Tarp nOOb

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by Lazarusaurus, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Supporter Supporter

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    Thinking about giving the tarp thing a go. Been reading through this forum, but it's a bit overwhelming. No experience whatsoever. Just tents prior to this, but looking to change things up a bit. Where do I start? 10x10 coyote seems to have quite the following. I am 6'4", so I don't want anything too small.
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You can’t go wrong with your choice.
    Practice different pitches in your back yard.
     
  3. GoFeesh

    GoFeesh Scout

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    Can't go wrong with a 10x10 - check youtube for different ways to set your tarp. There are literally hundreds of videos covering this topic.
     
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  4. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Couple questions, mostly dealing with location. If you're in the American South, a tarp's not worth it during some months due to snakes, crawlies, and flying biters... l lived in LA for 16 years and preferred a hammock during the March-October months, tarp Nov-Feb. Now that I'm back northish, I can pretty much use the tarp year round.

    there are several popular sizes and adherents. I've used everything from the BCUSA 4.75'/7' to a 10x10, including some rectangles. I prefer the square ones (especially 8x8, 9x9, and 10x10) set up as a plowpoint. smaller squares work, but the 10x10 is my favorite... plenty of room, a few options other than the plowpoint, and way lighter than a tent. I've not found anything as light that provides so much coverage. you'll be ok at 6'-4". I'd hesitate to go any smaller given your size.
     
  5. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Supporter Supporter

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    Northern California. Rattlers and black widows are both considerations, maybe mountain lions and bears, though I don't suspect a tent offers any more protection than a tarp against large mammals.
     
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  6. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A tent might contain some of the mess after an attack better than a tarp would though. :rolleyes:
     
  7. brionic

    brionic Blissful simpleton Supporter

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    10x10 is a great choice and probably the most flexible size. Being square, various pitches are a lot easier to put to practical use than the rectangular shapes, for beginners. For me, the most basic and useful shapes were the easiest to learn, initially - the A-frame (and variations) and the flying diamond. IA Woodsman taught me the Adirondack, and I really like that one as well, but learn the other two first.

    I'd start by watching some of the videos here. Check out the bushclass section - there are lessons that deal with how/why/what. Bear in mind that you need three things for an effective tarp tent- upward, downward, and sideways force all of which work together to keep your tarp taut. The ridegeline or pole create upward force; the stakes, downward force, and the combination of guy lines, ties outs, etc, sideways force.

    You'll need a decent working knowledge of a handful of knots - girth hitch; round turns and half hitches; tautline or trucker's hitches; and how to make "slippery" knots. You'll need a rope or cord kit, including a ridgeline and various lengths for tie outs - 6', 3', and 1-1.5'. 550 cord is perfectly workable and inexpensive, but make sure to get the american made, good quality stuff. I prefer tarps with tie outs, rather than grommets, for ease of repair and general durability, all things being equal.

    Again, look through the lessons here, which are full of good information from the instructors and also show student 'work'. Best way to learn this is to try, evaluate, dismantle, try again and again. Choose different locations and conditions. I made thirty "good" structures in 30 days prepping for a trip about ten years ago and learned a lot.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Jeffa

    Jeffa Tracker

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    I have a Kelty 12x12 that works in any situation i have been in so far. It gives a lot of options for pitch and I ca fit my mountain bike in it with me. It's also big enouph to make dinner under when it rains. An extra 2 ft of comfort is nice.
    Most of the time I just use an army poncho as a tarp.
    I dnt use paracord anymore, it's kinda over kill. I use bank line. Or I have this big roll of string they use for installing car windshields that I've been using for years. Its tuff stuff and very lite weight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  9. Jeffa

    Jeffa Tracker

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    I was camping in henry Coe park ( northern california) and it was pouring rain and cold. My friends gave me a hard time because I was setting a tarp and not a tent. I was dry as a bone, but when I rolled over in the morning ing everything had taranchalas on it hahaha. I'll take a black widow over a marching group of breeding taranchalas! Haha.
     
  10. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Slow learner Lifetime Supporter

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    If I woke up in a pile of tarantulas, I think I'd have to burn my gear to make sure I got them all, and then move to Alaska.
     
  11. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Supporter Supporter

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    The only cure for spiders is fire. Maybe take off and nuke the whole site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
     
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  12. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

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    10 x 10 is the standard size most use, so you can't go wrong there. Personally for my New England terrain I would prefer OD or Dark Green over Coyote.
     
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  13. Jeffa

    Jeffa Tracker

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    A friend of mine had a semi permanent bush camp in the spring they would take chickens with them on the first day of camp. The chickens would eat all the spiders in the shelters and then well. They would eat the chickens...
     
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  14. Lazarusaurus

    Lazarusaurus Supporter Supporter

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    "Humans, we have done your bidding. Where is our reward?"
     
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  15. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    A 10x10 tarp is perfect... probably the most versatile and useful and bombproof pieces of gear you could ever own. Great for solo outings deep in the wild and a handy bit of gear for family outings, car camping, whatever.

    A silnylon 10x10 tarp is double perfect. Ultralight do-anything go-anywhere shelter. The best ones come from Bushcraft Outfitters and Etowah Gear.

    Don’t be intimidated by talk of knots (plenty of easy no-name knots actually work) or tarantulas (they’re technically non-poisonous).
     
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