Tents & tarps

Questions, comments, discussions and reviews on equipment, outdoor gear etc.

Tents & tarps

Postby Tricky13 » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:07 pm

I have just returned from a terrific coastal holiday with my family and decided to donate our rather large cabin-style tent to Father Reilly's inititative to establish make-shift orphanages in Aceh, but I digress...

The cabin-style tent is a very comfortable but bulky, heavy and rather cumbersome way to camp for short periods. We are now looking at buying a dome-style tent but I'm concerned that erecting a large tarp / fly to cover the tent and surrounding area is a more difficult proposition. A cabin-style tent is obviously easy to effectively cover with a tarp / fly using the frame of the tent and utlising the natural 'air-gap' between the frame and the roof.

Can anyone suggest an effective method to erect a tarp over the top of a dome tent which will provide all the benefits of same (ie. improved cooling, protection from bird droppings, 'increased' usable outside living area etc.) which can still stand up to reasonably strong winds. :idea:
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:52 pm


Postby riley454 » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:20 pm

If you don't HAVE to get rid of your canvas tent then don't. If you do, then get a better quality canvas tent. The best you can afford. 6 weeks ago I bought a Geo6 Dome from Rays as did a friend of mine. We both have 2 young kids and thought it would be good to get into camping with the kids.

Our first trip a month ago we started putting tents up in the wind trying to beat the rain and we got flooded in almost an hour trying to keep the tent and fly from becoming airborne. Once you start putting up a tent you don't stop, you gotta keep going.

Our second trip last week we got caught up in strong winds in the Grampians. Three guy rope attachments ripped and nearly all the stitching on the velcro tabs and floor stitching has spread enough to see daylight. Poles came off their pins often. My friends tent floor ripped on our first trip and a lot of his stitching was damaged by the wind.

All the domes on our site were almost blown over by the wind but all the canvas tents were rock solid and didn't move. I'm sure cheap canvas has similar problems and after speaking to experienced campers, none of them will touch a dome or have gotten rid them and replaced them with canvas.

Again, buy the best canvas tent you can afford or keep the one you got.
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm
Location: Melbourne

Postby nbwood » Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:09 pm

Use lots of spreader bars (available from camping shops) and lots of guy ropes making sure you use big pegs and trace springs. Leave lots of angles on the tarp for water run off. It is a time consuming process but worth it for a longer stay.
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:39 pm
Location: newcastle

Postby Kitch76 » Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:32 pm

I swear by dome tents, you just have to buy a good one. Dont even think of getting a cheep one from Kmart. My first one is a Sportiva 5 man which I got for a weding present 8 years ago and is still going strong even after heavy rain and once a storm when we were camped on the beach.

I have recently upgraded to a Sportiva Headland which is about 6m x 3m. So it is a large tent. you can stand up in this model (I'm 6' tall) and it is quick and easy to erect. Other members of my family have bought Sportiva tents and are also happy with them.

With the tarp we use a 20'x12' which we set up with 3 poles on each short end including the corners with a spreader bar between them and 2 poles in the centre of long sides with a spreader bar between them. When it is windy we put an aditional 2 poles on the long side to help stop the flapping and as nbwood said use decent pegs and springs.

Another tip is to use shadecloth under the tarp as a floor for comfort. (we dont have our tent under the tarp)
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:12 pm
Location: Murphys Creek QLD

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