Gear Guide Tarp Vrs HQ Issue Camo Tarp
(Old School) Gear Tarp purchased late 2009 early 2010
HQ Issue Camo Tarp purchased March 2013
Bought from Sportsman Guide.
The Gear Guide Tarp has been a favorite of hangers due to its large size and low price. While it is not high quality, it has been a great tarp for car camping or as a starter tarp.
The only thing it really has going against it is its weight.
Getting one was always a crap shoot as they are only offered in the spring and in limited quantities so they sold out fast.
In 2012 there was a major problem in that most of the folks on the forum who ordered the tarps were complaining about quality and sizing issues. You can search for the discussion on the problems if you want to read up on the variety problems encountered.
I have been looking for the elusive camo version of the tarp which has not been offered for sale for about 4 or more years (being a Marine I like camo camping gear). When I saw that they were being offered again I decided to grab one.
Instead of being called a Gear Guide Tarp, the camo version is now called a “HQ Issue”
From Sportsmans Guide Web site........
“HQ ISSUE™ Camo Tarp
Emergency shelter comes in 2 handy sizes!
HQ ISSUE™ Tarp, Digital Camo
Military-inspired cutting-edge quality! Portable emergency shelter goes anywhere. Great makeshift tent/camping shelter you can customize in a pinch when sudden storms hit as a survival shelter. Cover your firewood, ATV, boat and more instantly. The user list goes on and on.
Tough 190T nylon
1,000mm polyurethane coating
Factory-taped seams help protect from the elements
Multiple guy out points (lines included).
Order your concealment edge / protection ONLINE today!
HQ ISSUE™ 8 1/2x8 1/2' Tarp, Digital Camo
HQ ISSUE™ 11x11' Tarp, Digital Camo”
Weight is not given.
I ordered the 11x11 tarp. Has same specs as the current Gear Guide tarp.
Took one week (8 business days) to receive. Took out of box and it comes in a long stuff sack with carry handle.
Nice looking camo pattern. The included stuff sack is long and skinny making it difficult to be able to stuff the tarp back into. The stuff sack could be used to carry tent poles. I will be making a new stuff sack for this tarp out of some camo material I have.
The tarp package includes:
- the tarp
- stuff sack with carry strap ( (toss and get something better )
- instructions (really basic, not much help)
- Smaller stuff sack with...
- 7 very light weight aluminum stakes (toss and get something better)
- Cord with line locks (looks like 550 para-cord) (toss and get something better)
Weight 2 lbs 2+ oz complete tarp as received
- Tarp …........................... 1lb 11.8 oz
- Main camo stuff sack............ 0.7 oz
- Blue stuff sack w/line and stakes...... 5.7 oz
- Line …....... 1.8 oz
- Stakes ….... 3.7 oz
Heavy for a backpacking but a great value for a first time tarp or car camping. I would swap out the line for some Zing It or equivalent and get some stronger stakes.
Claimed measurement... 11ft x 11ft
Actual measurement...... 11ft 6” x 11ft 6”
The web site picture shows the tarp as having some type of black edging and says the tarp has “factory taped seams”. The tarp in the picture on the Sportsman Guide web site is not the same as the tarp they are shipping. The tarp I received has rolled edges and I do not see any evidence of them being taped seams. While the ties outs are plentiful, they are reinforced with some type of cheap plastic material.
As it is larger by a few inches than the claimed size I considered that a bonus.
I set up my old Gear Guide 11ftx11ft tarp and the Camo tarp on my hammock testing stand in my back yard. I placed the camo tarp over the old Gear Guide tarp and it overlapped the old Gear Guide tarp. When I checked the “feel” of the two tarps by hand, the camo tarps feels much thinner but the weight is within an ounce of being the same, go figure.
I did not do a water test as I did not have time to do so and wait for the tarp to dry out.
From the looks of it I believe the ridge line seam will have to be sealed.
My conclusion....for $30+ dollars you can't go wrong with this tarp. Even it only last one or two seasons it is still a good buy.
The pictures are my old Gear Guide tarp and the new Camo tarp