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#93582 - 04/03/08 01:00 PM RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures)
GuruJ Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Great NW

First thing I must do is complement Ray Jardine & his book. Pretty great design & good directions. Also many thanks to the "Make your Own Gear" members who have helped me. Special thanks to Ayce at thru-hiker. His advice and quality supplies helped a ton.

I bought Rays Tarp book and decided to make his 2-person Tarp design. I thought better of making the net-tent and just buying the Rei Bug Hut 2 . I have shared one before while hiking & it was the perfect answer to bugs in clear weather sleeping. You can see the stars and not get bit to hell. I made the tarp to be my cover for the Bug Hut when below the treeline. The real reason for this tarp is an August Summit attempt of Mt. Rainier. I also plan to spend the night on the summit in the ice caves with this tarp. I was a tarp sleeper in Boy Scouts & when I got some dough I went to tents, and like Ray's book it took me awhile to realize what I was missing.

My intention on this tarp was to make it as strong as possible, taking every precaution and no short cuts. The flat felled seams are super strong and the material I got from Thru-Hiker was of a much higher quality of the same stuff I got from Seattle Fabric for more money. The Seattle Fabric stuff had a lot more scratches and wee holes. It was also a heavier weight then they promised but didn't have the ripstop strength. I knew Ayce's stuff was better when I went to use my roll cutter on the Thru-Hiker material and the ripstop wasn't cutting easy. I was using a brand new Fiskar 4.5mm roll cutter. It cuts through everything but those ripstop lines! The other ripstop fabric cut easily.The strength in the ripstop squares made me very happy!
I have a few things left to do.
1. Finish the the final side lifter patches.
2. Seal the seams.
3. Buy some fancy reflective tent line & pre-tie the guy lines. (suggestions?)
4. Buy some super light tent stakes. Maybe something that can be used in snow as well? (suggestions?)
5. Sleep under it in rain.

I'm proud to say that I don't have to go back & fix any holes or over sew holes. All my sewing (minus the lifter patches) goes into either a doubled seam or flat felled seam. Every place the webbing was sewn to the tarp was way overdone for strength.



The one big F-up was the lifter patches. I tried 4 different methods & rather then use those I made a variation that worked much better but looks like hell.
I basically made a flat felled seam that was 2.5 inches wide. I marked out where the four circular patches would be and the two slits .5 inches apart with in those. I sewed the seams and the fabric in between each square to make the fabric as tight as possible.

I then sewed the two button holes in each of the four squares. I then centered the 2 inch circle over the button holes & cut out the holes. I ended with a 2inch circle three layers thick. These were very strong and looked great. I liked the buttonholes taking the stress instead of making slits or pin prick holes for flat lines (like ray suggests) The only real drawback in the whole Ray Tarp design is the lifter patches. Gotta be 100 better ways then he suggests.
Anyways the circle looked great. I tried doing the two circular rows of stitching on a sample piece & it was hard as hell & looked worse. I figured that using the dbl needle would at least get 2 uniform rows even if the rows are hanky. That worked better and while attempting the sew onto the tarp it went bad fast. Sewing a circle on such a large piece of cloth is near impossible on a simple home machine. I should have made square or triangle patches. Turning the tarp while sewing was to much trouble & made too many wee pleats. They are on 1 side only right now while I re-ideate the lifter patch design to go on better. I'm sure the Pfaff I plan on buying would have had no problem with this.





I couldn't get a the tarp laid out wide or low enough to my liking on my deck but I think you can see what I made without the full pull. The winds were up to 20mph and where I'm located its pretty strong. I was able to pitch the tarp in seconds using my things on my deck. I would think being in nature would be even faster. The beaks look great & when I did spread one side lower the beaks extended made the tarp look like a tent due to its low spread. Very cool for the wind!




Final weight minus guy lines and stakes is 15.9ounces in the stuff sack. My previous two person tent was 8lbs with everything. The bug hut 2 is 2lbs 10oz. So I will split the carrying of the tarp, bug hut, and quilt. Between two people will save a ton of volume (pack space) and since we won't have two sleeping bags, a tent, tarp poles etc... we will save a ton of weight. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis & many past surgeries from a former football career. I have decided that because I'm saving so much weight I'm gonna get the most comfortable insulated pad in the world (any suggestions?). I sleep much better and my body feels 100 times better with a great pad. I have also found that sleeping in a tent (especially with someone else) that you use so much Oxygen the levels actually drop in the tent (proven in an everest study). The lower levels won't kill you but how can the body heal & repair if it's gasoline for the job is fouled. An open tarp allows new oxygen all the time giving you better experience. Being sick I can real feel this difference in my swelling and pain.

