Attaching cord loops on tarp tie outs

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Feb 1, 2013
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Wanted to get some feedback from other trippers out there regarding their tarp setup. At the recent Outdoor Adventure Show here in Toronto, I picked up a single-season used 10x10 CCS Tundra Tarp from Harlan of SoloTripping/Red Lake Outfitters. Very excited to get some usage out of this premium tarp. Anyway, my question is about the Cliff Jacobson method of tying out loops of paracord to the webbing loops on the perimeter of the tarp as seen in his Expedition Canoeing book (link HERE to an online version with the picture I'm talking about).

How many of you find this useful or even critically necessary?

I've been using a cheaper 8x10 tarp with webbing loops and have never felt the need to tie extra cord loops on every attachment point like he shows. Most of my setups involve a basic A-frame with prussics & biners for tension, a basic leanto with one side staked to the ground or a modified diamond fly with three sides pegged down. I've always staked through the webbing loops with no problems. The CCS tarp is even more reinforced with webbing around the entire perimeter hem of the tarp. I can't see it tearing with the usage and setups I tend to favour.

Just wondering about the merits of the Jacobson method. At first glance, I find all those webbing ties sort of distracting but I'm trying to be open minded to different tripping ideas.

Thoughts?
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Murat V The photo didn't come up but on my CCS tarp I've placed a loop of 440 cord on all the CCS loops. My reasoning ran that any wear that happened would be to the cord. Also on my ridge line I have two prussic knots with a disc of wood that acts just like a button and allows me to adjust the ridge line to anywhere on the tarp edge by button holing through the 440 loops. The loops would pass maybe a large lemon.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Thanks for the response, Rob. Here's a screenshot of the pic I was referring to...
Tarp+Loops.JPG


Your button of wood solution sounds creative and much more to my liking. I've just been using those cheapo carabiners that seem to be attached to everything these days...have collected a handful from stuff like keychains, notepads, and corporate water bottles my wife brings back from the workplace. They're obviously not heavy duty but found they are strong enough for the prussic system to secure tarps on a ridgeline without trouble even in serious weather.
 
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wow. that's a lotta loops!

I have two tarps. One is an OES McCat Standard that goes over my hammock. If you're not familiar with it, it's a cat-cut tarp about 11' long x 7'ish wide. Perfect for covering a hammock. I have 6 lines attached to it. The two at the head and foot ends are just 550 paracord about 6' long. Two lines on one side are 3/16" white braided nylon line about 3' long. Their sole purpose is to hold that side of the tarp down low, either staked into the ground at about a 45* angle, or tied to convenient bushes. That leaves 2 on the 'near' side, where I get in/out from, usually closest to the path, and hopefully facing east or SE. One of those is a 12' piece of paracord. The other (nearer the head end) is a 12' piece of Kelty Triptease Lightline. These two are that long to enable me to install a couple 6'-7' poles with clove hitches to create a sort of porch or awning. If i'm solo, this is the only tarp i bring. i can (just barely) cook under this awning if i need to, and stay out of the rain. also, at night, if a storm kicks up, i can just reach out and grab those two poles and pull the butt ends up underneath the hammock. this lowers that side almost to the ground at a 45 (like the other side already is) and the weight of the poles keeps them from blowing around much (though not always... sometimes i have to put a weight on them... a log or pack works. you just have to have it there ahead of time, or you'll get wet going to find one!) The triptease is there to reflect a little light when i get out at night to, um... recycle some soup or cocoa.

My other tarp is a 10x14. It's just about perfect for a kitchen fly for 2-3 people. I have one 25'-30' piece of 3/16" cord on each corner. I carry a 50' (probably a bit shorter by now) 1/4" rope in the food box. This goes up between two trees, splitting the fire ring as nearly as possible, about 7'-8' high in the center. The tarp goes over this, and i keep it in place with a couple prussics. i tried a couple other methods, but tying prussics afterwards seems easiest. the four corners then guy it out and it's up. if it's raining, you can lower any corner for more protection. sometimes we bring the canoe up closer too, as a windbreak.

