Every Girl’s Crazy ‘Bout a Tarp Dressed Man

Dateline: May 1984. ZZ Top topped the charts, unfortunately, Akeem (sans H at the time) was on the minds of every chin rubbing Trailblazer fan in advance of the pre-draft lottery coin toss, and Scloss rocked the original swamp cruising Hefty bag-as-poncho fashion statement.

After drawing the 13th pick in this year’s NBA draft yesterday there will be no Oden vs. Durant argument in Portland this year, but there is a Bowie vs. Jordan battle brewing on SPR between the Outdoor Products Packframe Poncho and the upstart Integral Designs Sil Poncho/Tarp for bivy combination supremacy. To better decide if an RMA is in my future, I set out for Photolog #2.

I’ve given up trying to sell/explain this concept to Franken, but as Ploss has taken the toob dive he’s fully committed to the idea, as am I. My original proof of concept tarp rig sucked, so before trading up I needed to see how well and how quickly I could setup a true A-frame pup tent using an on-hand ridge line, 6 aluminum stakes, and the previously tested Nite Ize Figure 9 rope tighteners.

1. The stage was set close to dusk in the Smackyard

2. Staked my trekking poles (tips in, whatever) and ran the ridge line:

3. The OP Packframe Poncho is a sparse 56" X 94" which is of adequate length, if not width, for shelter:

4. Staking the corners out took a little extra time and adjustment to rig it up, taut:

5. Rolling out bivy, inserting the accordian, strapping it in and inserting down bag took just 2 minutes:

6. There was "sufficient" room for my gear as well, which is crucial sans pack cover

Conclusions: the photographer failed to pull the bivy down further to accurately demonstrate how the bivy would “ride” under the rig but there was adequate interior space with a relatively low profile footprint; raising the poles higher and running the guylines out further would create more surface area given adequate camp space.

Man I'm happy I never slept on trail under this rig!?

The Integral Designs poncho offers only a half inch of additional width and a quarter inch of length, but offers 12 nylon tie loops vs. the 4 provided by the OP Packframe Poncho tested above, and yet is at least 4 ounces lighter. Unfortunately, this test was incomplete: the damn rain never showed up so I opted to sleep in an actual bed. Perhaps tonight the weather will “improve” but until then I’m thinking REI will be receiving a slightly used OP Sam Bowie model in exchange for an Integral Designs model that Michael Jordan, Ryan Jordan, hobbit enthusiasts and trash bag wearers alike would be proud to rock.

About McLovin

Author: MCLOVIN. Age: 41. Disposition: Gimpy. Resident: Itinerary Obsessive. Ancestry: Dutch. Politically: Left/Side. Nutshell: Magellan, P.I. Philosophy: Kali Ma!
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