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19958Re: Best Rain fly/tarp to use for lightweight backpacking with hammo

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  • Troy and Ronda
    Apr 9, 2009
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      An alternate simple tensioner method - use 12-24 inches of shockcord (the longer is easier to attach, but a little heavier.)

      Attach to line near the tarp using a prussic knot. This knot eats about 4-8 inches of the shockcord per knot, depending on how tight you get it.

      Attach to line a little closer to end of line using prussic knot.

      Both knots should be tied tightly.

      Adjust by sliding the second knot (the one towards the end of the line) closer to the end of the line, transferring the tension from the main line to the shock cord, and creating a loop of slack in the main line. Tighten at stake or tree end by moving stake or using taut line hitch at that end, until the shock cord is stretched to about 1/2 tension.

      Like other methods, this means the shock cord needs only to be adjusted once, but it can be adjusted if desired. In very strong winds, the prussic knots will slip just before breaking, as the knot stretches (unlike prussic knots tied with cordlettes for climbing). Then the full strength of the main guy line is available. With no tight knots or bends in the main line, it retains most of its strength. If the shock cord breaks, it does not shoot off anything, you just get a little slack in the line. However, it will only break under frozen conditions, due to slippage. Under high wind, it only stretches until slack in the main line is gone, then that line holds.

      It is particulary nice on hammock side tie outs like the Hennessy hammocks use. Allows nice give when you get in, sways gently for a moment, then quickly damps out. The same thing happens when you toss and turn - a little give, short sway which dampens out.

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