Jan 11, 2021 at 8:10 am #3693236
After using my pocket tarp a lot, I decided that I should have gotten the one with doors. The doors add privacy and trapped warmth, they make the space feel bigger, they make a nice vestibule for my pack and shoes, they protect from unexpected rain (the pocket tarp sleeping space is unreasonably narrow at only 26″ wide), and my make-shift doors fluttered too much in strong wind. So rather than buy another pocket tarp I decided I could probably make doors.
I think it came out well for someone with only marginal skills and no experience working with DCF.
The doors are separate. Originally I had imagined making just an extended one-piece beak, but I decided I two separate doors might be easier to make.
The doors overlap and I used little plastic rings to make it easier to clip into the mitten hook. I put the door closing thingies on last so that I could make sure the doors closed tight. The overlap was more than I expected, but I’m no architect or engineer or geometry major.
Even with the doors it still fits in the small bag it came in.
Do not even attempt to sew through DCF tape. It will ruin your needle. Even your hand needle.
DCF is really hard to cut, especially in one direction. Smooth scissors work better than serrated ones, especially in the easy direction. A utility knife works well in the easy direction but not in the hard direction, at least mine struggled to cut cleanly in one direction.
Peeling the tape off the backing is really frustrating. After a while I got the hang of taping long sections of tape. I saved the taping of the seam where the doors attach for last once I got used to the tape. The doors are sewn on and then taped for extra security and water resistance.
I used masking tape instead of pins but had to move the masking tape as I went because the sewing machine would make a better alignment of the material than I did taping it.
Other than that, it’s easy to work with. You can fold it over and it will stay folded for you to tape or sew.Jan 11, 2021 at 8:43 am #3693245
Really impressive. I can see why you would enjoy that tarp much more with the doors.Jan 11, 2021 at 9:41 am #3693254Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
is that brown liquid your drinking water? Nice weights for holding up tarpJan 11, 2021 at 9:46 am #3693255whoisthisguyBPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Nice work Diane.Jan 11, 2021 at 10:32 am #3693264Greg MihalikBPL Member
You should be proud of a job well done.Jan 11, 2021 at 2:51 pm #3693315Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Yea Diane, looks good. If (when) you get caught out in the blowing rain you’ll be glad you did the mod.Jan 11, 2021 at 5:29 pm #3693341
The water is rain water we collected to water the plants. Whenever it rains we put out big buckets, barrels and bins and when they overflow we start filling bottles. Life in California!Jan 11, 2021 at 7:35 pm #3693377W I S N E R !BPL Member
Well done. That’s a slick little minimalist shelter.Jan 11, 2021 at 8:42 pm #3693394Claiborne BBPL Member
Very well done. Great Job!!!Jan 11, 2021 at 10:00 pm #3693402
The water is rain water we collected to water the plants. Whenever it rains we put out big buckets, barrels and bins and when they overflow we start filling bottles. Life in California!
Did you know that this was illegal in Colorado until a few years ago? Any water that made it to the ground belonged to the owners of downstream water rights, and collecting rainwater was an infringement. IIRC, there was a proposition to modify the law, and now we are allowed to collect limited amounts of water coming off of our roof.Jan 11, 2021 at 10:25 pm #3693404
Not letting people collect rainwater is insane. But I live about a mile from the ocean so I am almost as downstream as it gets.Jan 12, 2021 at 7:32 am #3693427
I know it sounds silly, but there is a lot of history around water rights here, so it really needs to be understood in context as you probably know. In any case, we are now allowed to have up to two 55-gallon barrels to collect water from gutter downspouts. The barrels must be sealed to limit evaporation, and the water must be used outdoors. Those are the main restrictions IIRC.
I lived in SB in the early 90s during a major 7-year drought, you may recall this. At the time Lake Cachuma was virtually empty, and people were so desperate that two proposals were put on the ballot, both very expensive: (1) connecting to the California aqueduct and (2) building a desalination facility. The idea was that one of the proposals would be chosen by the electorate, but they were both put on the ballot as separate proposals. As you probably know, both of them passed, so SB was on the hook to fund both projects. Of course, after that, there was a good year for rain, and once they got connected to the aqueduct, the desal plant was pretty much redundant. So that’s a crazy story too. :-)
Here we utilize snow-melt, and that’s all we’ll ever have. Last winter was really dry, and so far this winter has been terrible as well. I’m starting to be a little concerned, since this affects wildfires as well as our domestic and agricultural water supply.
