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Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 1:46 pm
by Ms_Mudd
Firstly, I have no idea about tarps, but I need one. That is where you all come in with your sage wisdom.

large enough to just cover my 2p tent (either BA Copper Spur or Lanshan2)
Have enough room to allow my vestibule on one side to be at least partially open in most weather and shelter 2 x goats. Weird I know.
My goats do water crossings no problems and actually swim and splash if given the chance (see drowned rat goat photo attached in this post) but they think they will melt if asked to sleep in the rain. They will settle quietly if they are within visual range of me (hence the vestibule being open) and the closeness will also allow me to watch for wild dogs etc but I don't want them close enough that they mess with my guy ropes or keep me awake all night with their incessant burping.

As light as possible without needing to rob a bank

Set Up:
Hit me with ideas! What configuration is best? Will I need to carry additional poles or use trees?

Product suggestions, set up advice etc will be very much appreciated.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 2:02 pm
by Moondog55
Your only going to get my personal and very biased advice here. With tarps and weather bigger is better as far as coverage go but the bigger that are naturally a bigger sail area and more effected by the wind. I have used small tarps Medium sized tarps and big buggers. I bought a cheap tarp S/H here a while back and I have been pleased with the performance of it in winter with heavy snow falls etc. I think it's 3 * 5 metres, the important thing is that it has triple sewn and double reinforced seams and is super strong. What broke this past winter were the poles I was using to hold it up, so you need to make a budget allowance for a good poles. Otherwise just get one and experiment
Both good value but on the heavy side
I think the Hiker fly is what I have
Lots of cord and guy line needed for a tarp compared to a tent but very versatile

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 2:23 pm
by stuie88
I've used DD tarps in bad weather a few times, 3x3 is a pretty large footprint and they dont break the bank. We pick them up from wild earth. My two brothers were both in ordinary nick on one trip where the weather turned pretty quickly and the DD polyester 3x3 turned it from borderline hypothermia to a nice evening by the fire.

The photo is after the weather broke up a bit in the evening, earlier we cooked and ate under the tarp with the fire roaring. We pitched it down really low and rode out some nasty weather, 4 of us with plenty of room.

Ive since changed over to their ultralight silnylon which is a fair bit lighter, but i did like that polyester for the nice taut pitch that stayed taut.


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Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 3:00 pm
by Mark F
Six yards of this 1.1oz sil-poly would make an excellent tarp about 3m x 2.7m for well under $100 and under 400 grams. you can go lighter for a few more dollars. I would recommend the sil-poly fabrics for the low sag factor.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 6:13 pm
by trekker76
I'm glad you posted the pic because after I read your post I was scouring my mind for whatever 'goat' could stand for. :shock:
Under the stars with goats, like a traditional shephard, thats great stuff.

As to tarps I second the recommendation for DD, they are good performers in our rain.

To work out what fits consider buying one of the large cheapo blue tarps at a camping store etc and test it out. You can cut it down to various sizes and pitches until you have it perfect for your tent +goats. Its $20 well spent, you can then buy the quality tarp size you need without any doubts.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 7:28 pm
by Ms_Mudd
ha ha yes, goat stands for what it looks like rather than some high tech abbreviation :lol: I have little lightweight pack saddles for them, they can't carry anything much yet, but in time, will be physically able to carry 20kg each if needed- not that they will ever need to work that hard to carry my gear and food.

Thanks for all the great replies so far,seems like I will need some additional poles- I already using my trekking poles for my tent. Are the Aldi ones any good?

stuie88, your set up certainly looks like a nice haven in some crappy weather.

I think I may just get to like having a tarp - once I work out how best to set one up- as I hate being stuck in a tent in the rain and cooking in my vestibule. Could never justify carrying one as an extra comfort, but the goats can carry their own shelter, so no problem :lol:

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 7:43 pm
by Moondog55
The big Aldi ones are for camping tents and good value but don't collapse short.
Look to TPT for enough sections to MYOG but don't get anything smaller than 16mm, personally I would get 19mm to be sure. I find that I need at least one tarp pole as I can usually find some sort of tree for at least one end
I like to be able to stand up under my tarps or at least under one end so for me that's 4 pole sections @ 660mm each
Extra tent pegs too

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 7:55 pm
by CasualNerd
I'm very happy with my 3F UL silnylon tarp from aliexpress, 2m x 1.5m, 200gm, about $15. Perfect for making a small 'porch' in front of the vestibule in poor weather, and cheap. I'm sure you can find any size you want.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 8:29 pm
by ChrisJHC
I think the DIY path is likely to be the best.
My wife and I made my current tarp (I cut, she sewed) and it has proven very effective over a number of years.

Here's a link to another forum that will tell you more than you ever want to know about tarps: ... Protection
Or just search for "MYOG Tarp".

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Mon 24 Dec, 2018 8:48 pm
by Ms_Mudd
That forum- oh my! So much tarp info. Thank you ChrisJHC.
I am interested in MYOG or cheap (ie. 3F suggestions and links to DIY poles, thanks Casual Nerd and MoonDog) options as I am a tightwad. I hate spending big bucks if there is a way around it.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec, 2018 11:23 am
by Neo
Have used a new One Planet tarp, quite good but the narrow side is less than 3m. Interested in one of the Oztrail tarps for price. Have a new $20 silver tarp from Aldi 3.6m square, but that is for car camping.

I find a tarp that has four corner tie outs and just one on each side limiting for setup/tie down options, will be looking for on with more side tie out points.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Tue 25 Dec, 2018 7:14 pm
by davidf
I,m the opposite, i rarely use a tent because i have a tarp. Tents just dont justify themselves. Sea 2 summit makes a nice square tarp. Big enough for you and goats. I use a HMG DCF10x10 foot. Love it.

Re: Let's talk tarps

PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2018 7:16 am
by Gusto
Lets talk more about the Goats instead. Please share more stories and photo about where you have taken them etc.

As for Tarps, I don't see why you need it to cover your tent as well. I expect that 3m by 3m would be sufficient. Lots of brands to choose from, Some of the better brands are Widerness Equipment, One Planet, Terra Rosa Gear, Tier Gear.

I rope pockets alot. So on that basis WE wins for me