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Showing posts from July, 2019

Tarp Cliff notes

I had a quick fail in the backyard as the skies opened up... Here are some quick notes for setting up a tarp:

Depending on how the edges have been finished AND if there is some seam sealer or tape; there is a top and bottom to the tarp. Make sure the correct side is facing upWith hammocks and some other configurations it's common to suspend the tarp from the ridgeline rather than over the ridgeline. There are some advantages and disadvantages... Wearing of the tarp as it rubs on the cordage; else it will sag and require a more taught lines which has it's own complications. There's also some dripping as water flows along the cord... which can be offset with drip lines.in a downpour a net tent may not be necessary. Get maximal coverage, ground insulation, dry clothes, use the poncho as a secondary blanket.know the direction of the wind, locate any natural shelter, set the position and slope of the tarp accordingly.Consider an umbrella as a 4th wall or to give some volume to t…

embrace the suck

I'm still thinking about the ground sheet challenge for this setup. Polycryo is lightweight and compact but it's that weight that allows it to fly around and it's the plastic that makes it stick to everything.


However, I have a plan. First of all my kit includes a hammock. It could be used for sleep or just as a chair. They are great in the swamp when you need a rest or you want to get your feet out of the water. But if you want to sleep then you need or should have a proper tarp. The tarp above is approx 6'x9'. That's simply not long or wide enough in the rainy season.

So here's the plan. Have a second tarp as a ground sheet and use the two tarps in bad weather. Also, since the tarp is essentially a single and depending on the configuration I could use the second tarp and or my poncho tarp for extra coverage or even insulation.

On the hammock side I've decided to do with the SeaToSummit Ultralight hammock with some UL straps. Unlike other hammocks the …

Sea to Summit Pyramid Net Tent

STS makes 2 different models of the SOLO/SINGLE net tent. One is a nano with insect shield and the other is without. The nano is a grey material, it's light and feels like pantyhose. Where the non-nano feels like a coarse head bugnet or even a cook's headnet.

I decided to deploy the net today and while my nano is about 9 months old I've never used it. The material is soft and stretchy. The cord at the top is stretchy like a lightweight shock cord. Unfortunately I'd never noticed but there is a hook and loop patch attached to the net and it would not release. In the end the net ripped.




So then I tried the other. It's not treated but I have some spray. It's not soft and it's larger in volume than the nano. The cord is not a shock cord and that seems to have made the deploy better. Frankly you're not really supposed to touch the sides because that's where the bugs hang out.


In this configuration I should be able to relax and sit up. I could do a better…

Volume is as important as weight

I have too much crap. I mean I have so much gear that getting onto the trail usually involves some analysis paralysis as I try to select the right kit for the trail.

As I watch bushcrafter videos I see them carry the kitchen sink or at least tools to make a kitchen sink. And then there are the FKT/SUL hikers that cut the stencil tags off their underwear or just spend the stupidest amounts of money. And then there are the gear review junkies that buy everything known to man and tell you why it's great only to retract that position a few weeks, months or years later. Sure there is new and better gear every season but there's a limit to my patience.

In recent days I watched two videos that I really liked. One guy said his friends were not really hikers so he needed the extra gear to facilitate their joining him. And another said... this is my gear review and this is all I have. This kit cost me $600. That's it.

As I'm trying to outfit my pack for my next hike I've mad…

polycryo tarp... NOT

I was thinking about using polycryo as a material to make a tarp. I'd set it up a few times for ground sleeping and it worked ok. Yesterday I configured it for my hammock. While it setup no differently than any other tarp I was not able to test it in the hammock because my portable hammock stand's anchor failed.


I like the idea of the clear material so that I can still interact with the environment and unless I needed shade it was just fine... hikers typically say hike until it's time to sleep. Then sleep. So it does not really matter what the material is made from unless you need privacy for changing etc...

Anyway, I left the tarp out over night and in the morning all was just fine. Then, after lunch, I noticed the damage.


The polycryo ripped. It would have been interesting if the rip had ripped at the guyout rather then near the guyout. That it's not rip-stop means that once a rip starts it's not going to stop... as happened. I suppose I could have taped a seam b…

I flopped

There is something to be said for testing your hammock before hopping in. My homemade hammock stand's anchor gave out and I flopped on my back. CRAP! This was going to be yet another test kit... I had been able to get my big three down to about 4 pounds and I'm kinda regretting it.
It's easier to tie a tarp to a bush than it is a hammock to the same bush. Another experiment that failed was my polycryo tarp. It's approximately 7x9 but even with the sag there is no way to cover my 10' hammock. Overall it looks like it might fit.


I still needed some adjustments but never got a chance to try it out. It's also no level... All that not withstanding...


The ends of the tarp were never far enough under the tarp. About all this tarp is good for is keeping the bird shit off you and maybe a little mist but not any kind of real rain.