Polycro Tarp Tested!
Feb 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm #1285456
So with today's forecast being predicted all day rain I figured it would be a good time to set up my new tarp and see how it does for a couple hours of constent. I've included lots of photos because I know I like looking at photos so I'm assuming so does everyone else :) Please bear with me as I still haven't weighed it (I know shame on me…) During setup I got some quick glances from my neighbors. They must have thought I was either a hobo or my wife kicked me out. Funny thing is my wife took a photo of me thru the kitchen window laying under it and posted it on Facebook before I even knew.
I set it up and guyed it all out and found it to be pretty stable. Far more stable then I had thought originaly. After my last post about what I would do differently, I said I would have only had 3 tie-outs on the long side rather than my 4 that I have currently. I will say now after further testing that I will stick with the 4 from now on. It really makes it a more stable shelter. Setup time isn't very quick yet, as I'm still learning with tarps but I was happy overall with my speed.Feb 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm #1837083Seth BrewerBPL Member
Looks good – nice and tight pitch. I'll be interested to hear the weight. Did you use Gorilla Tape instead of Duct Tape ?Feb 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm #1837085Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
L E Gant!
I love the simplicity of this.
DarylFeb 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm #1837088Jason GBPL Member
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
&Feb 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm #1837090
May I ask your inspiration for this MYOG project? Maybe just to test the shape? I really can't wait to hear more about how long you plan to use it and how it does after more use. You may have just given me an idea. I had a brief thought a while back to use polycro to make a front for my cuben poncho tarp in half pyramid pitch. I was just going to try using styrofoam twisted around the corners and tied to my tarp but maybe taping tie outs would be better.
Hmmmmmmmmm…Feb 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm #1837109John S.BPL Member
PolycryoFeb 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm #1837115Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Nice looking tarp
Are there grommets in the middle of the duct/Gorilla tape?
My neighbors make odd comments to me about setting up tarps in the front yard too…Feb 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm #1837116
I really wanted a tarp that was light weight and just really simple. That was my thought behind this tarp. I've played around with my big blue 8×10 poly tarp but the bulkiness of it is a huge turn off. I chose polycryo because I heard everyone saying that they use it for their ground cloth and I thought, "Hell, if people are lying on it, why not just try to make a tarp from it". Then I saw Matt Kirk's (Fool on the Hill) youtube video he did on his polycryo shelter with the cuben doors. I figured I would take some of his ideas and use them. Living in the PNW I know it can rain or more or less drizzle for hours so I wanted lots of coverage to spread out wet items. I didn't want to stress the thin plastic so I ran a ridge line under it to take the pressure off the main ridge tie-outs. I figured this alone would really lengthen the life span of the tarp.
The tarp came in a basic 7×9'ish dimension and I thought about cutting it down to something smaller but I figured I would see how this goes and adjust later. I thought I could always cut it down to size if i wanted and just retape the perimeter. I also heard that polycryo has a tendency to rip if it get a hole in it so I used the truely awesome double sided tape that came with it to line the perimeter and then fold over the plastic to basically "hem" it. I found this really strengthened it. The tape provided has very little "give" to it when pulled just like the polycryo so I knew they would work well together. As for the Gorilla Glue tape I used, I'm still on the fence about how much to use. I figure once this tarp is useless I will do some super non-scientific testing and see how small of tie-outs I can get away with.
edited for spellingFeb 9, 2012 at 7:22 pm #1837124
The center tie-outs are also Gorilla Glue. I ran the ridge line under the tarp and thru the tie-out hole so that the line's force would always stay on the tape. I didn't use any grommets but rather just made a hole for the line to go thru. I saw this as a way of increasing the life span of the tarp and it more importantly kept my ridge line in the same place and not faaling over to one side or the other.Feb 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm #1837132Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Nice job! Good ideas on the side tie-outs— I like the "V" with one stake. Good thinking with the continuous ridge line too. Did you just punch holes to run the guy lines?
So how do you think it will do in the wind?Feb 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm #1837141
Perfect! I never thought of the "hem" idea. I bet that alone would make this idea work for me. Any idea where some of this double sided tape can be found? Is it like scotch double sided tape or like thicker foam 3M double sided tape, or maybe something in between?
EDIT: After watching a video on this I see the kind of tape used that comes with the window film. In the video the maker also used velcro to stick to the polycro and then was able to sew grosgrain tieouts onto it. Great idea. I'll definitely be making something with this and I'll be sure to write a post on it.Feb 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm #1838464Corey MillerMember
@coreyfmillerLocale: Eastern Canada
So how much does this wonderful little contraption weigh? Looks great! Been debating on something like this for my hammock setup.Feb 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm #1839511Scott HaydenBPL Member
I am curious about the weight as well. I have been thinking of delving into the hammock/ tarp camping in a effort to reduce my shelter weight. This would fit the bill. Curious how it would compare to a silnylon on weight. I also wonder if it could be dyed to at least opaque it a little. That way it could provide some shade from the sun. I suspect no though with it being waterproof by design. This is good stuff though.Feb 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm #1839563K CBPL Member
@kalebcLocale: South West
Great work! I want to see a Polycro Poncho/ground sheet like the zpacks cuben one. Any takers?Feb 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm #1840091Gregory PetliskiMember
Hey Johnson, when you say running a ridge line under it, what does that mean?Feb 16, 2012 at 5:57 am #1840129
Sorry, I somehow missed this thread.
