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Wick
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12/19/2017 07:55AM
I am getting my equipment ready for my September maiden voyage in the BWCA. I read on lists from private people and the outfitters lists that tarps with ropes are included a lot.

Why? What do you use them for?
 
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inspector13
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12/19/2017 08:16AM

Rainy days. If you are just going in overnight I wouldn't bother.

4keys
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12/19/2017 08:36AM
They can also be used to block wind. Having a tarp to wait out the rain under is nice for extended rain events especially for meals, or social time with others. Unless someone brings a really big tent for everyone to gather in.
ozarkpaddler
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12/19/2017 08:42AM
inspector13: "
Rainy days. If you are just going in overnight I wouldn't bother.
"


Otherwise you're stuck in the tent. So much nicer to eat, cook, and enjoy the setting underneath a tarp than under the hood of a raincoat. Plus helps keep gear drier.
dentondoc
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12/19/2017 09:18AM
In the shoulder seasons, I will commonly set my tarp (if I only have 1) in such a way that the ridge line can be adjusted and the "back half" dropped to the ground and anchored. This affords you both wind and rain protection (so long as you have given some forethought to which direction the wind might be coming from through your campsite). Keep in mind that the stronger the wind, the more ample the ground anchors need to be because you are no longer shedding wind, but blocking it.

dd
mschi772
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12/19/2017 09:21AM
Sun shade, too.
ozarkpaddler
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12/19/2017 09:47AM
dentondoc: "In the shoulder seasons, I will commonly set my tarp (if I only have 1) in such a way that the ridge line can be adjusted and the "back half" dropped to the ground and anchored. This affords you both wind and rain protection (so long as you have given some forethought to which direction the wind might be coming from through your campsite). Keep in mind that the stronger the wind, the more ample the ground anchors need to be because you are no longer shedding wind, but blocking it.
dd"


I do something different when it's cold also; when I'm camping in the winter I do what I call my "Winter pitch" with a pole. I can cook and the stove warms me up as the tarp is blocking the wind & weather.

AmarilloJim
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12/19/2017 10:06AM
I don't take one. I have a rain suit if it rains. If it's raining too hard to cook or eat I'll wait a while to do those things. The trees offer me enough protection from the wind, sun and some rain. I put equipment under a vestibule to keep dry.
I-Hawk
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12/19/2017 10:11AM
Tarps are light weight and really valuable when it rains. Last summer's trip we did not bring one and it was pouring when we arrived at campsite. No dinner that night and would have helped keep the tent drier during set up.
Cedarboy
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12/19/2017 10:23AM
First thing that goes up and last thing that comes down. It creates a space for people to gather and socialize. If its raining people run to their tents unless you have a tarp, then they stay out under it. I like the sun shade they provide. If I had to take just one item for shelter it would be my CCS tarp or a tarp shelter(CCS Lean # Plus). I have converted quite a few of my friends and family to the world of a good tarp.
CB
Northwoodsman
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12/19/2017 10:39AM
Right on Cedarboy, it's the first thing up. This past year I purchased a ridge line bag for mine, secured all of the cordage, and learned and practiced the necessary knots. When I pulled up to our campsite in Sept. we had the tarp set-up and fully secured in less than 5 minutes. Had it been raining we would have put all of our gear under it and set up the tent under it as well before moving it to it's final spot. It's a nice dry place to gather during rain. It's very handy to drop one side down to protect you from wind also. It's a good place to store fire wood and empty packs; it's also a good place to cook in the rain. You do not want to have food in your tent and you sure don't want to cook in your tent in bear country! When you are packing up to move on it's nice to do it in a dry place. One last reason, you do NOT want to be in your tent during a bad storm. Get outside so you can assess the situation better and have a chance of spotting a falling tree. If you are under a tarp you will stay dry (or drier); if it's really bad take extra precautions to find a safe place.

Do yourself a huge favor and get a CCS tarp, ridge line bag, and extra length of reflective cord. It's money well spent. Don't skimp. I personally like the 1.1 oz., 10' x 14'. It gives you a huge area if there is no wind, and gives you an ample area to drop down to deflect the wind or a horizontal rain.
12/19/2017 10:48AM
I had a trip in 2011 in autumn where we fought with 40 mph winds and driving rain for three days. Having the tarp to cook under and get out of the wind was a life saver. The tarp made all the difference during this trip and I've never gone without one ever since.

unshavenman
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12/19/2017 10:48AM
As others have said, a tarp is invaluable as shelter from the rain. If it's raining all day or multiple days in a row, you don't want to be stuck in a tent waiting it out.
gymcoachdon
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12/19/2017 12:45PM
I have a tarp over my hammock, and I can do just fine solo with that. With a group, I wouldn't want to do without it. I have a friend who bought a Kelty 9x9, and didn't see the usefulness. (he trips solo in a kayak) He gave it to me, and I took it last year on my solo. I used it as a windbreak and to keep the gear dry, and it was nice to have.
I also take a chair and an axe, some feel those are not worth carrying.
FYI, my first trip, I was fully outfitted, and had no experience with hanging a tarp. It was more of a hassle than a blessing. Now I have had some experience, and wouldn't trip without it. Practice before you go if you can, or get a good demonstration from the outfitter if possible. "tie out the 4 corners to trees, and tie the center up or stick a pole under it" didn't work for me!
Wick
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12/19/2017 01:49PM
So basically a porch and dining room for when it rains so you do not sit/eat/cook in the tent. That seems reasonable. I would get tired of sitting in a tent.

