Alpkit's Top Tarp Tips

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JayOram

Member
Apr 20, 2011
36
0
Kent
We are working on some resources for tarp users and we have started off with a simple 'Ridgeline' set up. We would love some feedback and some suggestions of what you would like to see in the future....

Alpkit Top Tarp Tips 1

 

Dark Horse Dave

Full Member
Apr 5, 2007
1,677
30
Surrey / South West London
I've not seen this idea for rigging before and can't wait to try it out, having read through this well-explained and illustrated guide (though on seeing this I initially thought "where's step 1 then?" All's clear of course when you follow the link, though you might just move the explanation to above the drawing for absolute clarity)

Great stuff; looking forward to more tips!
 

Mick721

Full Member
Oct 29, 2012
748
1
Sunderland
Clever little system that. I'm terrible with knots. No matter how much I practice, I can never remember them. I think I'll give this a try.
 

mrbarfly29

Member
Feb 9, 2013
10
0
Shropshire
I use something similar, i have 3 carabiners permanently attached to my ridgeline with prussik knots, i set up the ridgline between my 2 chosen trees with knots of my choice and then simply attach my tarp to the carabiners (1 either end of tarp and 1 central) then adjust tension to tighten the tarp, i find that this way its easier to center the tarp, also done this way you can slide the tarp to one side (a bit like a curtain) when it's not needed
 
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Frazer

Tenderfoot
Dec 18, 2009
64
0
Highlands
Try a tautline hitch instead, saves messing with carabiners.
Big fan of the tautline hitch, I infact used it for guys as well up til a week past. I'd got frustrated untying a 32 foot chute and started a google and came across the farrimond friction hitch.

I used it quite happily on ridgelines and guys through the rough weather at the bushcraft show and a few nights camping after. Made for a much quicker takedown.
 
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Quixoticgeek

Full Member
Aug 4, 2013
2,476
5
Europe
On the face of it you have a nice setup there. But there are a couple of points I would make

- by using a continuous guy line with no knots at the trees, you are going to make it that bit harder to adjust it nicely. Better off with a taught knot on one end, I use an evenk hitch, but a bowline will do, and then on the other something for tightening the hitch. I use a truckers hitch, but there are other alternatives.

- By using a prussik on one end, and just a clip on the other, you make it harder to move the tarp along the ridge, say you find that you want to move it 1ft to the right to get past the rock you hadn't noticed earlier.

- I personally would leave the carabiners out of it entirely and leave the prussik cord attached to the tarp, then tie them on once I am happy the ridge is taught and in the right place. This is personal preference however.


These are just my thoughts. If you ask 10 bushcrafters how to rig a tarp, you will get 27 different answers.

Julia
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,504
83
46
Wales
Carabiners could be replaced with simple toggles (a stick), which are tied to the prussik loops and passed through the tarp loops.
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
I've been using the true north little tarp, lately, which has loads of attachment points, and I've been setting them up as wedges, and half pyramids and variations of those shapes.
Its partially to do with the fact that the dogs with me now and it helps having 3 sides to a tarp as I need him to understand theres only one entrance and exit!
First time I put him the golite hex, he tried to escape under the gaps and nearly ripped it. And I feel safer with a strong sturdy material, as he's always exploring and trying to push under gaps, and has sharp claws!
I just carry a bag of cord with me now, and a bunch of small carabiners. Ive been using 4 metre hanks of tarred bank line for the guylines, and loops of dyneema for the prussiks, on a paracord ridgeline.
I also carry some strong jute from wilkos, to make tripods using clove hitches.
Im quite fond of carrying a bag of different cords with me. Because Im using different configs, I've stopped using the evenk hitch, and wrapping the ridgeline around my tarp. Just use a truckers hitch for my ridgeline, when I have a ridgeline, and adjustable slippery hitch for guys.

There are some good examples of configurations using the alpkit tarp here:

http://maceachain.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/alpkit-rig-7-tarp-pitching-with-paddles.html

One suggestion might be to include something to make the guylines easier to use with paddles, like true north do. I find them very handy.
 
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Swallow

Native
May 27, 2011
1,543
2
London
Strikes me as putting extra tension on the tarp. Tension you would not get by having tarp attached to the ridgeline by prussiks/biners/both.

i.e. in this setup the tarp is part of the tensioning system. [EDIT] rather than just attached to the tensioning system [EDIT]
 

JayOram

Member
Apr 20, 2011
36
0
Kent
Thank you for all the replies and feedback.

The main aim of these tips are to get as many people out using a tarp with little or no knowledge. I have used the taut line hitch before and many other knots that could work in place, but this uses one simple Prussik. We will be following this up with further more detailed articles and a range of pitches.

Weight wise the two clippers are less than 30 grams (11gr each).

Tension in the tarp shouldn't cause any problems as the clippers will bend and break before the tarp - but this would take considerable force, not weather a beginner would choose to be out in!

We use and recommend small stuff bags that do the same job as the true north attachments - are lighter, cheaper and more versatile. Check out an earlier Alpkit 'tips' article. The True north little tarp (same size as the rig 7) has only 15 attachments compared to the rigs 24 hypalon reinforced ones. At half the weight as well and a smaller pack size it is hopefully more versatile.

What would anyone like in follow up articles?

Jay
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
Thank you for all the replies and feedback.
We will be following this up with further more detailed articles and a range of pitches.

What would anyone like in follow up articles?

Jay

Its a well laid out diagram. I'd like to see as many shelter configurations as you can come up with. Im not sure if your extra attachment points translate to more configurations.