Richard Bucker

Lightest tarp tent possible

Posted at — May 23, 2019

I constantly refer to super ultralight (SUL) as the race to the most expensive gear or no gear.You don’t need band-aids if you have tape.Somewhere in that formula there are some cheap and light options but are they better and how does that work? If you’re reading this post then you already know about the materials out there and the cost of the raw and finished products. So I will no go there.Last year I purchased a roll of shrink and seal film from Amazon. I think this 25ft by 7ft roll cost me less than $10 USD. I’ve made a few groundsheets with this stuff making a 7’x5’ by orienting the material on one direction; and today I made a 9’x7’ tarp in the other direction.This turns out to be a pretty big tarp. The short corner lines are only about 8” and should be more like 2’ in order to give the short side some optional height. I could also add a tie to the center or even off center to provide some headroom and a possible hook for the net tent.The opening is huge.I used these lightweight MSR rings just because they were at hand. Polycryo tears easy and a twig or sharp edge would damage the tarp. I could add some tape here to strengthen the guyout.This aluminium pole is also pretty compact and light. When I compute shelter weight I add the poles.It’s summer in Florida and the tent is installed in the yard. I also have a pretty nice breeze. I’m just not certain how fragile this setup might be. I think there is some room to reinforce the corners but I can also setup at dusk and break camp at first light. There is no reason to keep the tarp up during the day.One other thing… I did not use any linelocks or fancy knots.Thanks to @jupiterhikes for the inspiration.