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Borah Gear Silpoly Solo Tarp ( 5.8 x 9 )


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Borah Gear Silpoly Solo Tarp ( 5.8 x 9 )

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  • #3733109
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I started in a tent, then went to bivy and tarp, then I found myself intrigued with hammock camping. I am now back on the ground once again. No, I have not abandoned my hammock or my tents, they have their places in my life and I will always keep them and continue to use them. I know their limits and capabilities and I know when and where I would use them if I choose or need. Throughout my years of backpacking and camping I have figured out what works for me in specific conditions and times of year. As I am sure most, if not all of us have done.. I have gone through gear like a kid in a candy store. Buying and selling until I found what I like most and what works best for my needs. Even today, I still tweak my gear and I do like to try new things out.. as from a recent post from a member in the forums about his many years using MLD Grace solo tarp.. it caught my attention and I decided to remove the linelocs from my Borah Gear Silpoly Solo tarp ( which I added when I brought it ), and start using knots only. I also removed all the reflect it guy lines and ridgeline and decided to go with what he has been using for all of his miles on trail, lash- it and Z lines.  I played with this in my yard for over 2 weeks and constantly took it down and repitched it over and over and over.. at night, in the rain.. even had 1 or 2 real nasty windy days .. I kept my tarp out there and myself everyday making sure I knew what I was doing and would be confident when in the mountains away from security of safe home.  I read and read more, I research and research more, I watch videos and videos.. yes I go head first into that dang rabbit hole!!! So, everything seemed good to go and I was confident to use my tarp now!  My last recent trip over 2 nights in the Catskills was forecasting rain, sleet, hail, snow and wind, with overnight temperatures hitting mid 20°s. You bet I was bringing my tarp for this!! Honestly,  I was contemplating packing my hammock for this, knowing 100% that I would be able to easily hang wherever I needed and be off the wet cold rocky ground, but now was my chance to get out there in some conditions and put my tarp back in use without using any hardware. I will tell you this, you should know how to work your set ups with knots, even if you dont use them, because they will NEVER fail you or let you down when properly used. Hardware could break, freeze, snap, chip, get lost.. anything is possible especially if you are out for an extended period of time and nasty weather. So learn your knots and know how to use them!! Even if you like the simplicity of line locs or other hardware.. be smart out there, things happen when we get comfortable and complacent!  Ok, well, everything worked well for me and I had a great time. I stayed completely dry and was comfortable both nights, getting about 11 or so hours sleep each night under my tarp. Some sleet, a tad dusting of snow and some winds with heavy gusts, but I was perfect! I do advise using a bivy with a tarp this small.. being 5.8 x 9 .. I used my MLD eVent Soul bivy this time, knowing I may need that extra protection.  Say what you want about bivies,  I LoVE using them. There is nothing to fail me there. Simple, fast, low key and they work for me every time!  So, this Borah Gear tarp is just awesome! I love the brown Silpoly,  it blends in so nicely, it packs up ridiculously small into my pack..much smaller then my MLD cuben Grace solo did.. and it holds up well the conditions I have had it in ( so far ).  I edited a short video from my last trip of the tarp pitched both nights, for anyone interested in seeing the tarp and how well it worked out for me. Its kind of weird, but I felt some sort of freedom using knots to set it up. I went with Skurkas idea of McCarthy,  truckers hitch and bowline knots, I also used marling spike which worked great. https://youtu.be/6gQALn5u7fM

    #3733110
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Some pictures of tarp pitched

    #3733111
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    #3733113
    Dustin V
    BPL Member

    @dustinv

    Nice, taut setup. Did the poly relax at all after setup? It looks like the side tie-outs are right in the middle. Does that effectively mean there’s no head-end/foot-end?

    Also, are you happy with the a-frame shape? I’ve only used my flat poncho a couple of times on the ground and went with a diamond setup with the foot to the ground, to try to maximize length and minimize wind. There are some drawbacks to diamond, like the loss of foot-end height, so I’d love to learn how to a-frame effectively.

    #3733114
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Thankyou! I did not really notice the silpoly relax much after I set it up. Im sure it may have, but honestly, it was so negligible that if it did happen, i could not tell. There is no dedicated head or foot end on this tarp. The side tie out is smack in middle.. so it can work either way needed. Since i guyed the side out a bit much, it did cause that slight wrinkle you can see on the side, it was windy and sleet with snow so I tried to give myself a little extra room by guying the sides out a bit more. I am used to and comfortable with the A frame, as when I used the Grace solo and Duo tarps, that was basically the only way I ever pitched them. I do like this tarp because I have options for different ways to pitch and I have tested them out so I could use one if needed, but I do like the A frame over all.