OM, i really like your idea with the buttons... if you have any pictures, i'd like to see them... i'm very intrigued... this may cause me to rethink my whole setup...
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Murat V, that's pretty much the way I do it, but the loops are tied and then I float super glue into the knot. No long ends are present. Those suckers never come undone. Then when I put the loop to the tarp I slip one inside the other, tarp and loop, and it makes a square knot. Then with the knot the CCS tarp loop doesn't have any wear.
I remember reading somewhere that those reflective lines have some kind of glitter or something that will abrade anything it is allowed to slide over.

Seeker, I've got to bite the bullet and learn how to do photos. Soon I hope. Now, those buttons allow me to move the prussic attachment point to anywhere I want; but I've rigged my 12 x 12 ccs tarp with the ridge line down the center line of loops. You probably remember Hoop's "shower curtain" rig. To do that it's almost like I'm betting that the down the center way will most times work and that's the way it comes out of the bag. It's fast and usually it works no problem. If I wind up camping where it just ain't gonna work then I've got to slip the ridge line out of the center loops and figure some new creative way to pitch the tarp. That's when the wood buttons really shine.

One of the features of that "shower curtain" down the center method that I really like is when it's time to break camp. I'm always alone and my dog is no help so I've come up with a method to keep the whole thing up in the air and free of the dirt and mud of the ground. I just take one corner and bring it over to the ridge line and tie it off with some light line I've attached there. The droop that's hanging down near my knees is just three feet and clears the ground easily. I go on and do all the rest of the corners, now it's true in the center, the hanging droop is somewhat more but it's still off the ground. On the CCS tarp my center loops have light lines tied to them that I now use to gather up the belly of the hanging tarp. If you looked from the side it would look like about six green sausages gathered up to the ridge line. And then into the sack it goes!

Gosh! I've got to learn to do photos, all that gobbledygook I've just written must look clear as mud. Sorry guys.

Rob
 
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Murat,
I have the same book (he generously sent me an advanced copy of it years ago just before it was released) and I have wondered the same thing about his recommendation of tarp loops. I really don't see much advantage to it. In fact, when I stake down one side of my tarp to the ground to create a wind wall, I usually want the lower edge of my tarp as close to the ground as possible to prevent wind coming in beneath it, so cord loops around my tarps webbed loops would actually interfere with that. I can see the point if a tarp has only grommet holes though.

In any case, what I usually do is leave my tarp's guy lines attached so that when I need to string it up in a hurry, there are already lines in placewith tensioning knots (tautline hitches). When I'm worried about wind, I use 12" pieces of shock cord which I tie onto my tarp's webbing loops with a larkshead/cow hitch, and then I tie my guy lines to that short bit of shock cord using a clove hitch as seen below.
shockabsorbers_zps9e40a193.jpg


The shock cord acts as shock absorbers in strong wind gusts, which reduces the likelihood of stakes being pulled free, lines breaking, or my tarp being torn. They also keep tension on the tarp so that it doesn't sag when it's wet. Shock cord is of course significantly weaker that either my tarp or my guy lines, so it something were to give way in a sudden wind gust, it would be the shock cord, not my tarp.

Hope this helps,
- Martin
 
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Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Martin, I'm glad I'm not the only one questioning the value of extra cord loops on every single webbing tie out. Also appreciate the closeup photo of your shock cord solution for extra windy circumstances.
 
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I only attach shock cords to 4 corners of my CCS tarp. I trust it can take the windy days I hope. I might try leaving tie outs attached next time. I practise the shower curtain method, with mixed results. On good days I feel like a magician, on bad days I feel like a frustrated paratrooper holding up D-Day. I love all the tarpology and knot tying advice, thanks all.
Brad
 
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Lots of good ideas here. I have loops tied onto the four corners of my Cooke 10x12 tarp, plus a few places that tend to get pulled out, like the middle and center loops. The loops act as pulley points to prevent chafing on the tarp loops (like others have said above). I also have short pieces (a foot or less) of paracord tied to almost all the loops. These short pieces are used to tension the tarp on whatever line is supporting it at that point. I use tautline hitches with a slip loop on the end - easy to tie, no need to untie to adjust, and a snap of the wrist to untie.
 
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