Setting Up A Tarp

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Setting Up A Tarp

Postby OzeBoy » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:27 am

Just back from 5 days camping. My partner and I decided to ditch our gazebo and start using a tarp as a shelter as we don't like having a shelter separate to the tent. With a tarp we can incorporate with the tent. Our tent is almost 6m long and 2m high at the tallest bit. It consists of 2 rooms. One for our gear and one for sleeping. We are trying decide whether to put the tarp over half the tent and then half as shelter out the front, or whether to have one really big tarp over the whole thing. I'm leaning towards half half otherwise it just seems too big. So, once we buy a good tarp, poles and guys ropes, then what? How do you put up a tarp? Any suggestions/tips? We're obviously going to just try and play and see what happens. BUT how do we put the tarp over the tent so that no water runs from the tarp onto the tent. What ways can you angle or construct the front so that the tent does not receive a huge runoff of water. Any help/tips for this Tarp Virgin are appreciated. :)

Also, any advice for gear for tarps and poles and guys ropes? Some of you have suggested D-Ring tarps.

Could you please share images of your tent and tarp setup?
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby HGMonaro » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:57 pm

I don't use a tarp for our tent (we only use it for the odd overnight stop) but if you're putting it over your tent then technically, it's now a tent "fly". Tent fly's are best kept off the tent itself which means you need a suitable method to get it up higher than the tent. With a 2m high tent you're going to need a couple of long poles (corner ones could be shorter) if the tent itself hasn't got provisions for a fly (unlikely for what you want to do). I think you should aim to cover the whole tent and a 'veranda' area. Someone here had a great picture of their set up like this. Having said that, remember you'll need a larger site to erect this Taj Mahal.

Hopefully someone can post the thread with the picture in it.

cheers, Nige.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:25 pm

I agree, I'd go for one large tarp to cover the lot and have extra for sitting under, kitchen etc.

Yes you will definitley need 12 foot poles to achieve the taller coverage and also agree that the tarp needs to be above the tent. You could also introduce a ridge pole for across the centre to give more stability.

Definitely double ropes for the corners as well and of course springs on all ropes.

D ring tarps are the only way to go, less likelyhood of them pulling out as eyelets have a tendency to do in windy conditions.

Two brands that come to mind are Durarig and Ultrarig.

I would also be inclined to put the tarp up first and then position the tent under the tarp.

This has a number of benefits, one is that in summer you are working in the shade. You would also pack up the tent first and leave the tarp to last.

Cheers...
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby Argle » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:05 pm

Ozeboy, we use a 24x36 (yeah its that big) tarp to cover our tent and also provide a living area under cover. The benefit is that the tent stays dry when it rains and cool when its sunny and hot. Setting up is a two person affair and with practice and patience it will get easier. We always put the tarp up first, start by laying it out where you are going to camp, put poles in each of the corners first and put the guy ropes on them and let them point inwards (to the middle of the tarp) while you do the other three corners they will hold themselves up while you do this.
Once you have all four corners up the next step (for a tarp the size of ours) is to put up the ridge pole. This is a square pole which runs accross the width of the tarp and provides support for the centre area of the tarp. This is set at a higher level than all the other poles so as to enable runoff of water and so that you dont get pooling on top of the tarp. We use double guy ropes on the corners and also on the ridge pole(s) Once the ridge pole is up you are on the home stretch, next just keep adding poles and ropes as you go around the tarp till you have a pole in every hole. Simply adjust the heights of the poles to achive the shape of roof you want and make sure you have it so that any runoff of water will go away from the tent area (ie downhill). Once the tarp is up you now have a nice shady/dry area to pitch your tent! Take your time and be patient because sometimes things like wind or tiredness can work against you and you will soon be throwing it up in no time (it takes me around 30 minutes) Its a bit of an effort but the benefit is well worth it in my opinion.
I tried to add a pic but the board quota has been reached????????? I will try and dig up a previous thread that i put a pic in for you anyways ***edit if you look in the thread titled Somerset and Moogerah in the tips and locations section you will see a pic of our setup**
Cheers and Beers
Scott
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby OzeBoy » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:14 am

Awesome thanks everyone. We'll have a look this weekend for tarps with D rings and also poles and ropes. I'm not sure if we'll cover the whole tent. It's pretty big. Might just cover the door onwards. I saw somewhere on this forum a pic of a 4WD, tent and tarp setup (at the Washpools) and the guy had the tarp over the door to the tent with a pole angled like an A and tied in 2 places. Was pretty cool. Guess I'll just have to play around with it all and see what I can come up with. I'll definitely get a D ring tarp, poles and ropes with 2 for each corner. I'll try your suggestions Scott. Pics not working hey? Damn.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby J`CRUISER » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:26 pm

