12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

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powderhound
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Re: 12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

Post by powderhound » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:14 pm

I'm noticing that most tarps with doors (at least the ones I'm finding on Google) are hammock tarps and are huge. I'm toying with just making a simple 8x10, or an 8x10 with tiny 14" long mini-doors to reduce the opening size in foul weather. I'm also thinking of adding bug netting like in Flamingo's design (nice tarp btw!). So, any opinions on mini doors or should I just go with a simple rectangle? I've pretty much decided that the one I posted is just too huge no matter what, and with the doors cinched the footprint is only 7 feet, not giving me much room to make it smaller and keep the shape.








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powderhound
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Re: 12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

Post by powderhound » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:16 pm

Also, are those the Three Sisters in the background of your pictures Flamingo? I've been meaning to backpack there for a while now. They look awesome!

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Re: 12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

Post by zacjust32 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:13 pm

Nice tarp Flamingo! Did you make the whole thing or just sew the screen onto the tarp?

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Flamingo
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Re: 12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

Post by Flamingo » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:15 pm

@powerderhound - Regarding doors and foul weather. . . Although the basic flat tarp will work in bad weather, storm flaps are a very nice feature and they make a big difference when rain is blowing horizontally. In the design sketch you posted, it looks like you have something like storm flaps -- i.e. you have stake points 44" back from the edge. If you make those stake points the main stake points, and then unstake the four corners of the tarp, you'll get triangular flaps that are basically storm flaps. They may not close all the way, but they will nonetheless be useful at providing rain/wind protection. I encourage you to play with the geometry and optimize the coverage to your liking.

And yes, one of the photos is the Three Sisters, on a bluff above Benson Lake looking east at the sisters.

@zacjust32 -- The green tarp in the photo was my first tarptent I made in 2004. The design is super simple: I bought an 8x10 Equinox Egret silnylon tarp with grommets pre-installed. It was maybe $40. I sewed-in the netting myself, which was recycled from an old anti-malaria net I found at a garage sale. Super basic. I used that tarp on my 2005 PCT thru-hike, and it worked great! I've since built better tarps using cuben fiber and more complicated geometry. For example: https://flic.kr/p/qWZ4eU

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Matthew
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Re: 12' Tarp for the Sierra--Is this Overkill?

Post by Matthew » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:51 pm

Hi
First time posting, will introduce myself at some other point. But wanted to give some perspective on tarps...
I built a flat 9'x9' silnylon tarp that used two trekking poles. It was big for just me, but even so, without doors/eaves at the end it would let rain in 2-3feet eating up the useable space. If rain/wind is likely, a bivy sack may be needed to keep your sleeping bag free of rain splash. However, lower pitches would help.
The reason I didn't like it was that without catenary cuts and being silnylon it had a tendency to flap and sag in even slight winds. This kept me awake at night. This was even with some of the guylines having strong elastic cord tensioners. I'm sure many people would be happy with a true rectangular/square tarp, or one with catenary cuts, but I was not.

Instead, I converted the tarp to a rectangular pyramid tarp, with catenary cuts on the ridgelines. And now it doesn't flap or sag, and is very storm worthy (as good as my sewing at least). It could fit two people at a push. I'm very happy with it.
But I would stress that a cat-cut pyramid tarp is quite difficult to sew, and thus it is probably worth buying e.g. MLD Duomid (I have no company affiliation).
The nice thing, is that if you have a 12'x12' tarp and don't like it, you could likely convert it to a pyramid tarp with minimal extra fabric.

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