7D cat cut solo tarp w/ front doors. 5.9 oz SUL
Mar 6, 2021 at 5:05 pm #3702966
Measures 5′ 10″ wide head 4′ 6″ wide foot and 9′ long (laid flat dimensions). I put a 1.75″ cat cut on the ridgeline only so I’m pleased with how tight the tarp pitches. Made out of RSBTR 7D MTN silnylon 6.6, dark olive color. All 8 tieouts reinforced with same material and bonded with Permatex Flowable silicone. Front doors zips open and shut using a #3 YKK separating zipper.
My cheap camera doesn’t do justice to the dark olive color, but it’s pretty stealthy.
And here’s with the doors open. Doors held with 2 strips velcro on each side. I pitch it a little higher and narrower when the weather’s dry.
The 2 front doors are separate and independent of each other thereby allowing the tarp to spread out flat for a multitude of other pitches. Of course with the cat cut it;s not as good as a flat tarps with the non A frame pitches, but it does okay.Mar 6, 2021 at 5:17 pm #3702970
This looks great! Have you tested it yet? If yes, how do the doors perform?
Are you willing to share patterns and whatever else I need to make one?
I am new to MYOG and looking for some projects. I would love to make my own A cut tarp for experimentation.
Thanks a lot for sharing
ChrisMar 6, 2021 at 5:19 pm #3702971Brett ABPL Member
That…is…AWESOME! Amazingly lightMar 6, 2021 at 5:24 pm #3702972
Nice. Very light weight. Very taut sides, you must be an accurate cutter and sewer. Right door, upper right side, a couple small wrinkles : )Mar 6, 2021 at 5:38 pm #3702974
Christos K, I haven’t tried it out in the rain yet, but there were some moderate winds when I took the pics and the tarp seemed pretty solid with no flapping. I’d be glad to share any info on tarp construction with you, however, if I were you I’d make one or two out of some cheap $5 a yard 20D silnylon first because the 7D MTN 6.6 is $14.95 per yard.Mar 6, 2021 at 6:02 pm #3702976matthew kModerator
Nice pitch!Mar 6, 2021 at 6:07 pm #3702977Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88-2Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
Great work, Monte! Looks better than many that cost a fair penny!
Do you have a high quality sewing machine or just a run of the mill type?Mar 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm #3702979
I use a Janome My Style 100 Bill, nothing fancy, it’s about a $400 machine. But like any decent one it has all metal gears, no plastic.Mar 6, 2021 at 7:11 pm #3702987
Very nice work! I love the doors.
How do you get into and out of a tarp like that? I’ve never been very limber. I can’t figure out how you would do it.Mar 6, 2021 at 8:09 pm #3702995Michael BBPL Member
Very nice. I plan to make one similar, but without doors.Mar 7, 2021 at 5:31 am #3703013
Yea Diane, I know the tarp is smaller than what many backpackers would find acceptable, but it’s intended for stealth camping and an SUL weight. The size and small footprint makes finding a spot to pitch the tarp much easier. Furthermore, the head end is about 33″ high with the doors open (pitched higher) and 30″ high with doors closed. I don’t like front entry shelters, however, the lower profile is essential to being covert. Side entry shelters are all at least 48″ high and require a larger footprint (except for the Aeon Li or Solomid, their footprints are smaller).
I’m working on a 0.50 net tent to marry up with this tarp and it’s going to be lighter than anything yet seen. Larger than a bug bivy, but shorter and wider than other net tents (MLD just discontinued the Serenity Bugnet by the way).Mar 8, 2021 at 12:43 pm #3703268
But how do you get inside?Mar 8, 2021 at 12:50 pm #3703270
I had one like that.
You climb in, then sort of twist around to get your feet to the opposite end. A bit of an acrobatic act. Probably touch the side – hopefully no condensation.
I decided I preferred a mid instead. Partially because of that. Also, if it’s raining, I like to be able to sit erect and do stuff like pack/unpack, eat,…Mar 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm #3703306
The tarp is almost 6′ wide at the head, it’s not poncho tarp (4′ 8″ wide). Granted some tapered solo tarps like the MLD Grace for example are 7′ X 5′ X 9,” but many “solo” tarps are smaller. They range from 5′ wide (MLD Monk, Rab) up to a 6.5′ wide (Exped)’
I’ve described entering smaller tarps as having to “shimmy like a worm going into a tube” I totally plagiarized that off of SMD’s website, but yea, go feet first with at least a yard of polycro laying out on the ground leading up to to the entrance of your bivy, net tent, etc. You’ll be doing a crawl on your backside using hands and feet (along with some sliding) so you’ll want to stay clean.
