How to set up a tarp

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How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:13 am

So we set up the tarp the day after we arrived. I wanted to set it up the same way I did it last time I camped there (and did it on my own!) with a rope between 2 trees and then a pole in each corner. But it was decided that we'd use all poles so we wouldn't have the hassle of having to get the rope off the tree and we could be more flexible about where we put it.

So we used 8 poles. 1 high one in the middle of each short side, 1 on each corner, 1 in the middle of one of the long sides and one upside down in the centre of the tarp.

It was a dodgy set-up! As soon as the wind picked up, it got under the tarp and the centre pole kept falling down. That wasn't the worst. It turned out my expensive aluminium poles - that lock and unlock by twisting the 3 parts against eachother - would not lock properly and kept going collapsing. Which of course caused the guy ropes (2 on each pole) to become slack and the poles to fall over. In the high wind, it got worse and worse and the tarp sagged more and more. It was very lucky we got no rain that night because it would've just formed a swimming pool on top of the tarp. In the morning I was unable to adjust the poles one by one and had to take them all down and start all over again. No small feat on my own!

I knew that I should've lowered the tarp on the wind side but I thought of that too late and the whole thing overwhelmed me a bit. And then there was the issue of the poles not staying extended anyway because of the force of the wind and the weight of the tarp.

So I need tips for our tarp set-up next time! I'm pretty sure I will start with the rope between 2 trees if we camp in the same spot as there are some strong trees there and at least that's two poles less to worry about and no risk of the tarp flying away in gusty winds.

But I need better poles that will stay extended even under lots of weight. I will bring the aluminium ones back to the store and see if they will replace them without a receipt. I was fuming about one breaking after only using it twice!

But what should I replace them with?

And what other tips can you give me on how to set up a tarp that will cope with high winds (and rain of course)? It needs to be a set-up that can be easily adapted to the conditions as the wind changed from a gusty NW to a gusty SSE in a matter of hours.

And while we're on the topic - I know this has been discussed before but I can't find it - do you have any advice on setting up a tarp over a campfire? I'm thinking of getting a couple of cheap poles and a cheap small tarp for this purpose. It sucks not having the warmth of the fire when it's cold and wet.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:57 am

Makes me want to get one of these! http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/gear ... s/event-14™.aspx
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:28 pm

Lin wrote:Makes me want to get one of these! http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/gear ... s/event-14™.aspx



This link does not appear to be working Lin...
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:33 pm

Lin
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:33 pm

The secret to success with setting up a tarp in these condition Lin is more poles and ropes with springs and tensioners on every rope.

Tying to trees is not good for many reasons....the first being what happens if the tree breaks in the wind?? They are also very flexible and you could very well end up with a torn tarp as a result.

There is a thread here somewhere that has a pic of a very well set up tarp...an ideal set up and I will see if I can find it for you.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:34 pm




Still not working Lin...
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:40 pm

Here is one of the threads Lin...

viewtopic.php?f=107&t=4984


and here is another...

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=4994&hilit=tarp+poll


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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:03 pm

http://www.bcf.com.au/Products/TentGuid ... azebo.aspx

I read one review that said it let mist-like droplets through in heavy rain though.

My tarp isn't very big, so the 8 poles should've been plenty. I did have pretty bad guy ropes though. Very hard to adjust and they slipped. And no springs...
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:11 pm

Lin wrote:http://www.bcf.com.au/Products/TentGuide/GazebosScreenhousesBeachDomes/Coleman_Event_14_Gazebo.aspx



Link worked this time, thanks Lin.....

I like these myself but I am very doubtful they would stand up to any wind whatsoever. I personally would not buy one for your situation.

In serious wind conditions you need a pole in every eyelet and double ropes on the corners which I think you said you had. Also tensioners and springs AND as you already mentioned...drop the side facing the wind. Probably not a bad idea to do that every night before you go to bed....JIC.

From what you say, I'd say you learned quite a lot from this camp Lin....which is very good.

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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:16 pm

They're designed to withstand high winds and the review I read confirmed that they do a good job. Because of the vent and the shape, I believe. But it's the vent that lets the water through when there's wind!
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:55 pm

I must admit I did not read the review Lin...I was going on the one set up next to us at the BMX track recently.

If they are as good as you say, then it might well be just the thing for you.

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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:27 pm

It pays to do some more digging on these things. Just found a couple of reviews of people who had this shelter rip clean in half in high wind!

Back to the tarp then. I'm buying those guy ropes with springs and wooden runners now. Keep the tips coming!
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Poodle Jewel » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:35 pm

If the ropes are slipping I`m guessing you are using the thinner type nylon ones,No Good..you need to do what Gypsy said use the ones with the springs. I too am a lone tarp setter upper (good english there lol) I use the double ropes (all with springs) on the four corners and two middle spots,I too have a centre pole but found if you can`t get it tall enough it falls over in the wind but if your tarp is done properly and a small one as you say you shouldn`t need a centre pole.Put your middle poles up higher than the rest and this should make a roof.I have the centre bar pole but on my own too hard to use,my tarp is a big one.
The Lord is my shepard,i shall not want......only sometimes.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Rosco532 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:49 pm

Lin...We found the best answer was to invest in a ''Spreader Bar''...Well worth the money (actually wasn't that expensive)...I'm looking very serious at buying 2 more....
We don't normally place it dead in the centre...more like the next one...or 2nd eyelet along from the centre....that seems to flick the wind off better.

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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:56 pm

Rosco532 wrote: invest in a ''Spreader Bar''...Rosco



Rosco....if Lin's tarp is as small as she says....a spreader bar would be overkill.
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