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Home Made Tarp Shelter

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Home Made Tarp Shelter

Postby Hetchy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:27 pm

I have begun to manufacture my own gear. I started with some rain/wind/cold mittens for the trail. I have progressed to a hybrid tarp shelter. I took the Golite Lair and MLD Patrol shelter designs as inspiration.
The Golite lair was really light and simplebut lacks a beak. The MLD Patrol is light and simple, has a beak, and offers a varible pitch option.
I decided i wanted a combination of those things but also a bit more protection from splash and wind blown rain.
My other requirement was a quick pitch and absolutely no zippers or velcro
Zips and velcro are great unless you plan to live and use them for 5 months on end.. they all break eventually.
I had an MEC 8X10 silnylon tarp to use for material.
I made several paper prototypes until I found basically what I wanted the beaks to look like. Then I cut and sewed the beaks onto my MEC tarp. I took the prototype up to Russian ridge open space and tested it out in the wind. An interesting thing happened.. I learned something.
Simply cutting a notch in the ends of the flat tarp and sewing the beaks on created a shelter that was realtively wind resistant but only within a small range of pitch height. Too low and the walls lost tension and the ridgeline sagged. Too high and the beaks could not be made taught.
I went home and looked at my paper model. With sissors i cut the corners of my model from the tip of the peak to about 16 inches back from each corner.
Anyhow the shape i came up with can be pitched low or high and the panels remain taught.
I am currently awaiting some line locks and lite line which will allow me to vary the tension at each corner and attach lines to the side pullouts.
So below is a picture of my 10 ounce silnylon tarp shelter at skyline ridge OSP today.
For bugs I have a no see um mesh bug bivy and i have sewn a couple of tie outs inside to hang it up.
Attachments
Tarp Prototype Mark 2 002.JPG
sets up with trekking poles. carvernous inside
Tarp Prototype Mark 2 004.JPG
There is 6 feet inside between the trekking poles. The beaks go out another 3 feet depending on the pitch height. Interestingly as the shelter is pitched lower the beaks fold inward and eventually leave only a 4 inch gap when pitched flat.
Tarp Prototype Mark 2 007.JPG
My plans are to use it on the AT with a bug bivy when the sketers are out later on in the hike. Anyhow the tarp only cost me $65 and i have about 10 hours of sewing and fiddling around invested. I can't wait for my line locks and lite line to get here and i can really try this baby out!
Tarp Prototype Mark 2 009.JPG
The front and rear can be pitched at different heights. Once the line locks and line are in place I will be able to tighten it up completely.
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.



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Hetchy
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Re: Home Made Tarp Shelter

Postby fishmonger » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:06 pm

Here's my DIY tarp shelter - 1981 vintage. It worked well in a 2 day snow storm up there in the French Alps in June, but I must say it is probably the reason why I am using a real tent these days... :unibrow:

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Re: Home Made Tarp Shelter

Postby Flux » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:15 pm

Super cool Hetchy. I have been researching making my own gear, but my time is limited. I may still sew up a bivy sack and tarp setup yet.

I really dig on the Tarptent stuff too. The rainbow and the moment have caught my eye. I do like the idea of a single pole that can afford you alot of strength. I guess i have a hard time giving up certain comforts like a fully enclosed tent.

Good luck on the AT. I grew up back east and used to hang out in the mountains there, I had the dream of doing it one day, but I got out here now and am happy to hit up my own back yard.
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