My recommendation for anyone that is getting started and is in need of a tarp still is that the Wal-Mart blue tarps work fine. They are a bit heavy for backpacking with more than a weekend. And they have a lot of short comings compared to sil/spin/cuban but the price is a good starting point and you can learn some good tarp fundamentals. Also they can take a beating and are more forgiving than clear plastic drop cloths, which are also a popular place to start with tarps. I say spend the $10 on a WW tarp and use it till you can afford something that better fits your needs and camping style.