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  • Parachute Canopy?

    Anyone here have experience using a parachute canopy as a shelter?

    Would you do it again? Or go with one of the specifically designed tarps (i.e. Kelty's Noah Tarp)?

    I'm currently researching this but I'm still up in the air (no pun intended).

  • #2
    I knew an old hippie in a troop I formerly served who used a parachute. It made a good shady area, but it wasn't waterproof.

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    • #3
      I construct tarp shelters out of a regular grommeted tarp of pretty much any size you wish.


      I use six 2"x2" poles each 8 feet long purchased cheaply at Home Depot or any lumberyard. Four of these are cut down to six feet and are used to support the four corners of the tarp. All eight have a nail driven into one end that fits in a grommet hole. The two eight foot poles are used in the middle of the tarp to form a ridge line to shed water.

      I cut some cord to stake out the supports, with a small loop to fit over the nail sticking through the grommet hole and a taught line hitch for the other end.

      Two of these cords support the corner posts with stakes driven in the ground, one cord is used to support the ridgeline stakes.


      Actually, I use one cord for the corner ropes, with a loop tied in the middle and taught line hitches at each end --- but perhaps people would find that refinement confusing.

      With really large tarps you might find an additional pole set up inside the shelter to support and stretch the top of the tarp useful.

      Learning to set these up is a great patrol project and competition as well.

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      • #4
        Seattle-how many stakes do you use?

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        • #5
          Two stakes at each corner. One stake at each ridgeline pole. If you want a pole to add additional support inside, that is generally held up by the tarp without support.

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          • #6
            We don't use any poles and 4 stakes we make at the site. Little rope and a couple of trees are good.

            What is your reason for using a tarp??? cooking or sleeping under????

            Is your expectation to backpack with it or car camp, makes a big difference.

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            • #7
              I'm wanting it to be versatile - car camping & backpacking. The reason I was looking at parachute vs standard tarp was weight.

              Basic purpose would be sun screen. Later down the road I could water proof it with enough spray on stuff.

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              • #8
                You are better off getting a tarp made out of silicone-impregnated nylon also known as silnylon. For example a Equinox 10x12 weighs 18.8 oz and can be had for around $65 (http://www.gearforadventure.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=EQUGlobeSkimmer&cli ck=27)

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                • #9
                  This week my tarp is sheltering the cooking station at our Cub Scout Day Camp against the sunny 70 degree temperatures we've been having and the possibility of showers Thursday.

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                  • #10
                    70 degrees?? Stop bragging, please ...

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                    • #11
                      If your intending on sleeping under the tarp at any point I would never cook under it. Critter issues.

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                      • #12
                        I've used the large canopy version as a central fire area. I took a Ray Mears course some years ago, and we used a large canopy chute. Keep all of the suspension lines attached, and cut two meter poles. We staked in the suspension lines at each pole, and using a long rope attached this to the appex and throwing the rope over a large OAK tree limb. Pulling the canopy up, and suspending it very high up. We had a large roaring fire underneath and plenty of space to sit. In fact we used cut logs to sit on. Worked great. I have one for my Troop in fact.

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                        • #13
                          Sure it isn't water proof, but it does stop the rain. never got wet under the canopy, and it rained almost every day in the UK that week.

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