Monday, 28 May 2007

How to put up a Tarp and Hammock

Sleeping by a long log fire

How to put up a Tarp and Hammock

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to put up a tarp and a hammock. Find a Tarp that's got many points for attaching rope around the edges and corners - or put your own in. You want one that's light enough to carry easily with all your other gear and very durable, don't get mixed up with a heavy groundsheet.
Now you can make your own hammock as I once did out of string; learning to use a wooden needle and relying on the sheet bend and a few other knots, or you can buy one and learn to use the Evenk Slippery Hitch and the Tautline hitch, or whichever are your preferred knots. Much of this can be found in books (Ray Mears - Essential Bushcraft) or on the internet, YouTube is pretty good these days. I have found a great video which I have put on my Shelter Videos page, go to videos above and click on Shelter Videos.

Evenk Slippery Figure of Eight Siberian Hitch also known as the Evenk knot or the Evenk Slippery Figure of Eight Hitch originated from the Evenk people of Siberia.It is a quick release hitch knot often used by Ray Mears during his Bushcraft television series. The hitch is known for the ease in which it can be tied even whilst wearing gloves or mittens in cold climates.

Tautline Hitch- Secure one end of the rope. Pass the other end around a stake or other fixed point and run parallel to static line. Make two turns around the static line turning towards the stake. Finish with a half hitch tied on the far side of the two aforesaid turns. Tighten the knot and slide along static line to tighten or loosen it.

The point is to learn how to get one up quickly and efficiently so that it protects you and all your gear, and also how to use it in different situations.At the top of this page is great artistic masterpiece I have created to show the versatility of a plain piece of tarpaulin. There is a picture of a debris hut below, which if you like to have cosy feet is a must have, but you also need some woodland, a lot of leaves and different sized branches and some large branches with 'V's at the ends. You don't really need a tarp because they stay very dry without one if you have enough leaves on top.
There are a lot of people forced to live in temporary shelters these days who wouldn't otherwise choose to. I have chosen to because I appreciate knowing how little you really need to live comfortably and I enjoy the peace that comes from swinging between two hawthorns in an ancient stand of woodland, listening to the birds singing and the wind in the leaves and feeling part of something much bigger than myself. I also like the independence I get from knowing I can literally get a good nights sleep anywhere - within reason - though sometimes I think building a nest in a tree next to a private property sign would be a laugh. That reminds me of the time last year...

...I was on the road in Somerset with Ed and his horse Thorn and the cart (I didn't even put up my tarp on the way just slept under the cart!). We stopped at a supermarket, as you do and Thorn, with the cart, was tethered to a sign that said 'No Parking'. Stopping at the supermarket with a horse and cart was incongruous enough, but seeing Thorn there really made me laugh especially when I thought about him being towed away!

Ed's one of only three farmers in the country still using Plough horses to prepare land for growing food, he's also quite well known for stopping traffic in Swansea when Thorn takes his produce to market to sell in the Town Centre. He used to be a Lecturer at the University of London in Neuropsychology and Statistics - Go figure. Milton who ran the Ecovillage HQ in Canada used to be a Ballistic Missile Engineer, when I met him he taught me to hand milk his cow, and I think he liked nothing better than going out of a wintry evening, through the snow to the cowshed to milk his cow by hand. At least it gave him some peace and quiet. Well there's hope for all of us. Putting up a tarp and hammock is one thing but making ballistic missiles is something entirely different. There are certainly degrees of separation. This is me obviously after I've had the Make-Up and Hair done for the Photo Shoot. This is what getting a fresh 'air-brushing' is like...
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Related Articles:-
Course Outline,
An Introduction to Shelter,
Habitat-Shelter from the Skin Up,
The Backyard Bushcraft Experience,
how to remove a tick
Ultimate Fitness Program...
Progress is Process - Training program
What to do about sports injuries
Learning to Identify Plants

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tags - tarp, hammock, how to put up, knots, shelter, suvival, primitive, simple, easy, online bushcraft, course, camping, voluntary simplicity

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