Thanks for the info! I will add it to my pounds,,,:)

What is a good size/brand for 2 people?

I looked at the ccs tarps. That seems expensive, but all this gear does. Which weight is good, the 1.1 or the 1.9?

I am guessing we are not talking about Walmart blue tarps here.
12/19/2017 02:49PM
Cedarboy: "First thing that goes up and last thing that comes down. It creates a space for people to gather and socialize. If its raining people run to their tents unless you have a tarp, then they stay out under it. I like the sun shade they provide. If I had to take just one item for shelter it would be my CCS tarp or a tarp shelter(CCS Lean # Plus). I have converted quite a few of my friends and family to the world of a good tarp.
CB"


+whatever. Many the time we set up the tarp in the rain upon landing at a new campsite to get organized b4 setting up the tent its stays pre-rigged in the stuff sack for quick deployment. Many the time I've packed up to leave under the tarp in the dry while its raining. Its probably the only thing I put ahead of my Helinox chair in order of important camping equipment. A great tarp is worth the money but any tarp is better than no tarp IMO. Good luck with your choice.
12/19/2017 04:08PM
Wick - If you want to use a wally world blue tarp, go for it.
The issue is those will rip at the grommets in a reasonably high wind.
Generally speaking, tarps with tie-out loops, instead of grommets, will last much better in high winds.
Also the blue tarps are bulky and heavy.
A less expensive alternative to CCS is Kelty Noah tarps.
But those are cat-cut, not rectangular, so you have fewer configurations available.
There are lots of tarps available on the interwebs, but stick with higher quality tarps.
Some good ones are OES, Arrowhead Eqpmnt, Hammock Gear, Warbonnet Outdoors.
Nothing worse than carrying a crappy tarp along only to have it fail at the worst possible moment.
12/19/2017 04:10PM
Wick: "basically a porch and dining room for when it rains so you do not sit/eat/cook in the tent. That seems reasonable. I would get tired of sitting in a tent.


Thanks for the info! I will add it to my pounds,,,:)

what is a good size/brand for 2 people?

I looked at the ccs tarps. That seems expensive, but all this gear does,,,,which weight is good, the 1.1 or the 1.9?


I am guessing we are not talking about walmart blue tarps here. "


Most of us aren't talking blue tarps but that doesn't mean they aren't in use by some.

The Kelty Noah's tarps are decent quality starter tarps. I have a Guide Gear 12x12 tarp from when they were almost direct clones of the Keltys and it's been on every trip except one when we took my buddy's Noah. If you're a minimalist, 9x9 would probably work. 12x12 is a more common size.

CCS tarps are really nice, my Scout troop owns one. I'd say it would be a good piece of gear to aspire to, after several trips and you're sure this is not going to be a one or two off.

Campmor also at one point had a basic nylon tarp, also decent for the price. Probably the same area as a Noah's.
unshavenman
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12/19/2017 04:10PM
Wick: "basically a porch and dining room for when it rains so you do not sit/eat/cook in the tent. That seems reasonable. I would get tired of sitting in a tent.


Thanks for the info! I will add it to my pounds,,,:)

what is a good size/brand for 2 people?

I looked at the ccs tarps. That seems expensive, but all this gear does,,,,which weight is good, the 1.1 or the 1.9?


I am guessing we are not talking about walmart blue tarps here. "

