Refugee SuperTarp Project

[Please read comments below this post for news and detailed information]

Today (9.10.2015) we officially started new open technology project: Refugee SuperTarp, by discussing and testing Mark 0 pre-prototype with the project team.

It is going to be the first product dedicated for refugees support (can also be used by anybody, of course), manufactured locally, on the cooperative basis, by the Thermaikos community members.

The idea is to bring jobs for the people and — at the same time — to provide high quality, well designed outdoor gear for everybody in the need of it.

We are now preparing the first series of 4 Mark 1 prototypes, to be presented on Tuesday, 13.10.2015. It will be available for viewing and tests in Thessaloniki and Idoumeni transit camp.

As soon as we manage to make the manufacturing budget, we shall open the call for funding the production. Funded SuperTarps will be given away for free to the refugees entering Greece to help them survive cold and wet travel.

The production will be organized among jobless women and men in Thermaikos, to provide them with fairly paid occupation and to make them involved in refugees’ support.

After covering all materials and labor, every surplus will be used for further development of Thermaikos Open Technology programs and to support local economy.

See the gallery from the first meeting of the project team.

Update 14.10.2015

Today we manufactured two more prototypes Mark 1. They are made of thermal tarp, slightly thicker, have added velcro patches for joining edges. One piece goes with me to Crete, for field testing in warm weather. The other will be given for testing in Idoumeni transfer camp.
For now we already know:

  1. What works:
    1. Thermal effect is significant. Thicker tarp gives even better insulation than mylar blankets.
    2. The hood is bigger than in Mark 0, able to accommodate winter hut, even thick one.
    3. The poncho configuration wears better thanks to rope stoppers, keeping the shape of the poncho even if taken off.
    4. Additional loops at the corners will make it easier to pin the SuperTarp to the ground.
    5. Thanks to Arabella we decided to test the hood string in the tunnel instead of grommets and it is much better!
    6. The velcro patches hold well, letting join two SuperTarps to make a pyramid tent of to keep the poncho closed all the time.
  2. What will work (after improvements):
    1. We will replace velcro with press-studs, for easier operations.
    2. We will double test the pyramid tent configurations, also outdoor and during the rain.
    3. We will review the manufacturing process to make it quicker (a lot of hand work now).

Until now we spent ~45 Euro pooled among the team. We plan to make another round of improvements as soon as I am back from Crete — after 21st of October. If you feel like helping us with it, contact me please. Meanwhile, enjoy another gallery:




Turning stories into reality.

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Posted in In English, Lang, Technology
4 comments on “Refugee SuperTarp Project
  1. Petros says:

    Monday evening/Tuesday morning we are going to make first 4 prototype ‪#‎SuperTarp‬.s Mark 1.

    If you want to help us making it, you are invited to join (pm me for arrangements).
    We will be also obliged if you would help us (with money or in kind) to obtain some materials. We have to get them on Monday in Thessaloniki or nearby, so we would be able to prepare Mark 1 for tests. Prototypes are expensive :/

    Tarpaulin 4 x 6 m, 90-120 g/sqm, dark color or dark color/silver – 1 (for regular production we just need a roll of fabric 1,75 m width)
    Grommets 10 mm diameter – 80 pcs
    Velcro tape, with glue, 2 cm wide — 3 m
    Rope dark, 3-4 mm — 20 m
    Rope stoppers — 20
    PVC tarpaulin glue, big bottle. – 1

    We will also appreciate if you help us to find cheap sources for these goods in large quantities, for the production needs.


  2. Petros says:

    Due to my trip to Crete, the testing process was put on hold. I am going to resume it this week, so we shall know if there is a real need for SuperTarp.


  3. Steve Ryman says:

    Wonderful concept! I love it. Currently I am working as a volunteer in Presevo Serbia and see a huge need for such rainwear (as well as being very supportive of alternative economic development in Greece). Please let me know how I can support and help you in this project.


  4. Petros says:

    We shall probably receive some substantial investment to make our SuperTarp for refugees a mass-manufactured product. Now, I am looking for somebody to help me search through the Greek market for second-hand machines to set up first production hub and for some external service providers as well.

    The plan is to give a boost to the local Greek economy through starting the production for refugees (and not just those who travel through Greece). So, if you are interested in such a venture, contact me please.


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