How to set up a tarp

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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:31 am

jeni99 wrote:I have read somewhere that in high winds you should throw some rope over the top of the tarp from corner to corner to help brace it.



Jeni, throwing a rope over is not a bad idea, but you would throw it over the centre sides, not from corner as the corners are the places that are already braced the most with double corner ropes. The centre sides are the most vulnerable areas where the wind can get under.

I also can't stress enough the need for tensioners (preferably timber) and springs......

Also the best tarps for high winds and being able to secure are the ones with D rings….yes a bit more expensive but worth it in the long run if it gives you peace of mind.

I have said it before and I'll say it again....one of the best things to do is drop the side facing the wind as far down as you can get it and it will help deflect the oncoming winds....same principle as wind deflectors on top of the big trucks you see running interstate.

If you introduce a RIDGE pole (very different to a spreader bar) then you will need some way of anchoring it to the ground as the wind can still get under the tarp and lift the whole lot up including the centre pole and ridge pole and that can then become a very dangerous situation…….Again dropping a side will decreases the chances of this happening.

With a RIDGE pole you can only successfully drop the sides not the front and back where the ridge pole is running to and from. This can present a problem if you have for example set up facing the beach with the ridge pole running from the beach front to the back of your camp as the chances are the wind will most probably come from that direction.

I used to camp at the beach for 1 month every year over Xmas – New Year for many years in a tent with a very large tarp….ask me why I stopped camping at the beach??
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Poodle Jewel » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:50 pm

One thing i noticed in your photo Jenni is you haven`t used all the poles and holes.In windy weather you need a pole in every hole and those ropes you have aren`t much good either.

WELL one thing we must do guys and girls..is all get together and have a tarp putting up weekend.. :lol:
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:06 pm

Poodle Jewel wrote:WELL one thing we must do guys and girls...is all get together and have a tarp putting up weekend.. :lol:



THAT is a great idea PJ.....
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Poodle Jewel » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:36 pm

Lin my tarp is 20 x 16 and i have a spreader bar but wwaayyy ttoo hard to erect on ones own,if you get the right ropes and poles you shouldn`t need one,i`ve been in wind and rain and never wished i had it with me and as gypsy said it is harder to drop the sides then. As for poles the guy at the local told me to buy the tallest one because then when you extend them there is still quite a bit of pole inside to make it stronger.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby MDC » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:05 pm

We break a few rules and don't put a pole in every position. In saying that, we've been through 100km/h winds (Big Qld tropical storm) and our tarp was still standing while others weren't. I find that the important thing is to use some heavy springs, strong ropes, tensioners (I use metal ones as a personal preference) and always throw a rope over the top. Throwing a rope over the top limits the tarp from raising when the wind gets under it. I'm currently in the process of changing all of my ropes to Telstra rope so ignore the useless ropes in my pic.

For bigger tarps, a ridge pole is necessary but as PJ has said, it's impossible to raise it yourself. However, we've got a 3m long aluminium spreader bar which is a breeze to put up by myself on a smaller tarp. I guess you could always join two of these together and have a pole in the middle.

One other tip is make sure you have the tarp at an angle where water can run off. I've seen way too many accidents where flat tarps pool up with water and collapse in the rain.

Another thing we do to block some sun and wind is to put up some shade cloth sides. These just go up on the existing poles and then pegged into the ground with short ropes & springs.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:19 pm

Wow, all these tarp set-ups put my effort to shame! :lol: But next time I'll go armed with better gear and loads of advice!

I think my tarp is only 4.30m by 3.80m or something like that. So I should be able to get away with 8 poles? I think there's only 3 rings on the short side and 5 on the long one (including the corner ones).

And I might leave the spreader bar for now. See how I go with the better ropes/spring/tensioners. And a screwdriver to tighten the wingnuts on the poles!
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby MDC » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:04 pm

Lin wrote:Wow, all these tarp set-ups put my effort to shame! :lol: But next time I'll go armed with better gear and loads of advice!

I think my tarp is only 4.30m by 3.80m or something like that. So I should be able to get away with 8 poles? I think there's only 3 rings on the short side and 5 on the long one (including the corner ones).

And I might leave the spreader bar for now. See how I go with the better ropes/spring/tensioners. And a screwdriver to tighten the wingnuts on the poles!