I can't tell you how happy I am to have made this! The feeling of self satisfaction is very high and I expect it to be even greater when I sleep under a Seattle downpour & stay warm & dry!

My next project will be to make my 2 person pita quilt. I already have the pre-quilted primaloft & momentum from Thru Hiker. I like the momentum so much that I'm once I get my Pfaff I'm gonna do the Maxima Jacket Kit.

Peace to all!
Namaste,
GuruJ
_________________________
Fancy Gear, DWR's, and Titanium Rings; What about your Soul? Does it Bling Bling?

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#93583 - 04/03/08 05:11 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Right on. Hey, I have a question - would it be possible to use the rei bughut without the poles and modify it somehow to be supported by the tarp - that would save some weight?

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#93584 - 04/03/08 07:00 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: hootyhoo]
GuruJ Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Great NW
I'm sure you could rig it to hold to the clothesline underneath the tarp. (I have a clothesline/ utility line running on the ridgeline.). Basically the rigdeline webbing that sticks outside goes through the flat felled seam and reinforcement patch to the inside where I made a 1" loop. This design was meant to have the Ray way net tent connect there.

That said, the whole idea behind the bug hut was to be able to enjoy a nice night without getting eaten alive. (also my wife refuses to sleep "where critters will devour me!") The hut was so I can see the stars, get good oxygen, and great ventilation. The tarp is for when it rains. I will preset it and if it does rain I can pull it on. Also once you go across the treeline on a mountain you don't see many bugs and then it's tarp only.

The bug hut is freestanding and uses the poles bend to hold it up but sewing some lines to it would make it work as well.
I picked up my BugHut at Rei today and was pleasantly surprised. I couldn't wait to get home & see it with the tarp. Truthfully I could just put the tarp in the Bug hut sack as it had more then enough room. I think the the sleeping pad I get will be both heavier and larger then my hut, tarp, and quilt for 2. Truly, I'm shaking my head at what I carried up Mt. St. Helens last year. This is gonna make my Rainier pack feel like nothing. I have already got my no smell socks, undies, & base layer. I have convertible pants, jacket, hat, an origami bowl & a titanium spork! My Cadion boots are 2.2lbs & are "Flexible crampon compatible for ice mountaineering &climbing". Space age! I plan on wearing nearly the same thing all 4 days of the summit to save weight. I'm bringing Dentene White Gum so I don't have to carry toothpaste, tooth brush, and having to make/ purify water to brush with. I will get my brows waxed and forehead polished for aero benefits. I'm looking for every cheat to allow a good pad & great food.
Any suggestions on the World's Most Comfortable sleeping pad? Every review says they love what they bought. So everything is the best. I'm 6'4" 205lbs & wide shouldered. I'm also a side sleeper (ugh).

GuruJ
_________________________
Fancy Gear, DWR's, and Titanium Rings; What about your Soul? Does it Bling Bling?

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#93585 - 04/04/08 07:03 AM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“I will get my brows waxed and forehead polished for aero benefits.”

Too cool!

As for a comfortable pad, everyone is so different. I realize you’re a tall guy so your feet will hang off on this idea. I found the woman’s prolite 4 (24 oz) to be very comfortable. And it is so nice not having to come into camp after a long hard trek and blow up an air mat. Just put some stuff under your feet. Or, if you’re like me, I like my feet hanging off (with a thin mat underneath). And if you really want to make it feel like a bed, add an open cell egg crate mat on top 1.5x15x48” (~10 oz). I usually carry a 1.5x11x17” open cell egg foam (~3oz) for any mat I take.

Good luck on your sleeping zen.

-Barry

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#93586 - 04/04/08 07:32 AM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Very nice post and pics guruj! Thanks!


Quote:

Any suggestions on the World's Most Comfortable sleeping pad? Every review says they love what they bought. So everything is the best. I'm 6'4" 205lbs & wide shouldered. I'm also a side sleeper (ugh).


The closest thing I get to sleeping in a hammock is my extra wide (25") big agnes insulated aircore - it's pretty darn good.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
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#93587 - 04/04/08 07:52 AM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: BarryP]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
And if you really want to make it feel like a bed, add an open cell egg crate mat on top 1.5x15x48” (~10 oz). I usually carry a 1.5x11x17” open cell egg foam (~3oz) for any mat I take.

-Barry


Barry, you always have the best out of the box ideas. Here is a question for the egg crate OCF. I am assuming the 1.5" is the thickness. Is that measured from the bottom flat part of the mat to the tips of the peaks, or is it measured a different way? Also, how compact can you get it to pack with?

