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 Post subject: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:47 am 
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What is the minimum acceptable size of the tarp needed to made an emergency shelter for two average-sized people?
What are the brands I should look for? (what brands to avoid?)
Where to buy it?
Do they come in colors other than blue?

Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:03 am 
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I'm a big fan of the Canadian boys at Integral Designs and had good luck with ProLite Gear.

http://www.integraldesigns.com/product.cfm?id=6&CFID=1296747&CFTOKEN=81931342&mainproducttypeid=1

http://www.prolitegear.com/site/results_advanced?set_offset=0

Other colors, sure. Grey, Yellow, Olive

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:05 am 
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I think this is going to be dependant on the type of shelter you intend to make and the weather you are trying to shield from.

The poly tarps are good for emergency shelters but are poor choices for repeated uses.

Tarps made from silicone impregnated ripstop nylon are better but expensive.

Whatever tarp you use make sure and have plenty of bungee cord.
Tie your cord to a stationary object and then to a bungee attached to the tarp.
Pull about 2/3 of the bungees extended stretch when tying off.
This will keep the tarp taught and allow water to run off.

Checkout the awesomeness of our tarp at the ZS SE Campout!


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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:14 am 
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Necrodamus wrote:
Whatever tarp you use make sure and have plenty of bungee cord.
Tie your cord to a stationary object and then to a bungee attached to the tarp.
Pull about 2/3 of the bungees extended stretch when tying off.
This will keep the tarp taught and allow water to run off.

Checkout the awesomeness of our tarp at the ZS SE Campout!


Or if you don't want to haul around bungee cords you can learn to tie a Truckers Hitch, a Siberian Hitch and Prussic knot and call it a day.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:10 am 
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Selection:
The high-end tarps cited above will do you well. Campmor (and probably others) have some simple nylon tarps (forest green) that are in between the nice ones and the (in)famous blue poly ones.

Size:
I'd recommend the two of you pack your gear for a 2-3 day hike, and then go set up in your backyard and be out there overnight. A fall night with no mosquitos and no chance of rain would be ideal. Carefully measure out a space that you think is right and mark it with surveyor's tape (perhaps start with the square footage of a standard Eureka A-frame tent-for-two + 12'' on each side). Experiment with living inside varying-sized perimeters with your own stuff for an hour or two for each perimeter, and see what works. Allocate an extra foot on each dimension for heavy rains.

Set-up:
Th biggest issue is that no two sites are the same, and there will always be a weird combination of perfect tie-out points (but a couple of uncomfortable tree roots/rocks right in the middle) or a perfect soft spot (with no good tie-out points for a taut quadrilateral that would shed rain properly). Each campsite can be an exercise in geometry, physics, and spacial-mapping. Having two smaller tarps that you can snap together adds great flexibility as you adapt to your terrain every night. We've made some pretty wild hooches/bashas with a couple USGI ponchos that snap together. (Not that I really recommend the USGI poncho THAT much, since it does stink once it gets old.)
+1 for the bungee cords. They are redundant if you're good with knots, but they still add flexibility as you adapt to each individual site (and limit the times you need to cut your paracord). I carry a few along with my paracord.

Have fun out there.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:44 am 
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The reason for the bungee is to allow some give for winds.
If you have the tarp pulled taught and wind catches under it the grommets can be ripped from the fabric.


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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:20 pm 
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Just bought a DuraWorx 8' x 10' brown/silver from Lowe's.
very nice, very durable, versitle, and pretty cheap 12.95.
hope it helps 8)

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:38 pm 
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MaxRite wrote:
What is the minimum acceptable size of the tarp needed to made an emergency shelter for two average-sized people?
What are the brands I should look for? (what brands to avoid?)
Where to buy it?
Do they come in colors other than blue?

Thanks in advance.



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8'x15' tarp, zipper doors and vents
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2-- 8'x10' tarps. no zipper. I use large paper clamps. vents taped in and open with a flap.

