Back when I was a kid we always had a tarp setup at camp, not as a sleeping shelter, but just to have a shaded and dry place to pile up gear and wait out bad weather.
I don’t really remember exactly how that setup worked, so I’ve been googling trying to find a good article with advice on choosing the right tarp and ow to use it. Google is only bringing up stuff pertaining to UL sleeping shelters, or heavy-duty car camping products that could withstand a tornado. Nothing for general non-specialized use.
Any advice for me? Just a basic 8 foot-ish square with one ent threaded through a high rope tied between trees, and the other end stacked down? Simple as that, or is there more to it?
I do something similar as Rumi's video if I'm just putting up a shelter for a "living room" when it's raining. I bring one side (the "back") relatively low to the ground and will use hiking poles on the "front" corners to create an awning.
If there are no trees for the ridge line, I use hiking poles.
I use a hex cut tarp in porch mode. This means I can have one side close to the ground (or staked directly to the ground if it is raining & blowing hard), while the other side is higher. The ridge line sets the height.
"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." Shakespeare
We love going up on a rainy weekend and setting up "tarp city". We use plenty of parachute cord to lash it/them. I use silnylon tarps in general. Eyelets suck and will tear at some point so I don't bother using them for lashing. The only headache is dealing with winds. Otherwise, If we build a small fire underneath, we'll stagger two tarps to create a chimney effect for the smoke. If it windy, we'll find a steep slope and bring one edge to the ground and the other as high as we can up a couple trees down the slope.
We do it like Jazzmom, few trees in many of our haunts. For shade I don’t use silnylon, too translucent. I do have three silnylon tarps with sewn loops and will use them for rainy days. For general hiking for two people we take a thicker coated nylon tarp. We have two sizes of those. They came with grommets but they have held up well. The pictured tarp below is about 30 years old and has been beat all around the country. Still going. It is a minimal 5x7. We have 8x10 also.
You spoke of wanting an inexpensive tarp that works well. Look at the poly tarps. They are heavy for anything but car camping but are water proof and durable. 20 bucks might get you a good one where coated nylon and silnylon are much more expensive but far less weight and bulk.
Learn several setups for various conditions and locals. Also learn your knots. There are various resources for that. Knots 3D is a great iOS app. Why Knot is a good book. Having some Adjustable Grip hitches tied into your guy lines ahead of time will expedite nailing down a fast, secure shelter.
One of our setups on a drizzly day so we could have a meal and hot drink;
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth. - Steve McQueen
Thanks for this thread. Several trips this Spring, I only hiked a few miles in so I could get out early on Sunday to beat the weather or get home early enough for other obligations etc. I'd set up camp early in the day and do some day hiking from camp and spend the rest of the day reading and looking at trees and hanging out with the squirrels. I found myself chasing shade a lot and was thinking I needed to figure out a good tarp setup for day use. Most everything I need for a good start is on this thread.
Is there a reason not to do this or a good reason to do the hanging below that seems to be common in the above configs?
I learned many years ago to set up a ridge line that did not pass under the tarp, because it wears on the fabric as it is blown about by the wind. Now, I have 2 tie outs at the peaks of the ridge line, one on each side. I no longer have a full length line across the tarp. In addition, I have short shock cord loops on my 4 tie out point not on the ridge line. This absorbs any wind stress, and re-tensions the tarp every time the wind slacks. Maybe I should set a tarp up in the yard to grab a quick picture of my favorite set up. I own 3 tarps, of differing sizes. The largest is 15 x 12. A virtual palace and a place for several people to relax for lunch.
"I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." Shakespeare
In the past few weeks, I had opportunity to experiment with sun shade tarp setups. Just dropping back in to say thanks to the folks who posted on this thread.
With the pandemic going, my planned out of state trips didn't happen. Instead, I've done a couple of trips close to home in a national forest that is still open and close enough that I can go from home to trailhead and back with no stops.
I've looked at these trips more as backcountry camping trips than hiking trips. I'm taking this time to develop skills I should have learned long ago. Part of it was getting more familiar with hiking off trail--perfect for social distancing-- and I also wanted to get to a campsite earlier to have more time to enjoy being out of the house (that is now also my workplace). When you get to camp at 11 a.m. before full leafout, you need a place for shade. With info I got from this thread, I built my first shade tarp.
In a light, but steady breeze, it held up great all day. Back side had stakes on the ends and center. On the front, I flipped my Lekis and put the tips through end grommets and staked those out. With the breeze, I needed a center line to reduce flapping and tied off to a tree that wasn't in the ideal spot, but worked. I used zeke shock cord loops on either end of the ridge and just tied off to those instead of running across the full ridge line.
For my first attempts, I was happy with it. This thread taught me most everything I needed to know to do it.
Post by rangewalker on Apr 20, 2020 5:17:23 GMT -8
The photo is of an older MSR e-Tarp that is too small for sleeping even for one, but it has always gone out with a bivy for bad nights. Silylon, I am not sure of the weigh or denier. The purpose is to provide shelter for 1-2 for cooking, sunshade, or a wind baffle. It is a catenary cut with a pocket at the fore for a pole. Sometimes I use two.
It takes six stakes. Staked out, it will spill wind much better than a flat tarp IMO. The six guy lines are all set with 8' lines and tighteners. There are also two runners made up in the bag for tricky setups. The preset cords and MSR tighteners add grams make for a speedier setup. I acquired it after the first time in Griz country, where the cooking area was 100 yards from the sleeping area in the rain season. Rab and Sea-to-Summit make some interesting similar shaped micro tarps.
During a nasty storm, I set the tarp up with two poles and crawled under the shelter. Out of the downpour, I was able to assemble my BA Fly Creek tent, throw the sleeping gear and dry sleep clothes in it, and then drag it out to its site, and stake the tent out. After a hot meal under the tarp, I was able to plunge into a dry and snug tent. At least mostly. Overnight it had turned to freezing rain. With the tarp still set up, I had a drier area to heat food and load up the pack.
one time ago "blue_sage" in previous forums. Bighorn Mountains, Powder River, and Big Horn River to the Yellowstone.