Oct 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm #1294725
After reading different threads and collecting many ideas, I have made my first ultralight tarp. It is made of 3 mil painters drop cloth. 9.5 ft by 9 ft. I used gorilla tape and plastic washers to make the grommets. There is a grommet on each corner and one on each side of the ridgeline. For the sides of the tarp I used a different technique. A piece of gorilla taped was rolled into a loop and secured to the tarp with more gorilla tape. I know everyone loves pictures and I have taken a lot of them. When I get a chance I will post them. When I put up the tarp in a standard a-frame the tape seemed to hold pretty well. The two ridgeline grommets may need to be secured with a little bit more. I used pink fluorescent mason line for the tieouts. Pink was all lowes had :( Cost to make the tarp was about $20. I bought the drop cloth off amazon for about 12 bucks. I do not know the weight of the tarp seeing as how I don't have access to a scale but hopefully I can weigh it soon. Comments and ideas are welcome!Oct 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm #1918483
Eric LundquistBPL Member
@cobbermanLocale: Northern Colorado
Your pictures aren't showing up.
Another cheap tarp, quite a bit stronger than 3-mil poly but considerably heavier to boot, is a standard blue tarp. This guy modified it to be a hex shape for use under a hammock.Oct 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm #1918510
yeah, where's some pictures? : )
I've made a few tarps out of 3 mil plastic. Gorrila Tape – I'll have to try that because I've used Duct tape which doesn't work real goodOct 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm #1918539
Great timing for the posting. I am getting ready to make my 2nd 2mil plastic tarp. I used packing tape and small metal washer for the first revision (it weighed 9.5oz including the lines for all but 2 corners which were pinned to the ground). I would advise against packing tape as it didn't stick as well as I had hoped. I am going to use duct tape and a grommet kit that I picked up today. I am planning to do a 9ft x 6ft. I was considering folding the edges over on this one to help since I would be putting grommets in. Based on a YouTube video I saw, I was thinking of adding some additional tape across the main anchor points to add more strength. If all goes well, I am considering taking it out for a week on the AT around the beginning of November. Crossing my fingers…Oct 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm #1918544
Couple ideas in article http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/myog_3mm_plastic_tarps.htmlOct 6, 2012 at 8:49 am #1918644
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Nice tarp link!
Must reading for anyone who wants to make one.
DarylOct 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm #1918759
@pda123Locale: Eastern Mass
I was quite impressed with the one in this video
There is another vid of it in use.
Note that he uses tie out loops rather than grommets.Oct 10, 2012 at 5:56 am #1919774
Hey guys, sorry i'm not getting the pictures up till now, i've been out of town on fall break in the Rocky mountains. Here they are!Oct 10, 2012 at 6:58 am #1919789
When I've done duct tape like that, after a few trips, especially if it's windy, it will creep, eventually slip off. I put a few staples in which stopped this. There's probably something better than duct tape that would work better.Oct 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm #1920041
When you say "after a few trips"… how long would you say that is? couple days? a week? longer? I am making a 2mil tarp with duct tape and grommets for a week on the AT. I was tempted to make a 2nd one and stage it in the car which will be a little over half way. I have done my tarp a little differently than the last pictures in that I folded plastic to create a double edge, duct taped that and then put the grommet through the double layers of plastic and tape.
NathanOct 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm #1920050
Maybe a week would be good. I've used it for maybe 4 nights and it started creeping but had a few more nights in it. Of course, it depends on winds and stuff.
Take a stapler for paper and put a few staples through it and it will last longer, at least that's what I found. If the staples are through two layers of duct tape and plastic, it should hold up.
I love to see creative, low cost solutions.
You might want to think about doing it in silnylon some day…Oct 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm #1920051
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I wonder … whether putting a catenary cut on the edges might not be a real good idea? I should allow better tensioning and less flapping?
cheersOct 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm #1920056
How would you do a catenary with plastic?Oct 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm #1920057
Oh, on the edges, okay, nevermind, that might help…Oct 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm #1920087
This is just the testing process. I'm kinda hoping there's cuben under the tree in 2 months and 5 days. :) Still not sure on how big or what shape I want so not really sure if I will MYOG or just buy something. At least this way I can play and not feel to bad if I mess something up… measure lots, cut once.Oct 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm #1920098
Yeah – I think plastic is excellent for prototyping before making it in silnylon or cubenOct 12, 2012 at 6:09 am #1920526
Thanks for the input and ideas guys. If I notice the gorilla tape starting to slip I will try stapling it and see how much that helps. I would like to get some good use out of this tarp before I spend the money on a silnylon tarp.
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