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How do you hang your tarp?

Old 09-02-10, 07:01 PM
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Aquakitty
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How do you hang your tarp?

I have this tarp which I have used a couple times. i use nylon string to hang it, with knots. Now it is kind of a jumble of knotted nylon strings, kind of a mess.. plus theres no guarantee when i use it again if i will have to hack up mo nylon string for length. Maybe it is my OCD talking but is there a cleaner way to secure a tarp and not have string all over the place. light-weight bungees perhaps?
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Old 09-02-10, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
I have this tarp which I have used a couple times. i use nylon string to hang it, with knots. Now it is kind of a jumble of knotted nylon strings, kind of a mess.. plus theres no guarantee when i use it again if i will have to hack up mo nylon string for length. Maybe it is my OCD talking but is there a cleaner way to secure a tarp and not have string all over the place. light-weight bungees perhaps?

Try this https://hikinghq.net/gear/tarp.html

or this one for more way to pitch a tarp than mosquitoes in Minnesota https://www.equipped.com/tarp-shelters.pdf (PDF)
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Old 09-02-10, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
i use nylon string to hang it, with knots. Now it is kind of a jumble of knotted nylon strings, kind of a mess.. plus theres no guarantee when i use it again if i will have to hack up mo nylon string for length.
The key thing about string/rope packing and storage, imho, is to wrap or tie the strip/rope in such a way that it won't knot - period. For instance, with a 50' rope, I loop it from the junction of my thumb-forefinger to & around my elbow and back. When there's 18" left, I wrap the rope around the loops I made and tuck the ends in.
Here's a link to a page with the same basic idea using a big freaking rope https://www.itstactical.com/2009/05/2...eek-rope-coil/

Shorter pieces of rope are handled in a similar fashion but with shorter loop lengths. I've used nothing, 2 small branches with "Y's" pointing away from each other, cardboard, books, etc. to make the loops - sometimes leaving the "hard support" in place, sometimes not.

When I've tarp-camped, I occasionally used 4-6 pre-cut 4-foot lengths of rope/nylon string and worked out ahead of time how long I wanted my loops to be. Then I took along a piece of plastic cut to that size for the hard-support. When I wanted to eliminate even the negligible weight of the hard support, I used caribiners on my backpack for length, then just used the last length of rope to wrap around the rest. Never had a tangle issue.

One other method that could be useful for thin rope, make/use a spool like kiters/weed-whackers use. Just wrap the rope, one length at a time around a spool - if you are careful, you can stick multiple ropes on a single spool.

Finally, a very old Boy Scout trick - take a stick/dowel, make a loop around one end of the stick tucking one end under the other. Then begin making figure-8's the length of the stick. With between 6 and 18 inches remaining, begin to wrap the remaining rope around the center of the stick-rope combination. Tuck the end under the last bit of rope and pull tight.

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Old 09-02-10, 09:14 PM
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I wouldn't use nylon, Amsteel is better. I have a small carabiner attached to the tarp by a small loop of polypropylene webbing. On each side, I use a long whoopie sling with a fixed eye. I wrap the whoopie sling around a tree and through the fixed eye. I then adjust the tension using the adjustable loop of the whoopie sling. If the trees are far apart, I only wrap the sling around once. If they are closer, I wrap the sling around a couple of times.

This setup is lightweight, fast to put up and take down and very adjustable. There are no knots to worry about.
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Old 09-03-10, 03:52 AM
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I use military surplus 550 cord. I do take it down and bundle it every time then stash it in a ditty bag to keep it from getting caught up in other stuff.

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Old 09-03-10, 06:37 AM
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You want lightweight line, not something too stretchy like bunge.



The tarp in the photo is a 10 ft by 10 ft tarp, it has five attachment points on one side, one in the center and the other four are each midway between the center and a corner. I leave a piece of line about 10 ft tied to each corner and in this case used a piece of 50 ft line between two trees to hold it up without a pole by using three of the five attachment points. The 50 ft line is hard to see in the photo, it is red and you can just barely see it.

I bought the tarp in the 1970s, I have not seen one like it for sale for several years.

I pitch it low so you can't stand under it but you can sit under it and stay reasonably dry in gusty winds.

Sorry, no bikes in photo, this was a canoe trip.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:23 AM
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I usually pitch my tarps with a long, separate peak line stretched between two main anchors, then attach the tarp on top of this. This is easy to keep coiled.