I get the advantages of mids, half mids and other side entry shelters, however, on SUL missions where I’d rather not stand out, I’m willing to deal with the tougher entry and less headroom for a lighter weight, smaller footprint, lower profile and being more aerodynamic. I do have a few mids, but this tarp will be part of my 4 lb SUL warm weather kit.Mar 9, 2021 at 7:16 am #3703363
yeah, you can’t beat the 5.9 ounces
good in nicer weather if it probably won’t rain
it would be easier to twist around if it was raised up in the air a bit like you said, could then also provide enough head room to sit upMar 10, 2021 at 3:16 am #3703524
Thanks for your reply.
Why do you personally choose cat cut over flat tarp?
Lovely, I will start with a cheaper material to make the first few tries, get my skills up and running to the desired level and then I will go for the fabric of choice.
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Where will it possible to share the process? Email? Thanks again</p>
Mar 10, 2021 at 2:38 pm #3703648
I use both flat tarps and cat cut tarps depending on what kind of trip I have in mind. Each has its pluses and minuses. The cat cut pitches more taut, but isn’t nearly as versatile. You’re pretty much stuck with A frame, mid, etc with a cat cut whereas a flat tarp allows for a lot of different pitches.
It’s up to you as to which you’d like to try. The cat cut is much more complex, however I don’t want to dissuade you from it if that’s what you want to do. If you want to make a smaller and narrow flat tarp you won’t have to deal with any seams, yet there are extra wide materials (70″) available. They do cost more though. Nevertheless, if you want to learn how to do seams you might as well dive right in head first. YouTube has great videos on how to do flat seams. It will allow you to join 2 pieces and go wider than 70.” It’s also a must for cat cuts.
So just let me know Christos and I’ll start a tutorial thread here on BPL in the Make Your Own Gear forums. That way other seasoned DIY’ers can chime in if they want and anyone else interested in making a trap can read the thread as well.Mar 12, 2021 at 8:46 am #3703930
Oh okay, I can see if you have a long piece of polycryo or something to scoot on you can get inside without getting too wet.
The whole idea of having infinite pitches turns out to be more romantic than realistic once you are out there. I don’t know about you, but having all the lines already attached and then just being able to stop and set it up in 5 minutes into a pitch that I know works and is comfortable is way better than fiddling with all that stuff. I’d rather just get it up, get inside and eat my dinner under my piles of down.Mar 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm #3704003
All true, with a flat tarp I usually choose either the half pyramid or the A frame pitch before I head out. I tie the lines on to match whichever one I decide on. But in rainier climates the versatility of a flat tarp can have some real advantages over shaped tarps (or tents). For example, lets say you’re hiking along and a rain shower pops up. Maybe you’d like to stop and make lunch, hang out or whatever. A shaped tarp can certainly be erected. but then it’s basically like sitting in a tent…bummer. Not nearly as open and enjoyable as a flat tarp which can be pitched higher. The flat tarp can also be set up to block wind and rain spray from any direction with good pitching technique.
Here’s another example. I sometimes go on backpacking fishing trips along large creeks in the eastern US and it’s often it’s hard to tell where public lands end and private lands begin, so I just go total stealth. I don’t paint my face like a paramilitary nut job or anything, but I use a low profile green shelter and wear earth tone clothes. I’d rather not be seen. Anyway, when I’m at a good fishing hole trying my luck it may start raining. That can be some of the best times to catch the biggest fish. I might stay in one spot for hours, but I sure as heck don’t want to be doing all this wearing just a raincoat or poncho. Nor do I want to sit under a under a shaped tarp while I’m fishing. I’d MUCH rather be under a tarp pitched like the one you see in the pic below (not my photo). The tarps I use are a little smaller, but the same principle applies. Most people give up on flat tarps because they can’t stand the fiddle factor and they don’t put in enough time and practice in to get over the learning curve and make everything easier. They get frustrated and quit. Being a good tarpologist takes practice and I still have a lot to learn.Mar 22, 2021 at 9:29 am #3705754toddBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: SE USA
Sweet SUL tarp, Monty! And an enjoyable thread overall.
I”m so glad you still post on your trip style and gear. Thank you for sharing!Mar 22, 2021 at 9:39 am #3705760
Have you decided on doing a tutorial on the tarp for the forum yet? I was just wondering whether I did reply to your last post or not, couldn’t remember so I thought I will drop a line again 😁
Good day y’allMay 6, 2021 at 11:29 am #3711659Brad WBPL Member
That is fantastic. Where do I send my money? ;)
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