Sorry for the thread-drift. Your tarp is great!Jan 12, 2021 at 8:11 am #3693434MattSpectator
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
Great job, Diane! Inspirational.
Next project, consider using an Exacto knife with new blades. Cuts DCF like butter in any direction. And try clips to hold the fabric in place. Much easier to apply/remove than tape.Jan 12, 2021 at 1:07 pm #3693487
I remember those ballot initiatives.
They ended up dismantling most of the desal plant and sending it to Saudi Arabia or somewhere like that. We never got any of the state water despite now having to pay for it. Not a drop. Lake Cachuma recently got down so low they called it “deadpool” and it was also too low to receive any state water. So we never really got anything out of either proposal. What a disaster.
But they did give away free rain barrels which we managed to get two of. They break easily though. Don’t last very long. We have thought about burying a cistern under the deck for water collection.
I have tons more DCF so now I’m trying to think of new project. I will need to order more tape. It took more than a month to get the tape and DCF I ordered just for this project.Jan 16, 2021 at 5:54 am #3694061toddBPL Member
@funnymoLocale: SE USA
Excellent job Diane! Makes that shelter much more liveable.Jan 19, 2021 at 10:46 pm #3694638Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
“DCF is really hard to cut, especially in one direction. Smooth scissors work better than serrated ones, especially in the easy direction. A utility knife works well in the easy direction but not in the hard direction, at least mine struggled to cut cleanly in one direction.”
I’m wondering if the above applies to the DCF material used for the doors, as distinguished from the DCF tape. It makes sense that it would, as the shape of doors, or beaks, is roughly triangular, so, you’d be cutting in 3 different directions. Could you confirm that for me, and advise if there is any grain detectable on the material that is anything like that of a woven fabric ? Thanks.
Your project was a great idea, and am sure it will lead to much drier camping as intended. Thanks for sharing it.Jan 21, 2021 at 6:15 pm #3694971
The tape is easy to cut because the cardboard or plastic stuck to it provides a sort of leverage.Jan 21, 2021 at 8:03 pm #3694994KarenBPL Member
Nice tarp. I’ve enjoyed your videos. I wondered if you ever look at your fellow hikers’ shelters and get envious. Or you are still happier with your tarp? Assuming the latter.
Hawaii uses a lot of catchment water. If you really want a cistern, you could look at their methods. We have thought about it too, because we have to haul all of our household water; the groundwater has too much arsenic. We have 55 gallon barrels under all the eaves, but it only rains in certain months and then it dumps. A big cistern would be great to collect spring water to have all summer.Jan 22, 2021 at 7:21 pm #3695131
My two main hiking friends, the ladies in most of my recent videos, have tents that are too heavy. They both have Big Agnes tents and both of them have had zipper failures. One of them also has a giant Marmot tent. The other usually prefers to cowboy camp but still hauls ner tent around unless there’s zero chance of rain.
I like my little tarp because it’s just one step up from cowboy camping. I can still enjoy the protection from dew and the added warmth of a tent with the ability to see out around me of cowboy camping.Jan 22, 2021 at 9:15 pm #3695140Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Ah, it must be wonderful with continual dry days of hiking in sunny Cal. (Except for the fires, of course.) Your tarp is perfect for that sunny weather. In the Central Rockies and Northern New England, my two hiking haunts, rainstorms are frequent. One time began at the Canadian border and hiked south on Vermont’s Long Trail. It rained constantly for over a week, and every hour or so while hiking had to empty the water out of my boots and towel them off. Finally, called my brother in VT and asked for a bail out. At the higher altitudes in CO and the Whites, the wind can be life threatening in rain storms, making hiking and tenting quite challenging.
Thank you for your response to my inquiry about your experiences cutting DCF.Jan 23, 2021 at 4:25 pm #3695228
Your welcome. Maybe you would enjoy my review of the Pocket Tarp, pre-doors.
I added the doors because it actually does rain in California. And sometimes it is cold or windy or I want more privacy.Jan 24, 2021 at 8:32 am #3695306Bob ChiangBPL Member
Nice job! What a light packable shelter.
Regarding cutting DCF: I’ve read about sharpening scissors to 90 degree cutting edges to cut Kevlar cloth. People use a disk or belt sander and say striated surfaces are better than polished. Maybe that would work for DCF.
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