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  1. #1
    Senior Member bmwrider's Avatar
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    Question Looking for large tarp

    I would like to find a tarp that is good for rain and could cover a large area.
    Are the cheap tarps worth using? my first thought is no.
    How do you rig a large tarp?
    I could just run a ridge line between 2 large trees.
    I could guy out a few poles under a tarp in many ways.
    Is there a guide to setting up large tarps here, I could not find anything with the search for large tarps, perhaps the small tarp setups work just fine but I want to find a setup then come up with a way to hang appox. 4 hammocks under it for car camping.

  2. #2
    flatline's Avatar
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    I don't know if it will fit 4, but here's a bigun.

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  3. #3
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Wilderness Logics makes great tarps. Warbonnet makes great tarps. If you want something cheaper, check out the Kelty Noah or the Chinook tarps.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  4. #4
    cataraftgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatline View Post
    I don't know if it will fit 4, but here's a bigun.
    Marty designed this tarp for me last year to use on my river rafting trips. It's a good size for group shade and rain protection. It held up great during a river thunderstorm last summer. It has plenty of tie-out spots. We tie the ridge lines to either trees or we use raft oars if trees aren't available. We also use Kelty adjustable poles to elevate the sides as needed. This is a top quality tarp.
    "We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love.... and then we return home."
    Australian Aboriginal Proverb

  5. #5
    Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider View Post
    I would like to find a tarp that is good for rain and could cover a large area.
    Are the cheap tarps worth using? my first thought is no.
    How do you rig a large tarp?
    I could just run a ridge line between 2 large trees.
    I could guy out a few poles under a tarp in many ways.
    Is there a guide to setting up large tarps here, I could not find anything with the search for large tarps, perhaps the small tarp setups work just fine but I want to find a setup then come up with a way to hang appox. 4 hammocks under it for car camping.
    The cheap tarps are fine for car-camping but not all of them are waterproof - check the labels. They are too bulky and too heavy for backpacking imho. Also, most of them use grommets instead of reinforced tieouts - grommets tear out eventually.

    Rigging a large tarp (guessing you mean for a group area) is easier if you have a small ladder and lots of long rope sections, cause the trees may not be exactly where you want them - be creative! Plan on using slightly different ways to hang your tarp at each new location.

    Adjustable poles (say up to 8') are also helpful.

    Flat roof, A-frame, Shed wall, Baker hut... the ways to pitch tarps are endless and vary with the locale and weather conditions. Youtube has many videos on this and while most of them are for amaller tarps - the same principles apply for large tarps.

    When I've hung with several people we hang our hammocks (with individual tarps) away from the group area. We also suspend a large tarp over the group area but away from the firering.

    Hope this helps! Have a great trip!
    - Loki,

    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
    Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
    The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,
    while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
    — John Muir

  6. #6

    Looking for large tarp

    If I'm car camping I always bring my 20 foot Home Depot tarp. I set it up in an "A" frame configuration with poles. I have looked all over for quality adjustable poles for the main corner posts and "A" frame, but I've never found anything good enough for such a large tarp so I bought some 2x2's and put a nail in the top. You can cut them to any size and they are pretty cheap. I have adjustable poles for the "tightening" sections. I use about 100 feet of rope if I want the tarp to be really tight. I hate pooling water on the tarp so I normally have it really tight. I've never had a leak. I have camped with 8 people under this tarp in a weekend rainstorm and we were nice and dry. A large cheap tarp can really come in handy!

  7. #7
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm not using my imagination, but about the only way you could hang 4 hammocks under one tarp using trees would be to use the two-hammocks-under-one-tarp method in bunk bed mode.

    In the two-hammock one tarp-scenario, both hammocks share a single tree at one end, but are connected to individual trees at the other end. You could do the same with four hammocks in bunk bed (one hammock above the other) mode but now you're going to have four hammocks sharing one tree, which could be a bit dicey. The campsite owners may frown on that.

    It's all going to depend on tree location and spacing. The trees may not cooperate with your four-hammock, one-tarp desire.

    Even using a megatarp, it seems very likely that some hammocks would end up with less weather protection just due to the geometry of what you are trying to do. There would be minimal protection from blowing rain on the ends.

    In Boy Scouts, we used Wally World megatarps for cooking areas pitching them in A-Frame, and that's difficult enough without trying to hang hammocks under it. The ridgeline ends up about 14-15 feet off the ground, so bring a ladder or somebody is gonna have to stand on somebody else's shoulders. It's a lot of work setting up a large tarp and you'll need a bunch of cordage. It's inevitable that the wind will get under it 'cause you're going to have a very hard time pitching it low to the ground. Then the tarp becomes a giant wind sail. We usually had to re-secure the tarps several times over the weekend due to the wind.

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