All my tarps have 6-10 foot lengths of line on tarp corners and middle grommets. I make adjustable stake loops using two half hitches in these with aplomb, don't worry about a few extra knots!

Bring more cord for longer guylines, i just tie a little more on there using a sheepshank or simple interlocked loops in the ends.

to attach tarp to peak line, i will use timber hitches and pull it taut along this. I like this system better than not using a peak line, running a peak line under the tarp gives me a line to hang gear on, my glasses at night, candle lantern or flashlight etc. It's quite handy.

As an alternative, just run corner lines in various reiterations. the grey tarp in the middle shows a simple cross corner tarp pitch for a dry night.
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Old 09-03-10, 11:32 AM
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I use small diameter reflective guy cord. Kelty offers a nice package (50 ft. ?) for around $15. I guess I have to add my photo contribution. You can barely see the line in this photo. One side of the tarp secured to the picnic table, one corner tied out, and the last corner attached to the bike.

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Old 09-03-10, 03:23 PM
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When I use a tarp,I do like Sweetlou.For the peak,small biners on the tarp,loops at each end of the cord and I like 3/4 poly webbing with d-rings,use the strap to cinch it up.For the sides,the cords stay on and I use cord zips to tension.
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Old 09-04-10, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
When I use a tarp,I do like Sweetlou.For the peak,small biners on the tarp,loops at each end of the cord and I like 3/4 poly webbing with d-rings,use the strap to cinch it up.For the sides,the cords stay on and I use cord zips to tension.
Been looking at Grind too often?

As I'm new to touring I was thinking... Do you guys actually sleep under a tarp, or do you sleep in an actual tent?
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Old 09-04-10, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
Been looking at Grind too often?

As I'm new to touring I was thinking... Do you guys actually sleep under a tarp, or do you sleep in an actual tent?
Both depending on the weather. When I used to backpack I would just take a big piece of poly sheeting to use for a shelter. If the bugs are bad or their is going to be heavy rain I will almost always opt for the tent, if the bugs are not there and it the weather is fair I will sleep under a tarp.

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Old 09-04-10, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
As I'm new to touring I was thinking... Do you guys actually sleep under a tarp, or do you sleep in an actual tent?
I had the first photo above. I sleep in the tent shown in the photo. The tarp is so that I have a place with a view for rainy days and if it is a multi-hour rain storm the tarp provides a nice place to cook on a stove. I used to winter camp a few decades ago, for that I used a tarp because there is little need for mosquito netting when it is below zero. But otherwise I use a tent for benefit of the mosquito netting.

I have had to set up camp on a rainy day, we put up the tarp, then pitched the self-supporting tent under the tarp, then moved the tent to where we wanted it. That allowed us to set up the tent and get the rainfly onto it without getting the inside of the tent soaking wet in the rain.
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Old 09-04-10, 08:00 AM
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I'm one of the former hikers here. As such, I used to tarp-bivouac all the time, no tents allowed. With the bike, I'm going to bring a silnylon tarp or an emergency blanket to be used as a tarp for uses already described as well as for use as a wind break at times. A tarp is my preferred shelter in treeless, desert areas with still air - the tents tend to be stifling during the heat of the day.

I ran across a web page where an Adult Leader of a Boy Scout Troop that camped at Philmont Boy Scout Reservation used strapping tape to butt 2 emergency blankets together for a lightweight tarp big enough to sleep 2 people under. Then he lined the edges with strapping tape for additional strength. This was even lighter than silnylon and far stronger. He was using 2 trekking poles for a tent poles, 1 his, 1 his tent mate's. (These ultralight hiker/camper guys have some really nice ideas though some are kinda extreme.) In an arid environment, this would really work well; in monsoon season, not so much.
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Old 09-04-10, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
Been looking at Grind too often?

As I'm new to touring I was thinking... Do you guys actually sleep under a tarp, or do you sleep in an actual tent?
Under the tarp, sometimes no tarp. I use a hammock and the tarp is for a wind break or if it might or is raining. If there is nothing to tie the hammock to, I'll use the tarp to make some kind of tarp tent.

