Useful kit does not have to be expensive

In several of my posts I have referred to and you will have seen two pieces of material that I carry with me.  One piece is a 220 x 160cm  sheet of Pertex and the other a piece of rip-stop nylon sewn into a tube which is open at both ends and 230cm long.  They are both treated with Nikwax, pack down very small and only weigh 400 grams.

P1020616 (816 x 612) (Medium)

and together with a small bag of cord, meet many of my needs.

The tube I can use as a “mattress” for a pole bed, by sliding two long poles into it (I can stuff the tube with grass for insulation)

P1000740 (816 x 612) (Medium)

P1000798 (816 x 612) (Small)

I can tie one end and fill it with leaves or grass as a mattress on the ground or put my equipment in it and tie it around me as a pack

P1020888 (816 x 612) (Small)

I can attach cords at each end to make a simple hammock

P1020885 (816 x 612) (Small)

or fold it, tie a knot each end and add long pieces of cord to tie to a tree branch and make a seat.

P1020843 (816 x 612) (Small)

I can also get into it and pull it up to my shoulders for warmth and protection from the rain (I wrap the Pertex sheet around my head and shoulders for protection)

P1020613 (816 x 612) (Medium)

I used them both for this purpose on several occasions during my last Lapland trip.

The Pertex sheet I tend to use mainly as a tarp for shelter

P1020585 (760 x 531) (Medium)

I have no lashing points but instead use a stone or similar with a piece of cord

tarp fastener (Large)

I place the stone under a corner of the material, wrap the material around it and then secure the cord around the stone

tarp fastener-2 (Large)

You can see how I use them here

lunchtime camp (576 x 432)

If anyone knows where I can buy this type of material in larger sizes than 230 x 160cm please let me know.

Hammock and tarp

It has been a long time since I used my hammock and tarp, so I used them at Assington Mill last weekend.

My tarp is a Hennessey Hex-fly and the hammock is my own creation. I use a Reindeer skin (or my Swanndri hooded bushshirt) to line my hammock for insulation. The nights were warm enough that I only had my sleeping bag laid over me.

On Saturday night I was serenaded all night by a newly arrived Nightingale.

and I also heard badgers squabling close by.

Securing tarp lines

I currently carry a piece of Pertex material in my pocket with three pieces of para cord to use as a tarp shelter. It packs down very small and is relatively lightweight.

Rather than cutting holes in the material to enable me to secure the para cord (which can lead to tears or runs in the material), I take something like a pebble, handful of grass or leaves or even an old snail shell

I place this on the underside of the material and then wrap the material around it. Then I make a loop in the para cord and place over it and pull the cord tight.

Then I can suspend the shelter using available trees.

A simple clothes peg

This is a simple peg I made based on a drawing I saw in a picture in a book while in Canada.

I removed the bark from a piece of willow and then split it in half. I cut a small v-notch in each half for a pivot to seat into.

Using some willow bark, I lashed the pivot in position. I then shaped a wedge from another piece of willow to insert at the back of the peg.

The wedge is used to hold the peg closed and grip the item the peg is to be used for.

I am using it here as a coat hanger but it could also be used as a tarp clip.