I have found that a 40" chimney is minimum. Minimum tarp size for two people, 4 people crowded is 8'x15'. You can sew your own if you can find waterproof material. Maybe get lucky at Walmart. I do not like the regular grommets on tarps. I use squares of plastic bucket material glue gunned and taped to the fabric about 3" from the edge. I use 6" or 7" pole barn ring nails or eavetrough aluminum nails for tent pegs so I just punch a hole for the nail. If regular grommets are used plastic washers have to be made for a nail peg.

A piece of 4 mil vapor barrier will last for quite a few camps, just not to good for privacy.


Last edited by chimpac on Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Good sir, that appears to be more of a floorless tent than a tarp :?

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Two people, bare minimum - I'd go 8x10, but if given the opportunity I'd carry the largest one I could manage, and made sure my partner had one the same size. My new favorite size: 12x12.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:20 pm 
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Mine is an Equinox 8x10 silnylon. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but it appears to be very well-made. It's green, $70 or so at Campmor, has plenty of grommets, and ties down the ridgeline.

I carry 100' of 550 cord and some ultralight titanium tent stakes with it. Also a couple of heavy duty contractor bags for a floor. I need to get out one weekend and try it out when I get a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Necrodamus wrote:
Whatever tarp you use make sure and have plenty of bungee cord.
Tie your cord to a stationary object and then to a bungee attached to the tarp.
Pull about 2/3 of the bungees extended stretch when tying off.
This will keep the tarp taught and allow water to run off.


I'm having trouble visualizing this -- does your non-stretchy cord go around the tree (or other stationary object) in a loop, and then the bungee cord is just hooked on to both the loop and one of the tarp grommets? I'm guessing that the tension is then adjusted using a straight-up cord to grommet arrangement on the other side. Is that right, or is there some special way to connect everything?

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:58 pm 
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Necrodamus wrote:
The reason for the bungee is to allow some give for winds.
If you have the tarp pulled taught and wind catches under it the grommets can be ripped from the fabric.
I've always found it curious that more people don't use ball bungees for that reason, since they're cheap, specifically made to deal with tarps and are quick to use/detach. I thought perhaps the bulk made them unfavorable for a BOB?

Necrodamus wrote:
Tarps made from silicone impregnated ripstop nylon are better but expensive.
in case it's helpful, you can buy silnylon from a fabric store for around $10 a yard. It's usually 45-60" in width, so for around $20 (2 yards) you can have 60" x 72" (5ft x 6ft) silnylon material for a tarp. Add in another $5-8 in grommets and you have yourself a high quality tarp for a fraction of the storebought ones. Might be an easy no-sew option for some folks on a budget who just need a minimal emergency shelter. If you can sew a straight stitch you may be able to DIY a larger one for less than the cost of buying new, thought it might require some shopping around for best prices. One place sells heat reflective nylon, which I want to use to make a tarp shelter or bivy tent covering here. I can post links to resources if anyone needs them.

ETA: some resources for materials and DIY gear:
http://www.questoutfitters.com/index.html
http://seattlefabrics.com/products.html
http://www.therainshed.com/index.htm
http://www.owfinc.com/
http://www.rockywoods.com/

Squirrley wrote:
Good sir, that appears to be more of a floorless tent than a tarp :?
yes, it does. however, I'm in fits of giggles over "good sir". :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Great Post YT. I think if you have the patience making your own is the way to go. You can make custom sizes and use a material that will perform the most efficiently for your area, also as YT said it will probably be cheaper.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Necrodamus wrote:
I think this is going to be dependant on the type of shelter you intend to make and the weather you are trying to shield from.

The poly tarps are good for emergency shelters but are poor choices for repeated uses.

Tarps made from silicone impregnated ripstop nylon are better but expensive.

Whatever tarp you use make sure and have plenty of bungee cord.
Tie your cord to a stationary object and then to a bungee attached to the tarp.
Pull about 2/3 of the bungees extended stretch when tying off.
This will keep the tarp taught and allow water to run off.

Checkout the awesomeness of our tarp at the ZS SE Campout!



I can testify to what Necro is saying,, bungees' make all the difference.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:11 am 
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stimpy321972 wrote:
Necrodamus wrote:
Whatever tarp you use make sure and have plenty of bungee cord.
Tie your cord to a stationary object and then to a bungee attached to the tarp.
Pull about 2/3 of the bungees extended stretch when tying off.
This will keep the tarp taught and allow water to run off.