Argle wrote:Ozeboy, we use a 24x36 (yeah its that big) tarp to cover our tent and also provide a living area under cover. The benefit is that the tent stays dry when it rains and cool when its sunny and hot. Setting up is a two person affair and with practice and patience it will get easier. We always put the tarp up first, start by laying it out where you are going to camp, put poles in each of the corners first and put the guy ropes on them and let them point inwards (to the middle of the tarp) while you do the other three corners they will hold themselves up while you do this.
Once you have all four corners up the next step (for a tarp the size of ours) is to put up the ridge pole. This is a square pole which runs accross the width of the tarp and provides support for the centre area of the tarp. This is set at a higher level than all the other poles so as to enable runoff of water and so that you dont get pooling on top of the tarp. We use double guy ropes on the corners and also on the ridge pole(s) Once the ridge pole is up you are on the home stretch, next just keep adding poles and ropes as you go around the tarp till you have a pole in every hole. Simply adjust the heights of the poles to achive the shape of roof you want and make sure you have it so that any runoff of water will go away from the tent area (ie downhill). Once the tarp is up you now have a nice shady/dry area to pitch your tent! Take your time and be patient because sometimes things like wind or tiredness can work against you and you will soon be throwing it up in no time (it takes me around 30 minutes) Its a bit of an effort but the benefit is well worth it in my opinion.
I tried to add a pic but the board quota has been reached????????? I will try and dig up a previous thread that i put a pic in for you anyways ***edit if you look in the thread titled Somerset and Moogerah in the tips and locations section you will see a pic of our setup**
Cheers and Beers
Scott


thats about he size of my tarp. yes it can be painful to set up in the wind. we just came back from a week away and had to put it up in 20-30knot winds and it took around 1.5 hours when normal time is around 45min in light wind conditions
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:40 pm

The benefits do outweigh the inconveniences though.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby chisel » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:57 pm

We've always survived with a medium sized tarp separate from the tent. Currently use a 14x12 tarp which takes about 7 or 8 poles I think, and one 12 ft spreader.
If you go really large with a tarp be prepared to carry a LOT of poles and ropes and pegs etc. All that can be very heavy and take up space in the car.
It certainly would be nice to have a tarp over the tent in summer though...
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:33 am

chisel wrote:We've always survived with a medium sized tarp separate from the tent.


Interesting to see that you have used the word 'survived'......which of course suggests that there might well be something better down the track for you.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby OzeBoy » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:01 am

Any images of these set ups?
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby markannab » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:51 pm

I have found tarps (other than true canvas) to be too noisy when they start flapping in the wind. Difficult to sleep.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:08 pm

Not if you set them up right using sufficient poles and enough tension on the ropes with all four corners with double ropes.
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby Pauly » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:32 pm

Most if not all tarps will flap to some extent. We have just upgraded to a 9x7mtre from a 7x6mtre with the camper. We always put the tarp up first and down last. With the 7x9 we can have the camper under it and have windows open in the rain, yeah.

I need to check but I think 1 of our tarps is a dura rig and the other an ultra rig as there seems to be a quality differance in the 2. We found the tarp very hot over summer but dont remember the smaller one being as hot.

We use a pole on every second ring, appoximatly 2 mtres apart, double ropes on each corner and 1 pole in the centre of the ridge, around 18 pole I think.
I dont use springs on my ropes because the tarp seems to move too much with them, dont know if this is concidered the "right" way but it works for us.

Ps I cant imagine trying to set up a 9x6mtre canvas tarp
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby crocodile » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:35 pm

On short trips ( weekends and long weekends ) we used to put up the 18 x 12 adjacent to the tent and leave the tent uncovered. Longer trips always put the tent and living area under a single 24 x 24. Now we use the 24 x 24 all the time. I have discovered that the extra time setting up the bigger one is less than the time it takes to clean all the bird sh*t off the tent when I get home. Like most here we use a pole every other hole with doubles on the corners and springs.
Very funny Scotty, now beam down my clothes !
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Re: Setting Up A Tarp

Postby Poodle Jewel » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:57 am

People say put up tarp then tent but because i`m on my own i put the tent up first so i can throw the tarp over it to hold it a bit while i do the rest a 20 x 16 tarp is not easy on your pat malone.
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