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#153491 - 08/07/11 07:49 PM lightweight tarp?
wyethia Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 4
Hi I am looking to make a lightweight tarp- just a 10' x 12' rectangle that I can attach ropes to the corners and sides- will use as a ground cloth or an extra shelter for a cooking area. The kicker is that I need it to be fairly abrasion resistant. I read about cuban, sylnylon, etc., but there is no store in my area that carries such exotic fabrics for me to look at in person. Before ordering something expensive, can anyone advise me on the durability of some of the new light weight fabrics?

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#153493 - 08/07/11 09:05 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: wyethia]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
If you're going to use it as a ground cloth, get something cheap like the plastic tarps - it'll end up being useless as a rain shelter in a few trips. It would make no sense to spend a bunch of money on cuben and put it on the ground, walk on it, and potentially poke holes in it. While it's fairly durable, it's not going to withstand sharp rocks forever.

I would get a tarp and then get some 2mm painter's drop cloth to use as a groundsheet. Or polycryo, which is the same as the shrink wrap you can add to window panes - not expensive in fairly large rolls from hardware stores, cut to suit your needs. If you have a dedicated ground cloth it doesn't matter if it has a few holes, you can use it longer, and when it's beyond use you can recycle it and cut out a new one.
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"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

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#153496 - 08/07/11 10:07 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: lori]
wyethia Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 4
thanks for the input- sounds like the hi-tech stuff is not what I want then- this is not for my primary shelter, but for extra rain fly, pack cover, mud control etc. 100% rain proof not necessary, but sturdy is. don't really like drop clothes- have tried them, and they don't last a trip in our conditions. Was just hoping to reduce weight using modern materials. Guess I'll save my money, and keep using what I have.

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#153533 - 08/08/11 06:46 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: wyethia]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By wyethia
thanks for the input- sounds like the hi-tech stuff is not what I want then- this is not for my primary shelter, but for extra rain fly, pack cover, mud control etc. 100% rain proof not necessary, but sturdy is. don't really like drop clothes- have tried them, and they don't last a trip in our conditions. Was just hoping to reduce weight using modern materials. Guess I'll save my money, and keep using what I have.


I'm not saying they aren't durable. They are just more expensive than I would want them to be to destroy them by using them as a ground cloth. Even heavy plastic tarps eventually get holes in them when you're using them on granite or rocky ground. Much better (to my way of thinking) to just not care about the ground sheet - a dedicated one can get holes in until it's swiss cheese, I just don't want to depend on it to keep the rain off me when it's storming.
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#153576 - 08/10/11 10:36 AM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: lori]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Both posters have good ideas and this can quickly get into HYOH. A possible in-between answer is Tyvek, especially if one can obtain some free. (Which I haven't.) If it is free, when Tyvek gets worn, toss it with little regret. It weighs slightly more than silnylon and is not totally water-proof, but it is highly water-resistant and fairly durable.

CM

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#153838 - 08/19/11 11:40 AM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: CamperMom]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Tyvek is a good choice. Also, Walmart sells a 5X7 tarp that is pretty durable for $12. It looks like Urethane coated 1.9 oz nylon (not ripstop).
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#158728 - 12/14/11 01:39 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: wyethia]
Ffej Etaps Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Montreal, QC Canada
I just finished testing a prototype poly tarp (i am guessign 2ml thickness) using LDPE - that's low density polyethylene platic - supported with transparent duct tape. I have been recording the progress of this project and will include a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgC
Uc_aUnb0&list=UUxMuB1uhS6vBN_pFoYpe0Tw&feature=plcp

Here is another prototype test using .35ml High Density Polyethelene (please forgive my spelling). I like the HDPE because of its weight to strength characteristics, but I don't have a source for a .7ml version (without ordering a bulk roll of 400 ft.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BuQ2X-oW10&feature=related

Hope this helps

Cheers

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#158734 - 12/14/11 04:18 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: finallyME]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I have a Tyvek tarptent. In sustained rainstorms the bathtub floor becomes a bathtub. I bailed out to a rainproof option (yay for group camping) and torture tested it - Tyvek, once wet, soaks up pounds of water and seeps through like a crazy thing, gallons of water poured out of the floor and the empty tent weighed in the pounds.

Not a great backcountry choice any time but summer - it might withstand a Sierra Nevada afternoon shower, not actual rain.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#158739 - 12/14/11 06:02 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: lori]
Ffej Etaps Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Montreal, QC Canada
Originally Posted By lori
I have a Tyvek tarptent. In sustained rainstorms the bathtub floor becomes a bathtub. I bailed out to a rainproof option (yay for group camping) and torture tested it - Tyvek, once wet, soaks up pounds of water and seeps through like a crazy thing, gallons of water poured out of the floor and the empty tent weighed in the pounds.

Not a great backcountry choice any time but summer - it might withstand a Sierra Nevada afternoon shower, not actual rain.


I knew there was a reason I was avoiding Tyvek. Many thanks for the tip.

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#160701 - 01/20/12 01:33 PM Re: lightweight tarp? [Re: Ffej Etaps]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 241
Loc: Midwest
For the OP, I'd try polycro. It's used for groundcloths a lot and will take more abuse than normal dropcloths that are thicker and heavier. You can find polycro in sizes as big as 7'x10' (patio door window shrink film).
Originally Posted By Ffej Etaps
I just finished testing a prototype poly tarp (i am guessign 2ml thickness) using LDPE - that's low density polyethylene platic - supported with transparent duct tape. I have been recording the progress of this project and will include a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgCUc_aUnb0

Here is another prototype test using .35ml High Density Polyethelene (please forgive my spelling). I like the HDPE because of its weight to strength characteristics, but I don't have a source for a .7ml version (without ordering a bulk roll of 400 ft.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BuQ2X-oW10
Your projects look a lot like mine. smile

I'd recommend using shockcord loops on your tieouts to handle wind loading better.

Why did you think it made a difference in the order of how you placed the tape along the stress lines on the HDPE version?

If the HDPE pokes that easily (similar to mylar?), I think I'll stay with LDPE but I'm actually going to make one with polycro also. I think that would work quite well except for being see-thru.


Edited by topshot (01/20/12 01:35 PM)

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