Checkout the awesomeness of our tarp at the ZS SE Campout!



I can testify to what Necro is saying,, bungees' make all the difference.



OK, I have seen bungees used with good results but I have been running some form of tarp shelter since the early 70s and never used them. The pros of not using them in my opinion are:

1. You get to learn and use some useful knots and rigging techniques. Learning appropriate knots that you can tie quickly and equally important, untie quickly is a ++ in my opinion.
2. If for some reason you don't have your tarp and bungees you can use these knots and techniques to rig a emergency shelter with plastic sheeting or a "space blanket".
3. Bungees are just one more moving part to pack, loose, break or as I have watched happen, snap you in the face if you hands are cold or wet.

Use them if you want, but my suggestion is to learn and practice the skills that make them a bonus item and not a required item.

To be fair I have never rigged or used a tarp as large as the on in the supplied link, I have only used them for personal shelter.

A picture is worth a 1000 words so here are a couple links for a couple of the many many ways a tarp can be rigged and a couple of useful knots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjMmla9DSzo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlyhGDw2oss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT5z-g3EG7c&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiBbktmCGXo

For what it is worth I carry my tarp pre-rigged with cord and prussiks.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:01 am 
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GI Ponchos and bungee cords. It is a light, durable and effective setup.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:37 am 
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Thanks guys. My questions have been answered.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Blackdog wrote:


OK, I have seen bungees used with good results but I have been running some form of tarp shelter since the early 70s and never used them. The pros of not using them in my opinion are:

1. You get to learn and use some useful knots and rigging techniques. Learning appropriate knots that you can tie quickly and equally important, untie quickly is a ++ in my opinion.
2. If for some reason you don't have your tarp and bungees you can use these knots and techniques to rig a emergency shelter with plastic sheeting or a "space blanket".
3. Bungees are just one more moving part to pack, loose, break or as I have watched happen, snap you in the face if you hands are cold or wet.

Use them if you want, but my suggestion is to learn and practice the skills that make them a bonus item and not a required item.

To be fair I have never rigged or used a tarp as large as the on in the supplied link, I have only used them for personal shelter.

A picture is worth a 1000 words so here are a couple links for a couple of the many many ways a tarp can be rigged and a couple of useful knots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjMmla9DSzo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlyhGDw2oss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT5z-g3EG7c&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiBbktmCGXo

For what it is worth I carry my tarp pre-rigged with cord and prussiks.


+1 - you should know how to tie some knots anyways, especially if you're going to be carrying around 100' of p cord like so many people do.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:39 pm 
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I use a 9X12 tarp. It makes a number very comfortable shelter designs that will fit two people easily and a few that will fit 3-4 people less comfortably. Two people can use an 8X8 tarp if they get cozy.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:51 pm 
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MaxRite wrote:
What is the minimum acceptable size of the tarp needed to made an emergency shelter for two average-sized people?
What are the brands I should look for? (what brands to avoid?)
Where to buy it?
Do they come in colors other than blue?

Thanks in advance.


1. 8x10 would be the smallest I would go for 2 people. When it comes to tarps bigger tends to be better. I would also consider a 10x12.

2. Integral Designs and Equinox are the only tarp makers that I own. My advice is to get a silicon impregnated nylon tarp due to durability and easy packing.

3. Do a web search for sales. Some companies like REI, EMS and Moose Jaw may have sales every now and then plus the customer service is great with all three.

4. Yes they come in all kinds of colors.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:01 am 
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I'd like to get a tarp form these folks:
http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/tundratarp.htm

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:39 am 
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Mountain Rooster wrote:
GI Ponchos and bungee cords. It is a light, durable and effective setup.


^This
Throw in a hammock and you have my sleeping/shelter solution.

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 Post subject: Re: 4 BOB Tarp questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:10 pm 
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bark-eater wrote:
I'd like to get a tarp form these folks:
http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/tundratarp.htm


The tarps made by this outfit use loops on the edge of the tarp for tie downs. This makes it hard or impossible to make it weather tight between the ground and the tarp.


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