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R00kie
member (19)member
 
12/08/2020 11:15PM  
This may have already been addressed but what do you look for when purchasing a tarp for your campsite? I see lots of different options out there and would like to know what to look for and what to avoid. Thanks for sharing your opinions!!
 
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Gaidin53
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
12/09/2020 12:49AM  
Cooke Custom Sewing. 1.1 oz silicone tarp. 10 by 14 is kind of the standard size for a normal group size from what I’ve read. If you have a bigger group go up a size. I know plenty of other tarps are available but this one seems to be the main one people really like and think is well made. I’m planning on picking up this exact tarp and size sometime this spring.
CCS Tarp
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1912)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/09/2020 08:20AM  
I've looked at other tarps, have used some in fact. None of them compare to a CCS tarp.
 
12/09/2020 09:04AM  
Picking a tarp is not too hard and you can't go too far wrong. Here are a few of the criteria people consider. If I miss some, others may add them in. Everyone will put more or less weight on each criteria

1 - Shape: Most tarps are either square or rectangular. Square gives you a little more flexibility in set up, but not much. Some tarps have angled, catenary cuts that work to make them more stable in winds. I had one once, and MSR parawing, and it was really stable in wind but harder to set up. I switched to a square.

2 - Size: The size you will likely want is determined by how many people will be in your group and how much weight you are willing to pack. I use a 10x10 for just me and my two dogs, and that seems to work pretty well. Bigger tarps allow more people and better protection in really foul weather, but cost more and take up more room.

3 - Material: The material will have a big impact on how much it weighs, how much space it takes up packed, how noisy it is, and how much it costs. A lot of people here love their 1.1 oz or 1.9 oz Silnylon CCS tarps (and for very good reason). These weights are the weight of one yard of raw material (excludes hoops, loops, grommets, etc). Some tarps are made of Silpoly too, which I dont know a lot about yet. There are plenty of materials that are heavier or less strong - canvas, PU coated nylon, or even those blue tarps from big box hardware stores. There are lighter materials like Cuben Fiber / Dynema, but Im not sure if these are commercially produced or not.

4 - Color: Matters to some and not others. I use to have a dark blue tarp and found it dreary to be under on rainy days, and think the mosquitos liked hiding there more. I went to a light colored olive/yellow and am much happier. Some like the idea of colors that help them blend into the woods better. Some like brighter colors that stand out a bit more. Its a personal preference.

5 - Cost: Basically, the more you spend the smaller, lighter, and stronger your tarp will probably be. If money is not a major concern, CCS is a hugely popular and again for good reason. If money is really tight ( and some will disagree with me here) get a cheep blue tarp at the big box store. They may only last one trip, may suffer damage in strong winds, and will get you no style points - but most of the time they will keep the wind and rain off of you. But they are bigger and heavy. There are lots of options between these two choices price wise that are good. But like most things in this world, the more you spend the better you get.

 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(13572)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
12/09/2020 09:11AM  
Cooke custom 1.9 Oz tarp for me works great. I bought the 12x10 size for my hammock if I use that and for camp use if I use a tent. It’s held up great.
 
12/09/2020 12:06PM  
For me it's shape first which can be mostly defined as use. Catenary "curved cut" vs flat cut.
As Jaywalker points out catenary set up tight mostly one way only so less versatile but often more stable. Only owned 1, a Kelty Noah's Tarp that only set tight in one manner, they are more popular with hammock campers. Flat cut are versatile allowing a variety of pitch styles, considered less wind stable, yet with good technique can be as stable.


Ridgeline


Pole-less with center peak


Flat windbreak






Flying diamond




I have no problem using rectangle over square shapes. Material ties into weight and cost, poly, canvas, nylon, sil-nylon, sil-polyester, Dyneema.

I've used heavy cheap, now light and more costly, the high end sailcloth synthetics are out of my budget. Currently own two CCS 1.1 silnylon flat 10x12 and a 10x14.

Beginner’s Guide to Tarp Camping is a pretty good start. Add a bunch of cordage, maybe some hardware, spend some time practicing setups.

butthead
 
R00kie
member (19)member
 
12/10/2020 12:52AM  
I really appreciate all the input. I am a rookie but am going the solo route and will continue to do so. I guess I will look into the smaller ccs tarp. Thanks. This is an incredible source of experience and knowledge.
 
Tony
distinguished member(2079)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/10/2020 12:42PM  
I use the cook custom sewing 10x10 tarp on my solo trips it offers enough room for gear storage and cooking and hanging out in wet weather it beats getting stuck in the hammock or the tent. I also have the 10x14 for group trips. Usually I'll take both and use the 10x10 for a lean-to and extend the front out with the 10x14.

