Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tarp Versatility

A while back I led a program on the versatility of tarps and tarp variants.  I demonstrated how to use a parachute as a cooking fly (which did not go perfectly because it was insanely windy that day). 
Cross-brace and tether in place (Photo by R. Thurman)

Canadian jam knot tied to tether to raise and lower the parachute (Photo by R. Thurman)

Upright and guy-line (Photo by R. Thurman)

Completed (Photo by R. Thurman)

Demonstrating under the parachute (Photo by R. Thurman)
After we had the parachute up we moved a short distance away to talk about just how damned useful a poncho can be.
Tying in poncho liner to make a bivy sack (Photo by R. Thurman)

Snapping two ponchos together to make a pup-tent (Photo by R. Thurman)

More snapping... (Photo by R. Thurman)

Sharpening a tent stake (Photo by R. Thurman)

Almost done... (photo by R. Thurman)

A Canadian jam knot tied by one of the participants (Photo by R. Thurman)

All done except the center pole (Photo by R. Thurman)

And done! (Photo by R. Thurman)
 The last thing we did with the poncho was make it into a stretcher using two Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) saplings for poles.
Cutting a sapling (Photo by R. Thurman)

Poncho has been laid out then the saplings were laid out a foot or so apart then the poncho was folded over itself into the center... longest caption ever... (Photo by R. Thurman)

Stretcher in use (Photo by R. Thurman)
 The last thing we worked on was putting up a diamond fly with a camping hammock underneath.
Putting up the fly (Photo by R. Thurman)

Continued (Photo by R. Thurman)

Prepping to suspend the hammock (Photo by R. Thurman)

Finishing suspending the hammock (Photo by R. Thurman)

Camping in style! (Photo by R. Thurman)


Bill Giles said...

The biggest problem with using a poncho as a rain fly, tent or groundcloth is that, while you're using it as a rain fly, tent or groundcloth, you can't use it as a poncho. If I had to, I would, but I prefer to leave my poncho for rain gear. No harm in learning what it can be used for.

Anonymous said...

I carry the poncho in a small shoulder bag I use as a day pack to use as rain gear, or if need be, as a shelter. When I was demonsrating the uses for the poncho I prefaced that it was not my first choice for a shelter when camping. I do however use the rubber OD green poncho as a ground cloth under my hammock. It stays in the top of my Duluth pack when I am camping to serve as rain gear.

Thanks for the comment!

Bill Giles said...

I almost always carry a lightweight plastic disposable poncho in my pack for unexpected rain. I have a nylon poncho that I don't normally take unless I'm going to be out for a while. When hunting or taking photographs, I'm very likely to take a nylon poncho to use as a ground cloth or to spread gear out on. I have several lightweight tent footprints that I bought on clearance that I use for the same purpose. Years ago, I was on a trip with an Explorer post when we had a flat tire on a logging road and found that we had a spare, but no jack. It was the middle of the night and it was raining. I had a clear plastic sheet that I used as a groundcloth. I cut a slit in the middle of it and used it as a poncho when we hiked to the sawmill to look for a jack. We found one and I stayed dry.
Thanks for posting on tarps, they are very adaptable.

OldFatGuy said...

Another great presentation, Chris. I was really impressed at how easily the poncho could be used for a stretcher. I just ordered a light weight rip stop nylon poncho to keep in my truck and have available when it might be needed.

Anonymous said...

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Constantine La said...

I was searching for the best machete and your blog showed up somehow.

Anyways, we made those poncho tents when I was in the army. It is cool if it is a nice night and somewhat warm but if it is raining or cold outside, you REALLY want a real tent. You can make up for it by having a heavy duty, water proof, arctic sleeping bag though.

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Max Malone said...

tarps and ponchos are very versatile and valuable piece of gear.