Setting up my ZPack’s Hexamid Solo Plus Tarp

P1010173A few nights ago I was talking with Barefoot Jake about setting up different types of tarps, from flat tarps to shaped tarps. I have always enjoyed watching others set up their shelters when at camp, and more specifically tarps, since some can be pitched in a number of different ways. After Jake & I finished talking, I decided that I would do a video and show everyone how I set up my ZPack’s Hexamid Solo Plus tarp. I have done videos in the past of me setting up different tents, and even some tarps that I have/had, but not this one yet…

Now let me say that Joe has a great video on how to set up the Solo Plus tent/tarp, but I do set mine up just a little bit different. I don’t think that it really makes a difference in pitch once the tarp is erected, but I have found that the order shown in my video below is what works for me. In the video, from removing the tarp out of the stuff sack to walking away from the shelter was about 2.5 minutes, although, I can set this tarp up a little faster (so long as the landscape is ideal).

Also, worth noting, this exact tarp was the same tarp that Joe took with him to the ADZPCTKO this year for display. So, the guylines that are still on it were actually cut & installed by someone at ZPack’s, except for the front guyline, which I have removed and replaced with a slightly longer one.

Before getting started, I set my GG LT4 trekking pole to approximately 52 inches in height, which is the recommended height. I use the MSR Carbon Core stakes on the front & back guylines (being that these are the main guylines and require more holding power) and some of the Titanium Ti-Hook stakes from Lawson Kline for the remaining guylines.

So, here is the video…

Also, I did order the Solo Plus Hexanet for this tarp a couple of weeks ago, so once it comes in I will do another video of this entire set-up.

Thanks for watching!



About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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22 Responses to Setting up my ZPack’s Hexamid Solo Plus Tarp

  1. Nathan says:

    If you hadn’t taken the tarp out of the stuff sack I would have sworn you were carrying a roll of Charmin in the sack. 🙂

  2. cenazwalker says:

    Good timing on this post. I’ve spent some time the past week thinking a lot about this tarp and the Bearpaw Wilderness Lair. On paper they are quite comparable, but I’ve been leaning a bit more toward ZPacks simply because I’ve always read good things about their craftsmanship. Seems like the beak add on is worthwhile, never know what mother nature may throw at you. I realize you are going to get plenty of ventilation around the perimeter, but are you at all concerned with not having any vent at the top?

    • Stick says:

      I never had any bad experiences when using the tent version of the Hexamid Solo Plus. As you said, there is plenty of ventilation around all 4 edges of the tarp, and especially so on the front. Now, that is not to say that it has stayed bone dry each night. The most condensation I have experienced under either this tarp, or the tent version, was just a thin layer of condensation along the inner walls. Never even beaded up though.


  3. dcbortz says:

    I’ve been using a Hexamid Solo for a few months now. It took a few tries before I got good at pitching it. It always seemed to end up crooked. The front guy at the pole was usually the culprit. Anyway… nice post!

    • Stick says:

      IME, I have found that on uneven ground, it can be pretty easy to get a somewhat lopsided pitch with these, however, with some slight stake movements, and some pretty tight tension on certain guylines, I have been able to get most of that corrected. I just gotta make sure I don’t pitch it in a flood zone anymore though… 🙂


  4. I use an off-color piece of cordage for the front tie-out. It saves a few seconds of going “hmm, which cord is which” during setup. If you setup your Hexamid with the side tie-outs first, use two off-color (orange, rather than yellow, for example) for your two primary side tie-outs.

    • Stick says:

      Thanks for the tip John. If I ever change out the guyline, I will keep that in mind. So far, the patch has been pretty easy to locate though, and then go from there.


  5. vizcara says:

    Hey Chad just wanted to say I like this post here on the tarp tent. Although a bit pricey on the tarp tent itself just to be a tad lighter but if you got money to burn why not. But more than anything I like to say your blog is coming along and looking better all the time and so are your photos. I am actually a photographer by trade for a living so I can pass on the complements on your photos getting better all the time. Also I am actually located right next to and grew up where Western Mountaineering is located. I am going to be paying them a visit real soon. Would you like me to ask any questions of the owners or take any photos for you? I would be glad to pass anything on to you and your blog. As Your a great writer and far better at than myself. Keep going on the trail and thanks for all the time and efforts you put into sharing info with others.

    • Stick says:

      Hi. I agree, that it is a bit on the pricey side, however, I do feel like it is worth it. Sure, the lighter weight is very attractive, however, I also like that cuben does not sag when wet or cold so I can set it and be done with it, as well, I like that I can somewhat see through it.

      And thanks for the kind words about my blog. Especially about the photos… I know I have a lot of work to do with getting better shots, but I am enjoying just playing around and accidentally learning a thing or 2 here and there… 🙂

      Also, that is cool that you live so close to WM. Sounds cool that you can just walk in and check things out… And I do appreciate the offer about scoping out their store for me, however, I am not even sure where to start with that… although, you could tell them to send me a bag and we can go from there! 🙂

      Anyway, thanks again for the kind words, and for stopping by. I appreciate your support.


  6. vizcara says:

    OH and p.s. I think your dog has rabies as it keeps foaming at the mouth and tossing and turning on the lawn…. LoL.

    • Stick says:

      Haha… she is so much fun to watch. She gets so excited like that. She will roll around like that in the bed and on the couch too. Last night, mmy wife and I just sat there watching this video, laughing our heads off at Little Bit…🙂


  7. Pat C says:

    Stick, do you write your dog’s script? That dog is so cut and funny! Oh, by the way, I really did watch the tarp set up part too🙂 I like the way you set it up. There seemed to be a lot less fiddle factor your way.

    • Stick says:


      She (Little Bit) has become quite the star in my videos & pics… She is great to have around though…🙂

      Anyway, glad to hear that you like the tarp set-up too…

      Thanks for stopping by.


  8. cenazwalker says:

    Do you have an estimate on the weight for the hexanet?

  9. nekpir says:

    Somebody needs to create a combination between the hexamid and the gatewood cape! its just asking to be made!!!!

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