Looking again for super tarp

Posted by: dweste

Looking again for super tarp - 05/11/10 08:27 PM

All I would like is a lightweight, thorn- and tear-proof, camo tarp, including numerous reinforced grommets and tie straps / loops, of course.


Posted by: boatman

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/11/10 10:11 PM

Take a look at bensbackwoods.com .Look under their shelter section...

Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/11/10 11:22 PM

All I would like is a lightweight, thorn- and tear-proof, camo tarp, including numerous reinforced grommets and tie straps / loops, of course.

For any price point the requirement it be "lightweight" is going to conflict with "thorn- and tear-proof". You could spend a lot of money and get some spectra sailcloth that you could lift a tank with. Pinholes would be filed every year or two with seam sealer. But make sure you're sitting down when you look at the price. Lightweight Dacron sailcloth is a lot cheaper and might withstand UV longer.

Cheap tarps have advantages of their own. They are inexpensive enough that you can buy them in bulk and afford to replace them frequently enough to avoid the down side of their weaknesses. As they are replaced the worn ones can be used as ground clothes and used that are less demanding. This is a difference in degree not kind. Even the most expensive tarp, made of unobtainium and the souls of orphans, assembled by virgins using occult rites and cyclotrons, wear out eventually.

Camouflage is also problematic. First, because there is no universal pattern or color and second; because there is nothing that will get people to hike over to something and explore like an even marginally ineffective camouflage job. The act of concealment makes people wonder what your covering up. It also implies you're up to no good.

A neutral subdued color is often as effective as an actual camouflage pattern and it sends the message that your seeking to avoid visual pollution, not sneaking around.

The easiest specification is the "numerous reinforced grommets and tie straps / loops" these are pretty easy to make or install yourself. If you don't have the experience put it on your list of skills to learn. The US Army manual for canvas repair and Sailmaker's Apprentice are good sources.

Alternatively you can take it to a sailmaker's or cobbler shop. Some tailors or seamstresses might be sympathetic but their materials are usually much finer and they may damage their machines if they try to use them. Typically they just break needles but a stripped gear isn't impossible.
Posted by: KenK

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/11/10 11:46 PM

It doesn't cover the thorn/tear proof part (I think you'll need heavy duck canvas for that), and it doesn't come in camo (but it does come in what I call "Timberline green", but ...

In my own opinion, the Cook Custom Sewing (CCS) Tundra Tarp is one of the finest, best-thought-out camping tarps made ... decently priced too.


BTW, if you've never seen them, take a look at the CCS Leans:


Though I don't have one yet, I really like this simple lightweight tarp/tent shelter design.

Posted by: ponder

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/11/10 11:58 PM

Go into the local fabric shop with a sketch of what you want. Take a US GI Woodland Camo Poncho with you. They are about $35 new. Ask to see the US Military Woodland Camo poncho fabric. It is rip-stop nylon and coated. Ask the shop owner if she has someone she would recommend to sew for you. Tell them you want the seams, thread, corners, grommets and stress points to be sewn exactly like the poncho.

You will be very happy.

OR -

http://www.bensbackwoods.com Etowah Outfitters 12x10 Tarp Woodland Camo
Price: $52.98 + shipping when in stock
Posted by: Compugeek

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/12/10 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
. . . made of unobtainium and the souls of orphans, assembled by virgins using occult rites and cyclotrons . . . .

That just begs to be used in a story! smile
Posted by: Lono

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/12/10 08:29 PM

Take your tarp needs to 'Tarps R Us' - this place has a good variety in medium, heavy and super heavy thicknesses (7-8 to 40 Mil) - pick your poison and price point. https://www.tarpaflex.com/acatalog/Camouflage_Tarps3.html

Disclaimer: no benefit from tarpaflex to me, I bought a special tarp a while back and it came in as ordered; happy customer.
Posted by: LED

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/12/10 10:29 PM

Looking through all the tarp links led me to tyvek. I had no idea people use it as a cover, shelter, ground cloth, etc. If you don't mind printing, Lowe's has tyvek homewrap 10'X100' roll for about $100 I think. Heck of a lot cheaper than the outdoor stores sell it. Of course its not camo but maybe with some cheap dye you could make it any color you want? Anyone know how UV resistant it is?
Posted by: Richlacal

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/13/10 03:56 AM

Home Depot sells Canvas tarps with a rubber type bottom.The canvas is white in color,& the rubber is a yellowish color.A 6'x15' goes for something like $22.00 It weighs about 4lbs. w/No grommets.Wally world sells Grommet kits,w/ the stamping rod&baseplate in Black,Silver, Antique brass colors for about $10.00,then all you would need is some spray paint(non-enamel) type= enamel doesn't hold up well to UV's for long terms.3 paint colors Olive drab,Flat Brown,Flat Black,about $5.00 per can,& for the final coat 1 can of Poly-urethane clear satin finish-Marine spar type,aprox.$15.00 Total for everything w /tax $60.00 & your time,would equal One Heck of a Masterpiece,you'd be proud to protect yourself with! Of course you would cut it to your specific size needs,& use the xtra pcs. for custom footprints,ground cover,etc. Just an Idea!I have No affiliation with, any of the above Retail establishments!
Posted by: ILBob

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/13/10 04:28 PM

A lot of places sell poly tarps in various colors. Often the smaller ones are on sale for less then $5.

A lot tougher and more waterproof IMO than Tyvek or canvas.

I have not tried it, but I have been told that you can dye Tyvek with Rit dye. Supposedly it mutes the bright white more than coloring it, but for most purposes it would be adequate. I have also heard stories of people using indelible inks to dye Tyvek. Don't know much about either process, other than occasional references to it here and there.
Posted by: utspoolup

Re: Looking again for super tarp - 05/15/10 05:05 PM

Newbie here, but ART said it just about perfect. I use a variety of shelter thru out the year, but for the past 2 years I have been contemplating a Kifaru shelter and packable stove. They are very light weight and very high strength, but like anything they are designed for a purpose... overhead shelter, not for a ground cloth, not for securing a load. But as far as shelters go, more so for winter shelters they are great. I will be buying a larger shelter before the hunt, but wanted a little guy for backpacking this year. It was between the supertarp and the paratip, the supertarp won for a few reason: it was about $100 cheaper than the paratipi, has more usage options available- tarp body/ door/ stove/ combos or using the body as a tarp, stove location, being able to setup with trekking poles. It is a good deal larger in length than the shangrila3 I keep in the car GHB. With the golite 3 my head and feet can touch a side if I lay in it a certain direction. With the supertarp I can place my feet flat against the rear pole, then stretch out with my arms over my head and just barely touch the front pole. As with any floorless tent, a piece of drop cloth, tyvek, or another tarp/ emergency blanket can be used as a floor under the sleeping equipment.

Also I did a few weight measurements using my small digital kitchen scale:
18 MSR ground hog stakes in a med Kifaru pullout- 12 3/4 oz
18 Kifaru provided durapeg in med pull out- 13 oz
Kifaru provided pole kit in XL pull out- 15 3/4 oz
Annex- 6 7/8 oz
Supertarp- 1 lb 2 oz
Woobie- 1 lb 7 oz, again just for reference
Black diamond elliptical flint lock poles (pair)- 1 lb 2 3/4 oz, always have so I dont count their weight.
Small stove, as shipped from Kifaru- 3 lb 10 3/4 oz
Small stove, but swapping cut resistant gloves for insulated leather work gloves- 4lb 3 1/4 oz

Photo time from the seam sealing and initial stove burn in. I will be taking it over Memorial Day weekend and will report back if liked.