Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#162088 - 01/09/09 08:03 AM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Chris Kavanaugh]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Poor man's tarp can also be:
A piece of Tyvek. Comes in 9' by 100' rolls so the sky is the limit on size. It is tough enough for several uses and makes a good ground sheet. Use a good quality sealing tape to patch holes and wear points and you can get three or four camping trips out of one piece demoting it as it wears to less critical jobs. Last duty as as rock shield under the ground sheet.

A standard shower curtain works as a small tarp and, if sized right, as a useful rain cape.

Standard polyethylene sheeting, Visqueen is one brand, comes in black or clear and makes a good cover. The 4 mil stuff is okay for a couple of uses, a bit more if you patch any rough spots well with duct tape, but the 2 mil is pretty much one use only unless you get lucky. Black lasts longer in sunlight and doesn't act as a greenhouse. White, if you can find it, reflects a lot of heat and makes a decent sunshade on a sunny day.

Tightly woven nylons or Dacron, less subject to UV degradation, cloth can be coated with urethane to make your own tarps. Urethane coated and treated with silicone water repellent, Thompon's Water Seal is a favorite, it makes a tarp that sheds water well, lasts a long time and about half the cost of the commercial version.

#162096 - 01/09/09 09:50 AM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Art_in_FL]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
I have both a 6x8' and a 10x12' silnylon tarp in my BOB. The 6x8 is for making a rain shelter while pausing from moving and the 10x12' is my shelter building tarp. it's big enough to build a shelter with a side or two if needed for weather protection of a sleeping/cooking area and big enough to be comfortable for several people if stuck in one spot for several days,
Back in my SAR days, I carried a 10x10 blue tarp on the out side of my pack. It was often used as a overnight personal shelter tarp for me and maybe a team mate (if needed) and as a team shelter if we had to hunker down or as a shelter while treating or packaging a patient.
I was picked on by team members until I used it as a 3 sided A-frame shelter one very cold and rainy 2 night training session while others used large trash bags. Those in the trash bag shelters were often wet and cold, while inside my tarp I was warm in my hand warmer heated 2 pound sleeping bag and dry. The 3 sided A-frame design also acted as a ground cloth and it was long enough for me to pull the ends in and basically close them off. During the day I opened the trap up and hung it on para-cord from trees as a team weather shelter.
Several others added 10X10' blue or the more expensive nylon tarps to their packs after that training.
As far as I am concerned, a large tarp in a requirement in a BOB bag.

Edited by SBRaider (01/09/09 02:52 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling error
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#162113 - 01/09/09 02:33 PM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Stu]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Ditto on experiencing the tarp envy - they're great for setting up temporary relief from heat, cold, wet or wind. Kept an overheated Scout out of the sun for a couple hours, made a tarp believer there. More often its shelter from the abrupt downpour where you just don't wanta keep trudging along the muddy trail, stop, pitch a tarp, and watch the weather for a half hour instead. Best survival has us staying warm (not too warm) and dry, tarp helps with that.

#162231 - 01/10/09 03:36 AM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Lono]
Art_in_FL Offline

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
In an emergency setting up a tarp has value beyond the shelter from sun and weather it provides. Set up a tarp and people think of it as a landmark. I have noticed that even if you have nothing more than a box of bandaids with a tarp it is an aid station. A tarp set up high enough to walk under, a table and makeshift seating pretty much puts you in charge of the scene. Try it some time. Don't be surprised when people start coming up and asking where you want them to set up.

People will naturally congregate around any such landmark and assume anyone who looks like they know what is going on is in charge. This can be a double edged sword. If you don't wish to be looked to as an authority don't put up a shelter or, at the very least, use a tarp in a subdued color and keep it low.

Six foot square, roughly the size of a standard rain poncho, is IMO about the minimum useful size if you want a lot of options. Rigged low you can sleep under it and have complete coverage if you sleep on the diagonal.

