Tarp setup

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by earthroamer, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. scott0_1

    scott0_1 Adventurer

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    Hi everybody,

    I just ordered a Kelty Noah's 12 tarp and some of the adjustable poles. Hopefully they'll be here next week. I've read all 32 pages in this thread and I'm pretty excited to try it out.

    I'm just wondering about how to do a basic setup with two poles and staking the other two sides to the ground. What knots are best in which spots? How the heck does one person do this setup without the first pole falling? How long will it be before I turn one of my poles into a javelin???

    From my research, it seems like bowline knots connected to the tarp and either a taut line hitch or trucker's hitch for the guy lines at the stake end to tension. I've also seen a prusik knot/loop... No way do I have the skill/patience for that one!

    I've seen all of the devices out there like the Figure 9, but for some reason I want to tie the knots. Call me crazy. :freaky

    Pictures would be great!
  2. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    The Prusik is easy/simple. And nice to know if you ever get in a tight spot and really need it..... http://www.google.com/search?q=prus...QTTooGwCg&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=573
  3. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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    Lay the spine of the tarp on the ground where you want it to be. The two ends are where the poles will go. Set two stakes at each end about 4 feet out from where the poles will be at about a 45 º angle from the imaginary line that would be the extension of the spine. Repeat at the other end. Run a cord from the tarp to each of the two stakes at one end. Slip the pole under the tarp. Tighten the cord (I use a taught-line hitch). Go back and forth between pole and knots until the pole is approximately vertical. Now holding the spine taught so the pole remains more-or-less vertical move to the other end of the tarp. Slip the pole in place and adjust the two lines to take up any slack. Fine tune by adjusting the four lines. The spine is now set up and you can stake out the other two corners as you please.

    Here's a pic showing one end with the two lines supporting the pole. Ignore the laundry hanging from the pole. :lol2

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  4. marchyman

    marchyman Cam Killer

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  5. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    "crazy" isn't quite the word that comes to mind.:D

    I avoid knots much anymore, especially the specialty and fancy ones. You need to stay in practice and when you really need one, guess what?

    I have some aluminum 2 hole tensioners off an ancient REI expedition tent (back when they made real gear) and some more modern plastic ones and a few of the three hole ones. They work. Any rope, wet, dry, icy, flat out frozen---they work. The fancy knots don't. This one won't work on that rope, that one freezes up in the cold, etc. Pfft. If I ever wanted to play boy scout I woulda been one. I don't camp to dick with the gear. I want camp pitched, quick, and then go for a nice walk or chill in the shade with an appropriate beverage.

    To pitch a tarp, solo:

    roll it out and orient.

    Stake the corners of one end to the ground, lightly.

    Go to the other end and poke the pole through the grommet, lift and tension the tent with the pole against the stakes in the far corners. Put the guy line on and walk it out to stake position keeping tension on it so pole doesn't fall over. (you have 3 points of support.). Take stake from pocket and stake the line. If you have a beatin' iron, kick it along at your feet.

    Add another splayed line at the pole for support.

    Go to other end, lift tarp at center pulling stakes from ground, keep tension on it against the set pole.

    Again insert pole, stand it up, put on guy line and walk it out keeping tension on. Stake it. Add another.

    Then stake out the sides, adjust the pole locations and tension everything.


    First time you will mess around changing where guy lines are staked and getting your poles vertical. Bit of practice and you will hit the final setup first time.
  6. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    http://www.animatedknots.com/index.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com
    Love this site. My boys know its almost time to camp when they see me on this site.
    I also have the Kelty 12by12 and love it. I also have one large adjustable pole and two of the standard poles, the fourth corner I secure to the ground with two feet of cord (this side aims west so Im shaded from the heat of evening). Works for me in keeping me out of the sun. Sorry, I know, "No pics and it never happened", but I do not use any sharing sites.
  7. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    My apologies if anyone has already covered the following (I'm just about to start reading this thread in its entirety). I was wondering if anyone had used one of the Kifaru tarps pitched against their bike and if so, which one?

    My intended use is to have a minimalist shelter for one, pitched off the bike, in generally warm weather (40F+), short length trips. They will typically be in northern Europe, so rain will be expected, but not scorpions/deadly snakes.

    Plan is to couple it with a SOL Sports Utility blanket* that will act as the 'groundsheet' under my thermarest. Pitch it with one end hanging off my GS' handlebars and the other on some sort of small collapsible pole, or tied to a fencepost/tree.

    *If you've not seen these, look into them, I think they'd be great to use with a tarp. (http://www.survivaldepot.co.uk/product/sol_sport_utility_blanket)
  8. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    I have found a few of these helpful

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  9. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    Tautline hitch is too fancy to remember?

    Guess I'd better be looking for an iceflow to float away on ;-}

    Seriously, loose a couple of the cute aluminum thingies, and you'll be remembering how to tie a knot . . . . . the knots work alla time.

    Fancy? Only if you wish to make it so.

