24/2011 21:31:30 MDT Print View

Travis,

Think of your tarp as an oversize umbrella. You want it angled towards the rain with the largest part of it over your head. Point the foot end into the prevailing wind direction.

A taut pitch is always desired to keep noise from the fabric down to a "hum". A steeper pitch will help shed snow.

Check out the how to videos on the Gossamer Gear website. Glen shows normal and storm pitches for all their shelters. The SpinnShelter video may be the one that most closely resembles your Echo I shelter.

Hope this helps.

Party On,

Newton

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Windy conditions on 04/24/2011 23:57:15 MDT Print View

You should pitch the foot end low and wide, with the sides staked to the ground to block the most wind. I try to pitch the foot end into the wind and close the end of my Spinnshelter if I know it's going to be a windy night. For a regular cat tarp without a closed end, try to find a natural wind-break to pitch your foot towards, or pitch the foot at a 45 degree angle to the wind so that the wind doesn't go screaming right through your tarp. This balances wind protection with keeping your stakes from ripping out of the ground.

Andrew

Edited by andrew.f on 04/24/2011 23:58:00 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Windy conditions on 04/25/2011 04:20:49 MDT Print View

Travis,

+1 for what Andrew said. ;-)

It will work for your Echo I also.

Party On,

Newton

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Windy conditions on 04/25/2011 20:59:31 MDT Print View

John and Andrew,
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll be sure to try them out next time I get into the wild.