So, with this small tear, I've got to make a repair to keep it from getting bigger, letting rain and wind in, etc.. Since I've gone through the process now, I thought I'd share how I did it. There are a few extra steps you can take to make your repair as close to permanent as possible. I'd recommend going a little above and beyond to get it done right the first time.
Six Easy Steps to Repairing A Tear on Your Hammock or Tent Tarp
I cut two same sized pieces of duct tape and sandwiched the tear on my Warbonnet Mambajamba right in between them. To make this fix work, the tarp needs to be dry. You'll want to cut the duct tape so that it overlaps the tarp tear by about 1/2" to 1" all the way around.
Duct tape was a very solid temporary fix for my tarp and got me through the rest of my trip without a problem.
Once I was back home, I put an order in for a patch kit from Warbonnet Outdoors and at $5 it was certainly a bargain. **For the record, I'd recommend getting one of these repair kits up front with the tarp purchase and keeping it in your first aid kit.
The tear in the photo above is approximately 1/2" long and the material of construction for the tarp and the patch is 20D Silnylon.
In a pinch, you can repair with only one patch. I can't see an advantage in where you place the patch - topside or underside. Either would work fine.
If you do patch only on one side, after drying, I would add a thin layer of silicone to the side opposite the patch as well.
That will add a layer of protection and the silicone will also cover the tear to prevent additional fraying.
I'd recommend against super glue or other bonding agents [rubber cement, etc] as they may weaken the Silnylon or not have water repelling characteristics.
And it's not a problem to use your index finger to spread the silicone around. The silicone is not toxic, but you'll want to wash your hands when you're done.
Be generous with the silicone but not so much that extra will squeeze out when the patch is applied.
The silicone will cure in about 1 hour depending on the size of your patch and the temp/humidity.
For Best Results:
Once it's cured on this side, turn the tarp over and repeat the process on the opposite side.
Additionally, to add life to your patch, place a small bead of silicone along all the edges to overlap. This will also guard against the edges or corners turning up.
Go Hit the Trail!