Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#183618 - 03/07/14 09:09 AM Tarp sizes.
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
What is your best tarp size for one? 6x9,9x9, 8x10. I'm just wondering if there is an common size that works best for solo hiking. I have a golite poncho tarp, but it seems too small for any serious weather. What say you?
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#183622 - 03/07/14 10:12 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I am an 8X10 guy. I know many who say that is too much, but being in it in several rain storms, I really don't see why I would want a smaller one.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#183623 - 03/07/14 10:15 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: finallyME]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Kind of what I'm thinking too, thanks!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#183625 - 03/07/14 10:17 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: finallyME]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Depends on what you are comfortable doing. I like a large tarp, have a 9x10 and 10x12 for hammocking and luxuriating under during extended rainstorms. A poncho is mighty confining after a few hours.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#183627 - 03/07/14 10:45 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
mwg Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/28/11
Posts: 2
I am non conventional. Spent some time playing with different dimensions. Ended up with custom size of 7 x 10.5 ft. Minimum size while still having huge rain protection.

Top
#183629 - 03/07/14 11:00 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I'd read the 7X9 was most popular, so if/when I get one, it will more than likely be that size, counting half oz. like I do. smile Of course a little bigger would lessen the need for a bivy to keep one dry. I have a pricey pound tent ordered for more older dude all weather protection (non full on snow storm).
Duane

Top
#183631 - 03/07/14 01:26 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2930
Loc: NorCal
8x10 is almost a palace for one, decent for two, and at least with sil-nylon, still light and compact. It takes a lot of room and a lot of lines and stakes to pitch well--definitely more fiddly than a simple tent or tarp shelter, so consider set-up time in the equation.

Almost think I'd prefer 9x9. For one, being square simplifies pitching in a diamond pattern compared to a rectangle.

While flat tarps are the most versatile, I prefer shaped tarps with catenary center line. Stronger and pitch tauter, so flap less.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#183633 - 03/07/14 01:39 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: Rick_D]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
My is 11 x 7.5ish.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

Top
#183635 - 03/07/14 01:49 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: Rick_D]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I was doing some tests this winter, a real eye opener is how much room is needed to pitch in a diamond shape. Might be easier if using tall poles, as if it is pitched lower, it takes up quite a bit of real estate.
Duane

Top
#183636 - 03/07/14 02:43 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: hikerduane]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 680
After one rainy night under the poncho tarp, it is now for emergency only. Barely stayed dry, and was constantly fretting about moving a few inches and getting in the line of fire. 7x9 is now my solo minimum. Majority of the time is with my wife, so on the rare occasions when we choose to tarp it- 8x10.
_________________________
Charlie

Top
#183637 - 03/07/14 03:51 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: hikerduane]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2930
Loc: NorCal
Yup, with poles it can be tricky. Did learn to string and stake the lines first, then deploy the poles and adjust the lines. (Slow learner am I.)

Am more likely to use a diamond where there are trees for a ridgeline. String the ridgeline (can also simply run lines from the corner anchors to the trees), attach the tarp, stake the side corners, done, with only two lines to trip over instead of the ueual eight or so.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#183638 - 03/07/14 03:56 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: Rick_D]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Shed configuration, not a "A" frame?
Duane

Top
#183644 - 03/07/14 05:55 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: hikerduane]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6765
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
While I wanted to use just a tarp outside of bug season, it didn't work out because my dog was restless all night long. He needed the tent for security--he considered it his crate. Since I wanted my sleep, I stuck with the tent. Now that he's gone, I could, of course, switch, but I'm looking for another dog.

From my limited tarp experience and talking to regular tarp users, it would appear that with a smaller tarp there will be "splash" with heavy rain and you'll need a water resistant (NOT waterproof) bivy to protect your sleeping bag. With a larger tarp, you can snug it down closer to the ground and can do without the bivy. Everyone's preference may vary here, but the total weight will be about the same. The tarp I tried for me and the 75-lb. dog was 8' x 10' and there was no need for a bivy.

I also found that by the time I added together the weight of the tarp, guylines, bug net and ground sheet, the total weight was the same as many lightweight tents, including the one I was already using.


Edited by OregonMouse (03/07/14 05:56 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#183646 - 03/07/14 06:20 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: OregonMouse]
mwg Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/28/11
Posts: 2
At least in the West, once the sun goes down and cools off, the bugs are not much of an issue. So there is really little need for a bug net just for sleeping.

And a the extra coverage of a larger tarp should be less than the weight of a bivy.

So, for some conditions, it is the lowest weight option to go with larger tarp. Although the lightest option is a small tarp with no bivy, and just hope for no blowing rain storms. For a cuben tarp, we are only talking about a couple ounce difference, though.

Top
#183647 - 03/07/14 07:17 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: mwg]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Hmm just like my google search the sizes are all over the place. But the general consensus is larger is a safer bet. I used a MSR E-wing, the early small version, in pretty heavy rain and thank god I'm not too tall because my bag would have been wet.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#183648 - 03/07/14 07:24 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Another question is should the tarp be cuben or sil nylon?
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#183650 - 03/07/14 08:48 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: mwg]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6765
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
At least in the West, once the sun goes down and cools off, the bugs are not much of an issue. So there is really little need for a bug net just for sleeping.


Depends on how late you want to stay up! In the Cascades in early July, when the bugs get going, the sun doesn't set until 10 and, if there's a warm spell, it may be a few hours more before the bugs die down. Personally, I don't want to stay up that late!

Besides, at least in some areas, you will probably be diving under the net in a hurry as soon as you get it set up!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#183652 - 03/07/14 09:24 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6765
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
Another question is should the tarp be cuben or sil nylon?


Abstruse higher mathematical calculations are needed! laugh

First, calculate the difference in weight (in ounces) between cuben and silnylon tarps in the size you want.

Second, calculate the difference in price.

Third, divide the difference in price by the difference in weight to find out the price per ounce of weight saved.

If that number hasn't already made the decision for you (depends on your budget), factor in a few more subjective items: Cuben is definitely more translucent than silnylon, so it will be a lot brighter underneath when the moon shines down on you. Cuben is less resistant to punctures than silnylon, not a big deal if you watch out for snags on trees and are careful with your poles. On the other hand, cuben doesn't stretch when wet like silnylon (not a big deal for me, but mileage may vary.

I still haven't decided between my ZPacks Hexamid Twin and my older Gossamer Gear/Tarptent Squall Classic. That's because most of my trips since I bought the Hex Twin have been with grandkids using my roomier Tarptent Squall II.


Edited by OregonMouse (03/07/14 09:24 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#183653 - 03/07/14 09:28 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Quote:
At least in the West, once the sun goes down and cools off, the bugs are not much of an issue. So there is really little need for a bug net just for sleeping.


Depends on how late you want to stay up! In the Cascades in early July, when the bugs get going, the sun doesn't set until 10 and, if there's a warm spell, it may be a few hours more before the bugs die down. Personally, I don't want to stay up that late!

Besides, at least in some areas, you will probably be diving under the net in a hurry as soon as you get it set up!
I've been in the sierras when the mosquitoes are out all night, head buried in my bag even thou fit was warm.

One more question, square or rectangle???

Thanks OM!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#183659 - 03/07/14 11:14 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: rockchucker22]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Ive read the cat cut is easier to get a good setup with little fuss, but what I see is then it's only good for a "A" frame pitch. A tarp would be new for me too, I want to try sometime. I want a cuben one down the road, after I get used to my new pound shelter when it gets made. smile At least I've spent less money this year than a year ago on gear and motorcycle stuff.
Duane

Top
#183660 - 03/07/14 11:19 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: hikerduane]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I use a cat cut in a flying diamond when I tarp on the group, so not sure why you think it only does an A frame.

_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#183662 - 03/08/14 12:42 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: OregonMouse]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2930
Loc: NorCal
In the Sierra, at some point after sundown the mosquitoes are replaced by unicorns, so we have that to count on.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#183665 - 03/08/14 07:05 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: Rick_D]
GrumpyGord Online   content
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 937
Loc: Michigan
Here in Michigan we have mosquitoes or blowing snow with a few transition days in between. I tried a tarp and by the time I had the tarp, ground cloth, bug net etc it weighed as much as my Tarptent. The Tarptent is easier to set up in any location. Tried a hammock and found the same weight problem. I do not have a problem sleeping directly on the ground.

Top
#183667 - 03/08/14 09:05 AM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: GrumpyGord]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I think my hammock adds a pound to the equation.

It's adding about 50% more comfort, so I find that to be okay.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

Top
#183692 - 03/09/14 06:11 PM Re: Tarp sizes. [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Why smile you say? Because I've never had a cat cut tarp. I tried a diamond setup on my garage approach a few weeks ago. The cheapo tarp I had for covering firewood was maybe 8'X10'. It took up a lot of real estate. What size do you use in the diamond?
I know many love the tarp as when not needed, you don't have to set it up. Next adventure I guess. A friend used a "footprint" last night as his shelter out snow camping in the Bucks Lake Wilderness, in a raised, diamond cover. He used a bivy also.
Duane

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Boil in a bottle?
by DustinV
07/23/21 06:29 PM
Can't find a tent for me and the Mrs.
by edfardos
04/26/16 05:19 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Grandma Gatewood Revisited
by Bill Kennedy
01:51 AM
Greetings from the (not so) prairie state
by UrbanYeti
09/24/21 12:29 PM
Join me on an Author's night!
by balzaccom
09/21/21 08:09 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Carrying My Dog LOL
by Hey
07/07/21 09:20 PM
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 39 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
UrbanYeti, Carute, Jacksmith220, snacksalot, Keirv87
13066 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum