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What is the best tarp/hootchie size and shape ?? For Bushcraft purposes

Moondog55

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Just to get people talking, with the possibility of doing something to get some fabric and make a new one of my own.

I have a few opinions and i have some ideas I'd like to sew soon.
as I like to use a wood fire I think my tarps need to be a little bigger than an army hootchie so I can get a little further away from the flame and also bigger to accommodate more than two persons.
Design wise in most cases we are limited by the width of the fabric we work with. So rectangles are cheaper and easier to sew up.
in old measurements a 10*12 is what I consider a reasonable size for 2 -3 people
 

Templar

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Hmmm... 7x9ft seems popular in the States, Silicon-Nylon cloth with plenty of tie-in loops to allow multi configuration options..
 

Moondog55

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Isn't 7*9 the same size as a double hootchie? I have seen 10 * 10 touted as the preferred size
I like diamond tarps for sun shelter, and tipis for wind and snow.
Different tarps for different trips, perhaps silnylon for the pack an poly/cotton for the back of the ute??
 

Moondog55

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I see on another site a square tarp that is designed to fit with another tarp of the same design to pitch as a tepee/pyramid when used on the diagonal; I thought that was a pretty cool idea.
 

Moondog55

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Camouflage isn't needed in the military sense but sometimes I like to keep my campsite a little less obvious.
I was Op-Shopping yesterday and as well as a brand new pair of Katmandu polartec pants for $8- I saw this queen size doona cover, first thing that popped into my head was a camouflage stalking suit but it is too light weight for that, so this is going to become a very lightweight fly-sheet for my japara tent, mainly to keep the sun off, but I will try painting it with silicon diluted with turps and see how I go.

QS doonas are 210 * 210, I'll sew this with a double panel in the center for strength and finish it at about 210 * 350, possible with a peak at each end using the matching pillow slips.

Fun stuff has to fit around the house work and renovations though so it may be a while before you see an update on this project
TedM
 

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T.C.

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I have a 8ft x 8ft canvas tarp that i find very useful. It has three eyelet down each side, a h/d zipper on opposite sides and h/d snap locks on the other two sides- i mostly use it as a swag, it hws enough room to put my bag inside down the bottom to keep it dry, also used a lot as a hootchie.

If i was to get another made i would use zippers on all sides rather than clips... been the victim of bloody big millipedes a few times.
 

Aussie123

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3m x 3m is a good size. Plenty of room for 2.
We do an annual, winter car camp with a group, for that I take the 5m x 6m (ish) tarp and we can have a fire (on the edge), cook and sit under it - luxury
 

Redtail

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Right angles are easy to cut and stitch, but to get a nice tight tarp, with minumum ties/pegs, you need a catenary cut. In simple terms, that's the shape a chain hangs when suspended between two points. In mathematical terms, it's a hyperbolic cosine. [maths smart-Rse mode /off]

Over on http://www.hammockforums.net/, there's a few "how-to's", including a simple way to mark out the correct shape of the curves.
Here http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=27100&highlight=catenary
and here http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12109&highlight=catenary
 

Wentworth

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I used a hootchie in the beginning, I like them, but the 5 by 7 foot is pretty minimal.
For hammocks, I like either a 3 by 3m with panel pulls or a (roughly) 8 by 10 foot cat cut. Silnylon till I can afford cuben... 150g for a tarp would be nice.
 

Wentworth

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Cuben is a plastic film with spectra fibres throughout it. Very strong and meant to be fairly durable. Silnylon is 1.3oz/yard including silicon treatment. Cuben gets down to 0.3oz I think. Super light stuff. Initially used for sails. One day....
 

dog.breath

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I really like Kifaru's parahootch, despite the expense. It works well both hung with a ridge line between two trees and in more of a tent-like fashion using trekking poles or makeshift poles. That being said, I was curious about the many different configurations one could achieve with a square tarp, and so recently picked up one of the BCUSA 10x10s. It's nice nice tarp, though I've only set it up once so far. I think 10x10 might be a little too big for me for general use - in the desert scrub around here, it can sometimes be hard to find a big enough area. But I'm hoping to actually camp with it in a few days, so I my opinion may evolve a little.
 

Aussie123

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Cuben is a plastic film with spectra fibres throughout it. Very strong and meant to be fairly durable. Silnylon is 1.3oz/yard including silicon treatment. Cuben gets down to 0.3oz I think. Super light stuff. Initially used for sails. One day....

I believe the main benefit of cuben is the weight, less than half that of silnylon, but it is not breathable - which is a bonus for some uses and not for others. Eg for a tarp, stuff sacks, or a bivi floor, its a plus. For a jacket or tent, perhaps not so good ?

Cuben is supposed to be a stronger fabric but with no stretch; silnylon is supposed to be a bit more "stretchable", with some give in the fabric, therefore it has been claimed to be a bit more resilient in a real world - like a tarp in the wind !

Both fabrics are made in different weights, so be sure to check the fabric weight when comparing their features.

I can’t say that I have any experience with cuben to confirm or deny these claims.
 

Wentworth

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It's been used in some of the lightest quilts in the US. It acts as a a vapour barrier which is great for preventing evaporative heat loss in below freezing temps. They seem to have settled on the Karostep pattern instead of baffles, as it allows for taping rather than sewing and renders the quilt completely waterproof.
http://enlightenedequipment.webs.com/epiphanyk.htm
20.2oz (572g) for a quilt rated to -15C. Or the 382g version rated to 5C.

There's now a breathable cuben out being tested in some tents.

Cool stuff. For tarps, not sure I'd go much lighter than the 0.7oz cuben. I remember years ago when people were concerned about silnylon being so thin, now it's pretty much the norm and cuben is the new stuff :)
 

Moondog55

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Spectra is simply one of the "Brand" names for linear polyethylene, as is "Dyneema" so it makes sense that there would be no stretch in a Cuben tarp.
Very interesting link to those quilts. Thanx Wentorth. Well beyond my ability to pay tho
 
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