Eight foot square or over opens a lot of options and allows the simplest, swiftest and most foolproof of all shelters, the burrito roll. Simple as: spread tarp, lay on one edge, roll over making wrap tighter at foot than head. With practice you get complete coverage with all edges tucked under you even in hurricane winds, decent ventilation and end up with enough extra coverage at the head to pull in and shelter your pack. Total time: less than a minute.

Helps if you rig a light line from the foot inside so you can seal or loosen the foot end as need be. The burrito roll is a last resort but one that has saved my bacon when I was wet, exhausted, at the edge of hypothermia and there was no shelter anywhere nearby. Once your warm you can climb out and build a more substantial and comfortable shelter. Or not.

Eight by ten allows you to use it as a lean-to and ground cloth in one.

Twelve by twelve is about all one person can effectively use in my opinion and is pretty much the point of diminishing returns if your not setting up a base camp.

#162379 - 01/11/09 03:39 AM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Art_in_FL]
2005RedTJ Offline

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
I'm thinking 8'x10' would be my best option. I have either my daughter or my girlfriend with me a lot of the time I'm out in the woods. I picked up a cheap 8'x10' tarp at Walmart for $4.88 today to throw in there until I find a better one that I like.

What are good options in the 8'x10' size that have ties on the outside of the ridgeline and a decent number of grommets on the edges? I'd like to have the ridge paracord outside the tarp rather than underneath it. Also, how many/what kind of stakes do most of you keep with your tarp?

#162380 - 01/11/09 03:45 AM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: 2005RedTJ]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Home Depot has an 8x10 blue tarp that has "blanket material" (their description not mine) on the reverse side. Haven't had to use it yet, but I don't think I would rely on it as my only blanket.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#162396 - 01/11/09 01:46 PM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Desperado]
OrangeJoe Offline

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Old Colony, USA
Have any of you have success using recycled Billboards or misprints from that industry.

The most common locally used material is a reinforced vinyl in heavy weight (last time I checked it was 6oz or higher). It is UV resistant, it's tear resistant. Of course you may have a big Budweiser, KFC or Corona print on one side, but I have yet to figure how they are disposing of those materials. I used to work with smaller signage and I have always thought of that material as tougher than the FEMA/Wal-Mart Blue Tarp.

Edited by OrangeJoe (01/11/09 01:47 PM)
All good things...
a) come to those who wait.
b) come to an end.

#162415 - 01/11/09 04:41 PM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Desperado]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1105
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Originally Posted By: Desperado
Home Depot has an 8x10 blue tarp that has "blanket material" (their description not mine) on the reverse side. Haven't had to use it yet, but I don't think I would rely on it as my only blanket.

Got a link? Sounds interesting.

#162417 - 01/11/09 04:46 PM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: clearwater]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Nope, sorry. It seems like a cheap almost brushed paper or tyvek material laminated to the back of a regular blue tarp. Check HD as Lowe's didn't have them.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#162418 - 01/11/09 04:56 PM Re: Tarp in a BOB [Re: Desperado]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Well, I seem to have gotten it exactly backwards. Lowe's now has them and HD doesn't. It seems they have gotten smaller though.

Here is the Link.
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Who's Online
2 registered (Herman30, M_a_x), 184 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
BereniceStanaway, aakanksha, 9Line, SkiSoloII, KMNPack
5293 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Has any of you really buried a survival cache ??
by chaosmagnet
Today at 01:36 AM
by Russ
Yesterday at 01:36 PM
Santa Cruz Island Boat Fire
by Pete
09/15/19 10:47 PM
Wordless tutorial III - single strand diamond knot
by TonyE
09/14/19 07:12 PM
Suggest me a fixed blade and a folder
by hikermor
09/14/19 05:58 PM
Solving a math equation
by M_a_x
09/14/19 06:47 AM
Easy way to start a fire
by Chisel
09/14/19 03:34 AM
AG13 Batteries
by Jeanette_Isabelle
09/13/19 06:23 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.