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05/13/2016 09:01PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
What size tarp do you take on a solo?

What is the smallest size you'd consider for a solo in late Sept? Is 8x10 big enough? Or 10x10 better?
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distinguished member (374)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/13/2016 10:44PM  
Mine is 10x12. It rained a lot during my last solo, and I was glad to have it. I typically pitched it over the went up first and came down last, which meant I never set up or took down the tent in the rain. It also meant that entry and exit from the tent was always dry. It was large enough that I could drop one side towards the wind, and still have enough room underneath to cook a meal.

10 x 10 would have worked, but I wouldn't go 8 x 10 in the shoulder season.
05/14/2016 07:11AM  
I only own 10 x 12, so that is what I bring.
Alan Gage
distinguished member(1087)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/14/2016 07:46AM  
I use a 10x10 over my hammock. If weather causes me to get off the water early I use it as shelter during the day and set up the hammock at bed time.

10x10 feels plenty big when the rain, even a heavy rain, is coming straight down. When a real storm with wind and rain comes blowing in though it starts to feel a bit small. To keep the wind driven rain out it needs to be pitched pretty low with sides extending nearly to the ground, which really cuts down on head room and square footage.

I think a 10x12, or even 12x12, would be nicer but for now I'm sticking with the 10x10. It's what I've got and it's kept me, my dog, and my gear dry through some big winds and rain.

05/14/2016 08:32AM  

Up front, I've never been one to watch the ounces too closely. That said, you are talking about a difference of 20 square feet, which at 1.9 oz/sq yd would be only about a quarter pound. I can think of other ways to drop that from my load for a fall trip when weather can start getting bad. Im thinking of making a new tarp, and will go 10x12 with 1.1 oz silnylon. When the weather does turn bad, the extra space will be worth that small add of weight.
05/14/2016 09:07AM  
I carry a CCS 1.9 10x12 I purchased at copia in 2013. Best tarp I have ever owned as it has never rained on any trip since. I have never used it. I have had some light showers at night and the Noah over the hammock was not considered a tarp for purposes of this thread.
05/14/2016 10:31AM  
I have a 10x12 CCS 1.9oz tarp. It's the only size I have and there have been lots of times when I've appreciated the fact that it's pretty good sized for a solo trip.

It's big enough to cover a lot, but still small enough to fit in most campsites.

I have found over the years that a good tarp is the best piece of camping equipment I own.
05/14/2016 07:34PM  
I have a 10 x 14 CCS 1.1 and am trying to decide if I can save enough weight and bulk with a smaller one to make it worthwhile or if I'll just end up wishing I had a bigger one when it gets bad.
distinguished member(1919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/14/2016 08:47PM  
I carry a 9 x 9 if the forecast is good. If the weather looks dismal I carry a 12 x 12 and try to position it over the opening to the tent. Then I can cook, read and go to bed regardless of the weather. Works well.
distinguished member(1919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/14/2016 08:50PM  
And I agree with Awbrown. In rainy and windy weather there is no more important piece of equipment than the old tarp. It makes a miserable evening very nice.
05/14/2016 09:06PM  
Going to a 10 x 10 would only save me 4 oz. and I think I'd regret the 8 x 10 in bad conditions. . . ?
distinguished member(5018)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/15/2016 07:54AM  
I've got an 8X10 tarp for solo backpacking trips.
distinguished member(4562)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
05/15/2016 09:02AM  
I think a 10x10 would be fine for any solo. My smallest tarp is 10x10, but it is a polyurethane coated tarp and is kind of heavy. My hammock tarps are 11x8 and 12x8. The are both cuben so I packed both last year for my solo. I know cuben is spendy, but I don't use my money for much else, so I figure I deserve it...
05/16/2016 09:36PM  
Started with 10x10, went to 10x12. Will not go back. Greater flexibility for small weight/size gain.

05/16/2016 10:17PM  
i've used a 8 x 10 on my last 2 solo trips. should be plenty, but if you like more flexibility as Ken said a 10 x 10 or 12 is fine also. The weight of the tarp is pretty light either way.
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/20/2016 03:07PM  
I just use my group tripping tarp... Not sure of the dimensions though.
05/21/2016 08:56AM  
I use a 12x12 Kelty that has been going strong for 10 years. But, if I ever decide to upgrade and get a CCS I think I'll get 10x12.

Now, if I was in your shoes I think I would stick with what I had. I don't think I'd want to spend that much money to save 4 oz and lose 2in of flexibility.
distinguished member(619)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/22/2016 10:11AM  
Used an 8X10 (1.9 oz silnylon) for years both solo and with companions. Then I bought a 10X12 (1.1 oz CCS silnylon) and was amazed at how much more room it gives you. Did the math and it is a 50% increase in floor space, and it feels like it.

I think if I were doing a solo with lots of portaging I would still take the 8X10 for the weight and bulk savings. A base camp trip would take the 8X12 for the "luxury."
distinguished member (421)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/10/2016 05:24PM  
Anything bigger than a ten by ten will be appreciated when the wind driven rain is coming in. I cut up a damaged tarp and bring the 4x10 remnant to cover gear and me during short rain squalls. In camp it is handy to cover gear piled just inside the drip line of my camp tarp.
distinguished member(4401)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
06/10/2016 09:34PM  
I have a Kelty Noah's 12 that provides lots of coverage. I really like the extra shade on a hot summer day. Downside? The Noah is heavy.

I've also got a Hammock Gear 11' X 8.5' Standard cuben fiber tarp that has held up through some wicked storms. Because it is opaque, on hot summer days I sense that it is warmer than the Kelty but I've never tried to measure the difference. The cuben fiber is very, very light but strong.

I was thinking about purchasing an 8 X 10 for weight savings when I won the cuben fiber tarp in a raffle.
distinguished member(1919)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
06/10/2016 10:12PM  
Last week I was on a solo in the Q for five very rainy days. I was thankful I had the Kelty 12 since I spent hours every day under it. I knew the forecast was pretty wet so brought it rather than a smaller one and was happy I did.
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