American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Working with the 5XP

I've drawn up the basic layout of the Hilleberg 5XP today to start playing around with pitching options. I'm not sure the direction I'm going to take here yet but I think I'll probably just get out and pitch the tarp various ways and shoot some pictures. The weather is supposed to be a bit nasty again today though so if I've got to protect the camera from inclement weather I'll do my best.

The tarp is 3.5m long by 1.45m wide (that's approximately 11'X4.8') and there are eight tieouts along the edges (four corners and midpoints on all four sides.)

Reading the Hilleberg catalog I noticed that the cords they've attached to the tarp are Spectra. Whoah! Spectra, for those of you who might not know, is a very high strength, low weight, and low stretch material. The more I know about this tarp the more impressed I am at the price point. Bo Hilleberg has done his homework and his whole family has grown up (literally) in and around his tents and tarps.

At this point I'd like to mention the catalog. I have actually enjoyed reading it. The products, manufacturing methods, and family history are all presented and the catalog actually tells the story of a man, his family, and their desire to make some darned good shelters that can handle even the nastiest of winter snows. You can get one FREE right here.

Back to the tarp...
Long skinny tarps have some advantage over their wider and more square bretheren. First, you're saving some unnecessary weight if you're confident in your ability to pitch a weather-tight shelter. Second, smaller shelters are easier to warm with body heat. Third, and some may say this is NOT an advantage, you have limited pitching options. I have a 9'X 9' catenary cut tarp with 17 tieouts and you can pitch it so many ways it is sometimes difficult to figure out what the "best" way might be. The 5XP will go up fast.

Some pitching options that come right off the top of my head:
  • flat lean-to
  • closed a-frame
  • open a-frame
  • wide-open "awning"

I've got a few ideas for additional pitches but don't know if they have names. Pictures will probably make more sense anyway.

At 11' long it'll also work well with my hammock. That brings up a whole other list of possible pitching options.

Thanks for reading,



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