Making a comfort light cooking fly

Ray Jardine is certainly one of the great evangelists for tarp tents. His designs are well thought out and usually feature “beaks”, dropped overhangs to provide rain protection. There are additionally many variations to pitching a rectangular tarp resulting in different shapes. I felt the need to mess around with some of these ideas.

Comfort light cooking fly

Recalling trying to cook between rain showers on a soggy outing, I decided to see what a light weight cooking shelter might look like. I wanted it to pitch with a single support, either a long stick or even a tree. I wanted to incorporate a Jardine type beak. And of course it needed to be light weight. The experiment also gave me the chance to practice creating something with sil-nylon without a full pattern.

The result weighs 11 oz. including lines, stakes and a stuff sack. Laid flat the tarp is 96” wide at the front and 72” wide at the back. Front to back depth is 65” and it has a 16” Jardine type beak. It is designed to be pitched off the ground to provide ample height for sitting in and cooking, thus avoiding cooking in your tent doorway and attracting animals during the night to help clean up spilled food.

I view it as an accessory to pack on trips that might be wet and justify adding 11 oz. of comfort. I took it on a soggy May trip in the Olympics and it worked well the one evening we needed it.

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