Tony
 
12/10/2020 06:24PM  
CCS 10x12 user here. Love it...got one for my dad too. 1.9 I believe...I wanted the extra durability but not sure I'd need it looking back. Here's one of the many sites and ways we've set it up.

 
CRL
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
12/10/2020 08:21PM  
CCS tarps are definitely nice--though I haven't owned one yet.. I've had many days in the field using Oware 10x 14 tarps. That is what I currently use. Usually I rig a simply A-frame set up, but I dialed in a pretty sweet set for winter camping using ski poles and ice screws. I used it for an extended winter trip in 2007 (19 days, most nights -30 range). Unfortunately the only photo I have is non-digital and I don't have scanner access now.
 
CRL
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
12/10/2020 08:37PM  
I take it back; I did have a digital image of not the best quality. I always used it on the ice--protected bays mostly. The opening was always rigged toward shore.
 
12/11/2020 02:46PM  
Been a while since I got to post this!
CCS 1.1oz
Can survive my terrible hanging (though I've gotten better....I think...) and hold 80lbs of water just fine
Note how nice and dry the gear under it is
 
johnnyg08
member (29)member
 
12/13/2020 08:58AM  
Wow! That's a bucket of water!!
 
casualbriday
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
01/02/2021 07:35PM  
There's plenty to like about a noah's 9/12 if you're not budgeted for a CCS (I've seen the 9 online for like $40). They rig up nicely in an a frame or flying diamond configuration and they have enough guy out points that you can make a lot of other stuff work if you have the cordage and stakes. They also have grommets so that you can set them up as a shelter with a couple of trekking/tarp poles or dead sticks. We used a 9 for our "gear shed" (spot to keep fishing rods and tackle bags) and a 12 for our "living room" on my last trip. The updated models have nice little pockets on the corners to store your guylines, which is nice.
 
01/03/2021 12:07PM  
casualbriday: "There's plenty to like about a noah's 9/12 if you're not budgeted for a CCS (I've seen the 9 online for like $40). They rig up nicely in an a frame or flying diamond configuration and they have enough guy out points that you can make a lot of other stuff work if you have the cordage and stakes. They also have grommets so that you can set them up as a shelter with a couple of trekking/tarp poles or dead sticks. We used a 9 for our "gear shed" (spot to keep fishing rods and tackle bags) and a 12 for our "living room" on my last trip. The updated models have nice little pockets on the corners to store your guylines, which is nice."

I agree with the Kelty Noah. CCS tarps are probably great, but I can't afford one of those. The Noah is a good low cost option that I can afford to use and abuse. When I first bought mine, I had no clue how to use one and thought that there was a pretty good chance I'd lose it to inexperience and weather. Maybe my next tarp will be a CCS and I'll be recommending them like everyone else.
 
01/03/2021 02:38PM  
My only problem with Kelty Noah's Tarp is the cat-cut configuration. I prefer a flat cut for tight yet versatile use.
Campmor is a flat cut 1.9. as is
Equinox Egret
in 1.1 a good starter bargain is Globe Skimmer
I have owned both and would recommend them for bargain starting points.
I did own and used a Noah's Tarp, just find a flat cut much more useful.
CCS tarps are the "top-O-the line", in flat cut tarps! And I own 2, a 10x12 1.1 and a 10x14 1.1.

butthead
 
mgraber
distinguished member(1162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2021 01:06PM  
CCS if you can afford one, I have a 10 by 12 1.1 oz and it is perfect for 2 and will work with 4. The 1.1 is significantly lighter than the 1.9 and almost as strong. Had a 1.9 Campmor before, and while it worked, there really is no comparison.

Just remember, all CCS are a silnylon material (it is silicone impregnated) and NOT coated with a second layer of waterproof material. The silnylon material is much stronger than the coated material, as well as being lighter. I believe Dan Cooke has stated that the 1.1 silnylon is actually a lot stronger than the 1.9 coated and almost as strong as the 1.9 silnylon. Ours held up to a 70mph wind a couple of years ago with only a slightly stretched seam. One of the trees that it was tied to did not fare as well.

The craftsmanship and customer service is second to none and the numerous tie out loops are amazing. Get the specialized stuff bag and watch the video on You Tube or CCS on how to use the quick setup with the continuous ridgeline. It changed my life, as we can usually set up from start to finish in about 5 minutes, sometimes less. If you are going to be doing this for the foreseeable future, look at it as an investment. A good tarp is your best friend in the wilderness and can literally save a trip.
 
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