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Polycro Tarp Tested!
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Dan Johnson
(Seattle)

Locale: PNW
Polycryo Tarp Tested! on 02/09/2012 19:18:30 MST Print View

So with today's forecast being predicted all day rain I figured it would be a good time to set up my new tarp and see how it does for a couple hours of constent. I've included lots of photos because I know I like looking at photos so I'm assuming so does everyone else :) Please bear with me as I still haven't weighed it (I know shame on me...) During setup I got some quick glances from my neighbors. They must have thought I was either a hobo or my wife kicked me out. Funny thing is my wife took a photo of me thru the kitchen window laying under it and posted it on Facebook before I even knew.

tarp

tarp

tarp

tarp

tarp

I set it up and guyed it all out and found it to be pretty stable. Far more stable then I had thought originaly. After my last post about what I would do differently, I said I would have only had 3 tie-outs on the long side rather than my 4 that I have currently. I will say now after further testing that I will stick with the 4 from now on. It really makes it a more stable shelter. Setup time isn't very quick yet, as I'm still learning with tarps but I was happy overall with my speed.

Edited by Seattle on 02/09/2012 20:16:46 MST.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Looking good... on 02/09/2012 19:34:17 MST Print View

Looks good - nice and tight pitch. I'll be interested to hear the weight. Did you use Gorilla Tape instead of Duct Tape ?

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Polycro Tarp Tested! on 02/09/2012 19:36:33 MST Print View

L E Gant!

I love the simplicity of this.

Daryl

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
. on 02/09/2012 19:39:11 MST Print View

&

Edited by JasonG on 04/06/2013 16:28:52 MDT.

Phillip Colelli
(pdcolelli42)

Locale: AT, follow@ www.thruperspective.com
Very interesting! on 02/09/2012 19:42:28 MST Print View

May I ask your inspiration for this MYOG project? Maybe just to test the shape? I really can't wait to hear more about how long you plan to use it and how it does after more use. You may have just given me an idea. I had a brief thought a while back to use polycro to make a front for my cuben poncho tarp in half pyramid pitch. I was just going to try using styrofoam twisted around the corners and tied to my tarp but maybe taping tie outs would be better.

Hmmmmmmmmm...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Polycro Tarp Tested! on 02/09/2012 20:05:29 MST Print View

Polycryo

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Polycro Tarp Tested! on 02/09/2012 20:12:13 MST Print View

Nice looking tarp

Are there grommets in the middle of the duct/Gorilla tape?

My neighbors make odd comments to me about setting up tarps in the front yard too...

Dan Johnson
(Seattle)

Locale: PNW
... on 02/09/2012 20:13:56 MST Print View

@Phillip

I really wanted a tarp that was light weight and just really simple. That was my thought behind this tarp. I've played around with my big blue 8x10 poly tarp but the bulkiness of it is a huge turn off. I chose polycryo because I heard everyone saying that they use it for their ground cloth and I thought, "Hell, if people are lying on it, why not just try to make a tarp from it". Then I saw Matt Kirk's (Fool on the Hill) youtube video he did on his polycryo shelter with the cuben doors. I figured I would take some of his ideas and use them. Living in the PNW I know it can rain or more or less drizzle for hours so I wanted lots of coverage to spread out wet items. I didn't want to stress the thin plastic so I ran a ridge line under it to take the pressure off the main ridge tie-outs. I figured this alone would really lengthen the life span of the tarp.
The tarp came in a basic 7x9'ish dimension and I thought about cutting it down to something smaller but I figured I would see how this goes and adjust later. I thought I could always cut it down to size if i wanted and just retape the perimeter. I also heard that polycryo has a tendency to rip if it get a hole in it so I used the truely awesome double sided tape that came with it to line the perimeter and then fold over the plastic to basically "hem" it. I found this really strengthened it. The tape provided has very little "give" to it when pulled just like the polycryo so I knew they would work well together. As for the Gorilla Glue tape I used, I'm still on the fence about how much to use. I figure once this tarp is useless I will do some super non-scientific testing and see how small of tie-outs I can get away with.

edited for spelling

Edited by Seattle on 02/09/2012 20:18:50 MST.

Dan Johnson
(Seattle)

Locale: PNW
center tie-outs on 02/09/2012 20:22:01 MST Print View

@ Jerry

The center tie-outs are also Gorilla Glue. I ran the ridge line under the tarp and thru the tie-out hole so that the line's force would always stay on the tape. I didn't use any grommets but rather just made a hole for the line to go thru. I saw this as a way of increasing the life span of the tarp and it more importantly kept my ridge line in the same place and not faaling over to one side or the other.

Edited by Seattle on 02/09/2012 20:23:31 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Polycryo Tarp Tested! on 02/09/2012 20:29:53 MST Print View

Nice job! Good ideas on the side tie-outs--- I like the "V" with one stake. Good thinking with the continuous ridge line too. Did you just punch holes to run the guy lines?

So how do you think it will do in the wind?

