Hey Terry, I know exactly what you are going through. I've already
been down this road. What I did was to get some cheap poly tarps
from Wally World and sew up prototypes. I actually used these in
my "safe zone" camping spot. I tried rectangular, diagonal, square
all of it. In some of my photos you will see different tarps, many
of those were the prototypes I used to find my perfect style.
My thoughts are this:
1) Once you find a tarp configuration (set-up wise I mean) that you
like, you will proly never vary from that.
2) While it is good to consider other pitch options, you will almost
NEVER use them. I carry a small sil-nyl tarp in my survival kit that
I use when I hafta go to ground. It is a simple 8 x 6 trapezoid.
3) There is a catenary curve generator in the files section (Xl
Spreadsheet format). However, I used a 1 inch per foot cat cut. A
10' curve on 10', and half that for the ridgeline. And I have been
very happy with that.
4) I settled on a 10 x 10 cat cut tarp because I like the extra
room. I am primarily a hunter and I like to have extra space for my
gear (bow, arrows, binos, wet socks).
5) Tarp size and configuration is diverse as the people who use them
it seems. Some use McCat, others swear by the Sportaman'a Guide
model, others use the Kelty Noah and still others cut their tarps up
into stuff sacks and build new ones for apparrently no reason. :)
So build on friend, build on...and post the pixels.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> After more thought, I have decided to make a simple 10' x 10'
> tarp to use over my HH Backpacker A-Sym.
> No catenary cuts.
> You cannot make a simple, single cat cut on all sides, since then
> cannot be used as a simple A-frame. You would have to make a single
> cat cut on one side and two on the other two sides. You then end up
> with the MacCat, which has to be rigged only one way and will
> use 4 stakes.
> With a simple square, you can rig along the diagonal, 2 stakes, or
> an A-frame, 4 stakes. You can modify the A-frame by shifting more
> upwind and leaving the downwind side more exposed.
> Also, by using the micro Grip Clips and foregoing the tie out
> can shift the tie outs to any points on the perimeter as needed. I
> even pull the A-frame closer to the ground on the sides than the
> of the tarp to get it as close to the hammock as possible. Also,
> rigging on the diagonal, I can use 2 Grip Clips on the sides,
> of a single one at the corner, and pull down almost vertically.
> Easier to sew, easier to setup/take-down and pack. Will probably
> somewhat in the wind, but that is a simple tradeoff for more