Tent or tarp? (1 Viewer)

Myechtatel

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Kissimmee, FL(usually traveling though)
The problem with tarps(besides bug) is that unless you're just going to throw it over you, you need to carry stakes and rope/poles anyway. and unless you have a siltarp a regular 10x10 tarp is almost as heavy as a high end backpacking tent and rainfly. so the only reason to have a tarp instead of a lightweight backpacking tent is that you can't afford it. and in that case; QUIT SPENDING ALL YOUR MONEY ON BEER!!

but seriously, i have a Kelty Gunnison 2 person tent and it weighs 5 pounds which is 2.5 for each of us. you can get lighter tents but this one is great because it has 2 doors two vestibules and has the most sq ft of any 2 person tent on the market. it also sets up in less than 5 minutes with the fly and footprint. if there's no rocks on the ground and no rain in sight it can be set up without the footprint or fly and takes less than 2 minutes. point is, it's light, doesn't take up much space, sets up quick and easy, keeps out rain and bugs and is very roomy. so if you have the money(100-400 dollars - mine was only 150), get a nice backpacking tent.
 
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castler

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Indiana
I choose tent over tarp, I have a backpack tent from Kmart and can generally set it up in under 7min and it keeps the bugs, wind out well. A basic 2 person tent with a external removable tarp over the roof.
 

Cole99v

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Fed Way
It usually depends on what I'm worried about, I've only carried a tarp, but I've never actually needed more, and it's a lot more versatile than a tent, if your going alone I'd say just a tarp, but if your really worried about weather or something like that are gonna be out for a very long time, and have multiple people a small tent would probably suit you better. But the only really good tents ive seen out there are ones I would have to pay some good money for. for me at least, I want one specialized in every way i need it to be, But I'm planning for a years bumming in Aussie with a partner...
 

spraq

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Outskirts of Rich Kid County Local Shitty SoCal
Ulta-light or light gear seems to be the happy medium but you have to be a baller to afford that stuff. I recently got a two person kid's Scout tent from Walmart for 20 bucks. Compact and light. Good alternative to the ultralight tents that cost an arm and leg. Laying from corner to opposite corner i fit fine but I'm a shorter guy. I'm still a bit skeptical on how it might hold up but I'll have to put it to the test.
 

urbanflow

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way the fuck out there

this is the ONLY way to set up a tarp. besides obvious adaptation this set up is GREAT. i use the exact same set up with an eno hammock and an 8'x10' brown poly tarp. poly tarps are better IMO than sil because if you are in direct contact with silnylon and it gets rained on it tends to soak through for some reason (or so ive heard). not to mention poly tarps are quite a bit more durable (and cheaper).
 

ResistExplore

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78

this is the ONLY way to set up a tarp. besides obvious adaptation this set up is GREAT. i use the exact same set up with an eno hammock and an 8'x10' brown poly tarp. poly tarps are better IMO than sil because if you are in direct contact with silnylon and it gets rained on it tends to soak through for some reason (or so ive heard). not to mention poly tarps are quite a bit more durable (and cheaper).
for some reason it doesnt sit right with me that if it was extremly windy in a direction u wud get pummeled in rain?
 

urbanflow

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way the fuck out there
for some reason it doesnt sit right with me that if it was extremly windy in a direction u wud get pummeled in rain?
i was getting a little ahead of myself saying its the "only" way. the idea behind tarp shelters is to have the wind go above and over with as little as possible going through but, with this kind of set up the guy lines help the edges stay pretty taunt. i have a hammock so with insulation i dont mind wind going under and through my shelter. no tarp shelter holds up perfectly in high winds but, thats what i pack a bivy for.

another way you can protect from rain is to bring the ridge line down and fold the ends in towards you and stake directly to the ground. then on the outside of the tarp pack dirt on top of the edge where it meets the ground thus sealing that side from rain or wind. again, i have a hammock so the only thing i worry about is my pack being on the ground, which i have a rain cover for so i just pop that on and im all good, or just pop it in a trash bag.



thats pretty much exactly how i do things, just a bit lower. ive got an 8'x10' tarp so i have plenty of tarp to do things however they need to be done.
 
E

Erable

I deleted myself
Hey, what size tarps do you guys use?
I had a 8x12 or something like that, and it could pack down to be small, but if you roll it up it's fuckhuge.
Do you guys go for smaller, or just deal with it, and get good at compacting your tarp?
 

Honey badge

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i wish i knew how to use a tarp accurately. every one i have seen use a tarp in heavy rain storms has came out soaked. so i prefer to use a single person tent, i use the eureka solitaire and it works wonders especially in hawaii where i had to worry about monsoon storms and centipedes and all the other critters that go bump in the night. but i guess it depends on the person and there skills with the tarp and tolerance of bugs.[/quote

That's the tent I got recently. Can you tell me how long have you been using it for, and is it in good condition still? do you normally lay something underneath yours to protect the bottom of it?
 

