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  1. #1
    Member Macchina's Avatar
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    Better for a beginner: diamond or rectangle setup?

    Hello,
    I am looking to get my first tarp to go with my first hammock . I have read through many of the post here, but want to get some specific input before I buy. If I choose to go diamond shape, I will get the Kelty Noah 9. I am leaning this way because it is only 2 stakes (which I may be able to reuse for the WBB tieouts). I don't know if this the best idea for a beginner, is there any reason to not do a diamond tarp?

    If I go rectangular, I will be going with the Chinook 12'x9'6". This will provide me with more protection and a spot to cook in the rain, but the tarp is bigger when packed and I fear I will be carrying more stuff than when I had my tent.

    Either way, I will be using the tarp for Michigan hiking late spring to early fall. I have a Warbonnet Blackbird DL 1.0. I don't know if I'll do winter with it, but which is better of my two options for winter.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    I set up in the high country last night with my AHE Shangri La and had some issues with wind robbing my heat...so your post is a fresh thought. I'd say rectangular is going to give you more options (like wind blocking). The Kelty 12X12 worked like a charm except for the storage size and I suppose weight for backpackers. Sooner or later you are going to want one of the backpacker tarps, for me the AHE Shangri La (smaller for Summer) and Toxaway (larger for cold/wet) were the choices when my tarp and synthetic insulation took almost all of my paniers.
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Like most things it is a trade off. I'm not sure one is _better_ than the other for a beginner. They are different. Different strengths and different limitations. Pays your money and takes your chances in a way.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tendertoe's Avatar
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    Firstly, IMHO if you want to do winter hammock camping, a tarp with doors is extremely nice (necessary???). Without doors, any frozen precipitation that falls anywhere else than straight down is blown onto you and your hammock. Even after an hour at my local park in a light flurry I observed the blowing snow accumulating on my bugnetting.

    Secondly, I have a Chinook 12x14 tarp for a group tarp for those extremely rainy times where you want to still have a group meeting spot for when the rain just won't let up.

    It packs pretty small for a huge tarp -


    I wouldn't be nervous about carrying more than the equipment you used for tenting.

    YMMV HYOH as usual. I would prefer a decent living space over a couple cubic inches in my pack or a couple ounces on my back.

    And if the pocketbook allows - you could always choose a more expensive, but lighter, less bulky tarp that would offer much more coverage than the 2 mentioned tarps.

  5. #5
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    My $0.02 worth: The Guide Gear 12x12 tarp is big, not ridiculously heavy and (with a little modification) can be hung in rectangular or diamond mode. Or A-frame. It's just a versatile piece of gear, assuming you can find one to buy. I got mine for $20 plus shipping.

  6. #6
    Member Macchina's Avatar
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    Any suggestions for a nice large tarp, maybe Silnylon, for around $100? I would like something that is easy (fast) to set up and packs small. As long as I don't get wet, I'm extremely concerned about having a lot of living space under the tarp.

    Does the Kelty Noah 9 pack large? I know this is a problem to ULers with the Chinook tarps...

    P.S. Thanks Tendertoe for the pic, that makes things a little clearer for me.

  7. #7
    cataraftgirl's Avatar
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    I started with a Noah 9, and now have a MacCat Deluxe. I like the side coverage better with the cat cut rectangular tarp. A MacCat Standard at $95, or a deluxe at $115 would be excellent choices. Also look at the AHE or Warbonnet tarps to compare sizes and prices. All are top quality. I had doors added to my tarp by 2QZQ just in case I need to batten down the hatches.
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  8. #8
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelmcgo View Post
    Any suggestions for a nice large tarp, maybe Silnylon, for around $100? I would like something that is easy (fast) to set up and packs small. As long as I don't get wet, I'm extremely concerned about having a lot of living space under the tarp.

    Does the Kelty Noah 9 pack large? I know this is a problem to ULers with the Chinook tarps...

    P.S. Thanks Tendertoe for the pic, that makes things a little clearer for me.
    Heck, if you're looking at $100, just go the extra $15 and get a MacCat Deluxe. It will handle 4 seasons readily.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jraffini's Avatar
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    You can also check out wilderness logics for some great tarps. I've got the big daddy. There's been a growing number of folks here getting them and everybody seems to be very happy so far. You can check out my post here for pics of mine. I find that having a bunch of options, while confusing at times, tends to really make me feel like I've made the right decision when it's all said and done. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member NewtonGT's Avatar
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    you can also do this for 90 or with pullouts for 105.

    http://wildernesslogics.com/Big-Daddy-Big-Daddy.htm

    great tarp
    Dale Gribble: I'm thinking, "new hammock." For me, laying and swaying in a hammock is like a steady morphine drip without the risk of renal failure.

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