Camping tarps

Roybrew

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I am curious what type of tarps people use for sun and rain protection. The first tarp I've used was one of those inexpensive ones that was purchased from a farm or discount store. I tied a loop of rope, or cord, in each eyelet, and then sewn a canvas patch, with a loop of cord, on both sides of the middle of the tarp. The center patch was either for use of a pole underneath to hold the center up, or tie a rope from tree limb above to hoist center up. With out this patch a pole would poke a hole in tarp, and the loop made a good tie off point.

It was quick and easy to set it up like a lean-to.
Sort of similar to the picture. The open side was about 5 feet high. I used this on a trip once. It rained for two days. I had enough room for my chair, table, cooler and stack of firewood. I even had a nice fire just half way under the open end, and it kept me warm and dry. Now I wouldn't build a big fire with tall wicking flames or something like that, but it was 6 feet to the top at the open end, so there was plenty of room. Most all my camping is boat, or drive in. So a little extra weight ain't bad.

Anyhow I was wondering what type of tarps people use. Sizes, weights, price, and advantages or disadvantages.
 

ppine

Forester
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As kids we had $5 tube tents strung with one piece of rope.
Then we got A-frame little mountaineering tents. Then dome tents.
I have used a nylon Whelen lean-to with great success in cold weather. With a fire in front it is cozy even on winter snow trips. It has sides which makes it warmer. It is one of the traditional designs that foresters and geologists used for 100 years in the bush. Mine has no bug netting.

In the last 8 years or so I have used a tarp that kind looks like a tent when it is closed up . It is the yellow one made by Mountainsmith. It works without mosquito netting in the mountains. Once in awhile there can be some mosquitoes around or a few carpenter ants. Sometimes I just use a head net for a couple of hours. I like tarps a lot. You can see out. You can build a fire.

I get tired of looking at the inside of a little nylon tent for hours on end, especially when the days are shorter.
 

Roybrew

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I don't have many issues here with mosquitoes, usually. Last few times I've gone camping I took a 10 x 10 pop up awning. Worked great except for the weight and bulk of it. It did lay nice in the bottom of the canoe even tho I had it between my feet.

I need to practice rigging a tarp. One way isn't always the best way. I'll check out the Mountainsmith brand. It's a start and gives me camping things to think about.
 

ppine

Forester
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A tarp is really important in wetter country. You set it up high and build a fire. You can see out and get out of the wet.
Very important in the Cascades and the northern lake country.
 

Northern Dancer

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Other than a kitchen shelter and an emergency shelter I don't often use tarps. But the ones that I have a super light, quiet, strong, and durable and can be packed using minimal space. In my younger days of canoeing, I use to wrap it over my canoe as a shelter for the night.

2864

2865
 
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