Sunday, November 09, 2008

Top Tarp

A while back, we discovered that our emergency plan to use an extra ground sheet as a shelter if necessary was deeply flawed. First, the sheet was too small for the two of us to really shelter under in a storm and hope to stay dry. Second, it was not really designed for that purpose, so it lacked grommets and loops in all of the necessary places.

After much perusing in outdoors shops, we realised that what we wanted wasn't really available here in New Zealand. We were after a lightweight tarp (or fly if you prefer) that was going to keep the rain off, cover two people comfortably, and not weigh enough to make us ever leave it at home.

We ended up importing a tarp from Mountain Equipment Coop in Canada. (One of my favourite places to shop when I'm home for a visit!) It's 2.1m X 2.9m, and weighs just 438g. Today we had a trial run at setting it up on our hike along Cattle Ridge in the Rimutakas. I can tell you it certainly worked better than our old ground sheet! We'd easily fit under there, along with our gear. The loops and grommets are placed in logical positions, and well reinforced. And while my knot-tying skills still need some work, we got it looking pretty sturdy in a classic A-frame shape.
Meanwhile, we had a lovely 4-hour (minus tarp-trying and lunch-eating) hike on a beautiful spring day. There aren't a lot of open views from the ridge as it is below the bush line, but we did have this look over the harbour.
And if you need proof that spring has arrived in New Zealand, check out the koru (baby fern leaves) unravelling in the centre of this fern. For New Zealand, that's pretty much like daffodils sprouting from the ground! Fingers crossed for a warm, sunny summer.


Ron Bloomquist said...

Thanks for the tarp idea and link to the company.

I have been looking at:

"The Rainbow" but your idea is lighter.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the tarp in action! I will tell Z. XO G