Best Tarp For A Noob

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Best Tarp For A Noob

#1

Post by sarge » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:18 pm

The title says it all.

Tell us what tarp and why.


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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#2

Post by Scuba » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:29 pm

Budget Tarp - I'd go with the Hennessey Hex. Usually available for about $70, and sometimes as low as $25, a great tarp either way, but heavy.

Not so budget - Either a Superfly or WinterDream. Superfly is a nice tarp, but not very customize-able ($140-165) . The Winterdream Is extremely customize-able (colors, grossgrain, polemods, etc...), has snaps to secure the doors closed, and starts at $139.95.
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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#3

Post by Baby Huey » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:39 pm

+1 on the Hennessy Hex. It is a great starter tarp that can be multipurpose. I got a couple of them for 20.00 on Amazon though from what I hear it is rare to catch them at that price and even rarer to get in on them before they sell out.
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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#4

Post by UncleMJM » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:40 pm

I'll add to the love fest for the HH Hex. I have a cuben tarp for when I want a light load; an 8x10 sil that I really like for its versatility; a Honeymoon Suite, (2 person, 3 tree hang winter tarp) for times my bride comes along and several others. I still use the HH Hex quite frequently.

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#5

Post by sarge » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:30 am

The Toxaway is right in there with the HH Hex but, yeah, its the Ford Taurus of tarps. A bit heavier than it needs to be, but inexpensive and well made. I still use one that I bought used 5 years ago, and the guy I bought it from had bought it used, too.
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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#6

Post by Roche » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:52 am

Back in my noob days I used a Kelty Noah 9 in the event of rain. The experts (10,000 posts but 10 hangs) claimed I would drown and die if I used the stock HH asym (referred to the expects as the postage stamp tarp). I soon realized that the stock HH asym is all I need to keep myself, the hammock and my backpack dry.

Assumming the noob is not a kid, would it not be better for them to learn how to set-up a tarp correctly than to keep the training wheels on? But then again, I've read a post claiming the guy got wet using a Kelty Noah 12 - perhaps he was hanging in a car wash?

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#7

Post by sarge » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:35 am

Roche wrote:Back in my noob days I used a Kelty Noah 9 in the event of rain. The experts (10,000 posts but 10 hangs) claimed I would drown and die if I used the stock HH asym (referred to the expects as the postage stamp tarp). I soon realized that the stock HH asym is all I need to keep myself, the hammock and my backpack dry.

Assumming the noob is not a kid, would it not be better for them to learn how to set-up a tarp correctly than to keep the training wheels on? But then again, I've read a post claiming the guy got wet using a Kelty Noah 12 - perhaps he was hanging in a car wash?
The advice on learning how first is good, and its why I think an inexpensive tarp is the way to go. I also agree that the HH stock tarp is adequate, and I've used it on occasion, mostly in late winter---or what passes for winter down here. But perhaps my advice is colored by the weather we have down here in Coastal Texas. Inundation is common, and the greater portion of the rain comes during locally heavy thunderstorms accompanied by high winds. I hesitate to recommend that stock tarp in Spring and late Summer down here, and in Deep Summer, the shade and venitlation of a hex tarp in porch mode on both sides is welcome, even near dusk or in the morning.
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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#8

Post by TXyakr » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:59 am

Tarps are like all outdoor gear it is best to determine your wants, requirements and budget first. What climate and weather conditions will you be camping in? Do you normally camp near or on the coast or in a mountain area where there are high winds? How hot or cold? Do you cancel trips due to high precipitation or camp regardless or especially when in rains because you like empty campsites and high flow rates in rivers/streams for great white water kayak/canoe/rafting trips etc. or snow skiing i.e. heavy snow fall. Having said all that:

For low wind conditions a rectangular cheap plastic tarp from a hardware store, Walmart, Harbor Freight can last for several to many dozen nights and you can patch it with duct tape, reuse to cover firewood or whatever later. I often use one of these hung asymmetrically when I am concerned that someone may steal my gear when I am gone, it marks my spot. (I throw hammock and more expensive gear in my pack take with me when fishing or day hiking or whatever.) H.F 7’4” x 9’6” $5 tarp has a diagonal of about 12 feet which works well. Reinforce the tie-outs with gorilla or duct tape first to add some life to it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-ft-4-inc ... n-877.html

A diamond tarp made of silnylon or polyester is lighter and more compact so an improvement over a plastic tarp but costs more. Many good ones to choose from I like my Simplicity Asym Hammock Tarp which came with #3 line locks on the guy line tie outs and Beastee Dee Rings at ridgeline tie outs $60, can add Dutch Titanium Tarp Flyz and Zing It cord etc. for extra if you want. Several other good tarps from SimplyLightDesigns some with cat-cut as well.

http://www.simplylightdesigns.com

I like my Superfly from Warbonnet Outdoors but if it is not cold or not going to rain a lot all the extra guy lines are just extra time and a nuisance. You can add on doors to a simple diamond or rectangular asym which works just fine.

http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/superfly/

But if you can only have just one tarp (significant other or your backpack for a very long trip limits you) then perhaps something similar to the “Superfly” with built in end doors may be a good option for you.

