Last summer I put up these two photos of the design and a prototype for a “Forester” Tent. While I have neither achieved, or even attempted, any further progress, it continues to be something I would like to have. With just the proper placement of tie-outs and staking points it can be “folded” from a simple flat tarp. It can also be constructed with specifically shaped panels as a single-form tent.
These days in the ultralight community there are mostly two different fabrics that are utilized for shelters. These are cuben fiber and silnylon. Cuben is the top choice, but is ridiculously expensive. Cuben fiber tents cost $600-$800 and up simply because of the cost of the material itself. Silnylon is not quite as lightweight, and is certainly not as strong as cuben, but costs a fraction as much. Last night I found a source on the Internet for silnylon at a cost of $5.98 per 60 inch wide yard. The material cost for a 10 x 10 tarp thus is only about $40. This seems pretty fair for what you’re getting… waterproof, windproof and very light in weight.
I made a quick call to my dear friend, and highly accomplished seamstress, Miss Connie down in Raleigh, North Carolina. She said that if I would send her the material, together with a reasonably detailed design, she could throw one together for me.
EDIT~~ Miss Connie delivered: https://moosenutfalls.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-tarp-tent-is-here/ and https://moosenutfalls.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/another-quick-pitch/
I have now have the opportunity to use the tarp several times, and while the weather was never terribly inclement, the sil-nylon proved to be an incredibly nice fabric. A quick flick with a finger against the inside and the dew rolls right off. It packs up ridiculously small compared with the older tarps of my experience, and the weight is hardly more than the ubiquitous little $10/ 5’x7′ blue polyester tarp from WallyWorld’s camping section.