Phillip Colelli
(pdcolelli42)

Locale: AT, follow@ www.thruperspective.com
great idea on the hem on 02/09/2012 20:38:27 MST Print View

Perfect! I never thought of the "hem" idea. I bet that alone would make this idea work for me. Any idea where some of this double sided tape can be found? Is it like scotch double sided tape or like thicker foam 3M double sided tape, or maybe something in between?

EDIT: After watching a video on this I see the kind of tape used that comes with the window film. In the video the maker also used velcro to stick to the polycro and then was able to sew grosgrain tieouts onto it. Great idea. I'll definitely be making something with this and I'll be sure to write a post on it.

Edited by pdcolelli42 on 02/09/2012 20:46:10 MST.

Corey Miller
(coreyfmiller) - F

Locale: Eastern Canada
Weight on 02/12/2012 14:46:28 MST Print View

So how much does this wonderful little contraption weigh? Looks great! Been debating on something like this for my hammock setup.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
dying and weight? on 02/14/2012 15:47:53 MST Print View

I am curious about the weight as well. I have been thinking of delving into the hammock/ tarp camping in a effort to reduce my shelter weight. This would fit the bill. Curious how it would compare to a silnylon on weight. I also wonder if it could be dyed to at least opaque it a little. That way it could provide some shade from the sun. I suspect no though with it being waterproof by design. This is good stuff though.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Next.... on 02/14/2012 18:22:05 MST Print View

Great work! I want to see a Polycro Poncho/ground sheet like the zpacks cuben one. Any takers?

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 02/15/2012 23:36:06 MST Print View

Hey Johnson, when you say running a ridge line under it, what does that mean?

Edited by gregpphoto on 02/15/2012 23:36:45 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Polycryo Tarp Tested! on 02/16/2012 06:57:47 MST Print View

Sorry, I somehow missed this thread.

> After my last post about what I would do differently, I said I would have only had 3 tie-outs on the long side rather than my 4 that I have currently. I will say now after further testing that I will stick with the 4 from now on. It really makes it a more stable shelter.

Yep. More = stability. I would have done at least 3 (not incl corners) per side. I'll admit it's rare that I use them though - only if it's windy or I expect a storm. Though I pitch in a half pyramid so it's inherently more stable than an A frame IMHO. Since I don't use a bivy, I want more protection.

> I figure once this tarp is useless I will do some super non-scientific testing and see how small of tie-outs I can get away with.

I wouldn't wait that long as it should last for years, but as I said before you can get away with much smaller tieouts. By smaller I mean where the guyline actually ties on. You do want to distribute the forces along as much edge as possible. I did that buy just overlapping a 15/16" piece of tape perpendicular (i.e., along the edge or across the corner) to the 15/32" guy tape.

> After watching a video on this I see the kind of tape used that comes with the window film. In the video the maker also used velcro to stick to the polycro and then was able to sew grosgrain tieouts onto it.

Which video was that, Phillip? I know Bill Fornshell has said it was pretty tricky to sew it.

> So how much does this wonderful little contraption weigh?

Should be on the order of 6 oz, maybe 7 if the double-sided tape is heavy. My 7x10 piece weighs 4.4 oz. I know tape added at least several ounces to my original shelter, but D has used less than I needed for seams, edges and ridgelines.

> when you say running a ridge line under it, what does that mean?

He ran cord under the entire length of the shelter.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re on 02/16/2012 10:15:41 MST Print View

What was the cord for? When I put up an A frame tarp between two trees or hiking poles, I run a line between the two objects, and simple drape my tarp over it A frame style.. is this all the ridge line means?

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: ridgeline on 02/16/2012 10:32:38 MST Print View

It just refers to that section of a tarp, just like the ridgelines of your house.

Yes, D did just what you are saying. Many users will just tie guylines to the ridgeline tieouts, relying on the tarp material to maintain its integrity and shape. With this material it would likely stretch a bit and cause premature failure perhaps if you did that and it wasn't reinforced with tape. Cuben and other fabrics don't have that problem.

I've never measured it, but I bet I put at least 30 pounds of force on my ridgelines. Being made from LDPE (think 1 mil trashbag), they would definitely fail if they didn't have tape on them.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
PolyCryo on 02/16/2012 14:39:22 MST Print View

Easy way to remember the spelling :
POLY as in polymer and CRYO as in Cryogenic
(a polymer film used for window insulation . Cryo =icy cold..)
Franco

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: PolyCryo on 02/16/2012 16:53:41 MST Print View

> POLY as in polymer and CRYO as in Cryogenic

Ah, is that where they get cryo from? I've seen it written both cryo and cro and couldn't figure out what cryogenics would have to do with it. That would be ironic since it is heat that makes it shrink. I thought "cro" was short for "cross" since it's cross-linked polyolefin (CLP).

Interestingly, I just searched and it seems that polycryo is slang for CLP solely within the BPing community (originating from Gossamer Gear, of course). I found no other references. Ironically, the URL for the GG webpage uses polycro.

So use whichever you please. Or use CLP - I won't charge any royalties. :)