Honey badge

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i wish i knew how to use a tarp accurately. every one i have seen use a tarp in heavy rain storms has came out soaked. so i prefer to use a single person tent, i use the eureka solitaire and it works wonders especially in hawaii where i had to worry about monsoon storms and centipedes and all the other critters that go bump in the night. but i guess it depends on the person and there skills with the tarp and tolerance of bugs.
That's the tent I got recently. Can you tell me how long have you been using it for, and is it in good condition still? do you normally lay something underneath yours to protect the bottom of it?
 

kecleon

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EU
I dont carry a tarp anymore because I never use it when I do.

In my head I'm thinking tarps are good to make a roomy feeling space to so stuff in, like relax, cook, dry clothes, but unless your staying for a while someplace you arent gonna use it and then only if it rains or the wind is a problem.

Its like one of those things that sounds good but you don't use. I can't remember last time I'm traveling with anyone who put up a tarp.

. I like bivis, you feel tired roll it out and sleep. Then just throw it in your bag and go. No setup or take down time, and you can put it anywhere.

If you're 2 tent or looking to be tent wins obvious reasons.
 

Monterey

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Aug 12, 2012
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59
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Allovah, Nunya
For riding I just use a tarp. Get four bootlaces for a buck at the dollar tree and tie one to each corner for tying to trees when it rains. I did a tent for about a month... More trouble than it's worth IMO.
 

6bummin6it6

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Jan 12, 2014
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Cincinnati, United States
depends on the time of year and your location really. personally i like a tarp, i hang it how most people would, and i tie a hammock under it, keeping your body off the ground in the cold keeps you a hell of a lot warmer, and its way more comfortable. but if im venturing into northern territory or cold weather i try and bring a tent, for places with high bug population though i just carry a little but net thing. to each is own
 

kecleon

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EU
Tyvek is strong as fuck. I don't know if they do different strengths or whatever but the piece I had was indestructible. pretty thin like a high quality paper thickness.
 

West

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Jun 17, 2013
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I've been traveling with a military bivy for six months and it was great except: one night awoke sharing my bivy with a rat. (SFO). 2) I awoke to loud growling a few feet away which persisted after yelling at the top of my lungs for several minutes. (Crescent City, CA. The barrier between you and things that go bump is much closer to your gut-and-blood sack.) 3) I got positively soaked every time it rained heavily. Water pools on the top of the bag and leaks thru the Gore-Tex. I roll in my sleep and that doesn't help the water to stay out either.

I'm saving up for, or looking to rack a tent this time... I've had enuff of being a wet, scared boy scout. :)
 

Chongo

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Dec 29, 2014
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The Backwoods
I think this is the best of both worlds. I've never used this setup while traveling, but I hung one up in my backyard for a nap, and it was great!


 

RobHASboots

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Apr 18, 2015
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Des Moines, IA
I develop illogical anger towards bloodsucking mosquitoes at times. If I had a steadier hand and a jeweler's loupe, I'd fashion miniature crucifixes and post the lil bodies of the bugs I've killed around my tent. And let that be a lesson to the other would-be parasites!
.....yea, I use a tent, with maximum mesh for breathin. It's a protective bubble.
BUT I have slung a hammock, while running a length of rope above the hammock, upon which I had a mosquito net draping down, and then I folded the hanging ends of the net with the sides of the hammock, and pinched em secure with clothespins. It was too constricting at first, so I fashioned a simple frame made of sticks above the hammock that hold the draping net out further. It was really hot. And the vampires bit through the nylon hammock and my shirt to feed. Bedding layer needed.
Fuckers...
 

Rob Nothing

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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All about preference and where you are going / how you plan to get there.

But I will take a mosquito net + tarp + paracord over a tent any day. It's lighter, it's more versatile, and all three by themselves have multiple uses / situations they will potentially come in handy.
 

Hobo Mud

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Nov 25, 2015
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Columbia, Tennessee
The age old question, tarp or tent? Everyone has there personal preference and each shelter has its pros and cons. I have not sleep or owned a tent in the past three years. I have been considering buying one again however everytime I do, I find I always end up regreating it.

Tents are heavy, cumbersome, if parts brake they a pain in the ass to replace, every tent I have owend has had condensation issues and you can really only set up your tent one way, the way it was designed however they are great shelters and do a much better job of keeping you out of the elements.

I am more of a tarp man myself, I can set my tarp up in many different styles to provide shelter. Traps a very inexpensive, cheap to buy, durable, easy to maintaine, replace and repair.

I have even used my tarps in the past to make hammocks out of. I primarily train hop and because of this I am normally under bridges so I don't have a lot of use for tents however there are many times I wished I had one.

In the end it all boils down to preference and your type of travling and travling style. I am seriously considering buying a poncho tent that I havr recently seen posted and suggested on here but then again I may not.

If tents were not such a pain in the ass to deal with I'd use them all the time but once again this my opinion. Maybe I just havnt found the right tent yet. Been interesting seeing everyones answers. Safe travels friend.
 

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