That kind'a depends.
Weather: If you regularly camp in areas with gusty winds a smaller tarp with a cat cut is nice. If you plan on minimal rain, than a smaller tarp is fine. If you plan on a lot of rain (some every night,) a larger tarp is nice to provide some sort of buffer. (Water will seep around the edges a bit...I usually figure 3" from an edge and extending back about 45 degrees-varies with the wind.)
There are several configurations for a flat tarp that will not flap. So, don't get too carried away with cat cuts. The 5 basics are:
- 1 Pole at a corner, stakes at the other three.
- 1 pole at the center of the longest side, stake at each corner.
- 2 poles on the same side, stakes on the oposite side.
- 2 poles at first growmet, staked/guy lined. Opposite side staked out. Flap is guylined and staked out.
- One side staked out, front is lifted and poles are place in first growmet, Corners staked out.