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Tarp as extra shelter?

Old 04-26-10, 11:45 AM
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Tarp as extra shelter?

I've never used a tarp as extra shelter when camping, but have been thinking it might be nice to have, so just wondering how many people carry a tarp to hang as extra shelter. Also, how much rope should one carry if they decide to take along a tarp. Would love to see some pictures too if you have'em. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-10, 12:49 PM
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I carry one of those plastic tarps with gromets. Think it's about 5'x7'. I have only used it once as an additional shelter so I could cook and sit outside the tent during all day ntermitent rain and drizzle. I simply hung it up between trees using simply twine I had brought with me. I don't bring the tarp solely for an additional shelter. I find it quite useful for other things, like keeping your butt clean and dry. Easter weekend we did an overnight trip to a place that has gritty dirt camp sites. It had rained hard earlier in the week and the ground below the surface was saturated. Had we not had the tarp to sit on we would not have been able to sit by the campfire ring without getting wet and dirty. I have also used it to protect gear left out overnight on picnic tables from the rain.

When not in use, I fold it up into a rectangle and it sits nicely under my tent on my rear rack:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/4491664846/

Some will likely say that it's useless weight. But I'll carry the 1 lb. tarp, shed 1 lb. of body fat and enjoy the convenience.
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Old 04-26-10, 12:56 PM
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A light weight tarp has proven very handy over the years during wet weather on bike and kayak tours. I do not like to be tent bound due to weather. My current sil-nylon tarp from Campmor weighs 12 oz @8x10 foot size. The whole package of pole, line and stakes weighs just over 16oz. Total cost around $65. I can cover a picnic table, bike and/or even a fire pit [carefully] to keep the rain out. I precut the line for each tarp grommet at home for a standard setup of the tarp and practice the setup a bit so there are no surprises on the road.

There are more expensive SUL tarps that weigh under 8oz made of cuben or spinntex material from sailboat sails that are very strong and with a catenary cut in the design spill wind well. [$150+]
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Old 04-26-10, 04:47 PM
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Well, I don't bring a tarp as extra shelter, it is my main shelter. It is also the last thing I pack when leaving camp. This puts it in a very handy location for quick access. It also makes it easy to grab it first when setting up camp. I just pull into my sleeping area for the night, set up my tarp, then start setting up the hammock. If it starts to rain, I am under the tarp as I am setting up.

The use of a tarp is great. It can be used as a shelter during a rainstorm. I find it very handy to cook under during a rainstorm. You can also use it as shade.

I made my own using the directions at https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=3947. There are many different styles, you could make a very simple one. Ed Speer has a book about lightweight hammocking and goes into detail on how to make one. You could also buy his tarp kit, https://www.speerhammocks.com/Products/Tarps.htm

The Hammock Forums is a tremendous resource of how to make one, and how to suspend it. I like using using amsteel 7/64" made into a whoopie sling for my suspension of the hammock and the tarp.

A small tarp made out of silnylon, some amsteel and 1.75mm utility line for the tie outs don't take much room or weigh very much.
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Old 04-26-10, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos
There are more expensive SUL tarps that weigh under 8oz made of cuben or spinntex material from sailboat sails that are very strong and with a catenary cut in the design spill wind well. [$150+]
I would like to see and hear more about these. Ya, weight weenie.

Last edited by jjciiijs; 04-26-10 at 05:03 PM. Reason: add
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Old 04-26-10, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos
A light weight tarp has proven very handy over the years during wet weather on bike and kayak tours. I do not like to be tent bound due to weather. My current sil-nylon tarp from Campmor weighs 12 oz @8x10 foot size. The whole package of pole, line and stakes weighs just over 16oz. Total cost around $65. I can cover a picnic table, bike and/or even a fire pit [carefully] to keep the rain out. I precut the line for each tarp grommet at home for a standard setup of the tarp and practice the setup a bit so there are no surprises on the road.

There are more expensive SUL tarps that weigh under 8oz made of cuben or spinntex material from sailboat sails that are very strong and with a catenary cut in the design spill wind well. [$150+]
I use the same tarp as arctos. I have used it as my only form of shelter on occasion, now I use it for extra space. When I was backpacking I used a big sheet of 4 mil plastic along with some 550 cord for stringing it up.

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Old 04-26-10, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jjciiijs
I would like to see and hear more about these. Ya, weight weenie.
Here are a few sites:

https://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/products.html
https://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/tarps.php
https://backwoodsdaydreamer.webs.com/tarps.htm
https://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/index.php
https://www.jacksrbetter.com/Products.htm
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Old 04-26-10, 08:23 PM
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tyvek is really great
you can find tyvek on ebay.

I don't use a tent either

obviously it depends on where you are camping, and if there is a problem with bugs... i guess.

my favorite is my Kifaru para tarp.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=566271&page=2
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Old 04-27-10, 09:41 AM
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Thanks for the information, all. The sil-nylon tarp looks nice.
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Old 04-27-10, 09:56 AM
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One of the heavier things that I carry. Though, it was the lightest waterproof tarp I could find. I use it to cover my bike at night or to make a shelter for rainy days. I've strung it up a few times as rain made it's appearance and just took cover under it when no other was available. Works well. I consider it essential.



I use light-weight braided nylon cord—the stuff you find at Wally World or K mart's camping section.
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Old 04-27-10, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
... When not in use, I fold it up into a rectangle and it sits nicely under my tent on my rear rack...
A little trick I've learned: pack the tarp over the tent, it'll keep the tent dry if you get caught in a sudden rain.
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Old 04-27-10, 03:50 PM
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