Don't worry about a screwdriver. We just use a tent peg to tighten the nut on the poles. Make sure you don't overtighten though!
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:52 am

We just use a tent peg


D'uh! Of course!
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Poodle Jewel » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:19 am

You definately don`t need a spreader bar with a little tarp like that.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Pauly » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:32 am

Ive read most replies but not all so sorry if I repeat any.

Heres one of my tarps, its the smaller one of the 2 I use. The one in the picture here is 6 x 7 but the main one I use is 9 x 7. My spreader bar is 0ver 9 mtres long and I have 4 poles on it, 1 each end and 2 in the middle.

campSetUp.jpg


Your tarp is small so can be harder to set up. If your not setting it up over your tent I would buy one of these

http://www.pegsnpoles.com/catalog/item/7535458/7939586.htm

If you run 9 poles you can run it so there is 3 poles each side and the centre pitch.

It looks like I do it differantly than others so I will point out how I do mine. I get my tarp tight and keep it tight, I dont use springs and I dont use slide tensioners, I also urge caution if your going to tighten up poles with screw drivers or poles, you risk stripping the thread.. I dont use the slide tensioners because they slip instead I tie truckies hitches in them. I also dont use conventional ropes on my tarp I use 4 or 5mm braided cord, the tarps never going to break it. All my cords stay attached to the tarp.

I can put my 9 x 7 tarp on my own and heres how, lay the tarp out then I put my corner pegs in, 2 per corner at 90 deg to tarp. put the cord in the peg then put in the polein and do up the ropes, each corner is done the same. I now put out my spreader bar which is pre marked so I know were to do the poles up. Put a pole into the bar and the D of the tarp, then peg it and do the cord up then do the same on the other end, then I put my centre poles in. the whole tarp is now about 4 feet off the ground. Now I just fill in the other poles then lift it pole by pole.

When I set my tarp up I try to stagger the poles 1 tall 1 short, 1 at 6ft and 1 at 7ft, down both sides and I run a decent pitch. I dont usually change this for wind or rain. Because its staggerd the rain funnels into the short poles and the wind seems to be broken by this set up.

For a small tarp like yours I would as said above put the centre pole in then have each corner slightly lower than than the sides.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:57 am

Thanks Pauly.

I found the centre pole more trouble than it was worth, though we did just use an ordinary pole which wasn't secured. But I'm not sure that support bar would make much of a difference in high winds? I could try it and get one of those pole ground plates I saw on the BCF site... But I may try it without first.

I still think my rope between 2 trees method was the easiest way to set it up on my own! And if it's that stormy that a big tree would break that low down, I probably wouldn't want to be there anyway.

But I'll do some practising in my backyard before our next trip and try out some of your tips. In fact, I want to get some of my camping friends together for an afternoon/evening for a camping skills demo/comp! We'll do tarp set-up, wood splitting and fire making. And finish it off with a campoven meal. :)
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Lin » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:12 am

I'm looking at poles now and have a question about the length. They have some good deals if you buy 10, but I'm not sure about the size. It's either 230cm or 275. Would I be better off buying them seperately and buy 2 275cm ones and 6 230cm ones? Or is it safer to just buy all longer ones?
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:34 am

I'd go for longer rather than shorter Lin.....more pole inside that way and stronger unless they come in 3 pieces....stay away from them.
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby xmasbaby67 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:47 am

PJ Wrote:
"As for poles the guy at the local told me to buy the tallest one because then when you extend them there is still quite a bit of pole inside to make it stronger."


I agree with PJ about buying the taller poles also then all your poles are the same height and you are not looking for the tall poles in amongst the small ones... :lol:
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Re: How to set up a tarp

Postby Pauly » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:01 pm

Lin the thing with tying your tarp to trees isnt that the trees break its that they sway. You should have your tarp tight and if one tree sways left as the other is swaying right something has to give and it wont be the trees.

The centre ridge pole would be more trouble than it is worth for your tarp thats why you use that X pole in the centre. If you tie some cord to 1 corner then to the centre pole then the opposit corner the pole cant move, a tight tarp will hold it in place also. Lifting the centre helps to stop the wind getting under a flat tarp and flapping it and your also prepared for rain.

Theres about $2 differance in larger poles and a little weight, I would rather buy the larger poles, goes along with my theory that I would rather be looking at it than for it.
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