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  1. #1
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    Do I Need a Continuous Ridge Line for My DCF Tarp?

    Just bought a Hammock gear DCF (Cuben Fiber) tarp in an effort to lighten my pack when backpacking. I got an 11 foot tarp without doors and opted for the Lineloc suspension so i can adjust each tie out independently. No that I have it, I have seen numerous hiking Youtubers who have DCF tarps with continuous ridge lines with several commenting that they did because in their mind there was less stress on the tarp they felt they were protecting their investment. On my prior silpoly tarp i always just ran individual tie outs, so I never considered a continuous ridgeline since i don' usually camp in high wind areas. I can see how DCF tarps typically don't have that traditional ridge that might add strength and stability. I'm pretty good with knots and can covert the thing to run with a CR.

    What say you all? Am i being foolish? Should I convert the lines to a CR?

    Thanks in advance. This is a great community.

  2. #2
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I'm not gonna have the ridgeline rubbing against my tarp - not good. At one point, I tried having the ridgeline run under the tarp, but the Zing-It ridgeline kept on catching the adhesive where the two panels are bonded together so I quit that immediately.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Member commanderkeen's Avatar
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    Definitely. Go for the CR. An extra 11’ of Zing-It weights nothing, and it would seem to be good insurance. Some people claim it helps protect the tarp particularly at the area where the ridgeline tieout reinforcements end.

    Also, a CR can be rigged in clever ways to allow you to move/center the tarp from either end without tear down or untying/retying anything.

    I don’t want to assume your skills level or knowledge, but these are the videos that sold me in CR way back when:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C-IkTg4z6UY
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hLupiOygs0s

  4. #4
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    There are people who use the split ridge lines and one-piece, which is what I use. Reduces tension on the tarp pull-outs and is very easy to center.

    Attach the tarp to the ridge line with Prusik loops on each end and you're good to go. If you use Zing-it for your ridge line, use some sort of woven polyester cord for the Prusiks and they will hold. Zing-it on Zing-it doesn't work well in my experience.

    I use Lawson Glowire and Guywire (2mm) for everything. It holds all knots well and is very tangle resistant.

    Prusik loop attached to ridge line:

    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter, Instagram

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  5. #5
    Trail Runner's Avatar
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    Whether or not to use a CRL is a personal preference. I don't for either of my DCF tarps. Whether you tie from the ends or use a CRL, the goal is a taut tarp. It takes the exact same amount tension to achieve tautness regardless of which choice you make. What a CRL does do is prevent you from over-tensioning the line/tarp at the tie-offs. And it's also a bit easier for centering adjustments. Over-tensioners are still going to over-tension their ridgelines at the trees but the nature of the CRL prevents this from happening to the tarp.

    In conclusion, if you're a person who cranks the line as tight as humanly possible, go with a CRL. If you believe it's easier to get your tarp centered with a CRL, obviously go with the CRL. If you don't fall into either of those categories, stick with your current system. Or not.
    "Behold, as the wild a** of the desert, go I forth to my work." -- Guerney Halleck

  6. #6
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Another CRL advantage: If you use a trekking pole (or other dedicated pole) as an external spreader bar it keeps the pole from rubbing the tarp. Abrasion from friction is DCF's worst enemy.

    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter, Instagram

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  7. #7
    Senior Member Baka Dasai's Avatar
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    I like the CRL for a reason that I've never seen anybody else mention. It allows me to set my ridgeline and get it taut and positioned correctly before I take my tarp out of it's stuff sack. That's especially handy when it's windy as I don't have to deal with a madly flapping tarp while struggling to get my ridgeline around the trees and secured.

    IOW, the CRL allows a two-stage process:

    1. Install the ridgeline.
    2. Open the tarp stuff sack and attach the tarp to the ridgeline.

    I don't use the Derek Hansen method for CRLs because it doesn't give me this advantage. I use prussiks on the ridgeline to attach the tarp to, and I don't worry about the "V". (I have tried the V, and it's neat, but ultimately it's not important.)

    I'm considering moving from prussiks to Nama Claws. They serve the exact same purpose, but are perhaps easier to slide along the line while being more secure in use. (They offend my "no hardware" sensibilities but maybe it's time for me to loosen up on that score.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baka Dasai View Post
    I like the CRL for a reason that I've never seen anybody else mention. It allows me to set my ridgeline and get it taut and positioned correctly before I take my tarp out of it's stuff sack. That's especially handy when it's windy as I don't have to deal with a madly flapping tarp while struggling to get my ridgeline around the trees and secured.

    IOW, the CRL allows a two-stage process:

    1. Install the ridgeline.
    2. Open the tarp stuff sack and attach the tarp to the ridgeline.

    I don't use the Derek Hansen method for CRLs because it doesn't give me this advantage. I use prussiks on the ridgeline to attach the tarp to, and I don't worry about the "V". (I have tried the V, and it's neat, but ultimately it's not important.)

    I'm considering moving from prussiks to Nama Claws. They serve the exact same purpose, but are perhaps easier to slide along the line while being more secure in use. (They offend my "no hardware" sensibilities but maybe it's time for me to loosen up on that score.)
    I have a ridgeline with just one Nama Claw on it with three prussics.Two of the prussic knots are attached to the D rings of the tarp.The third prussic is for the Nama Claw to have a place to grab onto to pull tension on the line.In the morning I simply slip that prussic toward the tree to detach the Nama Claw.It's quick and convenient.Do tie a knot on the end of the ridgeline so your Nama Claw cannot accidentally slip off when you are storing or deploying it.

    The are lots of ways to attach the D ring of the tarp to the prussic.I make a poor mans Evo Loop by tying a big double overhand knot on a small loop of zing it that is attached thru the prussic before making the knot.Then simply run the knot thru the D ring and make one wrap,then use the knot like an Evo Loop.The tension of the prussic has held everything plenty tight enough so far but on the other hand we don't get high winds where I go.A carabiner or soft shackle would work in high winds if my ez method ever fails me.

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    DCF is strong on the pull but weak on the poke.
    On mine I just use 2 separate lines from the d-rings. Never had a problem.
    So you don't need a CRL but can use one for sure if you choose.
    Shug
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  10. #10
    Senior Member kattdogg's Avatar
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    I use a CRL, i use the micro carabiner and the dutch stinger on mine, and about 50ft of line. I love it because i can set up the tarp and then all I have to do is pull on my ridge line to center it where I want my tarp and then stake it out.

    I don't have to loosen one end and then tighten the other, and back and forth to center it, just a little pull and I am all set
    To only step where others have stepped means not to have your own adventures. Live, Love, and Adventure so you may leave your own foot prints!

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