Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Backcountry Hunting => Topic started by: Tbob on April 25, 2020, 08:54:25 PM

Title: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Tbob on April 25, 2020, 08:54:25 PM
Went out for a little over nighter to check out the tarp. I think if heavy rain Is not forecasted, Iím going with the tarp over the tent.. so much more room in the pack and my tarp is weighing in at like 10ozís. Anyone else use the tarp instead of the tent??
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Cougartail on April 25, 2020, 09:49:09 PM
Have in the past but with rain and wind together I got wet.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Okanagan on April 25, 2020, 10:00:11 PM
WTG!  It frees up so much pack weight and space that you will probably never go back, at least if you do much backpack hunting and fishing.

I've been tarp camping since the 1950's, own three backpack tents but have never backpacked a tent, just use them for car camping to save space, and when my wife comes along.  Between an outdoor job I had for years plus personal hunting and hiking, Iíve spent close to 3 years of my life sleeping on the ground, most of it under a tarp. 

If a codger can comment, your set up looks good except that for my personal preference, I pitch them lower, to handle wind better and not have rain spray blow in as much.  Your set up is more comfortable in good weather.  Also I prefer to pitch mine tight against a wall of rock, against a big log, thick brush, under a spreading tree, etc.  A good use of tarp is to find a natural shelter and augment it with the tarp rather than pitch it out in the open.  A flat tarp has infinite options and is not limited to places with a specific size/shape footprint.

 I've tarp camped from canoe camps on river banks to above timberline (which I don't like in a tarp), from California to the Yukon, often in snow, some below zero.  A light compact tarp lets me hunt all day and bivy wherever I am at night rather than hike back to camp.  I stay right on the game that way.  For light summer camps I rig a small mosquito net for my head and upper body, under the tarp, with legs in sleeping bag.



Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Stein on April 25, 2020, 11:01:22 PM
I'll be honest, I'm a pansy when it comes to shelters.  I like a tent with a floor and bug screen and gladly carry the extra pound or two.  I admire tarp guys and hammock guys but I've tried both and just like a good quality tent.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: 444Marlin on April 26, 2020, 08:43:37 AM
I found that I need a bivy sack in addition to the tarp, because there can be a significant amount of dew on the down bag and the rest of the exposed gear.  If it's an overnight or 2 night trip with a great forecast, the tarps are the way to go.  But the margin of weight savings on a short trip like that, it's not that much more to bring my Go Lite pyramid tent.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: HUNTINCOUPLE on April 26, 2020, 09:22:59 AM
Slept under a blue tarp many times in the back country.  Visqueen as well.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Tbob on April 26, 2020, 12:15:10 PM
Yeah, this wasnít the original pitch I was planning on setting up, but there was a lack of flat ground to set up. I was planning more of a plow blade type pitch off a tree so I could try out a small fire in front of my shelter.. this pitch worked out as the weather was nice and clear, was to windy for a fire anyways.. I do have an ultra-lite water proof bivy I can slide over my bag of weather isnít looking so good. I have a nice u/l tent as well, but I figured when the weather isnít terrible, Iíll likely break out the tarp instead of the tent. If nothing else, itís fun to get out and try out gear before the season starts up.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: yakimanoob on April 26, 2020, 12:44:57 PM
I picked up a Slingfin tarp shelter system last year and so far I absolutely love it.  Totally stormproof with a floor, stakes, and lines for 11oz flat.  Slingfin is the designer and manufacturer for Stone Glacier's line, and this one is identical, as far as I can tell, to the SkyAir ULT. 

I also have Slingfin's Crossbow 2p tent that my wife and I use when we're together.  FWIW, if I know I'll be in thick mosquitos on a solo trip, I typically go for my hennessey hammock. 
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Tbob on April 26, 2020, 09:49:27 PM
Cool little set up ya got there.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Okanagan on April 27, 2020, 07:56:20 AM
If a tarp is set up well everything under it should stay dry.  :) Same with tent, if... There are little slights in setting up that keep rain drop splashes from splattering back under the tarp, to gutter water off away from the tarp, etc.  I have several tarps, and for solo, my favorite is an 8x10 homemade from ripstop spinnaker cloth I got from Seattle Fabrics about 25 years ago.  Never weighed it but I'd guess about 6 oz. and it rolls to the size of a rolled Outdoor Life.

My favorite way to tent camp is with a canvas wall tent and stove, but not for hard core backpack hunting.  Individuals have a wide range of comfort levels, especially when sleeping, and I am fortunate to sleep well in bad positions, on hard ground, on a steel deck, etc.  A person has to sleep well or he/she will not hunt well.  Learn what it takes for yourself and make that your minimum.

Some difficult tarp camps I recall are a sleet/wind sub-alpine blizzard on Vancouver Island, almost wasn't able to set up a tarp in the violent wind. Really cozy with reflector fire once set up however.  Another tough one among many good ones was a N. Cascade late season, snowing hard that changed to rain when the snow got 10 inches deep, just as we got to our camping place at dark.  Great bombs of wet snow falling from trees.  Everything got wet/damp somewhat as we set up in the dark, and then from crawling under the tarp in streaming wet clothes. Synthetic bags really do retain loft and warmth when wet, though it is a little bit like sauna.  Never got cold but that trip motivated me to buy my Seek Outside tipi for multi-person late season hunts. Solo, I'll still go tarp.

 And one time under a visqueen tarp above timberline in N. BC my partner talked me into using my rifle for a tent pole while he kept his handy for grizz...






Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: birddogdad on August 19, 2020, 07:50:35 AM
Went out for a little over nighter to check out the tarp. I think if heavy rain Is not forecasted, Iím going with the tarp over the tent.. so much more room in the pack and my tarp is weighing in at like 10ozís. Anyone else use the tarp instead of the tent??

that tarp is just fine! bad weather drop poles lower with the side that is very exposed open, also get in area that is more protected. If you don't have, i would recommend a bivy cover for bag. you will be good for all weather, sure you may get wet but that is gonna happen in the PNW...
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: D-Rock425 on August 19, 2020, 08:15:38 AM
What tarp do you have?
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Colville on August 24, 2020, 10:22:11 PM
Some tarps are now made with closed ends. I've had some wind driven BS that both made stuff wet and limits sleep.  We are talking ounces in difference between open and closed. A light bivy or cover should come anyway in a single wall so, i prefer a small floorless tent or closed end tarp.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Oh Mah on August 24, 2020, 10:28:15 PM
I admire you tarp guys too lol,only thing is when i woke up one morning with a bobcat inside my wall tent i decided to have zippers put on the opening instead of draw cords and a sewn in floor.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: huntnnw on August 24, 2020, 10:36:10 PM
I would only be using that in 100% good weather. Wind and moisture you would be soaked and that tarp would be ripped out of the ground in a decent wind. I prefer to have sides on all sides
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Onewhohikes on August 25, 2020, 05:16:11 AM
I wouldn't be using it this year. Going to be a tough year out there for the HH
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: dilleytech on August 25, 2020, 01:43:21 PM
I went tarp last season on a hunt Below freezing at night. It was great but if I had a ultra light sub 3 pound tent I think I would go that route. Specially in early season with mosquitoes around.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: ridgefire on August 25, 2020, 02:48:34 PM
Tarp workes great when weather is not supposed to be terrible.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: de0827 on August 31, 2020, 04:49:40 PM
I wouldn't be using it this year. Going to be a tough year out there for the HH

What makes you say that this year?  I know there are bad stretches most every year during the HH, but curious where your intel is coming from for this year?  thanks
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Shawn Ryan on September 01, 2020, 04:51:33 PM
I use a combo of floorless, but enclosed, tent and a tarp--same tarp as Ridgefire (Kifaru paratarp). I used the tarp during the epic September 2013 Cascade deluge. I had pitched it in the wrong place and returned to camp to find the tarp now pitched over a puddle, but an enclosed tent would have been bad in that spot as well. Re-pitched the tarp during that downpour and was fine. Even during significant wind, once inside the tarp, the wind has not been an issue.

