How to Make a "Polycryo" A-Frame Tarp

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Home Forums Gear Forums Make Your Own Gear How to Make a "Polycryo" A-Frame Tarp

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    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    For my poloycryo groundsheet I have used little bits of cork with an elastic line in order to attach the groundsheet to my tarp. Why couldn’t you use that method instead of tape for the edges and only use the tape and washers for the ridgeline? Maybe it would come out more wrinkled but it might be stronger and easier to assemble. Not so much dependence on tape.

    cork to make attachments

    Cork attachment


    Hi Mario,

    You may be interested in my mods and testing of same in relation to Membrane Silpoly which is even weaker and less durable than Silpoly 1.1 PU 4000.  Note, if I were to use this system for the field, I would coat the kevlar cord in silicone to cut down on any potential wind driven abrasion of the main body of the fabric.  It also further protects the black kelvar cord from UV degradation (kevlar is rather sensitive to UV–black kevlar is better than the regular yellow stuff, but with a silicone coating–even much better).

    The differences between the tenacity of the un modded mini tarp vs the modded is quite astounding–I actually ended up maxing out on the weight than I had for the modded mini tarp–while I could tell it was getting stressed, I could have added at least a bit more I think.

    Both videos are fairly short (I don’t know why I mixed and matched an Aussie with a Brit accent at different times, should have just stuck with one or none–but how “exciting” is it when a person put weights in a bucket…):

    (had these on private for awhile)

    Quick note, I don’t remember exact figures, but I calculated how much weight this set up would add to a large tarp, and it was around 2 ounces or under I think.

    Michael Ray
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    Rev 4 worked just as expected in the Wind River Range again. I realized on a recent overnight that I had never done a video so here it is.

    I probably will go with something else for the Winds in the future in case I ever get hit with a monster storm that does tear it, causing me to bail. So far I’ve only had 30+ MPH winds and pea-sized hail.

    I might consider going back to LDPE like my first prototype in 2010, which is shown in my avatar, if I can find a large enough piece that isn’t orange. It is still very light and won’t catastrophically fail though will likely flap more. Maybe I’ll just break down and buy a “normal” tarp/tent. I just don’t get out enough still to justify the expense.

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