Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel
Now here is a loaded question. I have the large Hennessy tarp and I've been in the rain probably somewhere between 5 and 10 times. I've not gotten wet yet when my groundling buddies were dumping puddles out of their tents. How often does one need doors? Doors just make sense, but I haven't actually needed them yet.
Hmm, thats actually a more thought provoking question than it may first appear. At what point does one really NEED doors?
Most people that use HH's ditch those stock tarps pretty quick, unless you got a HH hex tarp to begin with. If you look at some common ones around here, the neo tarp, jrb 8x8, maccat standard, and various black cat diy clones - those are all pretty good tarps for coverage. They are a healthy compromise of weight to surface area. And plenty of people here will report having weathered some pretty darn nasty storms in them.
But then you get into some of these really massive tarps, (usually driven by some long hammocks. Like 10x10, 12x12. These tarps pitch virtually as full sided A-frames. So if your site is carefully planned, you are pretty bomb proofed against the worst downpour imaginable.
Add some well placed additional tie-outs to close your ends in on a 12 x 12
and you have a small hammock house.
So to answer your question - regarding rain - one only really NEEDS doors when you are talking Hand-of-God, 40 days and 40 nights, Everybody-get-on-the-ark kind of rains. (in which case you should spend your money on a packraft instead
Because of this I think, you see so many people around here have mid sized tarps for 3 season use, and use a 2nd larger tarp (with doors options) as their winter tarp. Cold winds, blowing snow, etc justify the weight penalties of doors pretty quick in that sort of weather.
If I could only afford 1 tarp for 4 seasons use I personally think that 8x10 is the sweet spot. its big enough for the worst rains, still not too bad for weight to carry, and even in winter, it can get you by pretty good in some parts.
Just my $0.02 canadian.
On 2nd thought I'm the worst person to listen to. I'll soon be charging hotel fees to
sleep in my multi-tarped, heated, partially furnished, 700sq-ft hammock mansion in the snow.