I use the floorless tent for the room and wood stove. I keep my quilt in a bivy bag, so it stays clean and dry. I've had racoons and mice on my head and spiders in my ear, but WTH.

The pitch in your photo would change for bad weather, but that's easy to adjust.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: outdooraddict on September 05, 2020, 07:03:37 AM
oh please tell us the bobcat in the wall tent story,

I admire you tarp guys too lol,only thing is when i woke up one morning with a bobcat inside my wall tent i decided to have zippers put on the opening instead of draw cords and a sewn in floor.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Oh Mah on September 05, 2020, 09:23:25 PM
ok i'm not a very good story teller but i'll try.


It was a cold dark late October night,So cold i had to get up and tend to the camp stove at about 3am.I turned on the trusty Coleman lantern which is in the sleeping area of the wall tent separate from the kitchen area by the door flap.The door flap does not close together so there is a blanket that hangs over it to keep the heat in.So i get up to stoke the fire but i have to get the wood from the kitchen area of the tent,I move the blanket to the side and heard this rushing around in the kitchen with the light coming through the doorway i see it,a large bobcat it was eating at a loaf of bread.I scared him i'm sure as much as he scared me it took him what seemed forever to find his way out of the tent,he ran through the opening into the main tent and ran up the wall then seem to fly off the wall over with a leap landed on the bed back down to the ground ran into a corner bumping against the wall then ran out under it.After that night i swore i would have a bottom sewn onto the wall tent.


                                                          The End.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: outdooraddict on September 06, 2020, 08:29:28 AM
thank you for the laugh on my sunday morning, i have heard the mice in the chip bags and a chipmunk in the food tote, but a bobcat inside the tent, my god.  Its so funny to me, because i am usually the guy getting up to stoke the fire and pee, and stumbling around eyes half open and not really paying attention to much of anything, i can only imagine my reaction to see a bobcat going crazy in the tent.  thanks for the laugh  sorry to thread jack, but anyone else have a funny "critter in the tent or camp" story

ok i'm not a very good story teller but i'll try.


It was a cold dark late October night,So cold i had to get up and tend to the camp stove at about 3am.I turned on the trusty Coleman lantern which is in the sleeping area of the wall tent separate from the kitchen area by the door flap.The door flap does not close together so there is a blanket that hangs over it to keep the heat in.So i get up to stoke the fire but i have to get the wood from the kitchen area of the tent,I move the blanket to the side and heard this rushing around in the kitchen with the light coming through the doorway i see it,a large bobcat it was eating at a loaf of bread.I scared him i'm sure as much as he scared me it took him what seemed forever to find his way out of the tent,he ran through the opening into the main tent and ran up the wall then seem to fly off the wall over with a leap landed on the bed back down to the ground ran into a corner bumping against the wall then ran out under it.After that night i swore i would have a bottom sewn onto the wall tent.


                                                          The End.
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: Shoofly09 on September 22, 2020, 08:15:18 PM
I had a buddy leave a ring of potato chips all the way around my tent, and then he also left the bag laying on the ground just outside the tent

Holy Sh*&.   Mice kept me up all night
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: gee_unit360 on September 22, 2020, 08:33:17 PM
Not for me... a big storm will find a way to get water inside. Nothing worse than being wet and cold...
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: pd on September 22, 2020, 09:56:04 PM
I had a buddy leave a ring of potato chips all the way around my tent, and then he also left the bag laying on the ground just outside the tent

Holy Sh*&.   Mice kept me up all night

Your definition of "buddy" is very interesting.   :chuckle:
Title: Re: Trying out the tarp
Post by: WaltAlpine on September 24, 2020, 05:59:34 PM
I converted from a tarp to a BA UL1. Not much weight difference and it keeps the mice and mosquitoes mostly out. Oh, and i'm for sure dry in the morning.