Tarp Set Up Basics

On Sunday,  I spent a few hours in the woods by my house setting up tarps in a variety of configurations and it's fair to say that I need a lot more practice. I'd read about setting up tarps before trying it today, but it seems like I had to rediscover some of the basics before I started to make much headway.

Here's what I figured out: First off, it helps to have all of the guylines on your tarp set up before you try to pitch it. The guylines should be set up with tensioners so you can easily adjust line length and you should tie a loop at the end of each line to slide a sheep hook style stake through. When you break down your tarp, leave the lines and tensioners on it for easy setup in the future.

It took me about 2 hours to figure this all out and before I could successfully set up this Oware catenary tarp, which only weighs 4.8 oz. including all of the guy lines and tensioning hardware.

I wonder what this tarp is made of….I forgot I even owned it and there's nothing like it today on the Oware web site. if you can guess, please let me know. It's a pretty cool catenary tarp that's about 7 feet long.

Stay tuned as I try to figure out the nuances of how to set up an A-frame, Pyramid, Lean-to pitches with a square tarp.

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  1. My guess – most likely – is Spinnaker nylon. If it is really translucent (hard to tell from your picture) it could be Cuben Fiber, too but in this case you would remember it was the price must have been high. Unless you don't need to care about money of course.. ;-)

  2. Unfortunately, I do need to still worry about money. That's why I'm trying to get rich blogging (LOL).

    I think you're right about it being spinnaker, but Oware sells nothing like it today. It's about 1 foot too short unless I use a bivy to keep my bag dry if it rains, but it would probably be great for desert camping. Too bad there are no deserts in New England. I really can't remember where this came from…

  3. I know that your post about "Tarp Sertup Basics" is almost a year old, but I just came across it. It sounds like you don't use that tarp much. If you're interested in selling it, let me know.


  4. I already sold that one and just upgraded to a MLD Grace Duo which I plan to use extensively this year. Sorry.

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