Tarp shelter in winter?

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Koda
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Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Koda » November 5th, 2020, 6:01 pm

Anyone use a simple tarp as an overnight shelter in winter? ....specifically in windy conditions?


I have one as an emergency item, but seems like if you cant pitch it in the best angle from the wind it wouldn't work so well.

Image
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Charley
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Charley » November 5th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Regularly.
timberline354.jpg
Wind is a real problem. The solution is:
1. Numerous guylines (8 minimum)
2. Solid anchors (big snow stakes, regular stakes in solid soil, perhaps even backed up with heavy rocks, tying off to an actual tree).

Several times, in all seasons, I've ended up moving in the middle of the night or just letting the tarp fall down and setting it aside and because the soil (Mt Hood moon dust, etc) was too loose for anchors.

I've never actually tarped overnight during a snow storm with a tarp that didn't go all the way to the ground. I think spindrift would make that a very unpleasant experience, though it'd be exciting! I suppose you could possibly make snow walls around the bottom of the tarp. That'd take a long time, but I guess the nights are long anyway.

leiavoia
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by leiavoia » November 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm

You can peg a hex tarp flat on one corner into the wind, forming an emergency storm shelter.

However, what you're really looking for is a tarp with doors. Wintertime hammockers frequently have these.

Example:
https://hammockgear.com/dyneema-fiber-s ... ith-doors/

Amusing video of Shug hammocking at -40F:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTuGJgka1qc

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Koda
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Koda » November 5th, 2020, 8:48 pm

Charley wrote:
November 5th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Several times, in all seasons, I've ended up moving in the middle of the night or just letting the tarp fall down and setting it aside and because the soil (Mt Hood moon dust, etc) was too loose for anchors.

I've never actually tarped overnight during a snow storm with a tarp that didn't go all the way to the ground. I think spindrift would make that a very unpleasant experience, though it'd be exciting!
none of that sounds exciting at all.... :D

Ive tried pitching mine low and find it difficult with the wing style I wound up with (pic in OP is literally the one I have...). I'm not really experienced with simple tarp setup camping and my main interest here is for an emergency shelter in winter where I think it would suffice nicely even if spindrift came in a bit... better than the alternative if stuck overnight anyways.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Koda
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Koda » November 5th, 2020, 8:58 pm

leiavoia wrote:
November 5th, 2020, 7:27 pm
You can peg a hex tarp flat on one corner into the wind, forming an emergency storm shelter.

However, what you're really looking for is a tarp with doors. Wintertime hammockers frequently have these.

Example:
https://hammockgear.com/dyneema-fiber-s ... ith-doors/

Amusing video of Shug hammocking at -40F:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTuGJgka1qc
That dyneema tarp with doors looks awesome. I'm already setup with shelter systems though, including a good UL shaped tarp shelter thats more like a tent. I dont want to carry that in winter though I like the idea of the simplicity of a simple cheap tarp for an emergency. Im just exploring the options with what I have... and skeptical a simple tarp in winter is a good idea to rely on in bad conditions.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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Chip Down
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Chip Down » November 5th, 2020, 10:16 pm

I've considered digging a pit and throwing a tarp over it. I know it sounds like a tremendous amount of work, but probably less than building a snow cave, especially if a natural depression is utilized as a starting point. I realize it's easier to just carry a tent, but I think it would be fun to experiment and see what works.

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retired jerry
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by retired jerry » November 6th, 2020, 7:52 am

I've tried various tarp with raised edges configurations in the winter. It's too difficult to avoid wind blowing the rain in. The wind blows it around. But I did many nights successfully.

I've switched to a pyramid tent. All edges on ground.

They're like a commodity item, many manufacturers, for example https://bivysack.com/shop/ols/products/ ... tarp-10x10

The only reason I mention that one is it's a good pyramid tent and I occasionally talk to him on the internet

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Koda
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Koda » November 6th, 2020, 7:35 pm

retired jerry wrote:
November 6th, 2020, 7:52 am
I've tried various tarp with raised edges configurations in the winter. It's too difficult to avoid wind blowing the rain in. The wind blows it around. But I did many nights successfully
I will take your word for it. It looks like the tarp might be a good emergency bivy in winter... but not something I will want to rely on for an intended winter overnight campout.

There are so many good and cool UL shelter designs... I want to own them all. I have been so tempted to get a pyramid tent, but my stock is inventoried out with some good UL shelters I paid dearly for.

But good to know about the tarps in winter... saves me the painful learning experience of using it over my other shelters. I might consider it in the fall seasons after the bugs die and the before the rain flies...
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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retired jerry
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by retired jerry » November 6th, 2020, 8:47 pm

Like I said, I've used raised edge tarps successfully even though rain blows in and wind blows tarp around

But, try it yourself and see what works for you. Knowing about those weaknesses may help - know where the winds coming from, avoid the worst weather,... maybe don't beat your head against wall as many times as I have :)

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Koda
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Re: Tarp shelter in winter?

Post by Koda » November 6th, 2020, 10:28 pm

retired jerry wrote:
November 6th, 2020, 8:47 pm
Like I said, I've used raised edge tarps successfully even though rain blows in and wind blows tarp around

But, try it yourself and see what works for you. Knowing about those weaknesses may help - know where the winds coming from, avoid the worst weather,... maybe don't beat your head against wall as many times as I have :)
Ha... Rain blowing in doesnt sound like sucess.
Saving the tarp for emergency use... I do have better options for planned overnighters.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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