Tag Archives: cuben fiber

Make Your Own Backpacking Tarp Kits

DIY Kits for 5×8′, 9×9′ and 10×10′ ultralight tarps

How to Video Steps

1 Sew Reinforce Panel Tie Outs

2 Sew Tarp Center Seam, 1st Pass

3 Top Stitch Center Seam, 2nd Pass

4 Sew Reinforced Tie Out to Center of Tarp Along Seam

5 Sewing the hem and inserting reinforcements

6 Sewing on the webbing




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Filed under backpacking tarps, Do It Yourself, Fabric, Oware Backpacking Gear, Tips for the Backcountry

Past custom shelters built by Oware

Oware was and early adopter of Cuben Fiber for extremely light shelters.

Cuben Fiber tents for long expedition. 2 person 12 ounces, 1 person 8 ounces.


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Filed under Oware Backpacking Gear, oware tarps, pyramid tarp

Thoughts on Tarp Setups

Some of nylon’s stretch can be mitigated by how the fabric pieces are cut out. Curves etc. in seams and hems can help maintain shape. I far as I know, nylon is still the fabric of choice for shock absorption (parachutes, ropes) and does a good job for shelters suddenly loaded by wind or snow.

It does sag a bit at times from temperature drops or moisture. In something like a pyramid tarp, having a method for adjusting the pole upward to take up slack from within the shelter is nice. If your tarp pole is not adjustable, this could be as simple as having a stone handy to place underneath the pole. If you use outside shear poles, reaching under the hem and pulling the two pole bottoms inward can do the same.

Two wooden poles can be  lasted to hold the tarp up from outside.

Two wooden poles can be lasted to hold the tarp up from outside.

Be sure in any case or fabric type you stake out the hem in the right shape. On a symmetrical 4 sided mid, a diamond shape instead of a perfect square will produce saggy walls with any fabric. Floored shelters are easier to get the stake out pattern correct. On a floorless shelter you could tie tiny cords corner to corner to insure proper and repeatable layouts.

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Filed under alphamid, backpacking tarps, Oware Backpacking Gear, pyramid tarp, Tips for the Backcountry

Tarp Shelter Set Up Options

From our friends at Equipped.org. Extensive article on using tarps to make shelters.

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Filed under backpacking tarps, Customer Quotes and Photos, Do It Yourself, Fabric, flattarp, Good Links, Oware Backpacking Gear, oware tarps, Tips for the Backcountry

Seam on cuben tarp

Cat Tarp 1.5 cuben fiber. Center seam photo. Felled seam, then taped.


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Filed under backpacking tarps, cat tarp, Do It Yourself, Fabric, flattarp, Oware Backpacking Gear, oware tarps

Lightest Waterproof Breathable Bivy?

Oware custom bivy 3.5 oz!








Fully waterproof with breathable top.

Size small.

Waterproof Breathable Cuben Fiber top (thanks to Joe @ Zpacks for the material)

Cuben Fiber Bottom

Waterproof zipper

Sewn then taped.


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Filed under bivysack, Do It Yourself, Oware Backpacking Gear

Cat Tarp, the original

CatTarp TM

Home of the backpacking tarp with the catenary cut to the ridgeline. And the first ones made of silicone coated nylons and Cuben Fiber TM laminates. We coined the term “cat cut” to describe and differentiate this new feature on our tarps from others on the market.  By using this curve, it takes stretch and bag out of the fabrics and enables the tarp to be a “hummer not a flapper” with fewer tie outs and stakes in high wind.

Others may have copied the name, descriptions, even drawings from Oware.   Not all tarps with “cat” in the  name are made the same way or have 26 years of tarp making experience and goodwill behind them.

Dave Olsen


See them here


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Filed under cat tarp, Oware Backpacking Gear, oware tarps

Flat Tarps

“Beaks”? We don’t need no stinkin’ beaks!
(or tent stakes or poles for that matter)

Backpacking Tarps

The lightest and most versatile of shelters, and can be used for a place for teaching out of the sun or rain. Their set up can inspire craftsmanship among students. They are used by many major outdoor schools and savvy go light backpackers everywhere. Our tarps are available in various weights of nylon with a thick waterproof coat of urethane or an ultralight silicone coating. To add strength, sewn on webbing loops are used instead of grommets for tying the tarp out  and are also reinforced with an extra layer of fabric at high stress points.  Custom size tarps also available.

Flat Tarps TM
We coined the term “Flat Tarp” to distinguish our rectangular and square tarps from the
tarps with curves (catenary “Cat Tarps”) cut into the seams. A Flat Tarp allows for more pitching
options in many shapes, while a Cat Tarp allows a taunt set up with fewer ties out, but is limited
to a specific shape of shelter. Reinforced center tie outs allow a flat tarp to be set up sealed close to the ground on the sides and one end like the photo. This without the limiting shape of “beaks”. For those who want to go light (pun intended) but enjoy tarp
craft while using natural features to set up camp, a square or rectangular tarp can
be set up in many ways (see bottom of page).

tarpinstructorsetupfront copy

TarpFlyingDiamondfront copytarpdinkTarp Set up copy


Filed under flattarp