Just returned from a 4 day BWCAW canoe trip. The woods were beautiful, resplendent in their fall colors. Unfortunately, we had 3 days of winds and sporadic rain and one really clear one...the last day on the way out! Anyway, this was my first trip with my Chinook 12 x 14 tarp and it performed flawlessly, short of Owner error issues. I pitched it with the 12 ft. length over my hammock and staked out the sides so the 4 ends swung in like doors. WOW, was that nice when the temps dropped below freezing. I'll bet it was 10 dregrees warmer in my shelter with the "doors closed" on the ends. I will attach bungies to the corner door stakes (I'm thinkin' of running some small bungee to the outter corner stakes where the tarp turns inward so I have enough bungee flex to tension the doors) so I can pull the doors apart for passage and have them snap closed behind me. Maybe use"biners so I can easily unhook them and open the ends out and around the sides and clip them together so they don't flap in nice weather?
I made the mistake of finding two "perfectly spaced" trees that I set up between that gave me decent shelter from the wind. Only problem was that in the hard rain that followed I was sleeping over a ground depression and the water tended to run inside my sleeping area. No pooling, but who wants to sleep and dress over a muddy floor? Fortunately, the water was in a confined area and I use a waterproof back pack and I was able to just keep putting things in the pack for dry-keeping. Next time I will choose a higher-dryer site with better drainage.
One downside to the tarp is that I'll need to add a couple of side pull straps to guy out the sides. I was able to push them out with two angled canoe paddles and made the space inside seem much larger. Surrounded by four walls, I potentially missed some of the surrounding beauty, but with darkness coming so early in the evening and sunrise delayed in the morning, I did get a chance to catch up on my rest! I probably will watch the weather predictions more closely for warmer summer trips and decide which tarp to erect based on wind and rain predictions. It was also nice to have a hand crank weather radio to better anticipate weather changes!
Short of my own set-up shortcomings...the tarp worked great and all the rain was a perfect test of it's waterproof-ness!