Definitely do not get a blue tarp. It cannot stand up to the rigors of the wilderness for any length of time and then when it fails, you are carrying around useless weight with no garbage can in sight. As far as purchasing a tarp, if I was just starting out and didn't want to commit to large purchases until I knew I liked doing this, I would rent a decent tarp from an outfitter. For two people you could get by fine with a 10'x10' tarp, but a more common and probably more useful size is 10'x12', and 10'x14' is great as well. Any larger and it can sometimes be challenging to find a spot large enough to hang it. 1.1 oz. is a bit lighter to carry and more expensive than 1.9 oz. material. Both block the rain equally well, but you do get more UV protection from the thicker material. Personally, both of my tarps are Cooke Custom Sewing 1.1 oz. Tundra tarps. They are not inexpensive, but many people here swear by Dan's gear, and heck, it's made in Minnesota.
Just do a site search and you can spend days reading about tarps.
12/19/2017 04:14PM
Also, don't cook in your tent for various reasons which I hope are obvious. If you're in a pinch and the tent has a vestibule.... maybe. I think the only time I might consider cooking in a tent would be if I was hot tenting it in the winter and I was making a beverage or rehydrating something. Anything else I'd rather do on a separate fire or a stove outside of the tent.
Jaywalker
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12/19/2017 04:57PM
Between my tent and my tarp, I think I would rather have my tarp....
LindenTree3
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12/19/2017 05:25PM
My blue tarp is around 15 years old, but I know which blue tarp you all are talking about.
Mine is a FSS, Forestry Service Supplier.
I do want to upgrade to a CCS tarp soon.
Fizics
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12/19/2017 06:03PM
Tarps are more than just a cover of the rain. I think that when people question tarps, they don't know how compact and quick to setup modern tarps can be. I have 2 CCS tarps and fully expect to get at least 30 years use or of them, they're each strung on center lines, hook it around one tree, use small titanium "wasp" on opposite end to tighten to opposite tree, then stake out/tie out. Whole process takes 8-10 minutes for 1 person. Deploying/storing is amazingly easy with tarp sleeves....

Even if the weather is ideal, a tarp is always useful. Idk about you but I ALWAYS get sunburns in at least one spot, not to mention i live by the saying "I promise you it will rain (when we go to the bwca)". One final note, the tarp is to a campsite what the pirate flag was to the ship.
andym
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12/19/2017 06:33PM
Yeah, what everyone else said about tarps. Excellent to enjoy a meal in the rain, great to relax in the sun. Are they necessary? Nah. Tons of people backpack without them. But they do make life a lot nicer and when canoe camping you can afford a bit more weight and stuff. I was lucky and my parents gave me a CCS 1.1 oz 10x10. If I had to do it over again, I might want a 10x14 or 10x16. You can always fold it down to a 10x10 but it gives a bit more flexibility. If you want to save money than others have listed some good possibilities. I'd take a sheet of tyvek and some clamp on rope connectors before I took a blue tarp.

I just got one of Dan's ridgeline stuff sacks. That will really make setup even easier. When I got it, I showed it to my wife and she was really impressed by it. That's the thing about small manufacturers like Dan who really use their own stuff. It is well thought out.
TomT
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12/19/2017 08:07PM
When I was green, young and stupid I went solo without a tarp to save weight. Wrong! It rained practically everyday and I remember stringing up the tent fly to wait out a downpour on a travel day. Never again. I actually carry two tarps now when I hammock camp. One over the hammock and one over the sitting/cooking area. Silnylon is well worth the money. Look for blemished items or closeouts to get a great price.

schweady
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12/19/2017 09:16PM
Saved a (could-have-been-)miserable wet trip last summer with just my wife and me. #1 oft-repeated quote from that trip came from a canoeist going by in the driving rain while looking for an open site: "Well, don't you two look cozy under there..."
muddyfeet
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12/19/2017 09:51PM
Fizics: ". The tarp is to a campsite what the pirate flag was to the ship."
Ha! this is true.
Savage Voyageur
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12/19/2017 10:41PM
Shelter that you can stand under.
Expanded living area.
Wind protection.
Rain protection.
Keep gear dry.
Keep wood pile dry that you just spent an hour cutting and splitting.
Sun protection.
Hammock tarp.
Cooking area during a 3 day rain.
Cribbage area.
Extra protection when a friend brought a crappy tent that leaked.
Campsite occupancy identifier from a distance.
First to go up, last to come down.
The list is endless, you need a tarp.
12/19/2017 10:53PM
I solo with a Noah 12x12 that has over 6 years tripping. Plenty of space to store gear and stay dry when it rains. Lots of good memories of listening to rain and hail once hitting the tarp sipping hot chocolate or something. Two could manage, but not if you want to drop one side low to redirect wind and blowing rain. If you are sitting on the fence, go a size larger.
Wick
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12/20/2017 04:43AM
Northwoodsman:


Do yourself a huge favor and get a CCS tarp, ridge line bag, and extra length of reflective cord. It's money well spent. Don't skimp. I personally like the 1.1 oz., 10' x 14'. It gives you a huge area if there is no wind, and gives you an ample area to drop down to deflect the wind or a horizontal rain."


I looked at the website, but i did not see what the ridgeline bag does for you?
NotSoFast
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12/20/2017 05:27AM
Wick, the ridge line bag is a way to store your tarp while traveling that leaves the ends of the ridge line exposed. Makes it easy to rig up the ridge line in wind, rain, etc., then release the tarp. I don't have one for my tarp, BTW, but been meaning to get one.
QueticoMike
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12/20/2017 08:02AM
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this or not, but you should look into getting a CCS tarp :) haha......one of the best gear investments I ever made.
Tony
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12/20/2017 08:14AM
Wick: "Northwoodsman:



Do yourself a huge favor and get a CCS tarp, ridge line bag, and extra length of reflective cord. It's money well spent. Don't skimp. I personally like the 1.1 oz., 10' x 14'. It gives you a huge area if there is no wind, and gives you an ample area to drop down to deflect the wind or a horizontal rain."