Another Thread could go on and on about ground stakes, IMO the best ones are what you find on site like sapling trees, shrubs, logs-deadman buried, found bags or trash used as sand stakes for hanging on a sandy windblown beaches… etc. etc. I do take some Titanium shepard’s hook and ground hog stakes but rarely use them.
I hung a hammock under the footbridge this past Sunday morning as I was waiting for the US Open triathlon to start in Rockwall (Lake Ray Hubbard). Got there at 6:30 am race delayed until 7:45 am. Was talking to another kayaker working water safety. He said he had the Kammock tarp (Glider) that has the water catchment system with the hookups for water bottles and likes it. I have not yet see this one set up and being used while it is raining but it sounds good in theory.

http://kammok.com/products/glider
Last edited by TXyakr on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#9

Post by DuxDawg » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:35 pm

Used a cheap poly for years. Hated diamond pitch, the bulk and the noise the whole while. Diamond pitch did not do enough to block the wind, especially during rain. Wet many times.

Went with a Chinook 12'x9-12' starting this Spring and have been happy so far. Under $40 shipped was a plus. Wouldn't want to be without a hex/rectangular with doors ever again. Several heavy rains, some with winds 20-40mph, without getting cold or wet has me trusting the Chinook.

Did seem like rain was getting pushed through the fabric during the worst of the nights but me and my gear remained dry so all good. Had previously seam sealed it with the automotive flowable silicone which worked well. Probably apply the Camp Dry type silicone spray to it and see if that helps. Not sure yet if that is a foible of coated taffeta, if all fabrics do that or if it was from pitching too tautly. Taffeta looks thin with a loose weave to begin with. Pitching super tight for strong winds can't help. Coating can't be as good as being forced under pressure like SilNy and SilPoly are.

Still, for $100 less than most backpacking tarps, happy with the Chinook.
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"The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9 NASB

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#10

Post by wgiles » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:25 pm

I would choose a 10' X 10' square tarp or a 10' X 12' rectangular tarp. They are easy to set up and can provide adequate protection as long as the wind doesn't blow through the ends. I would just as soon stay away from the cheap poly tarps. They are heavy, noisy and don't hold up very well. Silnylon, Silpoly and PU coated nylon are better choices. If you decide to get another tarp later, these are still good for dining flies or other camp duties.

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#11

Post by B_2keys » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:17 am

The first tarp I used was a Eno Profly. One trip with it and I realized it was too small for my liking. I upgraded to the Superfly and could not be happier. It has excellent coverage and I do not feel cramped for space ever. It is lighter than the profly yet covers much more area.

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#12

Post by Polkster13 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:10 pm

+1 one the ENO Superfly as a starter tarp.

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#13

Post by Idaho Hanger » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:33 pm

I have several tarps (DIY 5x10 asym, 12' hex, 12' rectangle, Kelty upslope hex, eno fast fly) and I find that I take the 12x10 rectangle more than any other. Sometimes it's more than you need but it's never not enough. If I could only have one that's what I would pick.
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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#14

Post by mrknot » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:59 pm

Bought a Noah 12 for my first tarp. On sale at REI for around $60.
Let me tell you, it's alot of tarp for the $$!
Been through a few pretty hard PNW rainstorms with it and stayed quite dry and cozy.
I hear tell of folks getting wet under one from super hard, blowing, tropical style monsoons, but short of that, it's G2G!
Downside is, it's heavy. ~2# for the 12.
Looking for a new, lighter option now for backpacking, but until the funds come through, I'm happy with the Noah...

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Re: Best Tarp For A Noob

#15

Post by ADVStrom14 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:13 pm

I started with an ENO profly and I liked it fine other than being heavy. I +1 the HH Hex tarp though. I just upgraded a couple months ago and I really like the 30D Silnylon Hex tarp. I got it on sale but the 70D which is about 3 oz heavier is $79 on their site right now. I also got the ultralight backpacker tarp for when I want to go minimal and it's pretty good too but only if you are in the woods and privacy is not really an issue. I managed to snag an ENO housefly a couple months ago. I just got around to putting it up today so it's not been out in the weather but it seems to be a pretty good option for when you want to be able to close the doors and keep the wind/weather out. It's heavy though so you are going to want to get where you're going and stay put with that thing.

I'm learning more and more every day that everything we do in hammock camping is a personal decision. It's about what works the best for your budget and your camping/hiking/backpacking goals...and what your spouse/significant other won't kill you for buying! :lol:
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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