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Big and tall seamless tarping
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Will Elliott
(elliott.will) - F

Locale: Juneau, AK
Big and tall seamless tarping on 09/12/2012 00:04:12 MDT Print View

Hi all,

I'm over 6 feet and too tall for my 5x9 DIY flat tarp (think MLD Monk Tarp) in the modified a frame pitch. Curious what's worked for others... Should I sew a new seamless tarp, say 5x11, or add a seam and make a wider one in the 9' length? I like the versatility of the flat tarp and I like the modified a frame pitch, so I'm looking for what dimensions have worked for others for solo use.


Edited by elliott.will on 09/12/2012 00:05:02 MDT.

Tyler Johnson
(riemannia) - F

Locale: Northeast Georgia
Re: Big and tall seamless tarping on 09/12/2012 11:04:14 MDT Print View

I can't say either way about the dimensions - I've always been happy with my little 5'x8' tarps, so long as I have a bivy, though I definitely am not big or particularly tall. I'd make a couple prototypes on of cheap 3 mil plastic drop cloth stuff or whatever cheapo fabric you can come by (preferably something somewhat waterproof, so you can test it in the rain).

Also, consider the versatility a bivy provides in addition to allowing you to use a smaller tarp (if you don't use one already)

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Big and tall seamless tarping on 09/12/2012 17:52:47 MDT Print View

As Tyler said, 5' works with a bivy. I would add that it works as long as you are on relatively level ground and don't slide out from under. The narrow tarp also works very well for hammocks and I've lived under one for half a year at a time. However, for ground pitching, I really prefer something wider.

Obviously, you want a longer tarp. If you stick with a flat rectangle, the weight will compound quickly as you widen, say, a 10 or 11 foot tarp. You might consider a hexagonal tarp that forms its own beaks on the ridgeline. Beaks improve coverage while minimizing weight. Beaks can be flat and you can add tabs that fold them into downward-angled hoods which shed wind better and give better protection from blown rain.

I'm a taller guy, and feel comfortable with an irregular hexagon, 11.5' along the ridge (beak end to beak end)and 7.5' across the middle. The sides are 6'. I put mosquito net around the edges to form a curtain (we have West Nile Virus here) and use a separate groundsheet.