I looked at the website, but i did not see what the ridgeline bag does for you? "




ridgeline bag video here is a you tube vid on tarp set up using a ridge line bag. hope it helps


tony
12/20/2017 08:31AM
Nobody mentioned the therapeutic reasons for taking and setting tarps. Zen like meditation (Where and how to hang), and basket weaving (knots, cordage and fabric, woven together to form a shelter). Better than a month with an analyst!

Course there is the rain and wind reasoning,


butthead
Northwoodsman
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12/20/2017 08:45AM
I learned how to use the ridgeline stuff sack from the video mentioned above and from the great folks right here on BWCA.com. I run a ridgeline through the center loops on the tarp lengthwise. I use a 40' section of cord for this. I then tie a 20' section of cord to each corner and to the 2 middle loops (1 on each side). I roll these 6 cords up nice and neat and secure them with mini-bungees (think of an elastic hair tie). Now you are ready to put the tarp into the sack. Pull one end of the long cord through the bag and out the small grommet in the end (bottom) of the ridgeline sack so it hangs out the end. I tie a small loop on the end so it doesn't pull back into the bag. With the ridgeline running through the loops on the tarp, stuff the tarp into the bag; try to get it all in the bottom section of the sack. I then cinch that section of the bag closed. Next I neatly wind up the remainder of the ridgeline and place it in the other section of the bag and secure it closed.

When you get to your campsite choose two trees that you want to use for your ridgeline. Pull a small section of ridgeline out of the bottom and secure the end around one of the trees using a bowline knot, or similar. Next secure the other end of the rope to the other tree; pull it tight and secure it using a truckers hitch. Slide your tarp across the ridgeline to where you want it located. Next tie out the 4 corner cords to trees if possible to stretch the tarp taunt. If it may get windy or rain heavily I tie out the 2 other cords as well. I may even use additional lines. The ridgeline stuff sack stays on the ridgeline. When it comes time to back it down do it all in reverse. The idea here is speed, efficiency, and your tarp never touches the ground. If your tarp is wet the sack keeps everything else in your pack dry.

A few other tricks that I employ - I use prussik knots on lines that are about 18" long to secure the two ends of the tarp to the ridgeline. You can use these to pull the tarp tight along the ridgeline for ease in setting it up and keeping it tight. You want the tarp as tight as possible. It is strong and constructed well so don't be scared to pull it tight (within reason of course). Also on the loop that hangs out the end of the bag (the bottom?) I use a slip knot. I can loosen up the loop and take the sack and tarp around the first tree and place it back through the loop for the first knot. This is especially helpful when setting it up yourself.

OldFingers57
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12/20/2017 11:15AM
Another source for tarps is Kondos. They make a good tarp too. Check with some of the Outfitters to see if they have any used tarps for sale. Check with Voyaguer North Outfitters, Sawbill, Piriagas
Wick
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12/20/2017 08:26PM
Tony: "

ridgeline bag video here is a you tube vid on tarp set up using a ridge line bag. hope it helps



tony"


Great video Tony, thanks. It explained things nicely!

I like the ridgebag. Gonna get me one.
DrBobDerrig
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12/20/2017 08:34PM
A good tarp....don't leave home without one....
I couldn't imagine not having one on a trip.

I use the CCS lean 3 as a tarp on canoe camps
For car camping I use Eureka_Northern_Breeze_Shelter

worth every cent.....as they say 'happy wife happy life

dr bob
12/20/2017 09:11PM
Besides the shelter aspect. When taking people that have not camped in places like the BWCAW it is a community gathering spot. A familiar and safe place that is not associated with someones personal space. It helps with letting them know they can hang there and will not get lost.
In the spring ,fall and winter when the bugs are not out it is a good way to travel light with no tent.
I get satisfaction from the weather is ripping it up, I can be dry and warm under a tarp while watching the storm and the trees and lakes be assaulted by wind and rain or snow.
12/20/2017 09:47PM
I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch
12/21/2017 01:47AM
Blue tarps have uses like covering firewood and gear. But for rigging a good quality tarp is the best investment you can make. I had a kondos tarp, kinda heavy. Once you use a 1.1oz you'll never go back. Kondos is quality stuff, but heavy. CCS is pretty unmatched for what they are... Quality, weight, versatile and I think price.
A tarp can be the one thing that saves a otherwise miserable rainy trip. And possibly save a life should hypothermia set in... They don't have to be real big. Bring plenty of cordage.
mjmkjun
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12/21/2017 04:10AM
boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "
Thanks for the link. An easy knot.
Minnesotian
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12/21/2017 08:54AM
boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "

+1 on the Siberian Hitch. Learned it this year as well and made rigging the tarp a breeze. I have the ridge bag as well and a ridge line with prussk knots. I had that tarp up in rainy weather in a snap.
murphylakejim
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12/21/2017 09:03AM
Wake up
It's raining
Want coffee
Want food
Want to get out of tent

Set up tarp
Make coffee
Make food
Sit and watch rain

Rain stops
Pack up gear
Go

12/21/2017 09:53AM
Minnesotian: "boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "


+1 on the Siberian Hitch. Learned it this year as well and made rigging the tarp a breeze. I have the ridge bag as well and a ridge line with prussk knots. I had that tarp up in rainy weather in a snap. "


My 14'x10' CCS 1.1 oz. silnylon tarp is also pre-rigged on a ridgeline with prussics and tie outs pre-rigged (3 per side) and in the ridgeline bag. This makes it much easier to set up, especially solo.
TipsyPaddler
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12/21/2017 03:11PM
boonie: "Minnesotian: "boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "



+1 on the Siberian Hitch. Learned it this year as well and made rigging the tarp a breeze. I have the ridge bag as well and a ridge line with prussk knots. I had that tarp up in rainy weather in a snap. "



My 14'x10' CCS 1.1 oz. silnylon tarp is also pre-rigged on a ridgeline with prussics and tie outs pre-rigged (3 per side) and in the ridgeline bag. This makes it much easier to set up, especially solo. "


+1
Great set up! I was inspired by the youtube video mentioned earler as well.
Wick
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12/21/2017 06:17PM
Ok, I’m convinced. What are your opinions on how much rope i should have. I plan to buy a 10x14 with ridgeline bag. I see rope comes in 80ft lengths from ccs. Do you think the reflective rope is worth the extra money?
mschi772
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12/21/2017 06:41PM
Reflective cord can be worth it if you walk around in the dark with a light source often and might otherwise trip over the cord.

I recommend, for your tie-outs that you use a figure 9 carabiner or Dutchware stinger clipped to the tarp to attach the cord to. Why? The cordage tied directly to the loops on the tarp would be more likely than the biners to damage the tarp loops over time; reflective cord can be especially cutting. Also, the fig9/stingers allow you to adjust the tension of the cord from inside the tarp quite easily instead of going out to the tree or stake which, if it's raining (most likely time you'd want to adjust tension) would be a bummer.

I don't do a ridgeline with my 16' Kelty Noah tarp, so I can't comment on recommended length there, but I will tell ya what I do in general with my cordage. I have a number of different lengths of cord all with loops tied in the ends. Mostly 10' lengths, but some shorter and some longer lengths. I combine them loop-to-loop in order to create whatever length of cord I ultimately need. I find this also makes managing my cordage much easier than having to wrangle much longer lengths of cord at one time. I don't think I have any single length of cord longer than 20'.

If you like hardware instead of knots, Dutchware has some other nifties that some people prefer for tying cord to trees/stakes instead of knots, too, but that's neither here nor there.

Below are some shots of a family trip to Kickapoo Valley. It doesn't illustrate my personal cord methods as I had misplaced my cord, but we managed with some scraps of other rope and things.

frlu0501
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12/22/2017 12:41PM
Everyone seems to be set on the expensive tarps, however, I've only used the cheapest tarps from Fleet Farm.

They are much lighter than the blue tarps and much cheaper than any tarp I've seen mentioned. The grommets will rip. I simply bunch the tarp (where the grommet ripped), tie a knot in the tarp and tie rope around the knot. In 10+ years (usually 1-2 trips per year) I've bought maybe two. The nice thing about a cheap tarp is you can hang it near/over the fire grate to keep the fire dry, out of the wind, and not have to worry about the ashes burning pin holes in the tarp. We usually have our tarp plenty high so the ashes are usually cool by the time they hit the tarp. But it will eventually wear it out. We cook all our meals over the fire, so a cheap tarp that will keep us and the fire grate dry (and out of the wind) is a must.

You can never have too much rope!

LindenTree3
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12/22/2017 01:22PM
mshi72,

Awesome tip on the different lengths of ropes with loops, I'm going to try it, I don't like having alot of rope hanging off of my tarps and on the tree. I allready use the caribiners you mentioned.
ParkerMag
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12/22/2017 01:24PM
Wick: "What are your opinions on how much rope i should have. "
I keep 25' lengths tied to each corner, 50' and the related prussics for the ridgeline, and 1.5' on the in-between loops. I also keep 3-4 unattached 25' lengths with each of my tarps I can use when something won't reach where I want it to go.
12/22/2017 01:32PM
I also leave the ridgeline rope in place permanently and fasten the tarp with prussic knots. That way you can slide the tarp anywhere along the rope. I also use 25 ft. ropes on each corner. I carry a bag with extra lengths of 25 and 50 ropes.

