DIY Tarp Bivy (1 Viewer)

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DrewSTNY

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Feb 10, 2017
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Gang Mills, NY
So I made one of these last night. Didn't try it out yet, but for a normal bag and thin ground pad, it seems that a 6x8 tarp is about perfect. An 8x10 will give you a bit more material to adjust for bigger bags or thicker ground pads.

The carpet tape is the hardest to find. I used 2" wide tape, but 1" wide would probably be better.

Turning it outside-in to hide the seams was about the worst of it. Had to crawl inside and push the corners out in the foot end.
 
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dumpster harpy

dumpster harpy

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Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
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Hell, MA
Hell yeah. I just made a prototype the other night. I used a 9'x11' camo tarp. Wound up cutting a piece about 5.5' wide and 6.5' long. Now I have enough left over to make another.

What threw me for a loop was putting the Velcro on.
 

DrewSTNY

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Feb 10, 2017
Messages
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Location
Gang Mills, NY
Haven't tried putting the velcro on yet. Was wondering if I would really need it or not. What did you use for putting it on?

I had the idea of making some kind of hood or making the top wider so that you could prop it up with a walking stick or tie it off to a tree so that you had a bit of a view.

Definitely a sweet idea. The last time I rolled up into a tarp, I got pretty wet from the condensation. I don't know if it was from my breathing or sweating, but the places where the bag touched the tarp were really cold.
 
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dumpster harpy

dumpster harpy

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Hell, MA
I got a 5ft roll of sticky back Velcro, and put it on the top 1/3rd of the side like in the video. My problem was that I got confused by the seam. I trimmed the sides before putting on the Velcro, instead of just putting it along the inside edge of the seam. It's just two flat edges against each other instead of two rolled edges. So I can't easily seal the Velcro from inside because there's nothing to hold it by.

It still works, but it's not perfect.
 
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dumpster harpy

dumpster harpy

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Joined
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Messages
184
Location
Hell, MA
It would work in a pinch, but the carpet tape creates a strong permanent bond. If you're going through the effort of making your own bivy you might as well use it.
 

DrewSTNY

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Feb 10, 2017
Messages
330
Location
Gang Mills, NY
I will have some feedback on Monday. Going to be field testing 3 or 4 of these with different people. I will have mine in the hammock so should be interesting.
 

DrewSTNY

Vagabond
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
330
Location
Gang Mills, NY
So, early feedback. The bivys worked well, everyone stayed dry. Big caveat, do yourself a favor and make one out of tyvek so it breathes. Also, I don't think I would use one without a tarp overhead. It will keep the ground moisture off you, but I don't know if I would trust it as my sole shelter. Although, we had torrential rain last night, so I am super glad to have had extra shelter.

They work awesome in hammocks! I was able to keep a ground pad under me the whole night and stayed very comfortable. No drafts!

A tarp bivy is going to be heavy. With a 0* bag and ground pad, the whole thing weighs 10#. Tyvek would be at most 8 oz, so the majority of the weight is the bag and pad. As it was for me, but like the old saying goes, ounces and up to pounds.

OT - I was also test driving a Noah's shelter from Kelty. It was the 12x12 version and that thing rocks! Lots of room under that beast. It's a bit hard to find trees far enough apart to hang the thing, but it has lots of tie outs so you can adjust the ridge line length. I will suggest seam sealing it beyond what Kelty does though. I noticed a few drops forming on the seams.
 

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