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 ...
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18 votes
Accepted

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

If the wind is blowing from all directions, then you need to get as low as possible to the ground. Do your best to find a spot that is somewhat sheltered from the wind. The lee of a crest usually ...
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  • 53k
15 votes
Accepted

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

It's not animals you really need to worry about, it's bugs. I pack a tent to keep out of the bugs more than I do to keep the critters out. The only time I can ever remember having issues with animals ...
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  • 53k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 11.6k
10 votes

When is it too cold for Tarping?

I would say it's not a question of too cold, tents don't add that much warmth. Tarps and a shovel can make some very nice shelters in the snow. The real limitation is blowing snow/rain and the wind ...
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9 votes

How to make a fully-enclosed tarp setup with a 1.4 x 2.4 meter tarp, for one person?

Your most practical solution would seem to be a wing shelter. For the most part, you simply need your tarp, a tree, sticks and rope. The pdf I attached recommends making it 5 feet tall, but you could ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Dealing With Wind Direction Changes When Sleeping In A Tarp

With luck and planning I would assume in mountainous/timbered areas you would be able to setup your tarp so one of the open sides of your tent were mostly/partially blocked by a tree/rock/bush/etc. ...
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  • 9,608
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....
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7 votes

May camping with a tarp be safer than using a tent, in bear country?

I see 0 benefit to a tarp over a tent with regards to travel in bear country. this would allow the bear to see you (and leaving accordingly) Bears are going to smell you and your camp long before ...
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  • 8,600
7 votes
Accepted

What features should I consider when evaluating a hammock-tent hybrid?

Hammock Can you lie flat in it? How large/heavy is it? Footbox? Color (stealth camping?) Suspension How easy is it to adjust? Can you adjust your hammock to different sags? Do you always want ...
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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 ...
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  • 7,077
6 votes
Accepted

How to make a fully-enclosed tarp setup with a 1.4 x 2.4 meter tarp, for one person?

OK, I finally tried the setup inspired by this site, which can be fully closed by pegging the sides closer to the middle, and pegging it directly on the ground on the opposite side of the entrance. ...
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  • 4,545
6 votes

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

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 161
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 ...
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  • 533
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 ...
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  • 12.1k
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 side adjacent to the pegged ...
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4 votes

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

We also got both (in various sizes for each), I think it make no sense to get into manichean fight tarpVStent as i've often seen in many places on the net... it just depends on the personnal/punctual ...
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4 votes

What to look for in a quality tarp?

There are a few things to think about: Fabric. Selection of fabric will affect weight and durability. Whatever you get, make sure it's UV resistant, and you should probably consider something with ...
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  • 1,738
4 votes

What's the best lightweight pole for a tarp?

I usually use trekking poles when walking and have been for over 20 years as it helps prevent knee injury so I would use them with a tarp. Since you want to use a dedicated pole for a tarp which is ...
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  • 5,862
4 votes

Camping with a tarp, what are risks about animals?

The risk of a serious problem is quite small. Animals instinctively stay away from humans, and that instinct is even stronger in backcountry areas where they haven't become accustomed to human ...
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  • 646
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 ...
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3 votes

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

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: http://www.toxel.com/tech/2010/11/20/transparent-...
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3 votes
Accepted

What's the best lightweight pole for a tarp?

Many ultra light tents which use trekking poles as part of the framing offer the alternative of using carbon fiber poles (1-2oz), carbon fiber and fiberglass (1.8oz), or aluminium (4oz). I used one ...
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  • 8,011
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 ...
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  • 6,172
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 ...
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  • 4,348

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