I've been planning to design my next hammock that will make going to ground easier. I want to make it so that when needed, the hammock and the bug netting will become the tent part of a double wall tent and the tarp will become the fly/vestibule.
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Old 09-04-10, 07:24 PM
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Interesting, before reading this I had never heard of a whoopie sling. I have always just hung a tarp from whatever trees and tied the ends with nylon. I like the simple A frame idea with a parachute cord in the middle w/ cord locks and a few tether cords. I usually use the tarp to cover eating or tent area.

The whoopie slings don't look very long though?

Meh parachute cord people don't take Canadian paypal, fail.

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Old 09-04-10, 07:41 PM
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I have had to set up camp on a rainy day, we put up the tarp, then pitched the self-supporting tent under the tarp, then moved the tent to where we wanted it. That allowed us to set up the tent and get the rainfly onto it without getting the inside of the tent soaking wet in the rain.[/QUOTE]

This is such a good idea.
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Old 09-04-10, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by skinny matt View Post
I have had to set up camp on a rainy day, we put up the tarp, then pitched the self-supporting tent under the tarp, then moved the tent to where we wanted it. That allowed us to set up the tent and get the rainfly onto it without getting the inside of the tent soaking wet in the rain.
This is such a good idea.[/QUOTE]

Thats the primary reason I began carrying a tarp.
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Old 09-04-10, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
Interesting, before reading this I had never heard of a whoopie sling. I have always just hung a tarp from whatever trees and tied the ends with nylon. I like the simple A frame idea with a parachute cord in the middle w/ cord locks and a few tether cords. I usually use the tarp to cover eating or tent area.

The whoopie slings don't look very long though?
You can make them as long as you want. Where the rope comes out plus the length of the splice is the minimum distance you can use. Also you will need roughly double the length of rope for the maximum distance you want. Amsteel is kind of overkill for a tarp. It is very strong. I use the same 7/64" for the hammock as I do for the tarp. Of course the tarp isn't carrying my weight. But it is so easy to make the whoopie sling out of the 7/64" amsteel and it weighs next to nothing, I use it. Amsteel also doesn't stretch as much as nylon. This is a good thing for hammocks and tarps.

I usually buy mine from Redden Marine Supply.

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Old 09-05-10, 08:56 AM
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braided dyneema? ouch! and double the line for 'whoopie slings'? why not just use lines and knots like the common people, you have to carry straps and buckles to attach a tarp to a tree?

if anyone needs to learn how to tie secure knots with quick release, learn to throw looped hitches on a bight of cord.

Quick release, adjustable. knots on a bight fall right out when released. I would think a person familiar with marine supply would know about two half hitches on a bight.

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Old 09-07-10, 07:00 PM
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I use a 6'x10' Tyvek tarp pitched between my bike and front wheel. Attachment points are reinforced with Tyvek tape and small grommets. I use mason line tied with a double bowline on the corners and off one end of the ridgeline. On the other end, near my bike seat, I have a small mason line loop to which I hook the bungee cord which normally helps hold my pack to my rack. That cord hooks to one of the 6 gutter nails I use as stakes.
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Old 09-08-10, 11:35 AM
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Wow. That's a hardcore setup. Gets you out of the sun, but the blowing sand...yikes.
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Old 09-08-10, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wildergeek View Post
Wow. That's a hardcore setup. Gets you out of the sun, but the blowing sand...yikes.
I pitched on the leeward side of a dune so blowing sand was minimized....for a while. Later that day a sandstorm with 80mph winds rolled in and I had to hike several miles through the storm until I could find shelter in a latrine. This was in White Sands National Monument.
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Old 09-08-10, 10:57 PM
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i just use a combo of sticks for pegs and/or poles
or just string the ParaTarp from an overhead... anything...

I use Kelty cordage and never roll it up, just stuff it all together in the stuff sack... it rarely, if ever gets tangled up.
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Old 09-10-10, 01:14 PM
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Asana has a good point. cordage tends to get tangled when you wind it around something, just stuff it in a bag.
Thing is, all those alternative systems and clever devices are nice and all, but its overkill. People have been lashing tarps to trees for 50,000 years with string and it's too much trouble?
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Old 09-10-10, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
Asana has a good point. cordage tends to get tangled when you wind it around something, just stuff it in a bag.
Thing is, all those alternative systems and clever devices are nice and all, but its overkill. People have been lashing tarps to trees for 50,000 years with string and it's too much trouble?
They weren't stuffing their lines in bags. They probably wanted to use them again.
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