I also am a user of the figure nine carabiner's.

I used to use girl's pony tail elastic bands to keep my corner ropes rolled up while in the tarp bag, but Dan Cooke showed me a better way. You roll them up around your hand, place the bundle slightly inside of the corner and tie them in place with the last foot or so of the rope. It works well and keeps the ropes from getting tangled.

I've learned a lot about tarp usage by attending about a dozen demos with Dan Cooke.

bobbernumber3
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12/22/2017 02:02PM
Nice tip on showing tarp ropes!
Jackfish
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12/22/2017 02:26PM
frlu501, you bring up a good point about being able to hang your tarp over or near a fire. It's cheap so if you burn it, no big deal. Just go buy another one.

It's the only positive about cheap plastic tarps though. I don't want to get burn holes in my nice CCS tarp any more than the next person, so since CCS tarps have so many other fine qualities, I'd never set it up over a fire where the burn holes could occur.

No one goes on canoe trips with 100% of the best and most expensive gear, especially when they're just getting started in canoe tripping. It's a constant evolution - as gear improves, we buy better gear. As financial situations improve, we can afford better gear. Sometimes it's the angst of using crap gear that finally causes us to say, "NO MORE! I'm buying something better!"

My guess is you'll own a CCS tarp when you're ready, and after you do, you'll be glad you did.
yellowcanoe
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12/22/2017 03:12PM
Nothing like reading under a tarp being snug and dry in a downpour!
CCS tarps are expensive but over the long haul because of their durability, probably the cheapest per use.
Mine is over ten years old.
I used to use Noah's and that was fine but too small for Allagash ridgepoles which are quite high.. The cat cut is decent in the wind but the 9x9 was like putting a hanky over your head.

If you have two or more in your party you will want a tarp. Its possible to solo albeit somewhat miserably without one.

I think most of us at the start used something cheap and after we could make the investment in a good quality long duration tarp did so. It is expensive to make all this investment at the start!
ockycamper
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12/22/2017 03:24PM
We have been taking 12-18 guys up each year in 2-3 groups. We have one large "group" tarp we try to set up in the middle of camp. In 12 years of going up to BWCA we have had only one year it did not rain for at least one full day.

We also have a smaller tarp set up over the "kitchen" area where we have a roll up table to cook on.

All of us are hammock campers. Just about everyone has traded up for very large rain flies, some using Noah Tarps as rain flies. Works great to put gear under for changing.

mschi772
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12/22/2017 03:48PM
LindenTree3: "mshi72,


Awesome tip on the different lengths of ropes with loops, I'm going to try it, I don't like having alot of rope hanging off of my tarps and on the tree. I allready use the caribiners you mentioned."


Hey, it's my honor to inform you of such a tip. All my cordage is the same color, and one thing I'd like to do is find a way to make my lengths more identifiable since it's not always obvious when they're bundled. Either different color cordage or maybe just using colored tape to wrap on them for quickly identifying their lengths.

I do not have reflective cord, but I have thought about getting some and cutting it into 5' lengths to be used wherever I may decide reflective cord would be beneficial--this way I'd have the benefits of reflectivity without having to have investing in ALL of my cordage being reflective.
Savage Voyageur
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12/22/2017 08:11PM
mschi772: "Reflective cord can be worth it if you walk around in the dark with a light source often and might otherwise trip over the cord.


I recommend, for your tie-outs that you use a figure 9 carabiner or Dutchware stinger clipped to the tarp to attach the cord to. Why? The cordage tied directly to the loops on the tarp would be more likely than the biners to damage the tarp loops over time; reflective cord can be especially cutting. Also, the fig9/stingers allow you to adjust the tension of the cord from inside the tarp quite easily instead of going out to the tree or stake which, if it's raining (most likely time you'd want to adjust tension) would be a bummer.


I don't do a ridgeline with my 16' Kelty Noah tarp, so I can't comment on recommended length there, but I will tell ya what I do in general with my cordage. I have a number of different lengths of cord all with loops tied in the ends. Mostly 10' lengths, but some shorter and some longer lengths. I combine them loop-to-loop in order to create whatever length of cord I ultimately need. I find this also makes managing my cordage much easier than having to wrangle much longer lengths of cord at one time. I don't think I have any single length of cord longer than 20'.


If you like hardware instead of knots, Dutchware has some other nifties that some people prefer for tying cord to trees/stakes instead of knots, too, but that's neither here nor there.


Below are some shots of a family trip to Kickapoo Valley. It doesn't illustrate my personal cord methods as I had misplaced my cord, but we managed with some scraps of other rope and things.


