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  • Tarp recommendations pls
  • Premier Icon Rustychain
    Free Member

    I’ve been convinced to try a mid-week micro adventure.

    The main thing missing from my kit list is a tarp. I’ve had a look and they seem expensive for what they are!

    Appreciate some recommendations. Thanks. 😊

    Premier Icon kerbdog
    Full Member

    I use a D&D 3×3 here, no issues with it and plenty of loops etc for hanging it.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I use a D&D 3×3 here, no issues with it and plenty of loops etc for hanging it.

    Probably meets the

    seem expensive for what they are!

    Definition

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    YOu can just buy tarp material hem it and add attachment points – thats what i did

    https://www.pennineoutdoor.co.uk/fabrics/Waterproof-Fabrics,-NON-BREATHABLE,-Light-and-Medium-weight%20/P2A-Silicone-Coated-Ripstop-Nylon

    Premier Icon MrSparkle
    Free Member

    Is it possible to make on up out of an old tent or is that just crazy talk?

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just take a small tent – a tarp seems like some kind of weird hair-shirt thing to me. I guess I understand if you ware travelling light/long-distance and space/weight is at a premium.

    MSR Hubba NX does well for me and is tiny. Admittedly it’s not cheap but there are cheaper options, eg

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2031317590.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.74ff2104bWmLdH&algo_pvid=057a0ede-7a61-4817-afb3-f708a73965bc&algo_exp_id=057a0ede-7a61-4817-afb3-f708a73965bc-0&pdp_ext_f=%7B%22sku_id%22%3A%2267072764629%22%7D&pdp_pi=-1%3B75.44%3B-1%3B-1%40salePrice%3BGBP%3Bsearch-mainSearch

    Premier Icon Rustychain
    Free Member

    I should probably define expensive! 😆 £50+ seems a lot.

    Saying that, I’d prefer to buy something that will last rather than fall apart after a few uses.

    What do you get with the expensive ones, more attachment points, lighter and more durable (recognising that lighter doesn’t always equal durable)?

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Full Member

    I just typed ‘camping tarp’ into ebay and there’s millions to choose from for less than £20. Surely they’ll last long enough to realise you’ve made a horrible mistake.

    Premier Icon Rustychain
    Free Member

    Like that idea TJ – I’m handy with a sewing machine so could probably do a reasonable job.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    £20 Decathlon small tarp here – dump the poles – https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/multifunction-tarp-camping-shelter/_/R-p-307422?mc=8544366&c=BLUE_TURQUOISE

    Vango BIG tarp for canoe days – I think it was £30 but is big enough for half a dozen of us to sleep under…https://www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk/reviews/vango-family-shelter/

    Premier Icon tomparkin
    Free Member

    I also have a DD 3×3. They’re not (IMO) actually all that expensive for what they are: if you look at the Pennine Outdoor site linked above you’d pay north of £40 for the equivalent amount of material alone, and then have to buy webbing, etc, and also spend time making it yourself.

    The downside of the 3×3 is probably that it’s flipping massive.

    Premier Icon grum
    Full Member

    £20 Decathlon small tarp here – dump the poles – https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/multifunction-tarp-camping-shelter/_/R-p-307422?mc=8544366&c=BLUE_TURQUOISE

    Weight without the poles is the same as my tent (inc poles). 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Premier Icon zerocool
    Full Member

    I bought a cheap one from Decathlon a few years ago complete with poles, lines and pegs. It’s still going strong.

    No idea if they still make it

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    Weight without the poles is the same as my tent (inc poles). 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Hint: it’s not about the weight…

    OP – are you planning to use the tarp with a bivvy bag? If not then a larger one will certainly give you more shelter.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    Get a Naturehike mongar in either 15D or 20D, the 20D is under 2kg for the full tent. You then have a tent, a free standing bivi with the outer and footprint, or microtarp with the footprint. The silnylon stretches when damp but that is a property of the fabric.

    They pop up second hand on fleabay or buy full price from Amazon or fleabay

    Premier Icon belugabob
    Free Member

    Hint: it’s not about the weight…

    No – it’s also about the bulk and how do you carry it on your bike, with all of the other stuff.
    If you are “car camping” then take as large and heavy and cheap a tent as you like – on a bike, you have to be somewhat more selective.

