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Shelters The Shelters forum is for the discussion of backpacking shelters (tents, tarps, poncho-tarps, bivy sacks,...).


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  #1  
Old 08-24-2008, 12:48 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Pitching Tarp Sans Poles / Full-Length Corded Ridgeline / Vertical Support System VSS

For those who do... What method do you use to setup your tarps (for ground use) without the use of any poles.

Please include the line (type, weight) and knots used.

Thank you.

Reality
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2008, 08:15 AM
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Woody Woody is offline
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If I am pitching without poles I usually use the flying diamond. I tie off one corner to a tree using 550 cord and a slip knot at the preferred height, then stake out the opposite corner tightly and then the other two corners accordingly. This is super quick and strong and if a big enough tree is used it provides wind and rain protection from an additional side somewhat. I carry about 10 feet of cord but you could carry as much or as little as you wanted, but if you carry a shorter length you will have to search out smaller trees.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2008, 03:19 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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I like to tie a full-length ridgeline between two trees, to use (as a VSS) for attaching an A-frame (or modified A-frame) tarp configuration.

Some of the potential benefits (ymmv) over using poles are:

1 - It is much more stable and taut.
2 - There are no poles near the openings (nor trees if you string up with them far enough apart)
3 - The remaining line can be used for hanging gear for drying (in good weather - or hang underneath)
4 - Trekking Poles are free for other uses (e.g. venturing out from camp; or can be left at home...)
5 - Tarp can be pitched higher (high enough to walk under, if desired) without the height limitation of trekking poles
6 - Extra cord that is carried can serve other purposes if needed

[Like anything else, this way may not always be fitting or preferred. In many cases it's a great methodology.]

I accomplish this setup by doing the following...

I tie one end of my cord to a tree - generally over waist high in fairly decent weather. I'll use either a timber hitch or often times (preferably) a round turn with two half hitches (which puts the tension on the turn rather than the knots). [Or the line can go around the tree and through a loop, then pulled to the other end to tie to out tree.]

On the other end of the line, I'll tie (at about the same height) a Power Cinch and finish it off with a couple half hitches (with a release) or something that provides a similar result.

I'll then take a short piece of cord (about 10") and tie a Prusik knot to the main line - a few feet out the line from the tree. I'll then have a Prusik knot on the line with two dangling ends. I'll use those ends to tie one end of my tarp's ridgeline to the main line. I'll then repeat this process for the other end of my tarp's ridgeline - making certain that I pull it taut when securing this other end. Some tarps have a loop in the center of the ridgeline. When this is the case, I'll also attach that point to the main line. [Note: My tarp is under the line, not draped over it.]

Next, I guy out the sides. I generally attach the tarp end of the guyline with a Bowline and the stake end with a Taut-line Hitch.

By the way, those concerned with any possible extra cord weight for this setup will be pleased to know that there is little or no additional weight (depending upon which type is carried) when the weight from two stakes (needed for a pole setup) may be eliminated by leaving them at left home (when appropriate).

Reality
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2008, 07:54 AM
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derda derda is offline
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Reality,

That setup sounds interesting. I am guessing that the separate ridge line, with the tarp below it, allows:

1. Less stress on the tarp,
2. Easier adjusting.

Is that your reasoning, and/or is there another motive?

Added: Well, I just went back and realized you list your motives - I guess the question is whether "stress" is an issue?
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2008, 04:30 PM
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whitefoot whitefoot is offline
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I have never heard of ridgeline above the tarp, but it does make sense and i am visualizing the benefits.

Putting a ridgeline under the tarp will only encourage it to sag and the rope will rub your material, and if it is lightweight stuff like silnylon that could be a problemo.

thanks for the idea, reality.


To answer the question, I have a tarp with a flat felled seam going down the ridgeline, with two reinforced loops on the ends. From these ends i go tree to tree. The first knot against a tree is a clove hitch or a basic friction knot. the other end is a trucker hitch.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2008, 05:59 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derda
Added: Well, I just went back and realized you list your motives - I guess the question is whether "stress" is an issue?

Yes, it does make a difference with the stress... You should give it a try sometime. I've not had any troubles with this setup to date. I've had another spinnaker tarp setup like this for a few days now doing some unrelated testing and such - the winds have been active on it and it's doing great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitefoot
thanks for the idea, reality.

You're very welcome. Obviously the idea of using a cord ridgeline did not originate with me. People have been cord to pitch tarps for years. I've used a general configuration like this since I was a child.

I've just perfected my approach to this setup over the years, and it now serves me even better with the chosen knots.

Reality
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2009, 09:51 AM
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Photograhiker Photograhiker is offline
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I have a 8 x 10 silnylon tarp. I do things very similar to Reality, with these differences:

1. I use a power cinch at one end, but first use a Siberian (Evenk) hitch at the other end. It's a little easier to untie, especially in the rain or with gloves or mittens on (as one might be wearing in Siberia ).

2. I leave my tarp tied to the ridgeline with the prusik knots, but remove tension before taking down the tarp. The prusik knots are tied with a 7" length of 1/16" orange Spectra pulse line, which is also used for the six guylines.

3. After unstaking the guylines (and bundling them individually with a rubber band), I engulf the tarp with noseeum mesh snake skins I made which remain on the ridge line at all times. This makes setup and tear-down much easier and faster. There's no figuring out which end is which stage.

4. I use a length of 35' nylon 550 cord (7-strand paracord) for the ridgeline.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2009, 06:22 PM
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SSDD SSDD is offline
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If the tree's are far apart I will use a flying diamond with one end steaked to the ground for bad weather or I will find a short branch or rock to lift the foot end and the other end tie to a tree with 10' of cord with a truckers hitch and tie out the sides or steak them.

Other times just a A-frame if I can find two tree's about 12'-18' apart and adjust the hight as needed.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2009, 07:08 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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well, that IS a fascinating idea, reality. i like it. consider me a convert, should the situation arise... that would also cut down on any rain getting under the ridge of the tarp.

i'll give this trick a try when we go out in a month.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2009, 07:15 PM
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Rambler Rambler is offline
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A Golite poncho/tarp works best with the guyline ontop. My tarps have guylines attached to the edges at the ends of the center lines, but I have known others who just hang or drape the tarp over a center line. Even with a rectangular tarp, I like a pole in the center. It helps keep the sides higher.
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