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The Ray-Way Tarp Book Essential

in Books and Media

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5.00 / 5 (1 reviews)

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Elliott Wolin
( ewolin )

Hampton Roads, Virginia
Great book! on 11/13/2011 12:32:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is a completely revised and greatly expanded version of Jardine's original Tarp Book. The first version was as much a tutorial and instruction manual on how to sew a Ray-Way tarp as a discussion of tarps. The new version does away with instructions and focuses completely on tarp use and on related concerns (presumably tarp building instructions now come with Jardine's tarp kits).

Even if you are an experienced tarp user you can benefit from reading this book, and it is perfect for beginners or those who are not sure tarps really work.

Practically every topic related to tarp usage is covered, e.g. pitching in all kinds of conditions, the limits of tarp use, comparison to tent usage, etc. Also covered is the usage of simple polyethylene sheet tarps.

Jardine records over 1000 nights each in tarps and tents over a very wide variety of conditions, from the arctic to deserts, on his many major expeditions. I suspect his experience with both is unparalleled (PCT three times, AT four times, CDT, Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, etc).

He clearly loves using tarps, but admits it took him a long time to realize that tarps are superior to tents in a wide variety of conditions. He discusses his long experience with tarps and tents, much of it recognizable to those who traveled the same path.

His familiar and breezy writing style, pedagogical at times, works quite well. As in Trail Life he avoids his once preachy and dismissive tone, and constantly reminds you to experiment and come to your own conclusions, and that what he is describing works well for him (as it does for me and a great many others).

In summary, I highly recommended this book for beginners, and it definitely is worth reading by experts, particularly for the sections on ticks and Lyme disease (he contracted Lyme disease a few years ago and now is meticulous about avoiding ticks), site selection, pitching in strong winds and stealth camping.

Edited by ewolin on 11/16/2011 11:07:41 MST.

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