Monday, December 18, 2006

Tarp fun!

OK managed to get a few bits on fun in this weekend, playing with a small poncho/Tarp and got some pictures as well. Also some thoughts about fire starting with flint steel n birch bark.

Been looking for a nice place to play for a while now, and eventually picked some woods near a park, its deep and dense enough so I can set things up without being disturbed or alarming anyone after about a 10 minute walk in.

The tarp itself is a standard Bristish Army poncho (nylon) I got with a load of gear a while back, never really had changce to play with it until this weekend. I also picked up some paracord (via of eBay) to be used as well as 2 trekking poles I have. Bearing in mind I coul duse eth tree's I still wanted to incorporate a pole for practise incase I am ever wthout tree around me. Basic pitch ways were as follows:

  • Basic A-frame
  • Lean to + Modified Lean to
  • Flying Diamond
  • Any other variations I can think of.

Lean-to, easist one to set up, takes no time what so ever and requires the least amount of kit (could get away with 1 cord and 2 pegs)

Modified Lean-to (Shown) brings hood out so head room is increased. Not too keen on this one as its exposed from sides and front, little heat would stay in this. Good prtection from wind n rain if pitched facing away from it.

A-frame, one of my favourites nice protection if the weather turns really bad, though a tarp of this size isn't that good for extended periods, you can fit one person in with no gear, so better make something to extend this or stow your gear in (big dry bag?). Entry/Exit would need to be setup with the pole further out.

Flying Diamond. This one is also pretty good, will need to test it out some though. The roof could of been tied high with an addition either tree or pole so make it more roomy. Good protection on most sides. I like this one.


While out it was quite a damp day, so I wanted to know if I could start the beginning of a fire what I had (Flint n knife) while using the materials around me. Damp is a major thing here in the UK so being good at starting a fire in this environment is ....well a handy thing!

I found some dead birch near by so I got a nice small section of bark to try and get something going with. I found it t be too damp so in my trouser pocket it went to hopefully dry out. While I was waiting I carried on messing with the tarp setups.

After about 20 minutes I got the birch out looking dryer, and proceeded to get some nice shavings up so i can try with the flint n steel. This proved to be sucessful, as I made a point on preperation, had lots of small strips ready to use as kindling. I found Preperation will give you the best chance of getting a fire started. Before this when I tried the fire started, but I did not have enough fuel on hand to get it going properly. Costly if your cold and tired. Need to practise this good habbit more.

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