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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2019
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    Newbie infrequent camper needs a cheap but packable rainfly

    I'm planning an overnight kayak trip and will be sleeping in my ENO doublenest hammock. I want to get a lightweight rainfly or tarp of some sort to keep any rain off me. I see some expensive ones marketed for just this purpose but hoping someone can point me to an economical yet equally effective solution.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    St. Louis, MO
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    HyperD 1.6 DIY 11ft
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    The Kelty Noah 12 is apparently an economical option that people like. It's not the lightest, and it doesn't pack the smallest, but people like it and it's fairly cheap. I started out with a UST tube tarp used as an asym. It packs down fairly small... a bit larger than a 1 liter bottle.. is fairly lightish. It's very effective and I got It on Amazon for under $40. I've got 2 of them I'm never going to use again...

    Cheers,
    The Goat
    Cheers,
    The Goat

  3. #3
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Bend, OR
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    If your kayak trip is sea kayaking rather than a white water tour you will have plenty of room in the boat - especially if you are only staying over night. As such, if you don't mind catching a little flack on style, you might get by with one of those discount hardware store blue tarps.

    I'm assuming you are planning for good/mild weather and this is truly only for one night. The Kelty and others are great tarps, and have their pros and cons. So you wouldn't want to make that decision in a hurry (unless the dollar amount is at your "Don't worry bout it" level).
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  4. #4
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    I'd recommend going with a tarp that has plenty of reviews - Kelty Noah 12 x 12, or HH Hex. They'll both run around $50 to $70. Otherwise, you're gonna have to gamble on some Amazon tarp that doesn't have many HF reviews. A few people rave about the Chill Gorilla Fortress, but I was at a group hang in November and a lady using a Chill Gorilla Fortress got soaking wet. That's about what I'd expect from a $30 Chinese-made Amazon tarp.

    If five people say a $20 tarp is great, that's not great reviews: that's five cheap people trying to convince themselves a $20 tarp is great. When I first started hammocking, the Guide Gear 12 x 12 had hundreds of positive reviews here on HF. The only problem was they only went on sale once a year and sold out quickly. I finally got a hold of two of them, and they leaked like sieves. You don't hear about the Guide Gear tarps anymore, basically because they're useless. I still use mine over group campfires, but no way I'd sleep under one.

    So if $50 to $70 is out of your range, take cougarmeat's recommendation and just buy an inexpensive Wally World blue tarp. They're cheap ($10 to $20) and bulky and not very durable, but you'll probably get 10 or 20 trips out of it before it starts leaking. Those tarps just aren't meant to hold up to the rigors of camping.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    sidneyhornblower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Georgia, near Lake Oconee
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    it varies too much to choose
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    Billy goat and cougarmeat both beat me to it. Either of their suggestions are spot on. Wallyworld has 10x12 foot tarps at around $10. The 8x10 is even less. The 12x16 is a bit more. They've also got some in the camping section in ripstop nylon for less than $30, but the Kelty is probably better. I see Kelty tarps in the woods all the time and people love them.

  6. #6
    New Member AnthonyD's Avatar
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    Apr 2019
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    Rochester, NY
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    DH Raven & Oak Creek Lost Valley
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    I know Amazon items donít always have the best reputation, but I did recently buy at rainfly/tarp from Amazon since I try to shop on a budget. I used it recently on a very rainy camping trip in the Adirondacks, and couldnít say a bad thing about it ... especially for the price of about $25

    Itís a 10í x 10í Dacron tarp, and with the included paracord and aluminum stakes, the package weighs less than 2lb and packs down pretty compact.

    Link:
    10 x 10 FT Lightweight Waterproof RipStop Rain Fly Hammock Tarp Cover Tent Shelter for Camping Outdoor Travel https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GQFW5RS..._bO-2CbZAQH789



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    If you don't mind the color or the noise and you have room to pack it in, you can't beat the WalMart blue or even the one from Harbor Freight. If I was purchasing one on a budget I have to echo SilvrSurfr and go with the Hennessy Hex or the Kelty 12x12. I have both of them (HH and Kelty) and while they don't pack small they also don't make a ton of noise.
    Deb
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  8. #8
    Member tsshaw78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Harrisburg, North Carolina
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    I've been using a 10'x10' from Chill Gorilla for about $40 successfully for a year without issue. It's also not the lightest but an effective budget tarp.
    A day camping in the rain is better than a good day at work,
    --Shaw.

    tsshaw78 is too hard to say on the trail - Just call me Shaw.

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