Ready for another First Impressions entry?
After trying out the Tensa 4 hammock stand that I received as my anniversary present from ConnieLou for our 30th Anniversary last year, I realized that my 12-foot Wilderness Logics Big Daddy tarp was going to be a bit too long to use with the stand. I knew Christmas was coming up so, of course I did what most anyone in that situation would do…I put a new tarp on my Christmas Wish List and began to look at options for shorter tarps.
I’ve been happy with my Wilderness Logics tarp so initially I began looking at an 11-foot version of the Big Daddy tarp. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I was going to shell out the bucks for a new tarp, I didn’t want to just buy a smaller version of a tarp that I already have. There really needed to be something about it that set it apart from the Big Daddy. Enter the ‘winter tarp’. What’s a winter tarp you ask? Simply said, it’s a tarp with extra material, i.e. ‘doors’, at each end that can be closed off to provide additional protection from the elements.
As with nearly all things hammock related, there are quite a few options to choose from and I spent a fair amount of time researching options from a number of cottage vendors including Wilderness Logics, Dutchware, Hammock Gear, Warbonnet Outdoors and others. I had almost convinced myself that I wanted an Old Man Winter tarp from Wilderness Logics when I learned that Marty Gallimore, the owner of Wilderness Logics, had passed away and they were closing down. The search continued. Ultimately I narrowed my search down to two vendors, Hammock Gear and Dutchware. One thing to keep in mind here, by narrowing my search to these two vendors is in no way saying anything against any of the other cottage vendors of hammock camping gear. I just happen to have other pieces of gear from both and have been pleased with the quality and price point. What made me decide on Hammock Gear over Dutchware? Honestly, it came down to Hammock Gear having a better Black Friday offer.
So what tarp did I ultimately decide on?
I went with the 11-foot version of Hammock Gear’s ‘The Journey’ winter tarp. I went with the 11-foot version to meet my length requirements and opted for coyote brown over olive green. How did I rig it out? To keep things simple, I decided to rig the tarp pretty much the same way that I have my Bid Daddy tarp rigged. The more familiar, the better, right?
Here’s the low-down… For a ridgeline I went with a pair of Dutchware Stingers with 12 feet of orange Reflectit spliced to each, Dutchware Tarpworms with orange Reflectit and 3/32-inch shock cord for tie outs, orange reflective guy line for panel pulls, a one-piece mesh tarp sleeve and 3/32-inch reflective shock cord with 3/8-inch side release buckles for the door pulls.
Unfortunately the tarp and rigging weren’t waiting for me under the tree on Christmas morning…but that’s OK, we knew ahead of time that it wouldn’t be. Hammock Gear typically has a two to three week lead time for made-to-order gear but add in the Black Friday special and the run-up to Christmas and the lead time stretched to nearly six weeks…as was expected.
Finally, with all of the pieces in place, I was able to get outside this afternoon, get the tarp rigged and hung for the first time. Ready for a few photos? Check ‘em out…
First the Goodie Box with all of the bits and pieces…
Like I mentioned earlier, with the exception of the side panel pulls and the door pulls, the set-up is identical to my Big Daddy tarp…Dutchware Stingers and Reflectit for the ridge tie-outs and Dutchware Tarpworms and and Reflectit for guy lines at the corners…
While there are a myriad of options to rig the tarp doors, I decided to go with a method utilizing shock cord and side release buckles that I’d seen on a YouTube video and in a related blog entry by Alan Dixon.
Views from the side and the end with the doors open and closed…
I’m not sure how much I’ll use the side panel pull-outs but they do add a good bit of room to the interior when they’re used.
Compare the amount of room beneath the tarp with the side panel pull-outs in use versus without. Keep in mind that it’s pitched fairly low…
And finally the tarp skin wrapping the whole thing up…
It took a little tweaking to get the shock cord door pulls set just right but that shouldn’t be a problem down the road. The tarp is a foot shorter than my Big Daddy and isn’t quite as wide the increase in coverage and protection from wind as well as rain should make the difference insignificant.
I’ll add a few more photos down the road after I have a chance to spend a few nights under it between the trees and in the Tensa 4 stand.
All in all I’m quite pleased. If I just had to find fault with something it would be the stuff sack. Yeah, you read that right, the stuff sack. The tarp fits just fine without the cordage and tarp skin but once everything is added, not so much. Increase the diameter of the sack by an inch or make it a couple of inches longer and it would be perfect.
Want more First Impressions? Check out my other First Impressions entries for these products:
Solo Stove Lite and