Bushcraft USA 10×10 tarp set ups and one tree hammock hanging system!

Recently acquired a Bushcraft Outfitters, USA (BCUSA) 10 ft by 10 ft coyote tarp in a forum deal! It was damaged with a tab broken off, I got the tab repaired… anyhow… DSCN2338

Coyote Brown BCUSA tarp in brown stuff sack next to el-cheapo pencil organizer that houses my lighter smaller Long Ogee tarp.

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Damaged tab repaired, I used 1″ Cross- Grain ribbon as the reinforcement material and stitched lines to make sure it aint ever coming off!

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Initial set up, Diamond fly configuration with ski poles, 2 stakes only! a little slack in the material but that’s expected of nylon fabric..

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With two hammocks, more than enough space in there…. I know, I hung the hammocks too low like low hanging fruit but it’s just to give one an impression of the space available..

And with this tarp, I’ve decided I wanted to see how it would look in a vastly different configuration than most of the normal square tarp set ups…the basic layout is the same for the next 3 set ups, just the differences are all in the ridge line tie out location and the configuration of the front opening.

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Front view of the tarp tent set up;

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Back view of the set up, What I did is to stake the back wall down first, and then square up the side corners so that the tabs, which are evenly spaced at 2.5 ft between tie out tabs, are able to be staked down at the same locations, and then from that point between the center and the outermost stake, line up the front corners of the shelter to make a rectangle floor print of 5 ft wide and 7.5 feet long.

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Side view. After I stake the sides/corners down, I then raised the front peak up as far as I could do, and then attached the two tarp clips at the points where I wanted to raise the roof/wall points on the back, to make for a nearly vertical rear wall, and then ran the lines to the ski poles and staked them down. Finally, I run the clothesline ridge line through the ridge seam tabs on the tarp and raised the rear peak up, and tied the end of the line to an overhanging branch. This in effect gives the shelter a house like roof from which rainwater will shed very well, and with the vertical walls, gives one a feeling of increased space compared to a typical A- frame.

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Having seen something similar on a same size tarp, I decided to see if it would work with the ridge line peak tie out moved back 2.5 feet to the next tie out tab on the ridge seam..and bungee’d the resulting corners to bring the front down as far as I could… I disliked this set up because it robs the interior of space, and essentially makes it more a shelter you can only lay diagonally, as opposed to straight up and down.

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Another view of the terrible layout. It might be OK if I had done this with the back being a normal A-frame back though.

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So, keeping the same ridge line tab tied out, I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the corners the other way..and supported them with leaning poles and guy lines… this was the result. A much much better set up, and one that gives me the most spacious feel of the interior, PLUS the protection from almost all angles, the front opening is only 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide, a poncho or a small 5×7 tarp folded in half would have provided a great awning/door..One could also put a small piece of bug netting on that area and be fine for bug season…

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The side view of it. It is essentially now a doghouse shaped shelter, and with the amount of room up front now that the gable is pulled further out, one could have a good space for cooking/gear and still be protected from the elements inside.

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Rear view of the Doghouse shelter, again it is showing the rear wall layout, but also, you can see how much more open the front part looks to be compared to the first triangular opening shelter.. And the only two changes from that is the relocation of the ridge line peak tie out point and the addition of two tie out/pole points on the front sides.

With the tarp clips relocated to exactly 2.5 ft from the corners and in line with the side tabs and the ridge tab, I would say the shelter is basically a small wall tent with a front opening.
And now for something quite different! Here’s the one tree hammock stand!

One Tree Hammock stand stuff

First, these are the materials you need, from top to bottom;

a hammock obviously, with suspension.

an USGI General Purpose, Medium Tent center pole, telescoping, and it goes out to 10something feet, so if you ever need to have a visual cue on “not touching this with a 10ft pole”, this is it!

then the camo straps which are for both the hammock attachment and a ridge line in between the one tree and the pole,

then finally, a set of 4 cargo straps with 10″ nail style stakes larksheaded to their ends and tied to each other at their centers.

