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Shelters The Shelters forum is for the discussion of backpacking shelters (tents, tarps, poncho-tarps, bivy sacks,...).


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  #1  
Old 03-27-2008, 03:26 PM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Best multi-purpose Tarp?

I'm looking for a lightweight tarp that serves one person well as an overnight shelter and also works well as an auxillary shelter at camp with room for two people to sit and make dinner.

I'm willing to pay more for one that stands above the rest, but would more likely opt for a very good (not best) tarp that isn't a strain on the budget.

It needs to be light if I'm going to bring it along as en extra shelter to make camp more comfy in the rain, and on dayhikes for the unintended overnighter.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:21 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Since you want it to be quite versatile at a relatively decent price, I'd recommend considering a flat, silnylon tarp (e.g MLD Super Tarp...).

However, if you could swing it, I'd consider a couple of tarps. Maybe a poncho tarp for that unexpected, solo overnight (carried in a daypack) and a flat or curved (catenary) tarp for you and/or a couple.

Reality
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:46 PM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
Since you want it to be quite versatile at a relatively decent price, I'd recommend considering a flat, silnylon tarp (e.g MLD Super Tarp...).

However, if you could swing it, I'd consider a couple of tarps. Maybe a poncho tarp for that unexpected, solo overnight (carried in a daypack) and a flat or curved (catenary) tarp for you and/or a couple.

Reality
Does a 5x8 poncho tarp fall a little short on space for two people preparing dinner?
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2008, 06:20 PM
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Perkolady Perkolady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift_Woody
I'm looking for a lightweight tarp that serves one person well as an overnight shelter and also works well as an auxillary shelter at camp with room for two people to sit and make dinner.
Hi Drift_Woody,
When I go with either one or both daughters, we usually bring a homemade
8x8 siltarp, which gives us good coverage and decent room to spread out during those nasty weather dining times.

This is also my solo tarp during bugless seasons.

Perkolady
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:32 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift_Woody
Does a 5x8 poncho tarp fall a little short on space for two people preparing dinner?

Yes, IMO, it does fall short. That's why I suggested it as as a solo shelter (for unexpected overnights).

Reality
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2008, 01:12 AM
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mugs mugs is offline
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Well cuben is going to give the lightes but hit you the hardest in the budget area. Syl will be an acceptible (for some) weight and be a lot easier on the budget. a 6 x 9 or 8 x 10 would work great for the dinner set up or the emergancy forced night out. For soloing a 5x8 is ok but a we bit small for those of us that are over 6ft. I use a cuben 6 x 9 tarp and it weighs 3.75 oz.
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2008, 12:08 PM
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Buz Buz is offline
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Campmor has silnylon tarps in a variety of sizes for reasonable prices. However, for tent/overnight usage on a regular basis, I wouldn't use these tarps. Buy one made for that purpose from somewhere else. The campmor tarps are great for temporary shelters, like you stated you are looking for. Bigger is better.
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2008, 04:01 PM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Thanks for the responses.

As with all things, it seems you get better quality if you're willing to pay more. I've been looking into tarps, and the one I'd really like to have is the Grace Duo by Mountain Laurel Designs. Made of cuben fiber, this 8x9 tarp weighs only 7 ounces. At that weight I would carry it on every hike along with my first aid kit, and use it as a primary shelter when it's not buggy. It costs $245.

Most of the well-made 8x10 silnylon tarps cost about $100 less and weigh twice as much.

I can see the value in ordering just the cuben or silnylon fabric and making my own tarp, but I'd have to learn sewing and I'd always be a little concerned that my craftsmanship wouldn't hold up as well as a purchased tarp at key stress points in windy conditions.
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2008, 07:17 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drift_Woody
I've been looking into tarps, and the one I'd really like to have is the Grace Duo by Mountain Laurel Designs.

I have a Grace Duo and it's very nice.

Reality
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2008, 08:12 AM
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Drift_Woody Drift_Woody is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
I have a Grace Duo and it's very nice.

Reality
Cool -- I was hoping to get some input from someone who has a Grace Duo.

Do the tie-outs and general construction make it easy to configure for multiple purposes? For example, I wouldn't rig it the same way for sleeping and for sitting under preparing a meal.

Compared to other tarps -- such as tarps with catenary cuts that aren't a basic rectangle -- does the Grace Duo come up a little short in some areas?
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