"



Kanoes told me about this trick. I took a 100 foot cord and cut it into 6 foot chunks with loops on the ends. Then I just grab a piece or two and hang a tarp or tie something up. I store them all on a carabiner and unhook them one at a time. This keeps the cord from a tangled mess. I used to cut a cord as I needed it in camp then after the trip it would just get bunched up, then at home I would toss it out. No more cord gets tossed this way.
OCDave
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12/22/2017 09:37PM
For those of you posting your cordage lengths and such, thanks. I use 6'-10' tie out lines on my hammock tarps so it is valuable to learn how much longer you use on a group tarp.

For those of you using CCS 1/8 poly rope, what are you using for your prusik knots? The same 1/8 rope or something smaller?

My CCS tarp is new, (actually it will be on Monday when I get to open it with feigned surprise but genuine delight) so I haven't had the opportunity to deploy it yet.

Thanks
jwartman59
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12/22/2017 11:37PM
I have a tarp I bought at the old united stores, I probably paid &30 for it. It is now at least 25 years old, a bit tattered, but I can’t image a canoe trip without it. If it ever dies I will replace it with a ccs.
mjmkjun
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12/23/2017 07:05AM
CCS tarps are 'da bomb'. If I had to get another one I'd get a multi-colored one. Imparts a cheerfulness in a darkened overcast sky. The two I have will most likely outlive me, however.
TipsyPaddler
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12/23/2017 08:57AM
OCDave: "For those of you posting your cordage lengths and such, thanks. I use 6'-10' tie out lines on my hammock tarps so it is valuable to learn how much longer you use on a group tarp.


For those of you using CCS 1/8 poly rope, what are you using for your prusik knots? The same 1/8 rope or something smaller?


My CCS tarp is new, (actually it will be on Monday when I get to open it with feigned surprise but genuine delight) so I haven't had the opportunity to deploy it yet.


Thanks"


I use the CCS 1/8 poly rope on my 10x12 CCS tarp. I use 50' for the ridgeline and 20' at the four corners and center loops on the long side. Those lines are coiled secured with thick elastic hair bands. For the prusik knots on the ridgeline I used 3/32" paracord. Works great. I can tension the heck out of and it doesn't budge.

I bring 80-100' of extra 1/8 poly rope in various lengths for the inevitable poorly placed tree or two. I started with 80' but my collection has grown from forgotten 'clothes lines' at campsites. Frequently its green, brown or camo colored ;-)
Nomadmusky
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12/23/2017 12:24PM
We always use a tarp and it's the first thing we set up.

It's a place to:

1. gather
2. get out of the wind
3. get out of the rain
4. lay extra gear and packs
5. get out of the sun
6. cook
7. play cards
8. watch the world rather than get outside and camp only to sit in a nylon shell
9. have a center piece to your camp

Nomad

A place to
12/23/2017 01:02PM
Nomadmusky: "We always use a tarp and it's the first thing we set up.


It's a place to:


1. gather
2. get out of the wind
3. get out of the rain
4. lay extra gear and packs
5. get out of the sun
6. cook
7. play cards
8. watch the world rather than get outside and camp only to sit in a nylon shell
9. have a center piece to your camp


Nomad


A place to "


Well said. Sort of like an outdoor family room.
SaganagaJoe
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12/23/2017 02:06PM
Shelter from rain, wind, and sun.
ockycamper
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12/23/2017 02:09PM
I use loop straps like Python Straps or Gorilla Straps for hammocks. Much stronger then typical cord, easier to put up, don't stretch, and allow loops to hook lights, etc on them. We have pretty much replaced all ropes with daisy chain straps.
12/23/2017 09:50PM
Lot's of stuff would be left behind before I left my tarp out. The little guy just turned 16 yesterday do this was a few years ago, still use the same CCS tarp.

12/24/2017 08:38AM
You can use a blue polyester tarp, but they just are not the best product for the long term.
Guest Paddler
 
12/27/2017 03:22PM
Does CCS run sales on their tarps?
Jackfish
Moderator
 
12/27/2017 03:30PM
: "Does CCS run sales on their tarps?"
On occasion. They also run specials at Canoecopia in Madison, WI in March and at Midwest Mountaineering in Minneapolis during their big bash. (Someone will have to help with the dates.) There may be another time or two.

p.s. Please register and become a member here at BWCA.com. It's free, painless and we're all (generally) pretty good folks. :)
HowardSprague
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12/27/2017 06:19PM
mjmkjun: "boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "
Thanks for the link. An easy knot.
"


I feel like a dumbass! Watching it and tried 4x and not right. Taught line hitch much easier to remember/execute.
Minnesotian
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12/27/2017 09:20PM
HowardSprague: "mjmkjun: "boonie: "I learned to tie the Siberian Hitch this year and found it to be a good knot for anchoring the end of the ridgeline. Here's Maddy the Goose's video on Siberian Hitch "
Thanks for the link. An easy knot.
"



I feel like a dumbass! Watching it and tried 4x and not right. Taught line hitch much easier to remember/execute."


