I can see where, like stoves, designing tarp shelters can be addictive.

After using that one a few times I could see where panel pullouts and more grommets, like Lori mentioned, would be a good thing to have, especially if you have lots of trees to tie off to. You can reconfigure them into a lean-two in no time.

Since I do most my camping in the cooler months, and don't need shade, I really liked the clear plastic. Since I made that one I've thought of a few mods and been looking for some new materials to use. I used 3.5 mil sheet on that one. I think I could get by with something lighter, maybe 2.5 - 3 mil, but I haven't found it yet. And I think could use narrower tape on the edges, smaller grommets, and lighter cord.

One thing I didn't really get a chance to test last year was if the clear plastic shelter gives you any solar heat gain. I was always out hiking during daylight, but I'll make a point to observe it this season. It seems like it should, at least a little.

I also want to do some experimenting on trapping radiant heat from a campfire inside the shelter. I saw a video where I guy used one of those shiney foil-like "Emergency Blankets" inside a plastic shelter to reflect heat back inside. He said it worked pretty good, but there was no real data presented on the video to give an idea of how much warmer it was inside. I didn't try it with that tarp, but I did get a chance to play with that concept this past winter and it showed a lot of promise with the simple experiments I did.

The big drawback most folks will mention about the clear plastic sheet is that it gets really stiff in the cold temps. That can make it harder to work with when you're setting or packing it up. I think, however, that it might also offer a sort of advantage once it is set up. I'll test it in some snow storms this winter to see how it does, but I'd expect that design and material would do very good.

If not, once I get the design nailed down to work with what I have and need I can still spring for some silnylon and make a proper tarp, but those tape and plastic sheet tarps are pretty cheap, fun and easy to make, and they work a lot better than one might expect.

Definitely post some pics of what you come up with, that size and design worked pretty good, but there is lots of room for improvements on what I rigged up and some really great stuff out there to get ideas from.


"You want to go where?"