Archive for April, 2017

Asymmetric tarp setup: The Bat-wing

Posted in backpacking, Captain's Personal Log, mountaineering, Reviews, Travel, ultralight techniques on April 25, 2017 by William Hooks

I’ve settled on this setup as an alternative to the ‘storm’ mode of using an 8.5 sq ft Hyperlite Mountain Gear tarp. What I like about this mode is the ease of entering and leaving the tarp from one side of the front end, and the degree of weather protection from the batwing feature- while preserving excellent ventilation from the other side of the front of the tarp .

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Rear view showing asymmetry of the front portion of the tarp, peaking on the right and dropping on the left where the ‘bat-wing’ partly covers the entrance

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Front view with bat-wing dropping lower over the entrance on the right

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To enter or leave the tarp or insert gear, simply slide it from the near front edge ( my HMG Windrider 3400 pack was placed that way)

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To enter or leave the tarp or insert gear, simply slide it from the near front edge ( my HMG Windrider 3400 pack was placed that way)

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Full-coverage mode with 8.5 ft HMG square tarp

Posted in backpacking, Captain's Personal Log, mountaineering, Photography, Reviews, Travel, ultralight techniques on April 7, 2017 by William Hooks
  • Tetrahedral mode (1)Tetrahedral mode (2)Tetrahedral mode (3)Tetrahedral mode (4)Tetrahedral mode (5)Tetrahedral mode (6)

HMG Square tarp : How to achieve full coverage?

Posted in Captain's Personal Log on April 7, 2017 by William Hooks

I’ve opted for using the tetrahedral configuration to get complete coverage ¬†with an 8.5 ft square tarp, set up as seen below. Therefore, for about 1 pound including stakes I can simulate most of the features expected of a tent- with much more versatility and durable, complete waterproof coverage with no fabric stretching ( as cuben fiber does not absorb water).

There are also some significant potential advantages- among them, being able to cook in the shelter under proper conditions, much more interior space than any tent of anywhere near the weight, and 360 degree viewing of the surroundings depending on the height of the pitch, and ability to hang the tarp from some exterior object, such as a tree limb, to further increase interior space and make adjustment of pitch very easy. The guylines can be placed and adjusted from inside the tarp.

Tetrahedral mode (6)

Closeup of secured flap

Tetrahedral mode (5)

So much ventilation, the Tyvek groundsheet blows away…

Tetrahedral mode (4)

Tetrahedral mode (3)

View of gear underneath the tarp

Tetrahedral mode (2)

Front view with flap extending to the left

Tetrahedral mode (1)

As usual with this 8.5 foot square tarp, there is versatility as to how much ventilation vs weatherproofing can be dialed in depending on how closely the tarp is pitched to the ground. This means that condensation can be easily minimized.

I use up to 14 stakes ,in order to maximize coverage over the ground and stability of the system. Therefore, no additional stakes needed vs the usual types of setups such as flying diamond or A-frame variants.

It’s easy to employ a biv sack inside if complete insect protection is desired. I’d use either the larger REI MInimalist or the very light, ~ 7 oz Titanium Goat Ptarmigan sack.