MYOG: micro tarp

Having been inspired by lacking funds, flicking through Ray Jardine’s excellent Trail Life book, and the ‘make your own gear’ threads on NI-Wild, I decided to create some of my own gear needs for an upcoming GR20 trip and beyond.

My sister is a fashion designer and has an industrial sewing machine in her living room. She kindly showed this novice how to setup and use the thing, and has put up with me randomly calling in to work on projects for a few hours. It’s a sensitive beast, and only does a straight stitch, but it will handle anything. I’m getting a bit better at using it, but this initial project bares all the learning curves.

The micro-tarp was first mooted by FlipB on this NI-Wild thread. He offered us the pattern he used and showed how it’s done. BigE didn’t blink creating a follow up, so I jumped on the bandwagon as well! I used a steel coloured PU coated ripstop nylon, 12mm webbing, and blue polyester thread from Point North, and some 2mm dyneema cord from a sailing supplier on eBay.


Nice bright ambiance.


No lifter patch yet. May use a removable clip.


Foetal position gives almost total protection. In normal use I will probably sleep with my legs out in a bivvy bag, and use this for head /gear shelter and cooking.


Reinforcement patch and webbing detail. Not the neatest, but hopefully strong.


All wrapped up. 191g as it stands. Will pair it with some Alpkit Y-beam pegs (14g each): the tarp needs between 5-8 to pitch. I may apply more DWR to the tarp.

Watch this space for a leg-quilt and an alpine rucksack… alcohol stove… hobo stove…


2 Replies to “MYOG: micro tarp”

  1. I think the original person who designed the shape would be proud of your work, backpackinglite

  2. Thanks, I hope so. It was good of them to share the ‘batwing’ so it was the least we could do to try it out!
    The nylon does sag a bit when wet, but the tarp has proved very useful and exceptionally packable. The main problem is I don’t really use a walking pole, so end up bringing one just to put this up.

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