19 votes
Accepted

Why is oilcloth made with linseed oil?

Linseed oil is used because it's a drying oil, A drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air. The oil hardens through a chemical reaction in which the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Do I need to worry about inadvertently creating a distress signal while using a space tarp?

This seems unlikely—simply facing something orange to the sky doesn't get automatically detected as a request for assistance. In general, if someone isn't searching for you, no one is going to be ...
Jonathan Patt's user avatar
11 votes

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

Is there really such a clear dichotomy between open tarps and enclosed tents? The OP implies that open tarps offer a qualitatively different and superior experience to enclosed tents. My response ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
7 votes
Accepted

What could be the cause of condensation on the tent floor?

You have some answers on condensation in general. Your breath adds moisture to the air. As the air cools the amount of water vapor it can hold drops. When you get to the dew point the moisture ...
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 7,176
7 votes

What could be the cause of condensation on the tent floor?

Condensation is about Relative Humidity of a given system. Relative humidity (RH) is the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor to the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at a given temperature....
Jani Hyytiäinen's user avatar
6 votes

Open-sided tarp in rain

Setup is the answer here. You would preferably want your open side to be lower in elevation than your closed side, so that you dont have ground runoff running into your tent. Same as for a regular ...
ShawnW.'s user avatar
  • 533
6 votes

Without rain/snow/wind would it be significantly warmer to sleep under a tarp?

A tarp is significantly warmer. On a clear night the surface of your bag is radiating into interstellar space. Not much radiation back. With a tarp, you have one absorb/reradiate layer which will ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
6 votes

Without rain/snow/wind would it be significantly warmer to sleep under a tarp?

I have spent many nights sleeping in tents, tarps, and under the stars. Tents are definitely your warmest option, and can be up to 10 degrees warmer than the outside - if you're using a rainfly. Just ...
Abigail's user avatar
  • 161
5 votes
Accepted

Best tarp setup for camping on the plains?

It's easy to set up a tarp with either one or two walking sticks. Nice weather tarp: Peg one side to the ground. Put the tip of the walking stick through a grommet on the side adjacent to the pegged ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
5 votes

Without rain/snow/wind would it be significantly warmer to sleep under a tarp?

Neglecting the wind (advection) the tarp shouldn't make any noticeable difference. I doubt you could measure even one Kelvin difference. Even a tent isn't providing a lot of warmth during night but ...
Wills's user avatar
  • 12.2k
4 votes

Are square or rectangular tarp shapes more versatile?

I have tarped for most of my outdoor experience. One year on a bet (be careful what you say at the pub...) I spend a full year under a tarp in the bush near my home. Right now I have a silicone ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
3 votes

What could be the cause of condensation on the tent floor?

Breathing is the largest single source of moisture in a tent, followed by cooking. A common mistake is to close the tent completely, without providing ventilation to (sufficiently) carry your moist ...
Toby Speight's user avatar
  • 4,692
3 votes

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

As others have mentioned there is a whole spectrum of fabric shelters. A few decades ago the difference was much more pronounced between a tent and a tarp. My first tent was a Vango Force 10 which ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 6,202
3 votes

What is a good tarp setup for very high winds above the tree line?

This blog post has two crazy complex tarp pitches, for a 3x3 meter tarp, that are fully enclosed. I have never tried either, but they look promising. The Summit Wedge The Laavu The Low Tetra also ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
2 votes
Accepted

Any luck mixing gear sheds/porches/garages with different brands of tents?

In the situation you describe, mismatched gear is not going to provide what you want. If the rain is blowing sideways and/or hard enough to get past your tarp then it will most likely also blow in ...
Russell Steen's user avatar
2 votes

Are square or rectangular tarp shapes more versatile?

After a lot of thought, I don't think that there are any shape configurations that would be limited to just a square or just a rectangular tarp. However, when you are sleeping under a tarp, either on ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
2 votes

Are square or rectangular tarp shapes more versatile?

A rectangular would offer the most choices. I have used a 8x6 and 9x7 in a half-mid pitch above treeline in the Rockies. Whether it is rectangle or square, which is also a rectangle, is insignificant ...
topshot's user avatar
  • 2,012
2 votes

Are square or rectangular tarp shapes more versatile?

Going back to WW.2. A shelter half as used by the US. Army. This would form a pup tent with 2 joined or a lean to with one. Sized right for a rain protector over cloths. Kind of rectangle with a ...
J Bergen's user avatar
  • 2,028
2 votes

Are square or rectangular tarp shapes more versatile?

When it comes to flat tarp shape, there is no right or wrong answer. Both shapes can be used to make simple roof, lean-to-type or a fully enclosed tent-like structures. There is a ton of information ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
2 votes

Why is oilcloth made with linseed oil?

In addition to the answer by Charlie, Linseed oil is probably used in many instructions because it is what was historically used to create oil cloth. A nice tutorial for creating historical oil cloth ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k
2 votes

How much of a difference in insulation will a reflective tarp make?

I have one, and have used it for years. As a warmth device it works primarily as a air movement blocker -- you would get the same effect from a chunk of plastic. As a ground sheet it's wonderful: ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
2 votes

How to compactify the long straps on a tent or tarp when not in use?

While bunching up (see the answer by @Charlie Brumbaugh) works most times, it might be useful to have a method at hand that is less bulky for storing purposes. You can make a Chain Sinnet, which is a ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,098
1 vote

How to compactify the long straps on a tent or tarp when not in use?

For my tarp I just fold the tarp and then wrap the strings around it. For a tent you can wrap the cords as described in these answers so that it looks something like this, I wouldn't worry too much ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
1 vote

What could be the cause of condensation on the tent floor?

Condensation is usually caused by high humidity combined with a temperature differential. It sounds like you have a very humid atmosphere, which in a tent is added to by the high moisture content of ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 24.9k
1 vote

Would 4mil polyethylene plastic make a good tarp tent? Clear Plastic Tarp?

There are a bunch of questions you need to think of, and the final answer will depend on all these various factors... How long do you want your tarp to hold up? Is it simply for a single-use ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k
1 vote

Would 4mil polyethylene plastic make a good tarp tent? Clear Plastic Tarp?

! Made this tarp shelter using duct tape and clear shower curtains it should hold up to anything but hurricane strength winds
Jesse Strickland Jr's user avatar

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