Borah Gear Silpoly Solo Tarp ( 5.8 x 9 )
Nov 24, 2021 at 6:36 am #3733109dirtbagBPL Member
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
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