    #3733131
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Also, since the yellow Lash-it and yellow Z Line are not reflecting,  I use 1.3 mm orange Z line reflecting cord for my stake pulls.  I would hate to go for a bathroom call or to retrieve my food bag or anything,  and lose my sense of direction and have to find my bed after.. the lash-it and yellow Z line do show pretty well, but the little pulls on my stakes also shine back from a greater distance, knowing that they are there I know to look for that little shimmer twinkle of them winking at me!

    #3733137
    Dustin V
    BPL Member

    @dustinv

    I nabbed a set of cheap reflective guylines for my hammock tarp. I can use all the help I can get when I’m sleepy, stumbling around in the dark. I like the reflective concept, so I’ll have to upgrade them at some point because they’re too stretchy. And yeah, a bright color would help during the day.

    #3733185
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    For those interested:

    The tarp itself weighs 8.3 ounces.

    The tarp in stuff sack weighs 8.5 ounces.

    The tarp in stuff sack with 8 stakes weighs 11.5 ounces.

    My stakes are.. 2 small/medium DAC stakes for Ridgeline.  4 small DAC stakes for corner tie outs. 2 small MSR mini groundhogs for side mid tie outs. All of my stakes I used orange reflect Zpack 1.3 mm zline.

    #3733194
    JVD
    BPL Member

    @jdavis

    Locale: Front Range

    Thanks dirtbag. I appreciate your dedication to getting it right!

    This is very similar to my favorite setup — the same tarp with a Borah Gear bivy. I did have a couple extra tie outs added to each side and one in the center of each ‘side’ panel. I only use them all when its very windy, but I like having the options so I can use anchors around me. I appreciate the extra space from the tie outs in the side panels when I can get it.

    One question: It looks like you use polycryo under your bivy sack. I do the same, even though the silpoly bottom of my bivy is waterproof. I think that slight bit of extra protection is worth the cost, but I’m not sure. What is your reasoning for a polycryo sheet (if I saw that right)?

    #3733197
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    @JVD.. good question about polycryo. I always debate bringing it.  2 trips ago, I actually used a full piece, even though I was using my Borah Gear eVent bivy without a tarp.. as it had been raining for a few days and i knew the grounds would be sopping wet so I kind of wanted that little extra space next to my bivy to stand on while changing or getting ready to lay down for the night. If it started to rain overnight,  obviously I would have tucked it all completely under the bivy.

    On my last trip,  photos and video above, i used a smaller piece cut down.. again.. there was a nasty rain storm the night before we headed out and the forecast was calling for more rain, sleet and snow while we were out, so I weighed the cut piece of polycyro and it was 1.69 ounces, and it packs down to a sliver.. so i decided using my tarp in A- frame pitch,  the little bit extra length under my foot area would make for a dry spot to kneel on while entering and exiting from under the tarp while pitched low, if the ground was saturated wet.  It worked as planned.  So now that I am home, I still contemplate if i actually need it or not. I know i Do Not! Definitely do not need it. If the weather was dry and no rain, I would most likely leave it home.. just one less item to have to worry about and keep track of.  At 1.69 ounces it has nothing to do with weight concern or pack space, thats for sure, more so that I use bivies which could be considered my ground sheet. I also put my 1/8 Gossamer Gear pad on the ground and bivy on top of that.. so, again in all reality .. not needed. I am cautious with my gear and take care of everything I use but I am not afraid of a little dirt, soot or whatever from nature while camping, so yes it helps keep the bottom a little clean, but that too is of no concern to me.  I never used a foot print with a tent, never really understood the point of that, soooo…. not needed at all.

    #3733262
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    I’m going to re-read all this later and more carefully but before I forget I did want to add a tip about one thing you mentioned which was having a piece of polycryo for a small dressing ‘rug’ or to place stuff on instead of the wet ground.

    The Lowes big box stores and maybe some others but definitely Lowes have these big rolls of some kind of light/tough film in the garden center at the check-out that tear off in pre-cut sheets 3’+  x  4’+. Meant to place under your plants or bags of dirt etc to help keep the vehicle clean. Like little mini tarps. Weigh 18g and they are plenty tough enough and the price is right. Go ahead grab a dozen and  be a pig ;)    Fold up about the size of a standard small match box or maybe a tic-tac’ box. No smaller than a tic-tac box. Kind of a light beige color so blends in outside very well also. Bet you could use some dcf tape and rig up some kind of shelter with 5 or 6 of them.

    ;) again. Anyway lots of potential uses like you mentioned for the polycryo piece.

    #3733266
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Will check that out!!!

    #3733267
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Long ago (2015), when zpacks sold raw material I bought 1 sq yard of 1.43 oz DCF for use as a “door mat”. Works great, has held up well, and I’ve used it as a mini tarp in a few cases. The Lowes garden sheets are definitely cheaper though…I will also check that out.

