- Over the long weekend, this was another little idea that came to
roost. It was easy to build it in a twenty minute sewing frenzy.
My tarp is a 5x10 foot piece of silnylon, with 12 suitable reinforced
loops around the edge. Two loops are for the ridgeline pull-outs.
Two are inside the ridgeline to attach a ridgeline clothesline. I
have the other lines set up as loops. The long sides are divided into
thirds, with loops in each corner and at 1/3 and 2/3 along the length.
I tie a loop of 2mm spectra cord from a corner to the 1/3 tab closest
to it. Then I do that four times.
To set up the tarp, I use four stakes, each pulls out a loop at about
a 45 degree angle. The tarp edges are therefore pulled out at 8
places by 4 tent stakes.
Problem: setting up the tarp in the wind involves a good deal of
untangling of the strings.
I cut two strips of silnylon from the end of a 60 inch wide piece of
stock material. Each strip was 5 inches wide. I hemmed the two short
ends with a simple overlap hem. Then, with the hems outward, I sewed
the two long edges together with a straight stitch, a half inche from
the edges of the material. When I got about 5 inches from the end, I
tapered the tube by sewing toward the midline, leaving a 1/4 inch hole
in the end of the tube. This makes a simple tube, much like a hammock
tube or the Hennessey SnakeSkinz.
I threaded the ridgeline pullout cord through the small 1/4 inch hole
and let the cord drop until came out the other end of the tube. Then
I tied the tarp up between two trees. I brought the ends of the two
side pull out loops together and fed them through the now tight
ridgeline pullout. This got them off the ground and relatively
organized. Then I brought the TarpTube over the tarp, pulling the
tube right side out in the process. Of course, I did this on both ends.
Now, the tarp tube can be stuffed in my tarp stuff sack and the only
cords exposed are the ridgeline pull outs. To put the tarp up, I only
need to pull the long tube out and tie it up between two trees. Once
the tarp ridgeline is stretched, It is simple to unfurl one tube,
exposing two lines. THese are temporarially attached to stakes (if it
is windy) and then the other tube is unfurled to let out the other
lines. If it is *very* windy, the other end's tube will unfurl itself
like a spinaker sleeve. That is a good sign that a different spot for
the tarp may be necessary!
One nice thing about this set-up, is that I can tie the tarp between
trees on a night that looks good for star watching. I hang the stakes
from the loops on the trees. If the weather turns nasty, it is simple
to get up, unfurl the tubes, and put the four stakes in. Another
advantage is that the TarpTube will keep a wet tarp off the rest of
the camping kit.