Sorry for the off topic questions. I really like the tarp. I will be making a tarp soon, still haven't decided exactly how I want it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#93588 - 04/04/08 12:08 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: finallyME]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“I am assuming the 1.5" is the thickness. Is that measured from the bottom flat part of the mat to the tips of the peaks, or is it measured a different way? Also, how compact can you get it to pack with?”

Yep; bottom flat part to the peaks. I tried 1” mats and I noticed a big difference (I don’t like it). Or you can be like billk; he just uses an 2” open cell mat exclusively (with a home made cover).

My little extra pad rolls to 3” dia by 11”. One time, the tent I was in, leaked. The open cell pad didn’t absorb any water from the floor since it was on top of my protective thermarest.

-Barry

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#93589 - 04/04/08 02:47 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: BarryP]
GuruJ Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Great NW
Barry,
What weight are you and do you sleep on your side? One of my issues is that the normal Thermarests allow my shoulder & hip to hit the ground. Adding the egg foam would give loft yes but still enough to stop a shoulder and hip thats taking all the weight?

When laying on your back you spread the weight out across the body so no one part is poking down further. When on your side all the body weight is on the shoulder & hip, two points. Most mattresses I have tried just can't fight that.

What about the large air tube mattresses? The Exped series of Big Agni (plural) OR Syn Mats have 3.5 inches of thickness and insulation R value of 6.0. at..... 3lbs....but it's for comfort. I feel like I may get banned for talking about carrying the heaviest thing possible. (the link has a good chart to compare the size, weight, r value, etc...)

Like I said I'm willing to carry a heavy @ss pad so I can sleep better, hence all the shedding & plucking of other weight. I also don't care if the solution is a cheap foam pad and 2lbs of duct tape. I just wanna sleep comfortably in the wild for once! I am already designing lightweight knee pads since I can't take a body pillow.

Does REI sell those open cell pads in store so I can try it out on the floor? The flagship store has a huge laydown area to test pads.

I also don't mind this thread being hijacked for the pad as I asked for it! Please hijack away if it gets me a good solution.

Also anyone have any good mods I could make to the inside of the tarp? I have plans for clothesline, gear pocket, & utility loops to hang stuff off. Any other mods I'm missing?

Also, anyone use the Kelty Triptease line? Is it worth the extra dough?

Thanks,
GuruJ
_________________________
Fancy Gear, DWR's, and Titanium Rings; What about your Soul? Does it Bling Bling?

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#93590 - 04/04/08 09:05 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods


I've got an Exped Downmat 7 and love it (as far as pads go - I'm a hammock hanger 90% of the time). I can even use it in my hammock in cold weather. A buddy of mine has an Exped Downmat 9 for the long & width. Not too much difference in the weight.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Tango

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#93591 - 04/05/08 10:45 AM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Barry,
What weight are you and do you sleep on your side? One of my issues is that the normal Thermarests allow my shoulder & hip to hit the ground. Adding the egg foam would give loft yes but still enough to stop a shoulder and hip thats taking all the weight?

When laying on your back you spread the weight out across the body so no one part is poking down further. When on your side all the body weight is on the shoulder & hip, two points. Most mattresses I have tried just can't fight that.

What about the large air tube mattresses? The Exped series of Big Agni (plural) OR Syn Mats have 3.5 inches of thickness and insulation R value of 6.0. at..... 3lbs....but it's for comfort. I feel like I may get banned for talking about carrying the heaviest thing possible. (the link has a good chart to compare the size, weight, r value, etc...)


I use the Big Agnes, and I'm heavier than you and a side sleeper, although I do roll around.
I am most comfortable in a hammock, but when on the ground I find if I take the BA and inflate it fully, it's a little too firm for side sleeping. My trick is to get on it, with it inflated fully, lie on my side, and then carefully let a little air out until my hip dosn't quite touch the ground - then I find it's pretty darn nice. If I let out too much air, I just re-inflate a bit or start over. I suggest you walk into REI or somthing like that, and try the same tactic
on the floor with a big agnes or an exped inflatable.

Quote:

... any other mods I'm missing

<hammock mafia> The hammock to go underneath it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> </hammock mafia>

Quote:

Also, anyone use the Kelty Triptease line? Is it worth the extra dough?


I've seen it, but cant bear spending money on it more than I spend on 130 lb test braided dacron flyline backing- which works great and costs next to nothing off the bulk spools at a fishing store.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#93592 - 04/05/08 05:42 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: phat]
GuruJ Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Great NW
Thanks for the replies.

