AMK Sportsman

Guys who use tarp shelters?

gman82001

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Joined
Aug 13, 2011
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357
I've always done my hunting as just day trips from trail heads or the camp but this season I'm taking a lot longer off and am thinking of spiking out a couple nights in an area we always want to go into but just isn't practical to do in one day. I'm trying to keep it as cheap and light weight as possible and am considering the kelty Noah tarp as a shelter for the mid sept elk hunt. I've got a couple questions


First: I need to know what kind of pads you use I'd like to get one of the therms rest neoair but I don't know if it's ok to use them directly on the ground or not even if you clear out all the pokey stuff

Second: is there any good guides for different ways to set up tarps I've seen lots of pics of some pretty fancy designs but would like to have a guide of what works best.

And last if you have any tips of tricks of tarp style camping please share
 

kad11

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May 9, 2012
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I use about a 3' by 7' piece of Tyvek under my Big Agnes air core pad without any problems. I would hesitate to sleep with the pad directly on the ground though.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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4,503
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SW NM
I have a ripstop poncho I take in my pack. Use that to sleep on.
I use a siltarp like the Kelty and a OR bivy for storms.
 

idnative1948

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May 10, 2010
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Boise, Idaho
You never know if you are going to have a tree or trees to tie a rope off to sling a tarp over. I am always more concerned about what is under me. JMHO
 

gman82001

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Aug 13, 2011
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357
Thanks guys ... I know we'll have timber around but I also carry 2 trekking poles so setup seems like it'll be easy enough if I do it correct .... I'll look for a pice of tyvec that's a good idea
 

idnative1948

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Good luck to you gman!
We always try to plan on if .... happens type of stuff (as in everything blows away around 3:00am) . Sometimes we win, sometimes a cold/wet night so just part of the fun.

Thanks guys ... I know we'll have timber around but I also carry 2 trekking poles so setup seems like it'll be easy enough if I do it correct .... I'll look for a pice of tyvec that's a good idea
 

bowhuntmontana

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Feb 17, 2011
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Utah, after 30+yrs in MT
Depending on the country you're in, hammocks with a tarp pitched can be awesome. No need for level ground and you are up off the ground. I've been getting into hammock camping over the past year and I really like the simplicity and man can it be a good night's sleep. Pretty light too.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

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Aug 9, 2013
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Wyoming
I'm not sure what the name of the one I use is. It was about $15 at Bass Pro Shops. I just wrap myself up in it and lay on the ground.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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SW NM
Just a side note.If you'll be in for a nite or so in good weather,no problem bivying out.
If you'll get NM style monsoon thunderstorms or early blowing/melting snow,use a tent.
Or you'll be wet and miserable.
I have been flooded on high ground by deluges flowing thru camp,or the wind sprays everything.
That calls for bivy sack and or tent,IMHO.
 

MontanaWild

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Jan 7, 2012
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The neoair should be just fine on the ground. Obvious sharp objects should be avoided but I've used mine on the ground and in my truck for a few years and its held up so far.
 

gman82001

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Aug 13, 2011
Messages
357
Thanks guys I'm still deciding how I want to do it but I'm leaning to the tarp pretty heavily. I'm trying to keep it cheap so I can see how well I like it then maybe I'll get done better lighter stuff before next season
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
572
Is there really much advantage to a tarp vs a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 or similar other than initial cost? When you can have a 1 person tent for right around 2 lbs it seems like you have to start digging pretty deep into lightweight stuff before you see much weight savings especially if you don't use trekking poles.
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
Is there really much advantage to a tarp vs a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 or similar other than initial cost? When you can have a 1 person tent for right around 2 lbs it seems like you have to start digging pretty deep into lightweight stuff before you see much weight savings especially if you don't use trekking poles.
Lack of a floor in the tarp/sil-nylon tipi allows for the use of a small wood stove. IMO, this could be a BIG plus.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
572
Lack of a floor in the tarp/sil-nylon tipi allows for the use of a small wood stove. IMO, this could be a BIG plus.

This is a good point, but he did say as light as possible for a Sept elk hunt. For winter camping I more than agree that floorless single wall/stove has a lot of advantages.

Tarps have always seemed like an odd middle ground for me. I get that a hammock eliminates the need for a tent and a thermarest so that makes more sense to me for nice weather camping, but a tarp still means a thermarest, tarp and poles/rigging.

You can pitch a big agnes with the rain fly, poles and ground tarp only and have a trail weight around 1.5 lbs with something that is semi free standing. They are a bit spendy, but do go on 30% off sale fairly regularly.
 

gman82001

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Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
357
Honestly my biggest reason is a 1 man tent for me is going to be very snug and if I went to a 2 man I'm looking around 5lbs or more especially in my price range... Really this year is just trying to go cheap and see if it's really worth overnighting in the area we hunt.
 

jerrymckenzie

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Dec 29, 2014
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Location
hudson Wi
I have gone on a number of wilderness canoe trips and use the air pads like thermarest. I have decided that a full length pad is not necessary, you really don't need the pad under your legs. The half pad is lighter and packs smaller, and probably cheaper. I only wish I would have discovered that before I bought 2 full length pads. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
221
Location
MN
I am generally a warm sleeper and for me not using a full length pad is not an option. It may work in the summer months but if the weather has been cold at night the ground can be cold and it sucks the heat right out of my feet leaving me cold by morning.
 

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