    The DD hammocks small tarp is a bit more realistic balance between size and coverage (unless you really want a tent)

    https://www.ddhammocks.com/product/dd_tarp_s?from_cat=33

    I have the 3×3 and the small. The former is fine, if you can spread your other kit amongst other riders, but the latter is much better if you’re riding solo

    Premier Icon montgomery
    Free Member

    Outdoor gear forums classifieds: people buy tarps, find it’s not for them and sell them on in mint condition. I’ve got a small Siltarp and a DD 3×3, both acquired for £25 each. Both have their place.


    This being STW, though, I’d suggest you weave your own using organic hemp grown in your back garden.

    Premier Icon Rustychain
    Free Member

    Thanks for all the responses.

    Apologies, I should have made clear I would be cycling and planning to use a bivvy bag. Saying that, the idea of a lightweight tent is appealing. I also like the idea of a cheap tent and using different bits as needed.

    The DD tarps look good based on the cost/performance ratio. I’ll have a look at some of the other suggestions before making a decision.

    Cheers 🙂

    Premier Icon the_kenburg
    Full Member

    I’ve got an MLD Trailstar. Lots of space (you could probably get your bike in with you!) but does require two trekking poles/sticks of some sort to pitch. Not used it for bikepacking but for hiking it’s brill.

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    I have a DD 3×3, I actually thought it was the definition of cheap! It’s been amazing so far

    Premier Icon kormoran
    Free Member

    Alpkit rig7 here, good size for 2 of us. Good quality but expensive. The dark green is ok but a bit too dark compared to some olive greens out there. Id be looking at the DD now though

    We use it when we want to ‘bivi’ and lightweight tent when we want to ‘camp’. Everything set up in the bag ready to go – sleeping bag already in bivvy bag etc. If we see a nice night forecast we can just go to our local secret spots without much thought. Whenever we are out and about we have a quick recce for potential bivvi sites and make a mental note for another night.

    Personally I prefer winter bivvying, no bugs! I remember a February night near Crichton Castle overlooking the Forth. We were snugged up in a strip of shelter belt, below us the flashing lights and lighthouses all along the coast and round the islands, winking their coded messages. At about 10pm the loudest screechiest owl we have ever heard came howling through the woods and perched right above us giving it large, it was mental. Then at 2am we woke again to the fullest brightest moon ever, in fact it was so light we got up to wander around in the silver light, out into the stubbly fields and along the woods. A sip of whisky and then back in the bags til dawn, awesome. The tent would have been great too, but probably not quite as memorable

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    I’ve got an almost new Alpkit Rig 3.5 tarp I’d sell you if you like? Only been on one camping trip so basically new. It’s red so it goes faster

    Premier Icon p7eaven
    Free Member

    This being STW, though, I’d suggest you weave your own using organic hemp purchase one online from Alpkit or Decathlon then drive it to Wales/Scotland/Surbiton in a German Sportswagen with 12 hrs supply of Greggs, an AeroPress, a Jetboil and some Meindl alpine boots for any muddy bits which may be encountered around the carpark 😉

    ftfy 😉

    Seriously though, it all depends on how much you plan to do/how much cover you want/how you mean to carry it?

    I had a microtarp (bought from classified) 1.45m x 1.2m and it was like a joke for my rather large frame but then I realised I’d bought it without knowing what the hell I was doing. It was designed to cover head and torso max, with rest of me in a bivibag. I didn’t have a bivibag. I sold the microtarp and then re-bought a small tent instead (Sierra Designs Lite Year knockoff) which was great until recently put my big arse through it while trying to nail a 360 down the slim-end retrieving a sock or something.

    Since then bought a poncho tarp which is great (2.1m x 1.5m) for walking in mad rain, using as a wet-weather groundsheet/picnic blanket etc, and also plan to use it as an ‘emergency’ shelter, ie somewhere to have a bit of lie down in copse if weather is mental. Have also used it as a sun-shade/rain-shelter when day-camping and as an extension to a two person tent

    I scrounged some roofing membrane offcut (like Tyvek) off the old bloke so as to use as a lightweight waterproof groundsheet. This could be handy for when it gets used converted to an ‘alphatent’, which can be erected flat in a downpour or raised/propped, at other times.

    Like this

    Also need to source a bigger tarp and poles for covering/shading two people during plein air painting classes or wet picnics. Wet picnics rule.

    Bookmarked.

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    This thread has got me thinking about trying a bike packing trip. I’ve been talking about it for years. I have a bivvy bag, apkit seatpack and bought a 13l drybag last week.

    Started looking at reviews for those naturehike tents and they are rated quite highly. Especially the cloud up 2 – found out the grey version is lighter due to the silicone material.

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