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Hook up the ridge line with the camo straps, then position army pole, only extended halfway, then run the 4 green straps down to the ground, and nail them securely at a 45 degree angle.. the pole is not vertical, because that is not what you want, you want as much of the hammock load to be on the pole, and less on the lines, so angling the pole out that its around 50-60 degrees from vertical, and then make sure its not going anywhere.. then stake the lines as far as possible.. this in effect gives you a tension based system..

finally, hook up the hammock to the pole and tree strap.

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Another view of the system, with my massive lumbar pack hanging off a steel hook I mounted on the tree strap. Sharp eyed readers will note that I have a whoopie sling in between the two straps on the ridge line, this is to make it easy to maintain tension…

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With the 10×10 tarp set up in an almost ordinary set up… first I put the side up with the poles, then I staked the center of the other side to make a half-diamond shape..then I staked out the “door” sides on the covered side. This gives me a good balance of wind proofing from one side, and yet a nice porch mode on the other side… with the amount of space in there, I can have a 2nd hammock underneath if I dare do so, or an army cot, or a camp chair or two..

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Side view of the set up. I did not stake the lefthand door as close to the ground as the other side is, but it still works here. With the short hammock ridge line, the 10 ft tarp covers me very well…only problem is the gear hanging out in the rain, but a poncho over it will give it the protection it needs.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Long Ogee Batwing tarp done!

After ordering 6 yards of 58″ wide fabric and 3/4″ crosgrain webbing from [url]www.ripstopbytheroll.com[/url] ; I went and made a longer/larger version of the Ogee Batwing tarp! Took me several hours of cutting, and then sewing the hems and attaching tie outs, but I think the end result is pretty decent! I received 18 feet 8 inches of fabric, so that allowed me a little more latitude for the ridge line length and overall width…

Specs are as follows;

1.1 Oz Khaki Silnylon, 6 yards

16 tie outs of 3/4″ crosgrain webbing, sewn to hems with straight stitches, 4 lines minimum, some tie outs are X-in-box attached (corners and ridgeline tie outs)

overall length, roughly 18 feet 4 inches, width, roughly 11 feet 4 inches

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Set up with poles, I set it up first with one triangle staked down, then the poles, then the final triangle staked down, and then attached guy lines to open up the ends and stake the doors down. In a camping situation, I would start with ridgeline first, and tension it as much as possible, before staking the sides down.

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end view

Tieout detail

side tie out detail; it’s stitched right into the hems

Tarp pouch 4.5x4.5x3

Amazingly, the entire tarp all fits into this 4.5″x4.5″x3″ shotgun ammo pouch, also made by me!  No guylines and no stakes, those would travel in a different pouch.

External Frame packs and Vintage ALICE Goodness!

Decided to do redo my hiking backpacks and return the Improved Hellcat pack frame to stock format of Coleman PEAK-1 bag, original straps and all; and packed it with stuff for the Significant Other except her clothes….What is surprising is that the removal of the military equipment cut out around 5 pounds of unnecessary weight; though at the loss of modularity….right now with stuff except clothes and water, it weights 16 pounds overall. The big green Academy Broadway Jasper pack is full of stuff except water, and carries extra items for two people, weights in at 22 pounds, but empty, the pack weights around 5.5 pounds, still a significant weight loss compared to the MOLLE equipped Coleman pack frame before. I also decided to return one of my old ALICE bags to a like-new ALICE frame and stock straps/belt (all 1978-1979 vintage and NO SCRATCHES OR DAMAGE!) that was given to me by the S.O.’s mother, turns out empty, it weights 9 pounds….only 2 pounds less than the MOLLE version, and still almost double the empty weight of the Jasper pack and the Coleman PEAK 1 pack.  Also did the Bobcat Mod on a camo ALICE bag with camo LC-2 straps, its not bad but not good for heavy loads.

