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  1. #11
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BookwormStorm View Post
    I've used regular tarps from walmart or the hardware store many times in various ways while camping, no shame.
    Indeed. It doesn't matter how ghetto your setup is as long as you get out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by BookwormStorm View Post
    I did notice though that it was really hard on the grommets to stretch it out and get it nice and tight when I strung it up for my tarp. I was wondering about this idea in particular because we are wanting to try out some overnight backpacking this year and need something a little more lightweight that takes up less room as well as being able to re-enforce all of the tie-outs on it.
    I use these hooks for the ridgeline. So far it hasn't been a problem with the guylines, but they'll work there as well. I put a couple of layers of brown packing tape down the centerline to keep the internal ridgeline from abrading it. A patch on each side will also do wonders for any small rips you might get. I used mine extensively from summer and into the late fall last year without any issue, though I'll probably have to replace it sometime this year.

  2. #12
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Minnesota
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    I have many so....
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    Blackcrow DIY Tarp
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    I tried all kind of work-arounds and ideas to save some money when I first started out. It is fun and does guide you to your ultimate set-up if you stick with it.
    Be creative and enjoy the quest.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  3. #13
    In defense of Wallyworld blue tarps, they're fine for the money. I used to ground camp and I used one because a) I didn't know what I was doing, and b) didn't want to spend much money to find out if I liked doing it. I'll attach a photo showing one of my setups from about 5 years ago where I used the tarp in a sort of taco mode sleeping on the ground. Durability is not bad. I still own the tarp pictured and it sits right outside my window covering my grill at this moment. 5 years use seems pretty good for so little money. I own and use better tarps now, but this got me started.
    Cheers.DSCN0125.jpg

  4. #14

    Join Date
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    I can't speak for the canopy wall idea as I haven't used these- though I'm rather skeptical of its waterproofness. What does work well and cheap are 9x12 2mil polyethelene drop cloths. These are transluscent so you can kinda see the stars at night. A roll of braided mason line (not the twisted stuff) makes guylines. Here's the trick- these tarps don't have grommets or other tieouts so learn how to tie a sheetbend knot. Hold the corner of the tarp in one hand and the line in the other. You'll end up with a secure connection. For a tie out which is not in a corner (perhaps along an edge or even the middle) use a smooth pebble wrapped in the tarp then tie around it. These are much lighter and less bulky than blue tarps so are workable for backpacking too. I've been using tarps like this for many years and never had a failure.

  5. #15
    New Member BookwormStorm's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thiel View Post
    Indeed. It doesn't matter how ghetto your setup is as long as you get out there.


    I use these hooks for the ridgeline. So far it hasn't been a problem with the guylines, but they'll work there as well. I put a couple of layers of brown packing tape down the centerline to keep the internal ridgeline from abrading it. A patch on each side will also do wonders for any small rips you might get. I used mine extensively from summer and into the late fall last year without any issue, though I'll probably have to replace it sometime this year.
    Thanks for the pic of the hooks to use with a regular tarp, I will definitely have to try some of those out, I remember seeing a video of someone using something similar that they had picked up from harbor freight to make some tie outs from the center of their tarp to give them some more space, I had forgotten all about them until you said something. Standard tarps are probably going to get us outside the fastest as far as money goes so this should hopefully help. When I hung last summer under a regular tarp, I used bungees instead of guylines and that was great when it got a little windy, very little stress on the corners doing that. Duct tape and packing tape are truly some of the great creations that man has come up with haha.
    -Amanda
    "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." -James Thurber

  6. #16
    New Member BookwormStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I tried all kind of work-arounds and ideas to save some money when I first started out. It is fun and does guide you to your ultimate set-up if you stick with it.
    Be creative and enjoy the quest.
    Shug
    The ability to be creative and unique may be one of my favorite parts of this world! I feel like this is an experiment that should be done for posterity's sake since I haven't come across anything yet where someone has done it, checked here and did a Google search and couldn't find anything. If it works then awesome, I have a (approximately) $20 tarp, and if it doesn't then oh well, I'm only out about $20, and even then I could still use it as a sun shade in the summer since that's it's original purpose anyway. Thanks for the encouragement and for putting out so many great videos on hammocking and backpacking Shug, you've been really inspiring to me to really get into this camping style.
    -Amanda
    "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." -James Thurber

  7. #17
    New Member BookwormStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidneyhornblower View Post
    In defense of Wallyworld blue tarps, they're fine for the money. I used to ground camp and I used one because a) I didn't know what I was doing, and b) didn't want to spend much money to find out if I liked doing it. I'll attach a photo showing one of my setups from about 5 years ago where I used the tarp in a sort of taco mode sleeping on the ground. Durability is not bad. I still own the tarp pictured and it sits right outside my window covering my grill at this moment. 5 years use seems pretty good for so little money. I own and use better tarps now, but this got me started.
    Cheers.DSCN0125.jpg
    I have spent many a night under these kind of tarps and they work brilliantly as long as you're not having to pack them long distances for multiple days, and I still consider them to be an option for car camping at the very least. I'm impressed that you got so many years worth of use out of it, that's really impressive. Everyone has to start somewhere!
    -Amanda
    "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." -James Thurber

  8. #18
    New Member BookwormStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slugbait View Post
    I can't speak for the canopy wall idea as I haven't used these- though I'm rather skeptical of its waterproofness. What does work well and cheap are 9x12 2mil polyethelene drop cloths. These are transluscent so you can kinda see the stars at night. A roll of braided mason line (not the twisted stuff) makes guylines. Here's the trick- these tarps don't have grommets or other tieouts so learn how to tie a sheetbend knot. Hold the corner of the tarp in one hand and the line in the other. You'll end up with a secure connection. For a tie out which is not in a corner (perhaps along an edge or even the middle) use a smooth pebble wrapped in the tarp then tie around it. These are much lighter and less bulky than blue tarps so are workable for backpacking too. I've been using tarps like this for many years and never had a failure.
    I looked at the reviews for the canopy walls and saw tons of people mentioning how dry it kept them when it rained, granted this was using them as intended (as a wall on a canopy) so I'm sure that setting one up to use overhead will have slightly different results as the rain will hit it differently. I saw someone on youtube use one of those plastic drop cloths as a tarp to point out that it's a good budget option but I was pretty skeptical of the durability that one of those has, still another thing to keep on the list of possibilities. Maybe there would be a way to combine the two ideas into one and use the dropcloth like a liner, and have the canopy wall as the shell for privacy if needed? Who knows, I am now starting to see why people end up collecting so much gear over time haha, it's like this deep rabbit hole of possibilities and you kind of want to try just about everything! Thanks for the tip!
    -Amanda
    "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." -James Thurber

  9. #19
    Senior Member
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    Louisiana
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    Call me crazy...But only if you have to ;) (Talking about a DIY tarp idea)

    if you're gifted with the needle and thread you can make tarps and hammocks pretty cheaply. I made my son a hammock for $25 [no suspension]. It took me about 2 hours to make and I had never sewn before in my life.

    I think you should check out ripstop by the roll :
    https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/diy-kits

    there's the diy page.

  10. #20
    New Member BookwormStorm's Avatar
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    Yeah I've spent a vast amount of time browsing ripstop by the roll fantasizing about different projects I'd love to do/plan to do as funds allow me to. I figure getting into DIY is about the only way we're going to be able to afford to get good setups, 5 people is a lot to outfit lol, thankfully two of my kids are still young enough and small enough to share a hammock with me or the husband, so we get to take a little longer with their stuff.
    -Amanda
    "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." -James Thurber

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