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Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by earthroamer, Apr 8, 2008.
Thanks for the step-by-step, clears up a lot of the mystery involved in setting up a tarp by yourself.
@CaptJezebel what are you using for poles? I'm in the market for a couple of aluminum poles...probably 8 footers.
I'm using Kelly Staff Tarp Poles. They are steel, 5 section, and 7-feet long. To me, they are plenty light, but stiff and strong. They are only $25 at that big online Ama... store.
If I can find two or more trees at my campsite this tarp thing is going to be great. I set it up really quick using a few knots from this thread.
The dog likes it now.
I have a Kelty 16' tarp and I really like it but I sometimes wonder if the 12' might not have been a better choice. I mean, the 16' offers quite a bit of room underneath for a tent, chair, and even the bike if the mood strikes. And you'd be surprised how friendly your camping neighbors can be when you invite them to sit under a big tarp to escape the rain. The only problems I've had with my 16' is that it can be a challenge to set up in a confined space or in wind.
As for your Kelty, you'll likely discover that the included stakes are pretty weak. Keep them but go buy a set of MSR Groundhog stakes. I also bought a pair of tarp poles because I often camp in areas where there are no trees. Poles add weight but they make your tarp useful everywhere from beaches to deserts.
Even the 12 foot tarp can be a lot of sail up there if there is a strong, or gusty wind. I try to tie off to bushes, even Creosote bushes out west, if there is a good wind, because I have had the wind whip a stake out of the ground before. I've thought of getting a couple of those big, orange plastic stakes (i.e., about a foot long, from the popular big-chain hardware stores) for setups in the open desert, with wind. The few times that I have set up in an existing wind, I go low on one of my long corners, and point it into the wind. I've been lucky to not have a wind problem in wooded sites, it has only been an issue out on the open plains.....
There were times when I felt my Kelty 12 was too big and so I now own the 12 and the 9. And, when using the 9 on the diagonal for hammock protection, it can be too big if the trees are less than 15' apart.
Got the Kelty 12' in a stuff sack now and it packs much easier, the whole thing now fits in a side bag with my rain gear. I decided not to bury it in a duffel bag since it will probably be the first thing that I setup at each campsite.
I also bought a couple more MSR groundhog style stakes to replace the factory ones that came with the tarp. I've had great success with them in the past.
yup...the best Kelty mod is to throw away the storage sack
Save it and use it to store other gear in.
ok ok...you caught me exaggerating and I didn't actually throw them away. But they'll never see the tarps again.
I'm a hoarder. I always try to repurpose everything. Ok, maybe not everything, but as much as possible.
I like REI's tarp poles for aluminum, but the cheapest tarp poles I've found are Cabelas steel poles. $12.99 for 8'.
The height adjusting clamps are a little fiddly, but they work fine.
That's a pretty lousy advert for the poles.
They are only 1/4" diameter???
The picture looks like 3/4" diameter.
Each pole section is over 2 feet long?
That can make stowing them on the bike a challenge.
But the price is good.
I think the little nubby on the top is 1/4".
I use a 4 piece pole set. Each piece was 2ft. I cut them down to about 18" each to fit in the cases. With 4 poles I can walk under. With three poles it allows the superfly tarp to become a bottomless tent.
Tried my hand at hammock camping this w/e. Used my Kelty Noah 12 over a cheap Amazon hammock. Need to attach a sag rope for when trees are this far apart. To keep it from hitting the ground I had to have virtually no sag and that caused the hammock to almost wrap around me. My cheapo DIY snake skins were a total fail. I think I knicked the mesh when I was cutting the string on the loofa. I went with the ridge line over the tarp. Gonna try under it next time.
where did you end up going Albie?
I installed a new kitchen sink / faucette yesterday
Your weekend > my weekend
Over by Shores Lake off one of the FS roads.
I installed a NEXX garage door opener today. Only took 15 minutes though.
Running the line under the tarp can lead to water running down the line and ending up somewhere you really would prefer it not being.