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The three external frame bags;

DSCN2081View of their suspension components;

 

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Bobcat modded Medium ALICE

DSCN2083View of Bobcat modded ALICE straps;

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Loaded up before I transferred all the crap in there to the Jasper pack; here, it weighted 32 pounds O.O (with a full 1 gallon of water and too much food, enough for like 5-6 days hahaha)

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showing the Bobcat mod, which consists of a 11″ long steel tube in the frame pocket and the straps attached around it to the metal rings of the pack. It works OK, but is best for lighter loads than whats shown here.

OK, people are probably wondering HOW is it I have so much stuff in those bags…..for the purposes of pictures, the ALICEs are loaded with extra items I have.

Academy Broadway Jasper pack list;

-blue CCF pad

-12×9 poly tarp

-10 stakes

-bug tent in lower compartment

-first aid kit in side pouch

-granola bars and chocolate packets in side pouch

-fire kit in small side pouch

-2 pairs of pants

-2 shirts

-2 pairs of underwear

-3 pairs of socks

-fleece pull over

-2 2qt canteens (empty right now)

-Kelty top quilt

-Food for 3 days

-canteen cup

-weight currently at 22 pounds without water.

Coleman Peak 1 pack

 

-Down 20 degrees mummy bag (too small for me, but perfect for S.O.)

-2 1qt canteens (also empty)

-canteen cup

-kitchen items; forks, spoons, skewers and pot holder

-2-3 days of food

-granola bars

-weight 16 pounds, no water or clothes

Green Medium ALICE pack

-empty weight; 9 pounds (EEK)

-twin air mattress

-one old sleeping bag

-two empty canteens

Camo Medium ALICE pack; Bobcat mod

-MOLLE straps inside

-MOLLE belt inside

-2x MOLLE sustainment pouches and MOLLE panels

-2x USGI 3 day training packs

-Hex tarp

-Bat-wing tarp

-extra stakes

-hammer

-total weight; 18 pounds

 

Out of all the packs, the Jasper’s modified waist belt fits the best, 2nd only to the MOLLE hip belt, and the Coleman Peak 1 straps are the most comfortable, 2nd only to the MOLLE shoulder straps… the belt it has is too small for me; so its ok for the S.O. for now. The worst straps is a tie between the Jasper straps and the ALICE LC-2 OD straps on the stock ALICE pack. The Jasper straps’ metal buckles are right in front of my armpits, where they should NOT be…..however, the upper mounts is at the perfect 45% angle, so I think I only need to modify the straps by extending the upper mount somehow. Not sure how to best proceed….There is the option of making complete new straps with a set of cannibalized LC-2 long straps similar to the woodland ones in OD, with which I would mount the bottom of the backs to the lower cross bar between the top and the bottom, and have load lifters to the original strap cross bars, this would give me 6 points of adjustment. Ideally if there was another bar below the cross bar, that would be the perfect place for new straps…I am not sure what model Kelty is closest to this frame… Or Jansports for that matter.

As for the Hellcat mods; I think I want to do it again with a DEI 1606AC frame, and probably with new, lighter materials similar to the set up on the Coleman Peak 1 pack, but in Olive or Camo…

For actual bug out bags, it is hard to beat the practically indestructible ALICE packs, especially with the Hellcat mods…..When one considers the need for the fabric to actually stand up to abuses such as dragging in the mud, tossing in the truck, or whatever vehicles have you, and so on….the ALICE and the MOLLE equipment are pretty good for that… BUT….unfortunately, it can also make you a target, hence my decision to pack these two civilian hiking backpacks, which are pretty tough, and also pretty much common everywhere (the Kelty/Jansport style one, not sure of the Coleman but…)…and so will aid greatly in the “gray man” thinking. Out here in the PNW, people do not give second thoughts or focus on the bearded guy wearing surplus winter jackets and a civilian hiking pack; nor do they focus on the obviously large hunting camo wearing guy with the old army backpack and old hunting rifles….In some areas, people are more attracted to the guy who wears 5.11 everything and has a black or coyote backpack with miles of MOLLE; but they do not really notice the guy with woodland/desert MOLLE; nor do they notice the guy with the 30+ year old framed hiking backpack.