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cameronjreed
11-20-2008, 16:10
First, let me start by saying that I am new to "tarping" I LOVE the idea of simplicity yet versatility. Since I am new to tarping I wonder if I could get some help making a decision. For a solo hiker is the 5x8 foot tarp better or an 8x10 footer? For those that have an 8x10 tarp (made of silnylon) how much does it weigh? If you have a 5x8 silnylon tarp, how much does it weigh?

Thanks,
Cameron

The Solemates
11-20-2008, 16:45
i dont tarp. i sleep under the stars or in a tent. but i've tarped before. but in my opinion something between these two sizes would be best. 5x8 is too small on both dimensions. but im 6'4" and the thought of having just 10 inches on either side of me, head and foot, is not enough to keep rain off me for the 8' dimension. the 5' dimension is not enough to pitch it low enough to the ground and have adequate internal height. but the 8x10 is probably too much. my ideal tarp would probably be 7x8.

but given the two choices you pose, id go with the 8x10 even for solo hikes.

Quoddy
11-20-2008, 16:49
An 8' x 10' weighs close to 19oz in silnylon. A 5' x 8' weighs about 9.5oz.
I use a trapezoidal tarp 9' long x 7' wide (front) x 5' wide (rear) and that's about as small as I, personally, would condider going (an MLD sinNylon tarp in this size would weigh around 10oz). A 5' x 8' would be a real "stretch" for first time tarping.

Alligator
11-20-2008, 16:49
My suggestion is the 8X10, and I generally use a tarp. The 8X10 I bought from Campmor is 13 ounces. I wouldn't use a 5x8, but might consider a square one either 8ft or 9ft whenever I need to replace the one I have.

daddytwosticks
11-20-2008, 17:05
For a beginning tarper, I'd suggest an 8 by 10 silnylon like Alligator mentioned. Great coverage, light and cheap. What more can you ask for. :)

Slo-go'en
11-20-2008, 17:08
8X10 for sure. 10X10 would be even better. The sides have to be long enough to reach pretty much to the ground when its set up high enough to sit up under it. 8 feet long only gives you about a foot on each end if your 6 foot or there abouts. That can be marginal depending on which way the wind is blowing the rain. Having some way to close off the ends would be a big help, leaving you with essentually a floorless tent.

Alligator
11-20-2008, 17:12
An 8' x 10' weighs close to 19oz in silnylon. A 5' x 8' weighs about 9.5oz....I think you may have mixed up the 8X10 weight with a 10X12 (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20070).

Hooch
11-20-2008, 17:35
First, let me start by saying that I am new to "tarping" I LOVE the idea of simplicity yet versatility. Since I am new to tarping I wonder if I could get some help making a decision. For a solo hiker is the 5x8 foot tarp better or an 8x10 footer? For those that have an 8x10 tarp (made of silnylon) how much does it weigh? If you have a 5x8 silnylon tarp, how much does it weigh?

Thanks,
Cameron


I wouldn't even consider a 5x8 tarp for a moment. That means that you'll only have 2.5 feet of material on each side of you, which isn't much at all.

Phreak
11-20-2008, 17:52
My current tarp is 6.5' x 8.5' and weighs 7.9 ounces.

bigcranky
11-20-2008, 22:08
I have used both extensively. If you haven't tarped, I would HIGLY recommend the 8x10. It has a much larger "sweet spot" of coverage in bad weather. Basically, start with the 8x10, get some experience in bad weather, then work down to the 5x8. (And now I use a 6x10 -- splits the difference.)

JAK
11-20-2008, 22:26
I've gotten alot of mileage out of my 4'x8' poncho/tarp, weighs about 8oz. I just got a new one on sale, little fancier, little bigger, 5'x9', weighs about 11oz. Both are very packable. I've still been using the 4'x8' for day hikes with a wool blanket as a picnic ground sheet as its a little more packable and I'm not so worried about trashing it.

I recommend starting with a simple poncho/tarp. 4'x8' or 5'x9'. As a tarp I use it lengthwise with just 2 pegs at my foot end and 2 cords to a low spruce tree branch at the head end. This allows you to sit up. Doesn't give you much protection from wind and blowing rain, but in thick woods this is not so critical as it would be in more open areas or along the shore. I use a simple bivy bag with it to protect my sleeping bag. I might try a larger tarp some day, but I will still probably use my poncho/tarp and bivy bag alot. I'm not saving much weight. I just like how I can crash anywhere and it feels closer to nature.

I use it with a full length and wide blue foam pad, 72"x28", no ground sheet.

Feral Bill
11-20-2008, 22:35
I often use an 8X10. It's luxurious for one, very usable for two and a dog. I set it with one corner up, three pegged down, and a lift line somewhere in the middle. I prefer this to a tent, absent bugs.

Long ago I used a 6X8 tarp for two in a torrential rain . We got a night's sleep, barely.

Big is good.

Chip
11-20-2008, 22:47
I use a Crazy Creek Tarp. 10' X 12'. I like to to hang it up between 2 trees, set up in a "A" frame style tent. I can raise up one side to have a lean-to type shelter or I can raise the side panel in the center, stake out the ends on that side to form a 5 sided shelter. I like to put a large bed of leaves under a ground tarp to sleep on and to stay dry during the rain.

A tarp this size will allow plenty of room for you and all of your gear ( plenty of room for 2 people & gear). I will use my tarp during in the Spring and again in the Fall. I tent in the Summer due to bugs and in the Winter when cold (use a convertable tent).

I think you will really like using a tarp.
Happy Trails,
Chip
:)

Jim Adams
11-20-2008, 23:04
Sil nylon, 15oz., 10' x10'...plenty big for 2 people, a palace for 1 person, can stand under the high end...square is FAR easier to work with.
Why go smaller?

geek

gonewalkabout
11-20-2008, 23:53
I've used a silnylon puncho about 5x8 10 oz. too small too close to ground i.e. short, hard to get in and out. I've ussaly us a n 8x10 16 oz. perfect size for one to two people. Keep in mind a tarp has a larger foot print than a convational tent and may be hard to set up in the "trees". When using tarps or tarp tents always carry some extra line incase you can't get a stake in or to stay.

Tinker
11-21-2008, 02:07
Eight feet is a little short. I'd look at something like this:

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=85&osCsid=f43718237d06cab5a4a2140439335a92

There are certainly cheaper options. I just like this one, but, because I already have a tarp for my HH hammock and a 10x12 tarp which I've used to hammock in the winter, this would just be an unjustifiable expense for me.
Oh. Of the two sizes you asked about, I'd go for the 8x10. I've used my 9.5x5 foot poncho as a tarp and it's a little tight when buttoned down for bad weather. I also wouldn't use it without my 6.5 oz. bivy (both from Mountain Laurel Designs).

mudhead
11-21-2008, 08:45
Go buy a couple cheap blue tarps. The kind you cover stuff with. Notice size vs finished size.

You can judge for yourself.

Two Speed
11-21-2008, 09:41
Played with a 5' x 8' ID poncho for a while, trying to see if I could make it work for a shelter. Basic conclusion I came to was there ain't no way that's gonna work for me.

YMMV.

cameronjreed
11-21-2008, 11:32
Thank you everyone for the replies. I think I am going to strike a balance and get a 6x9 tarp. (if they exist. Anyone know where I can find brown or OD Green silnylon? I want to make my own. (I know how to sew)

Thanks,
Cameron

cameronjreed
11-21-2008, 11:37
Since I can't figure out how to EDIT my post, I want to make a quick correction. I think I will go with a 7'x9' tarp. Seems to strike the best balance between roomy, but not too much "extra" weight.

bigcranky
11-21-2008, 14:01
www.thru-hiker.com sells silnylon. Not sure about green. Gray is a nice color, though.

The Campmor 8x10 sil tarp is green. You could do what I did and cut two feet off one side to get a 6x10 tarp.

Alligator
11-21-2008, 14:11
Go buy a couple cheap blue tarps. The kind you cover stuff with. Notice size vs finished size.

You can judge for yourself.That's good advice. Before I switched to a tarp, I took a cheap blue one out to see how it worked.

Then you might consider these options.

www.thru-hiker.com (http://www.thru-hiker.com) sells silnylon. Not sure about green. Gray is a nice color, though.

The Campmor 8x10 sil tarp is green. You could do what I did and cut two feet off fone side to get a 6x10 tarp.

Since I can't figure out how to EDIT my post, I want to make a quick correction. I think I will go with a 7'x9' tarp. Seems to strike the best balance between roomy, but not too much "extra" weight.You only get a few minutes to edit unless you are a donating member then it is something like 10 days.

Spock
11-21-2008, 17:49
The supply for brown and OD silnylon seems to have dried up. I, too, would like to know if anyone knows where to find it.

Cameron,
6' wide is still pretty narrow if you need to put the sides down. You might consider 7' by 9.5' or 10' - the size I prefer for my solo tarp when ground camping. For a hammock and 9X5 is OK, but that is a different beast.

4mil poly plastic or a blue tarp are both good ways to test the size. You can make pullouts on the poly with duct tape.

coss
11-30-2008, 18:42
I am a pretty dedicated ultralighter (summer base weight 6.2 lbs) and make a lot of gear. Here are my impressions about different tarp sizes:

5 x 8, 7.5 oz: Too small to use without a bivy sack, which makes the combined weight heavier than an 8 x 10 tarp. See the Articles section of Thru-Hiker.com for a treatise on using a 5 x 8 during a rainstorm without a bivy.

6 x 8, 8.7 oz: This is about the smallest safe size without a bivy, but you have to crawl into it on your belly and you can't sit up when it's pitched for bad weather. I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than a short trip. It is also barely lighter than more practical, larger sizes.

7 at front, 6 at rear, 9 long, 10.3 oz: This is a good choice for average size hikers. My current tarp is about this size, but is a catenary copy of the rainfly from a small 2 person tent, and it has "beaks" (the word used by Ray Jardine to describe overhangs at the ends to make a tarp more weather-proof). I don't mind crawling into it under the beaks, but I'm a bit crazier than most when it comes to saving weight.

7 x 9, 11 oz: Another good size, especially if you added beaks.

8 x 10, 13.5 oz: The foolproof flat tarp, which gives you a large dry footprint under which you center your sleeping bag. Note that it is only about 3 oz heavier than the 7 x 6 x 9 size, and for most people (as opposed to abnormal ultralight nuts like me) the small added weight is inconsequential.

Remember that in the east, the real estate under your tarp might be the only dry ground you see for days. Some western companies tout small tarps, but I suspect the target market is the western hiker who can count on getting dry the morning after a storm. (See the Owareusa website for tarps that could be scaled-up for use in the east. I don't think their one person size would work on the AT, but the 1.5 or 2 size might be pretty good).

rootball
12-01-2008, 10:27
My first tarp was a golite poncho tarp. I went ul cold turkey and used that tarp for 12 months in the east tennessee region. I hike a lot. Almost every weekend and as many 5 day trips as I can afford. I loved the light weight and used it with a home made bivy - which was essential. It works. If weight if the primary consideration you can survive with it. I think it is 4 foot eight by eight foot eight in size. I used the half pyramid pitch almost exclusively. But over time I grew weary of the confined space, the wind, and the rain splatter. I now use an equinox 8x10 in warmer months and a windblocking Oragami 2ul in winter. Manufacturers weights are pretty accurate. Except that the Oragami tarp weighs 28 ounces without all the guy lines and stakes, ect.. that they send with it. Now, this is just opinion, but I would want an 8x10 for a few more ounces - that way you could leave the bivy at home if you choose. Although sil does mist at times. I think the misting comes from dampness on the underside being knocked off by heavy drops of rain hitting the upper side. Myog bivy weighs 12 ounces with pu coated floor, breathable ripstop top, plenty of room to flop around, a foot zip and a 1/4 upper (entry) zip. The extra room is good for the attitude in foul weather. You could buy some cheap painters plastic and make a tarp of each size and try them out in some nasty weather and see which you might want to buy.

beeman
12-01-2008, 11:06
www.thru-hiker.com (http://www.thru-hiker.com) sells silnylon. Not sure about green. Gray is a nice color, though.

The Campmor 8x10 sil tarp is green. You could do what I did and cut two feet off one side to get a 6x10 tarp.

There you go. and you get some stuff sack material out of the deal as well.

4eyedbuzzard
12-01-2008, 11:28
Remember also that with any size tarp there are still shelter components common to any size tarp that can't be easily reduced--groundcloth, stakes, lines, etc amounting to 8 oz or more at minimum(mine is 11 oz): 6 stakes = 3 oz, goundcloth = 3 to 5 oz dep on size/material, lines(ridge and tyouts) = 2 to 4 oz. That extra foot on each side of a tarp(from 9x7 to 10x8) really helps when it comes to keeping you dry. You're looking at giving up a lot of alternative pitching options like this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkBeZqXU4zk)by reducing overall shelter system weight from say 24 oz to 21 oz. Just doesn't seem like a good play to trade 3 oz and wind up with a marginal shelter that may not work in the wind and rain. Just thoughts...

neo
12-01-2008, 12:49
First, let me start by saying that I am new to "tarping" I LOVE the idea of simplicity yet versatility. Since I am new to tarping I wonder if I could get some help making a decision. For a solo hiker is the 5x8 foot tarp better or an 8x10 footer? For those that have an 8x10 tarp (made of silnylon) how much does it weigh? If you have a 5x8 silnylon tarp, how much does it weigh?

Thanks,
Cameron

i use a 9x9 silnylon cat cut tarp with my hammock set up:cool:neo

http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=3275&catid=member&imageuser=11

http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=3315&catid=member&imageuser=11


http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=3317&c=member&imageuser=11

http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=3314&c=member&imageuser=11

J5man
12-06-2008, 21:33
Ed Speer, one of the hammocking gurus, recommends the 8x10 for several reasons; you can hang it first which will give you instance cover if raining and then you can set up your hammock under it completely dry. You can can adjust the pitch of the sides for severe or mild weather. For the extra coverage, it doesn't way that much more. Disclaimer: I am primaryily a tenter and have hammocked only twice. I just read Ed's book and am passing along my new learnings!

Tinker
12-06-2008, 23:08
If you haven't bought your tarp or material yet, here's a website that's worth a look:

http://www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com/products-tarps.html

The manufacturer makes the MacCat hammock tarp as well.

Tinker
12-06-2008, 23:12
For those looking for more security than a tarp, but lighter weight than a tent, MLD has some relatively new models:
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/index.php?cPath=35&osCsid=f43718237d06cab5a4a2140439335a92

Nearly Normal
12-07-2008, 10:45
http://www.granitegear.com/products/overview/tarps.html
I have the 8x white lightning in white. I'd go with the blue 10x as a do over.
Made very well.