Jun 30, 2011 at 9:04 am #1276114
Hello all. I recently acquired a MLD grace duo tarp, which is the first I've ever had. I've set it up about five or six times total. I've never been able to get it taught across the ridge line — saggy in the middle. It is quite tight near each line, but there is no tension in the middle of the tarp. Does anyone know what could be going wrong here or know something that I could try? I'm leaving Saturday morning for a four day trip and would really like some modicum of confidence that in my tarping ability before I head out. :)
RKJun 30, 2011 at 9:42 am #1754668
Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
the ridgeline should be taught before sides are staked out. stake out the back, pull ridgeline taught, stake front corners. Here's a video from GG on pitching the spinntwin; same idea.
http://vimeo.com/5467987Jun 30, 2011 at 9:44 am #1754670
I actually just got off the phone with Ron from MLD who told me essentially exactly the same thing. I'm betting that this will work like a champ. Can't wait to get home and give it a whirl. Thanks for the input!Jun 30, 2011 at 10:06 am #1754683
You're on the right track. When you get Ron's tarps tensioned properly they're perfect. I've had great luck with both his Duo and Solo. While you're at it you should practice setting it up with the edges elevated for ventilation and down on the ground for foul weather. You'll need both in the field and its 100x more annoying to figure it out in the field than it is on your lawn on a nice sunny Saturday! Have fun!
DMJun 30, 2011 at 10:08 am #1754687
This is good advice for all tarps pitched as an a-frame tent.
I figured it out the hard way:-)Jun 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm #1754807
Ivo VanmontfortBPL Member
My neighbor has written a facinating article about the skills he has developed about pitching his tarpJun 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm #1754910
Well, I tried a few times this evening and this was the best I could do. You can see how it sort of flattens out toward the opposite side of the tent. Do my poles need to be at specific relative heights? Do the side lines need to be at a specific angle to the ground? I feel like I'm missing something crucial (and probably obvious)…Jun 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm #1754912
Very nice photos. It also appears that the tarp is consistently pitched with one end higher than the other. Additionally, in the video posted by brendon, the front pole is 13" higher than the rear. Perhaps this is the bleeding obvious key I'm looking for.Jul 1, 2011 at 5:32 am #1754977
Ron BellBPL Member
You are almost there.
I PM'ed you some pitching tips based on the pics I see.
A little more practice and you'll be a tarp ace!Jul 1, 2011 at 7:34 am #1754996
That may not look perfect and other than maybe slightly more flapping in stong wind, it appears to be a perfectly adequate shelter.Jul 1, 2011 at 7:52 am #1755000
Evan McCarthyBPL Member
I'm using a friend's MLD pro solo (smaller than the Grace but concept should be the same) until my own arrives from Ron (no rush, Ron).
This is a bad picture but I'm at work and can't get a better one:
I should note that this exact picture was taken a few hours before I weathered a severe multi-hour thunderstorm with strong wind. Worked like a charm — though the bivy definitely caught some spray when the wind changed directions.Jul 1, 2011 at 7:56 am #1755002
Evan McCarthyBPL Member
Here's a better one:Jul 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm #1755270
Lawson KlineBPL Member
More photos would help to see whats going wrong but I think Ron is going to give you the best advice since its his design. Good Luck.Jul 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm #1755482
John GBPL Member
@johng10Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Can you post Ron's tips ? They may help the rest of us get better pitches too :)Jul 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm #1755500
I see three things that you'll want to try:
1. Drop the overall height a bit.
2. Pitch the ridgeline with the rear a couple of inches lower than the front.
3. Pitch the sides MUCH wider than you have them set up. It isn't intuitive initially but having the sides out at bit will help drive proper tension in the ridgeline.
Keep practicing and don't let it frustrate you. When you're up to speed you'll love the simplicity of setting up camp with a tarp.
DMJul 5, 2011 at 11:02 am #1756118
The main thing is to get used to the geometry of the tarp; once you get that, it's easy to pitch and easy to tweak. What Dan suggested will get you the simplest pitch, though not necessarily the best one for the conditions. Once you have the tarp pitched though, adjusting it is easy, and I found that once you get used to the geometry of the tarp, it's pretty easy to pitch it the way you want to right out of the stuff sack without doing the simplest pitch first.Jul 7, 2011 at 6:27 am #1756746
Lowering the pitch and tightening the ridge line before putting any tension on the sides seemed to help a lot (see results below). I was hit by two heavy thunderstorms that evening — not a lot of wind, but a TON of water. Unfortunately, I pitched the tarp on a nice flat spot at the _bottom_ of an incline. Also, since the pitch was a lot lower, the serenity shelter was a little bit saggy in front. In the end, I got a little wet, but not because of the tarp pitch.
Just for fun, here's the serenity shelter standing alone when the weather was much nicer. That was good sleepin'.Jul 7, 2011 at 6:46 am #1756750
Glad to see that you're getting the hang of it. I really like my Serenity / Grace Solo combo. Have fun!
DMJul 30, 2013 at 9:32 am #2010892
Thought I would revive this thread with a similar problem. I bought a grace duo and have taken it on several trips, cant seem to get the ridgeline as taught as I would like. I havent had this problem with any of the tarps I have used before. I use a pair of Easton FX Carbon poles, and pitch it wider than the picture posted by the OP, yet still cant seem to get the ridgeline as taught as I would like. I emailed Ron and he is always super helpful, but I thought I would ask here before I email him back with follow up questions since he is super busy…
Is there a specific height that is ideal for the front and back of the grace duo?
Should I throw on extra long guy lines?
If the OP sees this, what worked for you?
Thanks!Jul 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm #2010956
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
For any tarp…
Long guys on the poles/ridgeline. Then need proper angle on the 4 corners. Most problem pitches I see are due to the ridgeline guys being too short.Jul 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm #2010978
Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Ruta Locura CF 2-piece tent pole 1.4oz and Yama Mountain Gear (2.0) bug shelter 15.5oz.Jul 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm #2010984
Its so weird. I will have to go out and try some longer lines and play with the heights tomorrow. I will measure my poles and take pics as well once my new camera charger comes in. I have never had this problem with my BPL Stealth Nano, my Sea to Summit Poncho Tarp, a MYOG sil flat tarp, or my Gossamer Gear Spinntwin. Ive taken it out about 10 trail nights, with no luck on the ridgeline. Oy vey!Jul 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm #2010996
Marc EldridgeBPL Member
@meldLocale: The here and now.
I initially had a hard time with the setup. I emailed Ron the photos of the pitch and even sent it back to him to have him examine it. He sent it back to me saying that it was alright and sent a video on how to pitch it. Getting the ridge stretched tight before the corners really helped but the configuration really doesn't allow for a steeper sided pitch like you can get with the Stealth Nano.Jul 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm #2011008
I also think the pitch of the walls and amount of catenary cut along the ridge helps determine the tightness of the ridge line.
I have had a few variations of tarps with cat-cut ridges and different tarps seem to be optimized for different angles of pitch.
I have never had a problem with a little sag on the ridge as long as the ridge line and corners are tight and the mid tie-outs aren't too loose or too tight.
Sagging walls will flap in wind, but a little sag in ridge not so much and so I don't worry about it when it does happen.Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 am #2011159
I just measured my Carbon FX poles at 43 inches and 28.75 inches. Are these the recommended heights that others have used for this tarp to get a tight pitch?
@marc, do you still happen to have that video?
Edit: Seems to be that my poles are the same, or at least the same length, as the poles that MLD sells on its site. Hopefully will get a chance to play around again this afternoon.
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