    Plaka, seriously, scouting would been good for you ;-}
  10. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    A few useable knots are very handy and carry over to other uses than just the tarp.
    For putting it up with 1 person I put in a couple of stakes or tie downs for the first pole and make a loose-ish tie with some cord just so when I put the pole in the grommet I have some tension as I hold the other side and bring it up, also I put in the stakes or tie downs for the second location with some cord so I can make a loose set up first then go back and make the adjustments once it is standing. takes a few tries and I did it in the back yard to get the hang of it. Doing the reverse when taking it down helps a lot as you ahve a single pole and you can fold in the air with the tension and make the pack size before disconnecting the last pole.

    easy huh! :lol2
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  11. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    It's not that any given knot is difficult to remember (well---maybe a monkeys fist) it's just that they add up. I keep two basic knots in memory, the figure 8 and the fisherman/double fisherman. Those two do for 99.9995% of my knot tying needs. Of course I neither climb nor sail so I have no need to show off the specialty stuff. A figure 8 on the bight makes a truckers hitch. The fisherman joins lines and does for the monkeys fist in heavier rope. I use the garfel knot for just about everything else except tying up my grapes. For that I learned to simply twist the cord ends and put a clothespin on them.

    The aluminum thingies don't get lost. They are tied to the cord. That's how they work. The cord in turn is tied to the tent/tarp. The ones I have are about 50 years old (the only picture I could find of the tent I had was from an Everest expedition in the 60's). They never got lost.
    That said, if you lose your gear you are too incompetent to be camping. Stick to prepared campground---maybe a motorhome. You cannot carry spares and backups of everything although a couple of spare 'bones to use on your emergency cord can be wise, Lie them to the tarp. I only do this on Sea Kayak trips.

    It can be surprising what happens when you lose the rugged-individualist-independant-survivor-bullshit-TV-outdoorman mentality. Lots more time and comfort being the main one.
  12. GSBS

    GSBS FunHog

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    ...Trucker's hitch and taut line hitch. Just sayin...
  13. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Bikes fall over. You don't want to be under one. it happens in very unexpected circumstances. But it makes a decent anchor for a line to somewhere else.

    The blanket thing is waaaay too small. In rain, you want a wide dry perimeter around yourself, esp. heavy rain. Ye olde ordinary woven polyethelene blue tarp works great, is dirt cheap and will last several seasons if you take care of it. You want to know how to attach a line with a pebble in case you blow out a grommet (the weak spot with all plastic tarps). Rig it small for dew, big for rain or shade.

    Poles are cheap, trivial to carry, weigh zip and can be used for a number of things, like splinting everything from a broken arm to a broken rack. Carry both wide ace bandages (extremely handy in their own right) and some hose clamps (including smaller ones in case you have to splint a pole itself.)

    Minimalist would be a bivvy, which keeps the bugs off so you don't have to sleep all gooped up.

    Next best is a simple rectangular nylon tarp. Packs much smaller than even a smaller plastic one, stronger at the grommets, lasts longer. Costs more. I consider a 15' square adequate (finished size---be careful on that, label size is often unfinished, and bigger. Same with plastic.)

    The fancy wing type tarps look sexy but only the largest ones have real space under them without a lot of poles and lines. Look at the head room under them. The better ones do shed wind well.

    Never depend on a fence pole or tree being handy. Your first priority in a campsite, beyond discretion) is the type and slope of the ground and the nearness to anything annoying (like standing water, loud traffic, beer drinkin' yahoos, etc.)

    Fence posts are often near ditches.

    My ideal camping rig is actually centered around having something nice to sit on (I cannot sit on the ground), something to cook on (stove can go on the ground) and nobody knowing I'm there. A picnic table and a six pack of ground softener works well. I like shelter, when I use it, to go up in a flash. I'm hungry so there is dinner to make and the beer is getting warm.
  14. Racerman27410

    Racerman27410 Been here awhile

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  15. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    Oh, I agree -- there is great joy in getting out and about . . . .

    You and I simply have slightly different takes on one, extremely small subset of knowledge.

    ANd honoable people disagree all the time.

    Enjoy your time away!
  16. River

    River Gee

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    we have tried quite a few different setups on the river....the best we have found, so far, is the NRS riverwing. We have been using this one for 8 years now. Besides a drunken bearbanger in the fire incident, it has come through without any damage. I use it for all my camping:D

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  17. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    When I started using Prussiks and Tautline hitches, I made a PDF containing step by step diagrams of how to tie them and sent these to both my kindle and my phone. I always have my phone with me on trips (and can charge it from the bike if flat), so if I did forget how to tie them (and both of these are dead easy, so I don't) I would have reference to hand.

    An ex-army acquaintance, seeing my set up my tarp said, "Ah, prussiks and taut-line hitches, only two knots you need on a tarp". This was all done with paracord.
  18. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    There are several very good, and cheap, knot apps for android and iphone...the good ones have the ability to show you video of how to tie the knot.
  19. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    yer killin me...
  20. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    Hey I may tie a certain type of knot once or twice a year.. I just dont have the ability to remember every one of them.. for fishing.. climbing, well I tend to remember the climbing ones for some reason :D, tents, tarps, sailing etc etc etc.. I am not a dimwit,,, I just cant remember a knot that I dont use on a regular basis. When I sailed a ton I could tie a bowline or clove hitch w/o thinking about it... when I climbed a lot a figure 8 or prusik,, w/o even thinking about it.. bloodknots, improved fisherman, dropper knot..no issue.. but I just have way to many hobbies...take long brakes between times when I may be immersed in that hobby.. I need a reminder on occasion .. I always have my phone with me.. so problem solved.