I am completely lost on this. Every website that I come across simply says "you can use your trekking poles with your tarp" without actually explaining HOW. I've seen pictures and video of tarp systems using trekking poles, however I can never seem to get a proper look at the guylines and stakes and such. It's kind of maddening that every website tells you you can do something but fails to tell you how to do it.
Currently I own a pair of Black Diamond Spire trekking poles and I'm leaning towards a hennessey hammock and intend to use the fly as a simple tarp shelter in places where there's no trees (beach, desert, tundra, etc) with my REI minimalist bivy.
Are there any websites that thoroughly explain how to set up a tarp using trekking poles? And what kind of cord should I get? I'd prefer some kind of cord that's really storm proof like some kind of shock cord or something.
I think it's really hard to explain or understand how to set up a tarp without actually going out and doing it.
All tarps are not created equal. Some are specially shaped and have pockets and/or velcro to accept a pole. Others are just rectangular hunks of fabric with grommets or webbing loops. Some designs lend themselves to hiking pole use much better than others.
Of all the tarps I have, the tepee with the square base is the easiest. Four stakes in the corners, insert pole.....viola, a shelter. It's very forgiving. Whereas my 8'x10' Siltarp can be real easy or a real PITA depending on which configuration I choose. Uneven ground makes a good pitch even harder.
Kelty Triptease cord seems to be popular here.
With any tarp I suggest large, robust stakes. No needles or titanium pins. Eastons are good, or Groundhogs. Tarps usually need a much better anchor than a tent.
The Hennessey fly IMO does not make a good ground tarp. It's designed for a hammock. Sure it will work but I would not want to depend on one unless the rain is perfectly vertical.
_________________________ If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*
* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.
Thanks for the info. I was considering replacing the fly on the hennessey w/ a larger one. Is there anything I can use instead of the kelty triptease that's more... um, stealthy? My plans are to go camo.
There's a thread here about using braided fishing line, which can be very thin. But of course you could cut your leg in half if you run into it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
As trailrunner mentions, it really depends on the tarp and what you are doing with it. Most of my tarps have either a small grommet or a loop for stakes and/or poles. So, if I'm just using the poles along the edge of a tarp (such as to make an A-frame type tarp setup to bivy on the ground in my hammock) I put the trekking pole upside down, locked at the height I want with the handle on the ground, and the poky end in the air, with either goes through the tarp grommet or has the loop looped over the end of the trekking pole. often I may give the loop a twist or two so it's snugly on the trekking pole tip. I then have line tied from the tarp tieout loops (the ones with the trekking pole) to tension it. Note to get to this I usually lay out the tarp, stake four corners of it at what I think will be appropriate width, put the poles in and erect them up and guy them off, and then adjust tension/pole/height corner stake location to get everything the way I want. Then stake/tie off the rest. I don't think about it too much <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
If you are talking a single trekking pole for a tipi style setup, or a pole in the middle somewhere, then I have the trekking pole the other way, pointy bit down, and use the handle to prop up the tarp. This usually involves getting the corners staked/fastedn down well first then erecting the pole inside in the correct place and extending it to get everything tight. Most tarps you wanna do this with regularly will have a little reinforced place for the handle to go into.