Backpacking where frozen ground makes pounding in tent stakes tough, a small hammer or hatchet is useful. If one is in an area of excess wood, campfires, wood tent stakes and poles might be part of the trip. Then a hatchet can be good to have.
Marble makes a small hatchet which weighs 13 ounces and I found for $17 plus shipping. Small enough it fits in my back pocket. It does a good job at pounding stakes, and is useful for light wood gathering. I like it for tapping away fire starting pitch chunks from the “cat face” of a pine tree, quickly limbing off the small dead pencil size “magic sticks” at the base of trees, making shavings and getting at dry wood in a dead stump. It is smaller than the usual hatchets, so won’t be up to larger tasks like felling anything more than a sapling. You won’t be splitting rounds with this, but for wood gettin’ I find it better than a pocket knife and sometimes better than a saw. I made a small leather sheath that leaves one side open for driving stakes and weighs 1/2 ounce. It came sharp enough for most tasks but if you like to whittle, it needs a bit of work with a stone to be shaving sharp. The wood appears to have a light varnish, but if you like could be sanded and tung oiled.
- 4 to 12 stakes (4 minimum with trees for ridgeline tie outs, more stakes needed if windy, snow load or using poles for support)
- 2 trees, trekking poles, or tarp poles (use of at least one tree is easier to set up for one person, if using poles two people holding poles on each end really speeds things up)
- 6 cords @ 3′ on corners and middle sides of fabric panel
- 2 cords @ 6′ on ridge line (having some extra cord is useful for trees spread farther apart, and needed for tarps large enough for more than one person)
First attach the Ridgeline tie out to a tree or pole at a height that allows the netting to sit 4″ on the ground.
I like to use a releasable tautline hitch.
If using a pole for the ridgeline, tie a clove hitch around the top of the pole and then run the line down to a stake on the ground. Adjustable trekking poles make height adjustments easier.
Have someone hold the pole upright and go attach the other ridge line to a pole or tree.
Stake out the four corners at a height that maintains about 4″ of netting laying on the ground.
Adjust cord length using the tautline hitches and by moving stakes so that the tarp is stretched snug with minimum wrinkles. In a wind, you want the tarp to hum, not flap.
If needed, tie out center side points and four corner points on netting. Shepherds crook type stakes work well for the netting. The netting should be snug but not tight along the sides of the tarp (gentle on the netting) and loose on the pleated ends so one can crawl under the netting easily without having to remove a stake.
MICRO CORD 1.2 MM,
Tiny, but with a firm finish that holds knots well and doesn’t abrade easily.
Super light you can carry less than an ounce and have lots for tarp set ups, compass lanyards, emergency shoe laces. Fits in most cord locks, even the smallest.
Misc. colors, our choice
Great Example of using paddles for tarp poles.
Photos curtesy of Stephen Miller.
Winter Thickness of 1/2″ (1.3mm)
Closed Cell Foam Waterproof to a Hydrostatic Head of 3500 mm.
Will not go flat if punctured.
One of the lightest options for your PCT thru hike.
Add it to your summer pad for a winter trip.
R value of 2.
Without dimples or ridges that collect snow in your snow shelter or rain under your tarp and soak your sleeping bag.
Stuffsack (with strap loop for outside carry on your pack or on top of your bike panniers) available on some sizes. Drawstring has keeper mitten hook for outside carry of pad on pack. Stuffsack weight 1 oz.
Use the double wide in hammocks, for two people, or trim and layer for one person to extra width or cushioning.
Three sizes from two person width to torso size.
Torso size 20x40x1/2″ –weight 5 ounces
One person size 20x60x1/2″ –weight 7.5 ounces
Two person size 40x60x1/2″ –weight 15 ounces
Available in the USA only due to shipping costs on bulky items.
Free Shipping in the USA.
Thanks for getting the tarps out so fast. I really appreciate it.
We put them to good use on our troop’s trek this week. We faced some of the rowdiest storms I’ve ever seen in the mountains. The boys LOVED the tarps and have total confidence in them. I don’t think they’ll ever carry a tent again.
Here’s a pic: