Originally Posted By Pliny
Yet there is no sense in carrying extra weight just to make it square. The purpose of my tarp would be to carry it on day hikes/climbs for emergency shelter or bivy and to sleep under in mild weather. Rain is common there, but I find it is usually easy to find a place out of the wind

I have used a 5x8 poncho tarp for this purpose without too much trouble. I.E. for what you describe where it is usually easy to find a place out of the wind, sleeping under in mild weather etc.

Were I planning on tarping in really bad weather and wanted some comfort, take an 8x10. but you *can* do just fine in a 5x8 - it's just if the weather gets bad you don't have a lot of room and have to pitch it pretty low.

to put it in perspective, I take an 8x10 silnylon tarp hiking normally, that goes over my hammock, or I pitch on the ground if there are no trees. The nice part is I can be under it for days in pouring rain and it's like a palace.

But for what you describe (dayhikes, emergency, sleeping under on a superlight trip in probably good weather) I take a 5x8 integral designs silponcho.
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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