Aug 15, 2006 at 5:55 pm #1219324
I have been browsing this forum for a while and I must say it has been very enlightening to say the least. I have learned a lot just reading the topics. My ? is I am interested in starting the Tarp learning curve and was wondering which book would you request for a begginner. From making one to learning the setups? I have looked into the RayWay Tarp book but I don’t believe he sells it without buying a kit. Is this right? Thanks for all the tips.
Aug 15, 2006 at 7:23 pm #1361170
Light SocalBPL Member
Here’s a couple quick links that might help:
More info on tarps than you would ever want: http://www.equipped.com/tarp-shelters.htm
Recent article here on BPL: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/poncho_tarp_techniques_gear_inclement_conditions.html
Advanced Tarp Camping Techniques here on BPL: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00150
The BPL articles may require membership to read. Hope that helps.Aug 15, 2006 at 7:47 pm #1361174
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
The best book you can get is a 10×10 packet of 4 mil poly drop cloth, a roll of duct tape and 50 feet of parachute cord. Chop 4 or 5 wire coat hangers to make “U” stakes with 7-8″ legs. Then spend a couple of weekend afternoons playing with different set ups. Try tying lines directly to the tarp with sheet bends. Try attaching pull points by wrapping pebbles in the plastic and looping 2 half-hitches around them. Make pullouts with duct tape. You will learn more by doing this than you ever can from a book.
One way to start is with a simple shape: A synetrical A-frame over a taut ridge line. Then modify it. Lower one end to make a high-low with the back to the wind. Take the ridgeline out and attach ridge pulls directly to the tarp. Try moving the rear pull forward to create a back wall. Raise the ends again, move the ridgeline to one side to make a leanto with an overhang. Set the ridge pull on one end high, stake out the back side taut to form a triangle, bring the remaining flaps forwars to make a half pyramid. In other words, fool around with shapes. See how the tarp behaves. Imagine wind and blowing rain. How would you orient the tarp?
Practice and skill is the secret to successful tarping. No book can practice for you.Aug 16, 2006 at 9:42 am #1361205
If you have Ray’s Beyond Backpacking (BB) book, you will have all the information you need for setting up tarps “The Ray Way”. I have his Tarp book and the only additional advantage from the BB book I have seen is if you intend to actually sew a Ray Way Tarp.
Yes, you can get the book without buying the kit from Barnes & Noble (online or order in local store).Aug 17, 2006 at 3:56 pm #1361293
Mike, I have checked at all the stores including B&N but no luck on the rayway tarp book. Would you be willing to part with your’s ? Thanks
Allen—Aug 17, 2006 at 4:06 pm #1361294
The only reason to buy his tarp book is if you want to sew a tarp and want his pattern. Otherwise, his book has an exceedingly lame description of the way to set up the tarp, and how to deal with conditions like wind and rain. His explanations are generalizations at best and completely wrong at the worst. He also proposes using clove hitches to attach stakes to the guylines—another terrible idea. I believe you can buy his book off Amazon for cheaper than off of his website.Aug 17, 2006 at 4:40 pm #1361297
NOTE: the ISBN number, 0963235958 should be ordered by most book stores.
I had actually loaned my book to a friend that wished to make their own tarp. Thanks for reminding me as it has not been returned yet.Aug 17, 2006 at 5:04 pm #1361298
So why are clove hitches for tying off guy cords a terrible idea? I tie off guy cords with a clove hitch a couple hundred times a year. So far nothing really terrible has happened to me.Aug 17, 2006 at 7:13 pm #1361303
A) It is a pain to remove from the stake, and if you tie with a quick release, it is not as secure.
B) It is non adjustible like tautlines are
C) You have to tie a clove hitch for every stake, which takes time and is less efficient than having bowline loops on end, or having tautlines already tied.Aug 17, 2006 at 7:23 pm #1361306
I’m missing something.
I tie a clove hitch by making two loops, folding them one over the other and then putting the loops over what I want to hitch over.
So “untying” a clove hitch is merely a process of pulling the knot off the stake. No quick release needed.
It isn’t very adjustable as a tent stake, but I use taut-line hitches (or the jazzy cordlocks sold here) on the end attached to my tarp, so that isn’t much of a problem.
Making two loops and folding them over isn’t quite as efficient as having a pretied loop, I’ll admit.Aug 17, 2006 at 7:31 pm #1361307
Yes but when using ultralight cord, the knots can become stuck on the stakes, and they won’t slide off easily. Why wouldn’t you have the guylines permantly attached to the tarp? Are you using a poncho tarp?Aug 17, 2006 at 7:34 pm #1361309
Crazy Pete, Would you happen to have any other suggestions on a book that would help me get started on the tarp curve? Mike thanks for the links. Thanks for the responces. —-Allen—-Aug 17, 2006 at 7:58 pm #1361310
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
When did a clove hitch become un-adjustable? I use when I’m tied in to belay on a top-rope all the time because they ARE adjustable? Hmm.Aug 17, 2006 at 8:09 pm #1361312
Personally, there are no books that I have read that include decent instruction on tarping.
Start with this:
Do you want a shaped tarp like a Hex3 or a Gatewood cap or a catenary cut tarp? Or do you want a flat tarp? If flat, a rectangle or a square?
I suggest going to Home Depot and buying some 3 mil plastic. Cut out a 5×8 tarp(you will use a larger tarp while camping, but it is easier to learn on a small tarp). Use a Sheet bend to tie 3 foot pieces of cord to each corner, then hem the middel of the short side of hte tarp wiht a 3 inch piece of ducttape. Take another 3 inch piece and place longitudinally over that hem. Do this in the on the middle of every side. Cut two 7 foot pieces of cord. Tie a bowline loop right next plastic on each corner guyline as well as on the end of hte cord. Now you are ready.
Get a couple stakes
Begin by staking out a long side of the tarp with the loops closest to the plastic. Make sure the plastic is streched tightly. Tie one of hte long guylines to the middle of hte opposing long side. Take a 4 foot long stick or a trekking pole turned upside down and wrap this guyline around it several times. Stake this line out. You now have a triangle of tightly pictched fabric running from one long side on the ground up in the air to one pole. Stake the remaining corners to the ground and you are done with teh pyramid pitch.
Start with this pitch, and then look at pics of other pitches and see if you can figure them out. Just remember, you need a tarp about 8 x 10 unless you want to use a bivy sack with the tarp.Aug 17, 2006 at 8:30 pm #1361314
I’ve never had clove hitches become stuck on my tent stakes, even with the skinny aircore 2 cord — I use that for side-pull outs and they aren’t permanently attached to my tarp to cut down on the general cord tangle.
I use the aircore pro and the tiny tensioners sold here for the ridgelines and four corners, so they are pretty permanently attached (I don’t remove them in the field, anyway).
Clove hitches work just fine for me.Aug 17, 2006 at 9:07 pm #1361316
Well whatever, its a pain to tie a knot on every stake and then have the pulley point be on the tie out rather than the smooth stake, making it harder to tension…
but whatever floats your boatAug 17, 2006 at 10:51 pm #1361320
Sam, its aloooot easier to adjust an 11 mm rope clove hitch around a biner than it is around a stake. If you don’t believe me try it yourself. A pretied tautline is the way to go.Aug 18, 2006 at 10:01 pm #1361364
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
I agree, Pete. I wasn’t so much commenting on which is easier but more that someone said a clove hitch wasn’t adjustable.
For staking out my tarp I simply have overhands at both ends of my cord. I girth hitch it to the tarp and then just put the stake through the other end and use the position of the stake to tension the tarp. Boring and un-technical maybe, but fast and functional.Aug 19, 2006 at 8:04 am #1361377
Clove hitches are a little off topic from the Tarp Book thread, but they are suggested in the book. I have used clove hitches for over 25 years, tying them the standard way, the double loop way like David mentioned and the Quick Release way (as Ray J. calls it the ‘Butterfly’ way). All have been easy to adjust and to slide off stakes, except for the screw type stakes.
I also prefer the Truckers Hitch for guy lines that will may adjusting through the night as they can be adjusted quickly making tensioning quite easy.
I created a thread under Philosophy and Technique titled “Guy-line Knots – What is your favorite knot for tying off guy line and why?” for anyone that would like to discuss their guy-line knots and why they believe one is better than another.
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