    #3733272
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Southern Indiana

    The Borahgear Solo Tarp is the perfect size IMO. Any larger and you can’t get the pitch as taut, nor does it work very well in half pyramid configuration either. Also with a larger tarp you need a wider space to set up and it also increases your chances of being seen if you’re trying to go stealth, since the profile is higher. I know many people will call tarps up to 7′ X 9′ “solo tarps”, but to me anything much over 6′ wide is a solo plus or 2P. And the bigger the tarp the more of a wind catcher it becomes.

    I pack this trapezoidal 1.0 DCF groundsheet on every trip. Measures 48″ long, 38″ wide on one end and 28″ wide on the other. Weighs 1.7 oz and it’s multi use. I deploy it when I’m sitting around camp to stay clean and protect any inflatable sit pads. I also place right up next to my bug bivy or net tent before I slide in under an A frame tarp. It keeps my clothes clean and prevents any rips. Of course the DCF hardly holds any moisture the way silnylon or silpoly does. I also sewed grosgrain tieouts on each corner so I can secure it over the open head end of the tarp with spectra cord if it looks like a major blow is coming in. And lastly it will work as a rain kilt in a pinch. Not optimum, but it’s a heck of a lot better than nothing. I used to use polycro for sitting around and sliding into an A frame, but the 1.0 DCF just lays down and behaves itself so much better. It has more substance to it and doesn’t blow away or move around near as easy. As you can see I wrote “UP” on one side so as to make sure I keep the dirty side always down.

    #3733274
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Ohhhh nelly!!! Thats what i like.  On my second night out, i hung my rain shell on the head end to block wind/sleet/snow from blowing in that direction.  I didn’t have too, but figured give it test since i was out there and it was blowing in slightly from that direction.  I like what you made and was thinking of something like that!!! Let me know if you selling one!!!!

    I agree totally about the size of the tarps!! 100%

    #3733290
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Southern Indiana

    Right now Dutchware and RSBTR are out of the 1.0 DCF and they are the only sources I know of. I wouldn’t use anything lighter or heavier because 1.0 is optimum. That’s what ZPacks uses for all their floors and groundsheets. But when it becomes available again I can make you one for cost of material and shipping. It’s sold in half yards at about $18 per half so 2 of them would be 36″ X 54″. And with a 1/2″ single fold hem all around you’re looking at a 35″ wide max, which is wide enough. Some may like a rectangular mini groundsheet, but I prefer the trapezoid shape because it cuts a little weight and is wider where you need it. What’s more the funnel shape is perfect when you place it at the head end of your tarp to slide in.

    I think you are ready for a sewing machine dirtbag. You can do it, don’t be intimidated, but I’ll warn you that once you start down the road to MYOG it can be very addictive and expensive, much like heroin. Well, not that expensive and it is a lot more healthy.

    #3733295
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Lololol! I hear ya.

    #3733403
    jj
    BPL Member

    @calculatinginfinity

    I do the same thing with tyvek and its one of my most convenient and most used pieces of kit

    #3781451
    Jack Chiles
    BPL Member

    @didymus1of12

    Locale: Southwest

    Is there some type of press heating application that one could use to attach the silpoly together instead of sewing? Or even a gluing process?

    #3781452
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Not with a silicone coating, afaik.
    Cheers

    #3781497
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    some more pictures of Borah Gear Silpoly Solo tarp from last night .. pitched very low for wind and rain. The winds were 10-12 mph and forcast was calling for heavy rain.

    #3781498
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    I have used Permatex silicone windshield sealant, sold in NAPA stores in the USA, to bond reinforcement patches to silicone coated nylon, and poly.  Did this in accordance with Roger’s detailed instructions, and was satisfied with the bond; but have not yet put one to a long term test.  And portions of the sil patches were also sewn to a larger fabric panel, reducing the stress on the patch.  Would not trust just adhesives to hold a silcoated tarp or tent together without more.

    Note that I’ve run across some tarps on the market that are silcoated on only side of the fabric with a urethane adhesive on the other side; which might raises a possibility of bonding a silnylon or silpoly tent or tarp together using just adhesives on all but the guyline or stake loop connections.  Sounds a bit sketchy though; particularly for a tent, which given the increasing fluctuations in weather, is all I use for a shelter.

    #3781512
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I must admit that, like Sam, I also sewed around the edges to prevent any slow peeling. So far the bits on my blue tunnel tent have survived 10+ years OK.

    Cheers

    #3781514
    baja bob
    BPL Member

    @bajabob

    Locale: West
    #3781908
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Great point, Baja Bob! It suggests that the fabric is less elastic (as they agree), and that their coatings, while partly sil, contain other ingredients, which they also acknowledge. Or it may be that one side of the fabric is not silcoated. Some of the more expensive adhesives from 3M and others will bond well with sil or partially sil coats. Would love to know how they do it.

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