Sep 30, 2006 at 1:19 pm #1219767
Why don’t more people use these?
I put the regular-sized sleeping bag down simply for scale, but this is a 5′ x 8′ poly tarp, that is actually slightly smaller due to the seam fold. I bought it for $0.49 at the local crap store, then bought a 10′ by 12′ for $1.19, just to play with them.
I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” which is why I pay for $60 ID tarps and such, but I can’t help but wonder, why don’t I use this? Why wouldn’t you?Sep 30, 2006 at 1:26 pm #1363960
A)Its heavy next to other tarps
B)The grommets can tear out
C)For a couple bucks more you can buy a roll of 3 mil plastic, and experiment with several lighter, stronger tarps cut from the same roll.Sep 30, 2006 at 1:40 pm #1363961
This tarp is 10oz, which I forgot to mention. I see how the grommets can tear out, and I will test this.Sep 30, 2006 at 1:46 pm #1363963
That is a great deal!! Good find, for those on a budget.Sep 30, 2006 at 1:49 pm #1363965
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
I made a 7×9 tarp from 3 mil plastic and used sheet bends on the corners. The resultant tarp weighed about 13 oz if I remember correctly. I think these are probably stronger than the blue tarps with grommets. The sheet bends are surprisingly strong.Sep 30, 2006 at 3:39 pm #1363975
This tarp is 10oz, which I forgot to mention. I see how the grommets can tear out, and I will test this.
Not can …. will!Oct 2, 2006 at 12:36 pm #1364092
B. Kelly SaineMember
@slohiker57Locale: NC Foothills
No real reason not to, Laurence. As already mentioned, they’re heavier than the UL fabrics and they degrade fairly quickly from UV exposure. But, they make great “demos” for someone contemplating a tarp instead of a tent. I use 1/8″ shock cord as rope/cord attachments and have not had a grommet tear out on a new tarp under normal use. I sure wouldn’t stay home it that’s all I had.Oct 2, 2006 at 9:07 pm #1364126
@jbairdLocale: Deleware Watergap A_T
Laurance..have you ever hiked the A_T and had it rain? I mean realy rain? The tarp is good and it works but you need to keep an eye on the weather when you go out. I still like staying dry.Oct 2, 2006 at 10:11 pm #1364129
Thems fightin words!!
Tarping is the the first cornerstone of ultralight backpacking and yes, properly pitched, they WILL keep you dry in the heaviest of rainstorms.Oct 2, 2006 at 11:00 pm #1364132
That tarp might give some sun and wind protection in clear weather; it does not seem like “shelter” to me. UL hiking to me means finding the lightest weight gear which meets my performance requirements; which for my shelter is 360 degree bug, wind, and water resistance; for which the lightest manifestation is a single wall tent. Can anybody post a picture of a tarp/sheet combo that can do that? Thanks in advance.Oct 3, 2006 at 6:59 am #1364140
I’ll pitch it again, perhaps to please those who want more coverage, see what I come up with and post the pic. I’ll really hanker down on the grommets and try and rip ’em!Oct 3, 2006 at 8:20 am #1364149
Brett, that attitude is why my pack weight is less than 3 pounds and yours isn’t. If I was only looking for sun and wind protection, I would not be using a tarp, I would be using an even lighter alternative. You say 360 degree water resistance?? How about waterproofness?? Under my 8 x 10 tarp I have never had a drop of water get on me. Perhaps your tent leaks and gets you wet?? 360 degree weather protection is unnecessary due to the fact wind usually blows from a single general direction and carries the rain with it. If the wind does shift, then change the pitch of your tarp to match direction. Bug protection?? Headnet is all you need.
Ultralight backpacking is an art form that requires a certain attitude about what is necessary. It also requires more skill than regular camping. Anyone can go to walmart and buy some backpacking gear and hump a 50 pound pack to go backpacking. It requires skill and practice and a better attitude to carry less than five. Your blanket rejection of the most basic tenement of ultralight backpacking makes me even question why you bothered to pay $25 to learn about ULTRALIGHT backpacking.
Use a tarp.Oct 3, 2006 at 1:52 pm #1364172
I think I’ll cut Brett a little slack, it takes time for your avg person to extend their comfort zone. It took time for me anyway.
And then there’s Pete who can get by with just a head net for bug protection. I’m thinking back to June and July evenings this summer when it was 90F at sunset with 85F dewpoints. I wouldn’t want to crawl inside a bivy in those conditions much less a summer wt bag. Was glad to have my home made tarptent with it’s bug netting.
I’d also like to have the luxury of the predictable wind that Pete has experienced … would have chuckled at that thought last June after I made camp on a river sandbar with gentle south wind and clear skies only to have that change to horizontal rain from the north later on … rain that would have made any car wash proud. Was pleased to have not yet unpacked most of my gear before that hit.Oct 3, 2006 at 3:01 pm #1364177
Counting down the minutes to get the hell out of work today so I can get home and post the pics I took that will demonstrate EVERYTHING ANYONE HAS EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CHEAP BLUE TARPS!!!
WHOOOHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!Oct 3, 2006 at 3:10 pm #1364178
Jim—the point is, once the storm is rolling in or has, the wind very rarely changes direction.
I’ve been to Denali and to the Boundary Waters and grew up in Texas. I know bugs and ants. If its in South Texas I have a luxury lite cot and mosquito netting as it barely ever rains. But for backpacking in more mild conditions, a head net and a bivy are the way to go.Oct 3, 2006 at 6:44 pm #1364190
Here is a different set up that I tried after the post about not getting enough coverage, which, after looking at the previous set up, is actually very poor coverage, indeed. Here is the second try:
After tinkering more, and losing the pole in exchange for another stick, this is the more weather-resistant pitch:
But this for the guy who said the grommts wouldn’t hold…you obviously don’t know anyth…whoops. Nice call, one that makes this whole post moot…unless I seam seal the grommets out of the package…hmmm.
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