> After my last post about what I would do differently, I said I would have only had 3 tie-outs on the long side rather than my 4 that I have currently. I will say now after further testing that I will stick with the 4 from now on. It really makes it a more stable shelter.
Yep. More = stability. I would have done at least 3 (not incl corners) per side. I'll admit it's rare that I use them though – only if it's windy or I expect a storm. Though I pitch in a half pyramid so it's inherently more stable than an A frame IMHO. Since I don't use a bivy, I want more protection.
> I figure once this tarp is useless I will do some super non-scientific testing and see how small of tie-outs I can get away with.
I wouldn't wait that long as it should last for years, but as I said before you can get away with much smaller tieouts. By smaller I mean where the guyline actually ties on. You do want to distribute the forces along as much edge as possible. I did that buy just overlapping a 15/16" piece of tape perpendicular (i.e., along the edge or across the corner) to the 15/32" guy tape.
> After watching a video on this I see the kind of tape used that comes with the window film. In the video the maker also used velcro to stick to the polycro and then was able to sew grosgrain tieouts onto it.
Which video was that, Phillip? I know Bill Fornshell has said it was pretty tricky to sew it.
> So how much does this wonderful little contraption weigh?
Should be on the order of 6 oz, maybe 7 if the double-sided tape is heavy. My 7×10 piece weighs 4.4 oz. I know tape added at least several ounces to my original shelter, but D has used less than I needed for seams, edges and ridgelines.
> when you say running a ridge line under it, what does that mean?
He ran cord under the entire length of the shelter.Feb 16, 2012 at 9:15 am #1840195Gregory PetliskiMember
What was the cord for? When I put up an A frame tarp between two trees or hiking poles, I run a line between the two objects, and simple drape my tarp over it A frame style.. is this all the ridge line means?Feb 16, 2012 at 9:32 am #1840201
It just refers to that section of a tarp, just like the ridgelines of your house.
Yes, D did just what you are saying. Many users will just tie guylines to the ridgeline tieouts, relying on the tarp material to maintain its integrity and shape. With this material it would likely stretch a bit and cause premature failure perhaps if you did that and it wasn't reinforced with tape. Cuben and other fabrics don't have that problem.
I've never measured it, but I bet I put at least 30 pounds of force on my ridgelines. Being made from LDPE (think 1 mil trashbag), they would definitely fail if they didn't have tape on them.Feb 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm #1840318Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Easy way to remember the spelling :
POLY as in polymer and CRYO as in Cryogenic
(a polymer film used for window insulation . Cryo =icy cold..)
FrancoFeb 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm #1840398
> POLY as in polymer and CRYO as in Cryogenic
Ah, is that where they get cryo from? I've seen it written both cryo and cro and couldn't figure out what cryogenics would have to do with it. That would be ironic since it is heat that makes it shrink. I thought "cro" was short for "cross" since it's cross-linked polyolefin (CLP).
Interestingly, I just searched and it seems that polycryo is slang for CLP solely within the BPing community (originating from Gossamer Gear, of course). I found no other references. Ironically, the URL for the GG webpage uses polycro.
So use whichever you please. Or use CLP – I won't charge any royalties. :)Feb 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm #1840418John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Texas
Just curious if the cord down the center of the ridge line is necessary.
Do you think that it might do just as well pulling on the tie outs directly and stressing the polycryo material itself verses supporting the material with the ridge line cord?
NewtonFeb 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm #1840436
I wouldn't do that long-term with this material unless it was reinforced with tape.Feb 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm #1840470
I'm sure you could just use the tie-outs and omit the ridge line cord but I wouldn't want to rely on the material for too much. I feel much better knowing that the stress isn't put on the tarp for that long of a section. I'm sure it would work to just use the tie-outs but the structure feels much more sound with the ridge line. I've had it sent up in my yard for a while and even with the breeze doesn't seem to phase it.
My wife said I can make another one and this time I'll be using the bear minimum tape needed as to not go overboard and increase the weight for little to no gain.Feb 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm #1840861Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
"Ah, is that where they get cryo from?'
Well I just assumed that ….
The original function of that film was to coat window glass to protect it from cold weather, hence the cryo bit.
Cryo , usually a suffix, comes from the Greek word kruos meaning very cold/frosty.
But you are correct, it is possibly the most misspelled name of a product
(along with Thermo Rest and variants)
FrancoFeb 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm #1840871John NausiedaBPL Member
I'm fairly certain that Polycryo is the same wrap used to package meat in American supermarkets where it is a very large continuous sheet on a long roll. Handles freezing well.
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