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Tarps: Square vs rectangle

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Offline roadtrip

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Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« on: June 24, 2019, 12:41:29 PM »
My research into ultralight backpacking, in preparation for my November Big Bend trip, has led me to consider bringing a tarp for shelter.
For those experienced in tarp camping, which do you prefer: square or rectangle tarps?  And why?
If this already on another thread please direct me with a link.
Much Thanks
Roadtrip

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 01:17:47 PM »
I have used the gossamer gear spinntwinn since 2011 and really enjoy it. I've brought it on all my trips in Big Bend when there was rain in the forecast, otherwise I'll leave it behind. I've never considered a square tarp. The spinntwinn is 8 by 10 and can comfortably accommodate two people if necessary.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 01:28:08 PM »
I have used the gossamer gear spinntwinn since 2011 and really enjoy it. I've brought it on all my trips in Big Bend when there was rain in the forecast, otherwise I'll leave it behind. I've never considered a square tarp. The spinntwinn is 8 by 10 and can comfortably accommodate two people if necessary.

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I am the same as DRS, I have only used a "shaped" tarp with a catenary cut ridgeline which now is also a GG Spinntwin.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
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Offline roadtrip

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 05:01:56 PM »
Thanks for the replies.
Using the A-frame pitch in the rain, any major problem with rain blowing in the open ends?
With a shaped tarp with a catenary cut ridge, would I be limited to an A frame pitch?

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 05:23:24 AM »
If the tarp is long enough there is not much that blows in the ends, you can also pitch it a bit lower and that helps.  The Twinn tarp that I use is basically an 8X10 tarp which is luxurious for one person and not bad for two.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 11:26:05 AM »
ME and DRS, couple of questions on the Spinn Twinn: 1) is it a tarp for all seasons; i.e., would you be comfortable riding-out a really severe, wind-driven, long-lasting storm? 2) how many stakes do you normally bring, and would you bring more if you suspected really bad weather during a trip?


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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 12:39:42 PM »
I don't view it as a big storm tarp even though it could be especially with a bivy.  I bring a minimum of 6 stakes with 2 of them groundhogs for the front and back, if I expect more wind I bring two more.  I find it fine for most desert situations where the rains are usually not long or a lot. 

I have just purchased a Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp for an upcoming trip to the Wind River Range where I do expect afternoon storms that might include hail and or snow and certainly wind.  It sets up with 6 stakes and I will bring two more for the additional tie downs just in case.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline roadtrip

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2019, 01:07:39 PM »
General thoughts:
The selections of tents and tarps and backpacking gear in general are mind boggling. I thought I knew something about it until I got on this site and then got on the web and started researching  gear for an upcoming BB trip in November, my first to BB and first to backpack.
It's a lot of fun though, the planning and preparation and research.
I have to remember to keep it simple.
It seems there's a fine line between a tarp and an ultralite trekking pole tent.
Is the Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp limited to the pitch that's shown on the website, and if so is it because it's a "shaped" tarp?
Thanks for the input.


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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2019, 01:17:36 PM »
I have the exact same stake plan as ME, except that one time I tried no stakes.

In an alpine environment I pair the tarp with an MLD (mountain laurel designs) Superlight bivy sack. This has always worked very well for me. I've never had it in a long lasting super windy storm, but if pitched low (and in a protected location), it will survive most situations. I would probably bring a different shelter if a lot of snow or hail was expected.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 06:28:57 PM by DesertRatShorty »
I roamed and rambled, and I foller'ed my footsteps
   To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Online dprather

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2019, 04:33:58 PM »
I have the utmost respect for all of the exceptional advice and "head's ups" available on BBC.  BBC is at its best, perhaps, when it is informative.

That said (fool's question a-comin'):  how is tarp + bivy superior to, say, the new aluminum-poled Eureka Solitaire?

Asking for a friend.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 06:20:07 AM »
I have the utmost respect for all of the exceptional advice and "head's ups" available on BBC.  BBC is at its best, perhaps, when it is informative.

That said (fool's question a-comin'):  how is tarp + bivy superior to, say, the new aluminum-poled Eureka Solitaire?

Asking for a friend.

Good question and first it would be considerably heavier, the specs are 42 oz. and that may be without stakes (hard to tell from the website) so that would be another 3 oz..  My Twinn Tarp is 11 oz. with stakes and bivy another 6 oz., in the desert I don't carry the bivy but do carry a 3 oz. ground sheet.
Second much more room or floor space 47 sq. ft. vs. 21 sq. ft..  Third much more head room, can be from 44" and up depending on how long you set your poles, the Solitare is 28", I don't think you can even sit up in that.  The tarp/bivy/groundsheet combo is much more versatile/flexible as you can use what ever parts you want.  My last two trips to the Bend we carried the 11 oz. tarp but only set it up one night on each trip, otherwise we just rolled the bags out on the groundsheet and cowboy camped.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 06:23:11 AM »
Is the Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp limited to the pitch that's shown on the website, and if so is it because it's a "shaped" tarp?


Yes you can only set it up one way but it is much more wind worthy and protection from wind blown precipitation with it's design.

You might want to experiment with just a plain flat tarp either 8X10 or 10X10 where you can try lots of different pitches, most likely something like the flying diamond for more protection.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline roadtrip

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 12:05:22 PM »
Is the Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp limited to the pitch that's shown on the website, and if so is it because it's a "shaped" tarp?


Yes you can only set it up one way but it is much more wind worthy and protection from wind blown precipitation with it's design.

You might want to experiment with just a plain flat tarp either 8X10 or 10X10 where you can try lots of different pitches, most likely something like the flying diamond for more protection.
That sounds like great advice. I'm going to do just that this weekend with some of my "home depot" plastic tarps.  Hopefully they'll be a storm come through.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 07:18:37 PM »
I have just purchased a Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp for an upcoming trip to the Wind River Range where I do expect afternoon storms that might include hail and or snow and certainly wind.

I'm guessing this is slated for September?  I can't imagine a tarp during prime mosquito season in the Winds. In fact, I can't imagine even enjoying a trip a trip with a full tent, headnet and DEET during mosquito season.
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Tarps: Square vs rectangle
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 07:49:50 PM »
I have just purchased a Six Moons Designs Haven Tarp for an upcoming trip to the Wind River Range where I do expect afternoon storms that might include hail and or snow and certainly wind.

I'm guessing this is slated for September?  I can't imagine a tarp during prime mosquito season in the Winds. In fact, I can't imagine even enjoying a trip a trip with a full tent, headnet and DEET during mosquito season.

Yeah me too.  This is the last week of August, which usually means the mosquitoes are past.  I did get the net inner tent too just in case we need it and head nets.  All of our camps will be at or above treeline so I am hoping that we are good mosquito wise.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

 


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