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Author Topic: To Tarp or Not to Tarp..  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline Maeve McMayhem

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To Tarp or Not to Tarp..
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:22:52 AM »
That's not really a question, is it?  ;)

When camping with a tent, tarping seems to be a must. And while we tarp every year - we're still looking for that one, golden way to tarp a tent to protect from rain and allow easy access to a breeze when it's too hot..

Any ideas would be great!

Usually - we throw a tarp over it, securing on the ends/corners and just roll it up with it's warm..or pull it off completely. But there has to be an easier way! I've seen so many campers with tarp-made porches and tent housing that seems so much more comfortable..(and dry)
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Offline KiltedPrivateer

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Re: To Tarp or Not to Tarp..
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2013, 08:22:59 AM »
This year I did something different at SWFF.  Awhile ago I picked up 4 telescoping poles that are designed specifically for raising a tarp.  They have short 1 - 2 inch spikes at their tops which fit into the grommeted holes of a tarp.  I bought a tarp which could over hang each side of my tent.  The overlap ended up being about two feet on each side.

I then used the tarp poles, at their lowest setting (not telescoped out) to hold the tarp in place over the tent.  I used small, quarter inch line to anchor each pole with long stakes into the ground.  The tarp laid directly on top of the tent.

This configuration allowed us to have a breeze with the tent windows open, but we were fully covered by a sturdy tarp when the rains came.  The poles held up nicely through all of the storms that passed through the area.  Only once did a stake pull up, but the other three stayed in place and kept the tarp down.

Note, that this configuration will add quite a bit to your tents foot print.  Keep that in mind when setting up next to other tents already pitched.
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Offline Orphena

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Re: To Tarp or Not to Tarp..
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2013, 10:11:13 AM »
Tarping - yes. In my mind, your tarp is more important than your tent! I probably have about 5 tarps, one of them is large enough to cover an entire campsite - or 3 tents plus a generous eating / living area.

If there are trees, use them. Put one rope up as high as you can - this is your rafter. If there are no trees - go for tarp poles, you won't get as high, but 8 - 10 feet would be perfect. Collapsable tarp poles don't take up much room (length yes, width no), and I have about 4.

The other secret is BUNGEE CORDS. Once you have your rafter up, drape the tarp over it, and bungee the edges out to where - ever you can. Use multple bungee cords at first (I have been known to string 5 or 6 together), and then go around and take a few out to really stretch out the tarp. The bungees will take a lot of the strain off the tarp, and allow you to keep the tarp up even in windy conditions. I probably have about 30 bungees in my camping kit, that plus tarp poles, and 100 feet of rope will let me put up a good tarp in most areas. I also use tarp holders http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/Towing/Tarpaulins/PRD~0763085P/Coghlans+Tarp+Holder.jsp?locale=en  and http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/Towing/Tarpaulins/PRD~0402594P/EZ+Grabbit+Premium+Tarp+Holder.jsp?locale=en that allow me to attach to any point of the tarp, not just where the existing grommets are. (Sorry - I'm Canadian, not sure where to advise you to find it in the USA!)

I try to get the tarp up first, and then put the tent up under it.  Try to remember to have one low corner to encourage rain, dew, etc to drain off!

I have noticed that some National Parks (USA) will not let you tie anything to trees - so research before you go!
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Offline Aderin

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Re: To Tarp or Not to Tarp..
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 08:49:55 AM »
Tarping - yes. In my mind, your tarp is more important than your tent! I probably have about 5 tarps, one of them is large enough to cover an entire campsite - or 3 tents plus a generous eating / living area.

If there are trees, use them. Put one rope up as high as you can - this is your rafter. If there are no trees - go for tarp poles, you won't get as high, but 8 - 10 feet would be perfect. Collapsable tarp poles don't take up much room (length yes, width no), and I have about 4.

The other secret is BUNGEE CORDS. Once you have your rafter up, drape the tarp over it, and bungee the edges out to where - ever you can. Use multple bungee cords at first (I have been known to string 5 or 6 together), and then go around and take a few out to really stretch out the tarp. The bungees will take a lot of the strain off the tarp, and allow you to keep the tarp up even in windy conditions. I probably have about 30 bungees in my camping kit, that plus tarp poles, and 100 feet of rope will let me put up a good tarp in most areas. I also use tarp holders http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/Towing/Tarpaulins/PRD~0763085P/Coghlans+Tarp+Holder.jsp?locale=en  and http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/Towing/Tarpaulins/PRD~0402594P/EZ+Grabbit+Premium+Tarp+Holder.jsp?locale=en that allow me to attach to any point of the tarp, not just where the existing grommets are. (Sorry - I'm Canadian, not sure where to advise you to find it in the USA!)

I try to get the tarp up first, and then put the tent up under it.  Try to remember to have one low corner to encourage rain, dew, etc to drain off!

I have noticed that some National Parks (USA) will not let you tie anything to trees - so research before you go!

Wise words! Thank you for this :)
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