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Will be doing a few Bivy hunts this year 2nd half September in Wyoming. I have a good 1 man tent but partner does not and I’m wanting to save him some dollars. Any cheap recommendations for a tarp; more for peace of mind rather than protection from the elements? I’ll leave the bivy tent at home and we will stare at a tarp with a sleeping pad and bag at night. Will be about an hours (hard) hike from the truck, so if it gets bad we can always high-tail it outta there. We have a 4 day period to explore a new area before we set up the wall tent and get semi-permanent (for another 12 days) as far as camp goes. We are both tougher than we are willing to spend $, so cheapest is best. Tyvek? Most likely will do one night out, then restock at the truck and head right back out. Just for 4 days.
Man it’s coming soon!!!!!
I've used Kelty's 12' Noahs tarp for spike hunts in hot weather. It's lighter weight than a standard tarp, but still reasonably durable. The trick is finding the right set of trees to tie it to, so you don't have to pack poles. The shade alone during mid-day heat makes it worth the effort.
I use a cheap 12’ silnylon hex tarp from Amazon it’s been through hell still waterproof and still going strong.
If I ever put money down on a tarp it'd be from Kifaru. Order it now though. About the time they get swamped with orders.
They are a pain. Alway end up with a tiny hole that allows rain to run down the whole stack. Wind messes with them, dangerous to put on but cheaper than a big barn...oh...you said "hey" tarp, sorry :^)
Glunt, that’s along the lines I’m thinking though. I can deal with cold, rain dripping on my face, etc. It’s a peace of mind thing to put “something” up and just deal with it for a few nights. I’m thinking of getting a 10’ x 10’ tyvek square from some construction site and just dealing with it rather than spending the money. I’ve put up a high quality bivy tent before and it does nothing at all for warmth, just gives you peace of mind more than anything. I guess my real question is “What is the cheapest thing I can throw over me head to give the illusion of safety, and is cheapest?”
As long as the wind isn't blowing Tyvek will work. It is incredibly noisy
I bought a 6x9 silnylon tarp off Ebay a few years ago. Works great, just cut wood poles, if needed, with your handsaw. Works for me.
I’ve had a 8’x’10’ SilTarp 2 for 8 seasons. I pitch it underneath hiking poles...my Black Diamond flip locks extend to 145 mm, nearly 5’ and you can get a good pitch on it. I built 7 tent pegs from broken carbon arrow shafting I picked up at a local archery range. Used aluminum roofing nails cut in half and epoxied each end into the shafts (about 7” long). Tied some very light rope (cord) I bought at the mountaineering shop to the grommets. The whole rig weighs 17 ounces and goes with me everywhere in the pack on mountain hunts. Good safety piece and OK to camp under in a pinch. Cooked under it a lot in back pack camps. Mine was made by Integral Designs which has been sold. Don’t know anything about today’s quality. Good luck!
I have an 8'X10' siltarp as well. Can't imagine there is anything lighter, more compact and as versatile for the money. Google 8'X10' tarps pitches and you'll be amazed. I also have a Sil-Poncho which has come in handy in sudden summer snow storms or torrential downpours. Just big enough to sleep under too.
But if it's all about the dollars, then buy a four dollar tarp at Walmart. Likely cheaper than driving around looking for free Tyvek. And the tarp has grommets so you're not looking for pine cones or rocks to tie into the corners so you can hold the Tyvek down.
Here's the Noah's tarp.
I carry a Kifaru sheep tarp. I use it for Glassing protection from sun or rain. Also use it in camp for added protection or a roof for dinner
Just go buy a 20 x 10' blue tarp. $20-$25. You lay your sleeping bags out on top of 8'. Create a back wall (2') on the side you expect weather to come from or where the prevailing winds are from, and then angle the remaining 10' over the top of you. You will need some rope for the top front and for the back wall. One way to save yourself from ripping out grommets in a heavy wind is to put a loop of rope through each grommet and then run a stick through the loop and pull tight and then proceed to the next grommet. Tie off on to 2 trees in the front and 2 trees in the back. This is where a roll of parachord can be handy. If weather comes in you can build a fire in front of the shelter, stay warm, dry and the weight for the tarp is minimal. I have done this many different times with my boy scout groups in the back country and it has been better than buying all of the cheap tents the kids show up with and at a fraction of the cost. There will be plenty of room for 2 people and their gear in this set up. Easy peasy and cheap.
Tarps is tarps. buy a $30 tent and save yourself the missery! tarps don' have floors! Really $5 bucks get wet. Nighty night termite!
I use the fly off my 4 season Hilleberg tent in mild temps. It's bomberproof and only weighs a couple lbs. I've been rained and snowed on a few times while elk hunting in Sept and always stay warm and dry! I often bring along painters plastic for a floor to keep the dust and wet off. If it rains/snows and it's windy you are pretty well screwed under just a tarp. It may be worth the risk for a couple nights out but if it gets nasty and your stuff gets wet on an extended trip you are in for a long, miserable trip.
With a couple hunters you can always split up the poles, stakes, etc. and it doesn't weigh much.
Love my Noah's Tarp! Im not sure I could have stayed dry on several occasions of major thunderstorms. It's nice when you can sit outside your tent when it's raining and not be couped up in the tent.