For example the plastic that one can attain from most hardware stores.

The heavier plastics that are less prone to tearing, and mainly used for construction. (like here)

What are some of pros and cons to this approach?

Which color would be more beneficial:

  • Clear
  • Black


  • Cheapest most efficient way to keep several people dry if needed.

Are there any other issues that I might want to consider?

The length I am considering: 10ft x 25ft

Weight: 3.8lbs

With 60ft of 550 parachord.

Related: - Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps? - What is the proper way to tarp tent to avoid condensation?

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    you intend to use this to sleep under? to put over your tent instead of the fly that came with it? To put up elsewhere in the campsite to have a dry place to cook/eat/hangout like my answer to outdoors.stackexchange.com/a/6090/163 ? – Kate Gregory Jul 18 '14 at 13:14
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    To sleep under. Your previous post is using a grommeted tarp, with woven polyethylene? – jmunsch Jul 18 '14 at 13:23
  • yes it is. I would think 10 feet would be kind of narrow to sleep under. That's the advantage of the bought stuff - it's either made wider or someone else has done the seaming to make it wider – Kate Gregory Jul 18 '14 at 13:26
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    You're going to need grommets or loops to tie to. When you put it up, you have to put tension on it, and I'd worry that it would tear at that point. It also has to be able to stand a heavy wind without tearing. – Ben Crowell Jul 18 '14 at 14:09
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    Is the cost the only reason you're considering this idea? If so, then I think for just a little more money you could get a general purpose utility tarp and that would be far more durable. This kind of plastic wouldn't last more than a couple nights, that is, if it would even make it through one night without ripping or getting a hole in it somewhere. – manoftheson Jul 19 '14 at 0:50

In my experience, even heavy plastics tear easily with wind. This from trying to use such plastics to cover cargo that I'm hauling with a truck. I think this would be the only thing that would deter me from using such a thing as a tarp.

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This is my favorite clear plastic tent. I saw one of these at a distance, but could not get close to it to see the details of its construction:


I am planning to try to make one of these for myself using heavy crystal clear pvc film and sewing it with an industrial sewing machine. To keep it inflated, I plan to use a small battery operated blower.

It would be really cool to be inside one of these during a rainstorm! I would be cozy and dry, yet outside in the rain!

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  • I seriously doubt how well this would work in any significant amount of wind. Interesting idea but seems impractical for a portable installation. – nhinkle Apr 4 '15 at 7:21

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