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I used a homemade tarp that was 8.5' by 9.0', with my two leki trekking =
poles for most of the PCT last summer and found that it was a palace for =
one and often slept 2 or 3 people under it, in A frame and lean-to fashio=
n. But A frame most often. Since the trail I've reduced the tarp to what =
I need, not other people i'm hiking with, down to about 7' by 8.5'. Less =
weight, material and bulk is always a nice thing when your home is on you=
If you are spending time in the desert,don't get a black tarp, for you'll=
use it for shade on occasion, unless you want to try to cook an egg on =
For ground cover I started with a trimmed down All Weather Blanket, the =
heavier duty space blanket, with grommets and all that unnecessary stuff.=
That was too bulky, so I got some Tyvek from Dale the Kiwi at Kennedy =
Meadows. Down the way, I changed my system again and dumped my umbrella =
(yeah, yeah, i know,...) and the tyvek for those cheap, vinyl $1.99 ponch=
os for my rain pro and ground sheet. Only took 3 of them to get me from =
Tahoe to Canada. Since the finish, I was going to make my own 1.1 ounce =
poncho but evil REI had a new Ridgetrail or something like that poncho =
for sale for $20 that was nearly what I was going to make. oh well, i'll =
use that material for my new pack for the Divide next summer!
There's plenty of books with tarp set-up info, but the best are Jardine's=
and Colin Fletcher's, though you need to wind through a few of his stori=
es before you get what you want!
A word for the wise, if bugs like you, as they do me, feel free to modify=
your tarp to attatch bug netting by whatever means, velcro, maybe. i did=
n't plan for that and I damn near quit the trail just north of Tuolomne =
because of those buzzy little bastards.
Another trick. if you use hiking poles, install grommets along the edge =
of the A frame, flip your poles and insert the tip into the grommet for =
a more secure purchase, which makes it easier to set up the tarp when you=
are by yourself!
I reccommend the clothesline, too. Can't beat it in the Pacific Northwet!
Hope this helps
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