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  1. #1
    Senior Member froldt's Avatar
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    advantages to square vs. rectangular tarp?

    I've got to get some tarps for my fiance and myself. Since we're going for cheap, we'll be starting out with some "ye olde blue tarps" from WalMart. I think they were $7.99 last I looked at them. Definitely not what we'll be wanting for the long run, but cheap and quick until we can afford better.

    They have a 9'x9' and a 10'x8' version (plus different sizes, but we don't want any bigger). Would there be any advantages to a square vs a rectangular tarp? Hung diagonally, their ridgelines are about the same (approx. 0.1 foot difference between the two).

  2. #2
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    Hey, froldt! FYI, there are some other options on the cheap. The two that spring to mind are tyvek salvaged from a construction site - you can often get a piece plenty big enough for free if you ask; and painter's plastic drop cloth. Just some food for thought.

    -Pedro

  3. #3
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    The 9x9 will be 12.7 feet on the diagonal.

    Personally, I prefer the coverage shape of the rectangular tarp but others may feel differently.

    You need more stakes with the rectangular tarp. You can use trees closer together with the rectangular tarp. You have more flexibility in closing of the ends to wind with a rectangular tarp-- if you use 3 stakes on each side.
    Youngblood AT2000

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hector's Avatar
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    Rectangular tarps can have some advantages over square tarps for hammock hanging, but not really the other way around.

  5. #5
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I like the coverage rectangular tarps offers.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  6. #6
    I hang a square tarp because you don't have as much tarp surface near the ground. This becomes a problem if there is a lot of underbrush to interfere with a rectangular tarp. I have found that a rectangular tarp can limit where you can hang for this reason. That is one advantage that a square has over a rectangular tarp. That being said, a rectangular tarp will give you more coverage and block more wind, windblown rain and would be warmer in cold weather.

  7. #7
    Senior Member froldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedro View Post
    Hey, froldt! FYI, there are some other options on the cheap. The two that spring to mind are tyvek salvaged from a construction site - you can often get a piece plenty big enough for free if you ask; and painter's plastic drop cloth. Just some food for thought.

    -Pedro
    I keep meaning to scout out some construction sites, but haven't taken the time to do so. We were planning on heading out this weekend so I needed them fast, but it looks like we won't be able to. So I'll start seriously looking around for some tyvec. If not, then I never really considered the painter's drop cloth. thanks!

    It looks like the consensus is for a rectangular tarp. I was actually thinking of hanging them both diagonally (so the rectangular tarp would be asymmetric) so that I would need the same amount of gear to hang them. I did think that I would be able to use the grommets in the sides to close a rectangular one around me.

    Well, I guess I'll have to start looking for some construction sites! Thanks for the advice!

  8. #8
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Square tarps are a great way to get adequate coverage, they will give full side wind protection when properly pitched and save a lot of weight or the tarp itself plus reduce lines and stakes from 6 or 4 to 2, even more savings.... they are easy to pitch and normally cost less than similiar size rectangular or hex tarps....Super solution for the light and fast set as well as the normally dry season hanger...Drawback, if they have one, is, if forced to hole up for a couple of days there is no exta room....How often does that happen?

    Look around there are square tarps currently available as light as 9 oz and as low as $50.

    I'm biased on this subject.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  9. #9
    New Member betwn2trees's Avatar
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    those blue tarps are very loud... FYI

  10. #10
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    Pan may be biased, but he's right. Spend $50 now and you won't have to buy it twice. check out his site.

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