Cover on your tent

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Cover on your tent

Postby jro406 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:32 pm

Hi, we are fairly new in camping and love it. We have one of those "plastic" tent (typically sold in K-Mart or Big W etc) and are quite happy with the size, features, weight etc. We were told that putting extra tarp above the tent reduces the coldness during colder seasons' nights (or heat during hotter seasons' days).

The question is that how do you all do that? During the last trip it didn't work because the wind happened to be very strong. We tied the tarp over a tree plus poles (the tarp is above the tent, not touching it), but had to take it down sometime that night.

Any suggestions?
How about using shade cloth instead? Would it help reducing the amount of water hitting the tent if it rains? Would shade cloth "trap" less wind as compared to tarp so less prone to being blown away etc?

We are not sure if we'd like canvas tent which does look sturdy, apparently handles the weather better, but it's usually quite heavy, if wet will take more care to dry up etc etc (also much more expensive).

Thanks,
Jon
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby garbage » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:50 pm

I don't know the correct name for it (I call them "spring thingys"), but you may have noticed other campers using spring loaded tensioners between the tent peg and the rope to ensure there's a bit of give when the wind does catch on to the tarp. In windy conditions, it might be necessary to have two ropes going through each eyelet in the tarp with the spring loaded tensioners on the end of both of them.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby GypsyLady » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:43 am

You need double ropes on all four corners and then singles spaced intermittently in between. You do not need a pole for every hole and yes the springs are definitely the way to go as you will then be able to adjust the tension.

If it is very windy you can put up a few extra poles and ropes. If you are able to run a ridge pole this will also help.

For the best result the tarp need to be a few centimeters above the tent in winter and sever in summer.

The idea is to create an air flow/gap. In winter the tarp keeps the chill from landing directly on the tent and pretty much the same in summer in that it keeps the heat off. By having a great distance in summer you also create the air flow between the two.

Have attached a pic of my mum’s small tent with a tarp over to give you a visual.

Now this tarp was too small to cover the whole tent so we put it over the bedroom section.

You can also see the springs on the ropes in the foregound of the pic. And personally I would recommend your standard good quality silver tarp, either Durarig or Ultrarig are to brands that come to mind. These come with D rings which are also stronger and less likely to pull out in windy conditions.

The dome tents of today are far more resilient and will certainly stand up to almost anything the weather can dish out. They are very flexible and I have camped many times in a dome tent at the beach in high winds. Whilst it would lay right over it would pop right back up again the very second the wind backed off. Because of their flexibility they are less likely to rip as well.

The one you see in the pic is probably about 5 years old and has been used many, many times that I have lost count. That pic was taken in June this year and as you can see it is still in very good condition. It is a DMH Omeo 4

They are also as you said cheaper, lighter and much easier to handle and you can if necessary pack them up wet to take them home.

Cheers Gypsy...
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby jro406 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:12 pm

Hi again, thanks heaps for the comments. Yes we already use those springs for the ropes, maybe the wind was rather extreme. It was in Yerranderie (a silver mining ghost town) just 2 months ago. We had 2 large tarps setup over a couple of tents. First the blue tarp was ripped off on every single corner and had to be retied and finally taken down. The silver tarp I had survived half way that night but was literally torn on one side around 3am. At least it proved our poles and rope were done strong enough.
My though is then to have smaller tarp like the lovely picture attached but also thought of shade cloth instead of tarp, to further reduce the weight and as the wind can partially flow through I am hoping the "lifting" power of the wind onto the tarp is somewhat less.
Anyway, I'll have a go with this next time and comment.
Once, again thanks, but if there are further comments, of course I'd really appreciate.
Happy camping,
Jon
By the way, we loved it in Yerranderie, a recommended place if you haven' tried there.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:44 am

The quality of tarp will also make a difference Jon and the ones I recommended with the D rings are definitely better.

Adding many more poles also will help. Will be interested to hear your comments on the shade cloth.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby Poodle Jewel » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:30 am

Yep,all that Gypsy said, my camping excursion in April was full of bad weather,i have the Durarig tarps,they are strong with reinforced d rings,in windy weather i use double spring ropes in at least 8 of the rings,there are twelve all up.Another trick is to put the middle poles higher to create a peaked roof .Also ditch the tent pegs you get with the tent and buy some decent ones.I have both a dome and canvas tent,depending where i`m going and how long for as to which one i take,though i`m using the canvas one more and more especially when the dogs are with me as it is dark longer in the canvas tent and they don`t winge at me to get up as soon as daylight breaks.Look around for specials my canvas tourer was well under $400.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby deberg » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:47 pm

What about using the cross bars with the Tarp? Does this add to the stability? And how many would you use, one across the middle or at both ends as well?

And yes, still very new to camping, and loving it.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:20 pm

It is called a ridge pole and I would only use one across the centre if the spread in not too great. The square ridge poles are the more stable of the two but also the more expensive. A ridge pole is not necessary if you put sufficient poles around the outer edges and double ropes on the four corners.

What PJ said about getting some decent sized tent pegs is also very good advice.

You may be new to camping now but I hope that 20 years from now you are still loving it deberg.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby JohnL » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:06 am

At what size tarp would you consider the use of ridge poles? As I have stated earlier on another thread, I have bought some conduit and T pieces in place on the metal ridge bars and will be setting it up this Friday at Hallidays Point. I will let you know how it goes and post some pics.

The tarp is 24x30

It may turn out to be a disaster.....fingers crossed....
Last edited by JohnL on Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cover on your tent

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:21 am

JohnL wrote:At what size tarp would you consider the use of ridge poles?
....


The smaller of my tarps is 18 x 20 and I use a ridge pole on it.
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