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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Canvas tarps. Any thoughts?

    Hi,

    This summer I am gonna go camp for 10 days at a sort off basecamp.
    So basicaly weight is not an issue. So I was thinking of buying a nice large Canvas tarp.
    My only thought about it was that it rains a lot in Belgium. I hopes it can cope with it.
    Anybody used it? What is your experience?


    Dries

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bobwhite215's Avatar
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    Never used a canvas tarp with a hammock, but have used plenty of canvas flys and tents at Boy Scout camps. As long as they are in good shape they do a great job of keeping you dry. The only real disadvantage (besides the fact they they weigh a ton) is that they can get very hot. A canvas tent will really trap the summer heat, and can be uncomfortably hot inside.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Canvas tarps are great. In winter I use a canvas wedge hot tent (small wood stove inside for heat and cooking). Your only issue with it, besides weight, is to make sure there is a good waterproof coating (waxed canvas, oil cloth, or sunforger treated). One issue I see potentially is that if you get a bunch of rain, it will add weight to an already heavy tarp so you may have issues with keeping the tarp pitched properly. Support poles may be needed help hold up the tarp.

    Canvas tarps do also tend to be rather expensive and bulky for their weight compared to silnylon or other polyurethane coated tarps, so one has to weigh the cost vs benefit for any tarp they choose.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Last edited by BrianWillan; 04-03-2014 at 10:04.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. - Unknown

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  4. #4

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    I've used canvas in the past. I still would for truck covers or if I needed something that was UV resistant and strong wind resistant. OTOH I do not see it as an answer for camping with or without a hammock. Truck cover quality plastic tarps are strong enough, significantly lighter and cheaper. I would go larger so I could run a side to ground and maybe fold in an end to get shelter from the wind. I'm thinking something like 12x 14 or 16
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  5. #5
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    Why do you want canvas?
    Why not go with a large plastic tarp from a hardware store.
    You'll get something much cheaper, much bigger, much easier to handle, and inherently waterproof

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by brodieb666 View Post
    Why do you want canvas?
    Why not go with a large plastic tarp from a hardware store.
    You'll get something much cheaper, much bigger, much easier to handle, and inherently waterproof
    well to my experience that sort of plastic will get immensely warm.
    A Canvas tent will be a bit more chilly than a plastoc one.

    Dries

  7. #7

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    When I was a kid, all our tents were canvas. I've also used some Sunbrella 'tarps' around sailboats.
    For both, the huge advantage IMO is : QUIET. No snapping and crackling in breezes....

    The disadvantages have been pointed out: weight (especially when wet), non-reliable waterproofing (and smelly waterproofing in some cases), etc..

  8. #8
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    I have and still do use canvas tarps upon occasion but certainly not outside of a base camp where I can car or motorcycle in all my gear. The weight is just too much to carry in on my back.

    Waterproofing, you will need to do it. There are many different products you can use to do the job with. Just be sure it does not make your tarp flammable or leave it stinking to high heaven. I have successfully used Thompson Water Seal products, Sno Seal, & a mixture of boiled linseed oil and paraffin or beeswax. Sno Seal and the BLO mixture require heating the tarp or using a hot summer sun to heat it with then letting it set in heat to soak in.

    Just like with hammock tarps you will get what you pay for. Check the tarp for reinforced tie outs or grommet areas, solid binding on the edges, and tie outs where you want/need them.

  9. #9
    MDSH's Avatar
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    I grew up with my grandfather's canvas tarp. He used it for hunting in Big Bend, fishing on the Gulf coast, and taking us grandchildren on picnics to the wolf's den on the ranch in Comanche County. We'd pitch the tarp and then gather wood for a fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks he'd cut for us. There were snakes and frogs and lizards and horse flies and chiggers. We had dogs, who nearly always chased a rabbit, treed a squirrel or coon, or holed an armadillo. They hated snakes. We were death on the move with a Browning .22. We'd go skinny dipping in the creek (even Janet -- we were so innocent) and then he'd call us to eat. Then we'd take a nap on a blanket spread out under the tarp. He made us be still for 15 minutes. Now they call them power naps! It was always hot. We carried ice water in Mason jars ...

    Great memories.
    Mike

    Learn to survive and thrive in any situation, for you never know what might happen. Love family and friends passionately. Suffer no fool. Know your purpose in life and follow it with all your heart.

  10. #10
    Member Bigmuddy's Avatar
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    Legacy fabric

    The oldest serviceable gear I have is leather or canvas. That said, canvas is heavy and expensive. I use canvas for wall tents and also for manties, the tarp that wraps gear when it is packed on a horse or mule with a decker packsaddle. The big reason IMO for a canvas tarp is that you could have a stove or campfire with impunity- sparks don't much matter. I also would buy high quality canvas ( tight weave) and forget about waterproofing. I've never owned waterproofed canvas and never seen a problem. Unless you touch the inside of the tent..... Ironically, we always put a poly tarp over a canvas tent to help the snow slide off also which kind of confuses the issue. So canvas is great but probably totally unnecessary unless you have a fire under it. Incidentally it will burn, even flame treated, but in my opinion is much more resistant to the errant spark than nylon or poly.

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