Howard, i found the youtube videos to be confusing as well. I learned how to tie it from here: Animated Knots Siberian Hitch
12/27/2017 10:00PM
It took me a while to get it too, but it really is better, Howard.

Try this alternative method. Or this one
12/28/2017 08:29AM
boonie: "It took me a while to get it too, but it really is better, Howard.


Try this alternative method. Or this one "


Both of these vids are much more clear; thanks!

12/28/2017 08:51AM
Boonie,

Thanks for posting those 2 alternative methods for tying the Siberian Hitch. They are both a lot easier to tie. I am thinking I may even remember how to tie it come June. LOL.
sedges
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12/28/2017 09:21AM
Don't you hate it when your tent gets soaked before the fly gets on or when you are packing it up. With the proliferation of free-standing tents, tarps are useful keeping your tent dry while erecting or packing it up. Arriving at a campsite or packing up to leave in the rain, the tarp is the first thing up and the last thing packed. Set up the tarp, assemble the tent under it then move the tent out. Bring the tent under the tarp to pack it if you are packing your outfit to move in the rain.
Fizics
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12/28/2017 10:01AM
sedges: "Don't you hate it when your tent gets soaked before the fly gets on or when you are packing it up. With the proliferation of free-standing tents, tarps are useful keeping your tent dry while erecting or packing it up. Arriving at a campsite or packing up to leave in the rain, the tarp is the first thing up and the last thing packed. Set up the tarp, assemble the tent under it then move the tent out. Bring the tent under the tarp to pack it if you are packing your outfit to move in the rain."

You sir, should just hammock :)
mschi772
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12/28/2017 01:23PM
sedges: "Don't you hate it when your tent gets soaked before the fly gets on or when you are packing it up. With the proliferation of free-standing tents, tarps are useful keeping your tent dry while erecting or packing it up. Arriving at a campsite or packing up to leave in the rain, the tarp is the first thing up and the last thing packed. Set up the tarp, assemble the tent under it then move the tent out. Bring the tent under the tarp to pack it if you are packing your outfit to move in the rain."
While your point is solid, I will point-out that Marmot's tents generally allow you to erect the fly without the tent which allows you to set up the tent under the shelter of the fly.
sedges
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12/28/2017 03:29PM
I've seen that on several new tent designs and it makes a lot of sense. I'd still have a tarp, just for comfort in rough weather. A snip from an old trip journal tells it all,

"After 6 portages, I was stopped on Edge Lake by a very threatening storm with an abundance of lightning. I threw my outfit ashore on a peninsula at the north end of the lake and was surprised to find a rarely used, barely comfortable campsite. I got the tarp up as the rain began and settled in to watch the storm with level ground and a nice sitting rock beneath the tarp. The remaining outfit was left packed to stay dry if the weather got really messy. I read and made hot tea for 4 hours. It rained so hard I couldn't see beyond the tarp. I set up the tent at 9:45 with more storms threatening."
andym
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12/28/2017 03:51PM
Tarptent designs allow for setup of the tent and fly together so that the tent body stays dry. I still use a tarp but don’t need to set my tent up under it. This is good as most tarptents are not freestanding.
mgraber
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01/06/2018 12:49AM
Anyone who has ever spent 4-5 days in solid, non-stop rain will NEVER consider going in without one. This is especially true if temps are in the 40s or lower. And please don't be stupid and cook and eat in your tent.
CrookedPaddler1
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01/09/2018 10:43AM
I typically carry two tarps. One is always packed in my day pack which, in addition to the tarp, contains lunch and everyone's rain gear. This way if, while traveling, we encounter rainy weather, we can set up the tarp quickly and have a relatively dry area to have lunch.

More importantly, when we get to camp, that is the first thing that gets set up. We set it fairly low to the ground and all of the packs go under there to be unloaded. Now all of our loose gear is in one spot and not spread to all corners of the campsite. (Can you tell I have spent a lot of time in the woods with teenagers?) In addition, all of our firewood is stored under this tarp. That way we always have dry wood.

The second tarp can be set up as a place to lounge under during rain or to get out of the sun.
jeremylynn21
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01/09/2018 06:18PM
In my opinion its silly to not have atleast one decent size tarp. unless you like sitting in your tent or laying in your hammock all day or multiple days, bring a tarp.
jeremylynn21
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01/09/2018 06:37PM
Any tarp would work. if you want to save money go to a mills fleet farm. Get the camo tarps. Much lighter then the heavy blue ones. 10x10 should be fine. We have been using the same 2 for the last 4 years. You can also use a rock on the inside and tie a piece of cordage around it around the tarp to make a tieout. The grommets could tear easily so run your cord through the grommet, tie to a smooth stick. spreads the tension out and less likely to rip a grommet.

Not bringing a tarp to me is like wilderness camping in jeans and other cotton material. SILLY.
 
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