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Anyone have a TarpTent? Thoughts on it?

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  • Anyone have a TarpTent? Thoughts on it?

    Some reason I like would like to have one of the Contrails but soooo expensive. Thinking of making my own.

  • #2
    There are a couple of sites for DIY. For the mesh part I found this cool no-sew instructable:


    • #3
      I was reading about these ultralight tents a few weeks back
      Can't write form experience, but gives you something else to look at maybe.
      notice the materials tab, you can buy the fabric from them to make your own stuff....

      I really like the idea of the completely open tarp tents, but I just can't imagine doing it. Not around here anyway. Maybe I'm too soft, but it just seems like it could be a huge problems with bugs or snakes.


      • #4
        About 75% of my camping is with a open-ended, floorless pup tent. My "roomy" tent is a 9' canvas A-frame tent, no floor. I rig netting as necessary, more of a hassle than a help. Never had a snake problem, but I know they are in the areas I camp. Summer camp, floorless wall tents, with jury-rigged netting. In really bad weather, short cot in WWII pup tent, no floor, but vestibules on each end that cut out wind/water.

        A luxury weekend would be my 3-man Kelty. Nice, but in really bad weather, I get soaked, thinking I can rely on nylon to keep me dry. Canvas does so much better and with a short cot, just let the water run through. At a campground in the Black Hills and got hit with a major thunderstorm. Wife and I stayed dry, but when the hail hit it beat the crap out of the nylon tents. My canvas survived with no damage. Just don't touch the canvas.

        It's just what you get used to.


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          my silnylon tarp survived a tornado at camp two years ago and two different hail storms and a night where we had 4 inches of ran in 6 hours, it did leak at one of the pullouts at the side. I wok up and was startled to see a water fall where I could see it out of the hammock.

          Stepped out of it into water over my ankle.

      • #5
        Be prepared for misting thru in a moderate rain.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh but I have read many posts on here go on and on about all they ever use is a tarp and they have never gotten wet no matter how much it rained. Just doesn't pass the smell test to me.

        • scoutergipper
          scoutergipper commented
          Editing a comment
          It's interesting to read the "testimonials" on their website - "I survived hurricane-force winds and seven inches of rain - and never even got wet!" I agree it doesn't seem likely.

        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          I survived 100mph winter winds in a 50 cent pup tent. (That was the last day the weather station on Dolly Sods was operational. Maxed out at 80.)

          I might trade that piece of cloth in when these new-dangled gizmos sell for less than a dollar.

          (Truth be told: if I have to contend with rain, I string up a garden variety tarp.)

      • #6
        10 by 20 poly tarp. Stake down 10 by 5 feet of it, curl another 5 feet up, support with poles (cut on site), guy with rope as appropriate, stretch the next 10 feet out over the first 5 feet, poles and stakes and rope as appropriate. Site back to prevailing winds, plastic ground cloth to extend protected floor area. Slope roof as needed. Room for sleeping bag and gear. Lots of overhang.


        • #7
          I have a sylnylon tarp. Weighs a pound. It's a 1.5 season tent. Could probably get 3 people under it, easily 2 and have enough overlap for rain. Bugs and snakes are not that much of an issue but I do have a bug net I can hang from the inside of the tent and cover the upper half of me. I like it. it's very roomy. Depending on weather I can stake down sides or raise them all up high. I use my hiking poles as tent poles. It's kind of a pain to set up compared to a self standing tent. Wind would be the only real nuisance.


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            I use my silnylon tarp 3 season. and even in the winter on occasion.

        • #8
          I sleep in a camping hammock with a sil nylon tarp over me. Summer and Winter. I think I am just as covered and secure as if I had a tent. I could sleep on the ground underneath if I had to. Out troop did a wilderness survival campout last weekend, and for the first night they slept under regular poly tarps, then they slept in brush shelters for the next night. It rained the first night, and they were still dry in the morning, except where they stuck their feet out from under the tarps. That is the only advantage to a tent, really. You can zip yourself into it.

          The tarps in the links above are made of new ultra light weight stuff, probably Cuban Fiber tarps. They are also Ultra expensive. You can buy a good sil nylon tarp for $60.00, or even less if you look on Ebay.


          • #9
            The higher level of "comfort" the higher level of cost. A pup tent costs far less than a Pace Arrow motorhome. If one is looking for comfort, go with the motorhome. If one is looking for adventure, it definitely costs a whole lot less.

            The years I spent in scouting as a youth, we didn't have any such thing as a floor or mosquito netting on a tent. Maybe we didn't know any better because nothing was available at that time. However, much of what one finds on the market today are essentials, whereas a few years back they weren't even wishful thinking. The stuff didn't exist. Just imagine the envy trip we all shared when the new guy had an external frame pack and the rest of us just had our Yuccas. We didn't even know such things existed. Really his external frame pack was a homemade backboard with his Yucca strapped to it. But it did have a waist belt which was the Cadillac feature we all noticed right off the bat.

            It all boils down to what you are comfortable with and what you are used to. Yes, I have a nice Kelty external pack, a military Alice pack and yet more often than not, it's the old Yucca that gets dragged out. Kinda like old slippers, it just feels right.



            • #10
              Duckfoot have you looked at this? I swittched from tents to Hammock 90% of time but want to trap it for some backpacking as well...


              • #11
                If you buy or make a decent tarp for your hammock it can serve a dual purpose.




                Been out with my hammock and ran into a time when there were no trees to I pitched my tarp with my treking poles and slept on poncho and quilt.

                you don't need a stinkin tarp tent, just buy a tarp.