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Review: SOL Shelter Kit

The SOL Shelter Kit is a cost effective and almost complete shelter kit.  While the ziplock pouch includes [1] reflective plastic coated Mylar tarp [2] 4x 4" stakes [3] 4x guy lines; by itself and in bare terrain it is only useful as ground tarp. In order to make a proper lean-to or A-Frame you'll need additional gear.

  • at least 25" of cordage for a ridgeline
  • two trees or static objects within reach of the cordage; optionally trekking poles or some branches
  • 4 small pebbles for attaching the included cordage to the tarp
Needed some extra gear to deploy the lean-to

I think the overhang was a little too big but the height was 48".

Not sure what happened. This was just 5 minutes later. The tie-outs survived but the ridgeline fell over. There must be some sweet spot for the ridgeline preventing it from moving north or south. Optionally I could use a prusik knot and tension the tarp on the ridgeline which would extend to the north/south stability. However, after adjusting the ridgeline and poles things are holding.

NOTE: The small 4" C-stakes provided with the SOL are solid. There is something to be said for the torque I was able to get then the folded over portion of the stake was closer to the ground.

The SOL products are pretty robust but like any piece of kit you need to have the confidence that it will work ever time and that it will take an expected amount of punishment. If you depended on this tarp in a *cough* survival circumstance you better have some confidence how long it will last. For example I'd prefer to have gorilla taped reinforced grommets instead of stones as they are not always available and depending on the location the types of stones might have different effects on the tarp. Whereas a grommet would have a consistent effect and only add very minimal cost which I would gladly pay.

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