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Solo Tarp without a Bivy
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Brett Morgan
(whyDRIVE) - F

Locale: East Tennessee
Solo Tarp without a Bivy on 10/02/2009 13:12:24 MDT Print View

What size tarp does everyone think is small enough to use without a bivy but big enough for pure protection?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Tarp Size on 10/02/2009 13:19:19 MDT Print View

Brett my poncho tarp is about 5ft. by 8ft. and I would not us it without a bivy. Its just too small to keep rain from blowing in the edges. I think 8 by 10 would be enough and give you more living room too. I tried a cheap walmart tarp for camping with kids over the summer and its already got some holes in it. I think Equinox makes a light nylon tarp about that size. Good luck I haven't carried a tent in two years and haven't missed it.

Edited by Cameron on 10/02/2009 13:20:28 MDT.

Brett Morgan
(whyDRIVE) - F

Locale: East Tennessee
Under 100 bucks on 10/02/2009 13:33:22 MDT Print View

Ok i understand what your saying. Etowah outfitters makes a 6x10ft tarp that im interested in trying. but then there is the equinox tarp that is 8x10ft tarp that is less money but i have read on this website that they are not so reliable (they wear out and the grommets come loose). oh and i want to spend less than 100 bucks. so i still need the help! :)

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Under 100 bucks on 10/02/2009 14:07:58 MDT Print View


The Equinox tarps are actually well made and durable. I haven't heard of many failures of the grommets, but if that is a concern you could sew, or hand stitch, small grosgrain tabs next to the grommets. If you don't sew, I'm sure you could find a friend or relative to do it for you. They would hold as well as anything!

Good luck,

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Under 100 bucks on 10/02/2009 14:21:58 MDT Print View

Brett, I've used several of the Equinox sil tarps and never had a problem. You can pick up an 8 x 10 for $84, and it weighs 13.9oz. My tarps have been hit by some heavy winds coming straight off of lakes (ie Lake Superior, smaller inland) and across fields, and I've never really had a problem with them. One exception: I always rig with a ridge line, which means a line under the full length of the tarp. That line helps provide a lot of support to the tarp, and takes strain off the ridgeline grommets, too. One time I just tied off to the grommets on the ridgeline, used zero-stretch spectra lines, and a trucker hitch on each end to get the tarp super tight. I did pull out a grommet then, but I was doing everything wrong (and the tarp still worked fine, I added a grosgrain loop when I got home, took about 1 minute).

Pitch it right, it'll serve you well. Given that many similar tarps can run nearly double the money, the Equinox tarps are money well spent.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Other Options on 10/02/2009 15:27:11 MDT Print View

This site has some sil-nylon tarps:

As does this one:

Both are geared for hammockers.

In addition, you can find the GoLite Hut 1 on close out for 70 dollars or less, and it is a fantastic piece of equipment.

Good luck!

Brett Morgan
(whyDRIVE) - F

Locale: East Tennessee
knots! on 10/02/2009 15:34:40 MDT Print View

can somebody post a link on the knots i would have to use with the ridge line and the guy out points? that would be very much appreciated! and thanks for the info on the grommets at the top.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Solo Tarp without a Bivy on 10/02/2009 17:57:47 MDT Print View

You might want to double check, but I thought Brian Robinson used a 5'x8' tarp for his triple crown (in a single he saw lots of weather), without a bivy. He stressed site selection and pitch.

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Speer Tarp on 10/02/2009 18:30:59 MDT Print View

I have a Speer Winter Tarp that is 11' x 10'. It has folds (door like) on the ends so you can close it to keep the rain and wind out. The tarp only weighs 16 oz. His no tangle line weighs 1-2 ounces for 10 pcs 10' long

Edited by Ewker on 10/02/2009 18:32:42 MDT.

Acronym Esq
( - F

Locale: TX
Re: knots! on 10/02/2009 18:43:35 MDT Print View

Taught line
Figure 8 on a bight
Siberian hitch
Trucker's hitch

Animated Knots.

See also previous discussion.

acronym 10/2/2009 7:43 PM

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: knots! on 10/02/2009 18:52:23 MDT Print View

You'll probably want a Trucker's Hitch.

Grog's Animated Knots has a lot of good stuff.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
re: tent size on 10/02/2009 19:06:50 MDT Print View

I have a 6x10 foot tarp, and I wouldn't use it without my bivy. It's a much better size than the 5x8 I was using, especially for a tall hiker, but it's not large enough to go bivyless. An 8x10 would be the minimum size I would recommend.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: knots! on 10/02/2009 19:43:38 MDT Print View

I vote for the taughtline hitch which I learned in boy scouts and have used in the 50 yrs since. The truckers hitch will let you pull your tent tight as a drum, but it's not as convenient to adjust in AND out. I leave the taughtline hitch on the lines when I pack up the tent. At the next site, I adjust it in or out depending on the need.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
solo tarp on 10/02/2009 21:00:40 MDT Print View

All of this depends on where and when you plan on using the tarp without a bivy. No heavy rain then a 7x9 will work, but any chance of precipitation or wind would require 8x10. We use Oware silnylon tarps and 6 oz bivies in the rainforest just to be sure.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
RE: Knots? on 10/02/2009 23:34:20 MDT Print View

I use a bowline in my tarps for permanent loopholes to slide stakes through. tie em' tight at home and there l' be no-hassle out in the field.


P ritch
(Flix) - F

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Other Options on 10/03/2009 01:33:00 MDT Print View

"In addition, you can find the GoLite Hut 1 on close out for 70 dollars or less, and it is a fantastic piece of equipment."


Where is the Hut 1 still available? I've been looking for one. Thanks.

Edited by Flix on 10/03/2009 01:33:33 MDT.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
tarp, no bivy on 10/03/2009 02:18:00 MDT Print View

I'm not a bivy fan.
I use a 8x10 tarp by Integral Designs called the Siltarp2. Fantastic bit of kit.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
hut 1 on 10/03/2009 02:22:08 MDT Print View

Well darn, looks like they may be out.

I got mine at Dom's Outdoors in Livermore a but now they seem to just have the Hut 2. Hilton's Tent City also had a few, but now seem to just have the Hut 2. It'd be worth giving Dom's a call to see if they have one lying around.

I went in person and they found one back in storage and *still* had a choice between sage and stone colors. So maybe the one I didn't buy is still there.

If that fails, the Shangri-La 1 is basically the Hut 1--just have to wait for a good deal on it. (20 percent off at Basegear on everything, perpetually.).

The Hut 2 is okay. Bigger for sure, but not as wind-worthy and light. Though very roomy. I prefer the 1 for solo outings and 2 for when with a friend.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Solo Tarp without a Bivy on 10/03/2009 07:56:49 MDT Print View

If you don't mind sewing, I would recommend the RayWay solo tarp. I have used one a lot w/o a bivy and if properly pitched, will keep one dry. It has beaks on both ends that help a lot. I weathered a 3" per hour storm with winds to about 35 mph in one and never saw a drop hit my sleeping gear.