I have read in a few other places of larger guys liking the Big A, I will have to try it.
When you say you release the air to allow you off the ground? Seems opposite of what you would expect .. no? Or does the less air allow the other body parts to come higher up allowing the points of critical mass to dissipate?
I was even thinking about making two foam strips. One under the hips & one under the shoulders. If the big air types allow me to pres through then maybe the extra strips are all thats needed. I saw some of the new ultra light pads do that in by adding extra in foam in the heavy pressure area, so two types of padding in one spot.

<hammock wannabe poser> I would be a hammock guy but my wife won't let me. If I have a hammock I have a tendency to hike/camp alone. She won't allow me to do that anymore with my disease. So now I have to cater to a partner or her. Trying to get a partner or her to get a hammock is alot of trouble so I gave in. Just seems jerky going to sleep in my hammock & leave my partner alone. Anti social she says.....
I also like summiting things and once I cross the treeline I don't have much to hammock on.
If I ever do an epic hike or worldly trek I will be in a hammock. The comfort is just so much better. </hammock wannabe poser> Aren't hammocks heavy again with all the bells & whistles? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

Does that dacron trolling line have any reflective qualities for night time tinkle run protection?

Namaste,
GuruJ
_________________________
Fancy Gear, DWR's, and Titanium Rings; What about your Soul? Does it Bling Bling?

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#93593 - 04/06/08 06:21 PM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Thanks for the replies.

I have read in a few other places of larger guys liking the Big A, I will have to try it.
When you say you release the air to allow you off the ground? Seems opposite of what you would expect .. no? Or does the less air allow the other body parts to come higher up allowing the points of critical mass to dissipate?
I was even thinking about making two foam strips. One under the hips & one under the shoulders. If the big air types allow me to pres through then maybe the extra strips are all thats needed. I saw some of the new ultra light pads do that in by adding extra in foam in the heavy pressure area, so two types of padding in one spot. whistles? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


That's kind of the point of letting a little air out - if you fully inflate the BA, it's pretty
hard - depends how you like to sleep, but I find a little less air allows the parts that stick out
to sink down a little more so you get more support throughout instead of just hitting on shoulders and hips. YMMV - depends how you like to sleep. That's why I'd suggesed zipping into REI, inflate one up very firm, lie on it, and see how it feels as you let a little but out.


Quote:

Does that dacron trolling line have any reflective qualities for night time tinkle run protection?


Nope - it's whitish - and thin- it can be hard to see. I don't find I have too much trouble, but then again, I'm careful around my guylines.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#93594 - 04/07/08 07:27 AM Re: RayWay 2 person Tarp Project (pictures) [Re: GuruJ]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“What weight are you and do you sleep on your side?”

My weight varies a lot through the year. It goes from 140 to 155lb. Right now I’m at 144.5. I sleep on back, side, and stomach despite what my chiropractor tells me. He says the best position for your spine is on your back with the knees up. This relaxes all tension along the back. I used to never be able to sleep on my back. About 4 years ago, I just started practicing in my own bed. It was hard for a couple of weeks. Now I can do it with ease. Out in the woods, I sleep mostly on my back but I will flop around the first couple of nights (stomach and sides). Vitamin T minimizes that and helps me wake up refreshed <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.

Again, that Woman’s prolite 4 allowed me to sleep on my side. On my back, I love that open cell pad.


“What about the large air tube mattresses?”

A lot of people love them! Try them. Our whole family tried them and found they were harder than the regular prolite 4 or woman’s prolite 4. We even let the air out a little to give more flex. But we found the surface tension is still too hard when we lay on it. That’s where self-inflating pads excel. We also dreaded the inflating ritual after only a couple of nights. I think I’m in the minority here.

“Does REI sell those open cell pads in store so I can try it out on the floor?”

No. I bought twin bed open cell egg crate pads at Walmart, Target, and Kmart. An actual bed store should have some high quality versions. Then I cut it to backpacking size. If you try pads at REI, an option my wife likes is: Woman’s Prolite 4 on bottom (24oz), Z-lite on top (15oz). I think it feels better reversed. If we put in 20 mile days, she won’t take the additional z-lite. But on short trips, she’ll take the z-lite or an 15”x1.5”x70” open cell mat (16oz). And if you ever have a puncture, you have backup pads (combine it with pine needles <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />).

(from your other post): “I was even thinking about making two foam strips. One under the hips & one under the shoulders.”

Spock does this with CCF pads and has a lightweight comfortable pad.

It’s tricky to find the most comfortable lightest weight pad. All in all, you can try various mats at REI but you don’t really know if it’s helping or hurting until you lay on it for about 4 hours. Everyone has a different feel for a pad so you really have to try it yourself. Hopefully, I can give you a few options out of a million to try.

May everyone find their sleeping zen <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

-Barry

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