What Size BCO Tarp

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by mangorockfish, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish Tracker

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    I'm sure this has been beaten to death on here, but this may have a different twist to it. I am retired and just getting into bushcrafting and loving it. I have my pack(s) situated, have my sleep system situated, and just recently got a very nice used 4-season tent. I had previously picked up a cheapo 12x14 tarp and all the pieces to make a tent out of it and really liked it, but want to use it to haul leaves behind the lawnmower and get a BCO tarp and MEST like everyone on here has. Ultra light weight and compact. I've been working some for my brother-in-law during harvest season and have picked up a few extra dollars so have almost decided to pull the trigger on this. Now for the questions which I know are highly subjective. Is BCO the way to go?, which tarp materialwise?, and which size? I guess, what would YOU buy is what I'm asking. It's just me and my gear, but I don't want to be crowded. I don't plan on much more than overnighters, but am planning on trying to make the Knoxville gig Nov. 8 which will go from Thur. til Sun. Thanks for your consideration.
     
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  2. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I've got a base model 10×10. I like the square size of it. If I had the extra cash I probably would have gone with the silnyl. I also have an older basemodel MEST when they were still 5x7. Now that they have a 5x8, I want to replace my current one with a Silnyl version of the larger size. It'll give me better coverage while keeping the packed size down, because I don't think that I could fit a bigger size where I currently keep it.
     
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  3. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The 10 x 10 is probably the most versatile as far as set up goes and still having good room/coverage. The mests are cool. I have the orange SAR silnylon one I wouldn’t let go of ever and an old style multi cam mest poncho. They are great for day trips and quick cover.

    As far as material goes. The standard BCO traps are very well made. If you want to cut weight find one of their silnylon ones. I have the multi cam version. It’s a little heavier but it has a fire retardant coating and is absolutely bombproof. @IA Woodsman had one set up for a full year with no issues.

    Your only hold back will be finding the material in the color or patterns you want. You May have to be patient. Or beg in the trade blanket. Then again, maybe they’ll have what you need?
     
  4. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish Tracker

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    What is the difference between the base model and silnylon tarps.
     
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  5. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    One is made if silnylon (I know, stating the obvious) and is lighter and packs smaller. The waterproofing is in the fabric. The base model is poly coated and doesn't pack as small/light. While I've never heard of any issues with BCUSA tarps, the PU can cracked with time and use, but it's definitely not something that happens quick with quality products and as mentioned, I've heard of no complaints about it with BCUSA tarps. IIRC the silnylon is supposed to be a tad bit stronger too.
     
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  6. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    When he said lighter and smaller it’s significantly lighter and smaller. I’d say as an example my SAR mest is 1/2 the size and weight of the standard one yet dimensionally the same.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  7. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    Hey kind of an unrelated question about the BCO tarp: last weekend took mine camping and despite being no chance anywhere in the forecast of rain, we got rained on... Had to throw the tarp over us at 4am!

    So i packed my wet gear up and when I got home set everything up in the yard to dry.... Well it ended up raining bit by bit for a week now and my tarp is just dirtier now.

    Is it safe to machine wash or dry it? Got some new tyvek I want to run. Through a cycle anyhow. The wife isn't too keen on my setting up a drenched tarp in the living room to dry..

    Thanks
     
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  8. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    10x10 makes my favorite tarp pitch, the plowpoint. You can do the same with the 7x10, but there's less room/height, but it's about 3/4 the weight. Up to you.

    There's an ongoing thread by IA Woodsman where he set up a BCUSA tarp in the woods and it's been out there a year, continuously exposed, that is probably a better sales pitch for that than I can give.

    Silnylon is thinner, lighter, and a spark will burn a hole in it. Poly has some spark resistance.
     
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  9. Dubhelix

    Dubhelix Supporter Supporter

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    X = (10x10) + (5x7)

    I use regular grade BCO tarps. I leave mine up for months and use the 5x7 as a groundcloth / shooting mat.

    I figure I will replace them about every 3-4 years and delegate the old ones to other duties or backups.
     
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  10. mangorockfish

    mangorockfish Tracker

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    women are so narrow-minded
     
  11. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I forgot about the spark resistance. That's an important point for those that like to have a fire near their shelter. I wonder if they'd be willing to do a video showing spark comparison and ripping strength (high winds) between the silnyl, poly coated and the MC version. I'm sure they end up with some small scrap pieces that could be used for a small scale example. @IA Woodsman .
     
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  12. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    The 10x10 is super versatile and the silnylon version is way light and small. Really can’t recommend it highly enough.
     
  13. HK Forest

    HK Forest Tracker

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    They have already done this. There is a video on YT showed how the multicam material fire retardant properties to flame.
     
  14. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I missed that one. Do you know if they did all three and tear strength?
     
  15. HK Forest

    HK Forest Tracker

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  16. Phisikos

    Phisikos Scout

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    Ha, she pushed a kid out 6 weeks ago so you be the one to tick her off!
     
  17. Avohei

    Avohei Supporter Supporter

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    Just set up a smaller tarp on the room for use as a little indoor hut with a blanket and pillows and groundpad later on. Kid will love it. Not sure on the little lady.
     

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