Month: February 2024

Tentsmiths Products Part 3 (8×6″) Bedroll

This is as far as I have gone with the bedroll until the woolen blanket arrives.

Ive used a Platatac gonk mattress inside the oilcloth.

Rolled up without the blanket

Closeup of the paracord soft shackle used for joining the eyelets.

The one thing I didn’t notice when first seeing this concept was there is no eyelet on this side for trying up the second side of the foot boot.

After purchasing the blanket I may have to modify this section with another eyelet. Tentsmiths did supply a small piece of extra material for patching.

I prefer the soft shackles to using toggles.

Tentsmiths Products Part 2

(I haven’t been getting much done recently. I’m on my fourth course of antibiotics to get rid of this persisting cough, which keeps me up all night. Leaving me with no energy to train or do rehab. A big thx to Darrin and Sage for helping to drag in the tarps and model the poncho for me. In-between me trying not to puke every 50 feet and coughing my ring-hole up.)


attaches to the swagman roll at the corners using toggles
middle connection
hood fit between the swagman roll and the tentsmiths poncho
attached together while wearing

I’m amazed the Tentsmiths poncho isn’t more popular on you-tube. Fits over the Swagman roll perfectly. Ill try and do a full review when I can get over this bug.

9×9 Tarp

We hiked in about 300 meters through the reserve with me coughing and trying not to puke. I was determined to get a post up. We only managed two variations and I was worn out.

holden tarp set up
diamond fly method 1
method 1 side view

What I didn’t like about the Holden was while setting up all the weight was on the front attachment point requiring a truckers knot to lift it up. I much preferred the Diamond where the front was placed into position and the weight was taken off the rest of the tarp. The Holden would have worked better using nylon I believe.

When I get a chance Ill be setting up the Method 2 Diamond and taking the extra time to attach cordage from the center tie to life the middle up.

Sage in the background whimpering that she isnt in the center of attention

Affiliate Link

After two years of posting I made my first money out of blogging. Not that I’m in it for that or I would have started advertising long ago. Half the information telling me if people are reading was turned off in the first few months of starting up. It became depressing. Only one company ever offered me an affiliate link and that was Survival Supplies Australia. I should really go back and reconnect with other businesses but I usually purchase most of my gear through SSA.

Being on a disabled pension, I’m trying to live off that, build the remainder of my van, pay for rehab, purchase bushcraft gear and pay for training courses. I’m not one for sitting around.

So I just wanted to say thank-you to Micheal. Dont know a last name, just first name and date of purchase. $11 may not seem like much to some but it made my day. I will be spending that on purchasing an invoice /receipt book in order to claim it HAHAAA.

I Forgot The Slippery Hitch

I forgot to add the Slippery Hitch to the knots to learn list. There are only two uses I can really think of for this knot in bushcraft. One is for throwing rope over branches to set up food bags in trees or to throw a weight into a tree for setting up a parachute or tipi for example. The other use which really interests me is from Kevin the Wandering Woodchuck for setting up plow point shelters by doubling the cordage.

At 5:40

Holden Tarp Shelter VS The Diamond Fly Method 2

Brushing up on my tarp configurations for doing pictures of the Tentsmiths 9×9 and came across a Holden Shelter of Half Pyramid by H.J Holden in 1911. Very similar to a method 2 Pyramid shelter.

The method 1 Pyramid being tied from the point of a tarp. Method 2 from the middle and the second point of tension being the opposing point before the sides are pegged. With the Holden the 2 furthest most corners are pegged first before tensioning the middle of the tarp.

Id like to see which has more room using the same size tarp and whether your sleeping bag has more room sideways to the entrance or longitudinal.

H.J.Holden 1911

Diamond Fly Version 1

Diamond Fly Version 2

Holden Shelter

Playing With The light

Playing with the light and shadows amongst the tangled branches of the massive River Red Gums. After the recent hospital stay only managed a 200 meter walk and felt shattered. Had to move the knee or it seizes up after a few days of no activity.

Tentsmiths Products

I finally took the plunge and purchased three Tentsmiths products. The poncho, the 6×8 tarp and the 9×9 oilcloth tarp. These have only just arrived this week so this will be a quick explanation as to why those products and close up pictures of the stitching etc with a more in depth review in later months after Ive had a chance to use them extensively. Dealing with Sarah Clawson at Tentsmiths was a pleasure. I was always kept up to date with the manufacture progress and tracking numbers for shipping.

We quickly weighed each item with a trigger pull gauge because that’s all we had available at the time. That and a paper bag.The poncho came in at 4.25lbs, the 6×8 at 4.92lbs and the 9×9 at 6.30lbs,for a very rough idea. They all felt very light compared to the Australian version oil cloth tarp I have which was made from 12 oz canvas and very heavy. The Tentsmiths I believe are made from 6.25 oz material.


I looked at several oil cloth ponchos but decided on the Tentsmiths as it was meant to be designed to use in conjunction with a Helikon Tex Swagman Roll. Id like to see if is is the case and if it could also be used as a cover in the bedroll configuration as well. I wanted an oilcloth poncho because Ive found many nylon brands to be lacking in durability and also wanted to aim for a more traditional style of kit. Another brand which was available to me had a cloth liner which would have made it only usable in colder climates. I like the idea of adjusting the use between attaching the outer and inner liner for hot and cold climates.

6×8 Tarp

Two reasons I like this size. I may eventually purchase another. As these were designed like the German ponchos to be overlapped and joined to form one larger tarp,( half shelter style). For when two people are carrying the same system. I purchased only the one as I wanted to make a bedroll out of it with a woolen blanket. (See video below)

I spoke to Mike Beavers at Fairbault Wool mills for suggestions on a Queen sized wool blanket for a bedroll and he made the following suggestions.

“If you’re looking for something that’s thicker than the Pure & Simple (and that will survive bushcraft activities), I’d skip the Highlander blanket. The wool is too fine in consistency and will likely snag and look messy quickly.

If it were me, I’d look at the Academy (which we make for the servicemen & servicewomen at West Point Academy), North Shore, and Minnehaha blankets. These are all midweight blankets that will stand up to the activities you’re describing very well. The Academy, North Shore, and Minnehaha blankets are all machine washable, as well”.

I decided on the Northshore stripe model which is to be my next purchase.

9×9 Tarp

I think if I were doing more hiking with an oilcloth I would have gone for the 8×8 but I really wanted to be able to use the tarp for as many variations as possible but mainly for constructing plow-point configurations. Hiking and staying under a tarp for weeks on end are two totally different approaches in bushcraft. Sadly I couldn’t afford both. The 9×9 is also recommended for the Pathfinder School Level 2 course.

Oil Cloth Bedroll

Instead of using toggles for the bedroll Id use paracord soft shackles method 4

6×8 tarp

Tentsmiths Tarps

Faribault Wool Mill

Closeup pictures forthcoming. I only just got out of hospital today after a three day stint from catching a virus. I drove my self to hospital when I caught Covid however the HMVP Virus knocked me about. 02 level dropped to 89% and heart rate to 40 bpm. I went septic with a temperature of 37.8, my normal temp is 35.7. Back on oxygen for a day and a half. It might take me a day or two to get back on my feet. I put this post together in my head when I couldn’t sleep and had to put it down on paper or screen before I forgot it.

reinforced stitching on 9×9
poncho loops
seems folded over
adjustment lacing on poncho
poncho toggles to match the swagman roll
another shot of the stitching on the 6×8

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