Saturday, March 12, 2011

plasti-taco under the stars

Last night was the first time I made a tarp-tent since my early twenties, and back then "tarp tent" meant "Too drunk to set up tent and people are already sleeping in the car, so wrap yourself up in a tarp and hope it doesn't rain too hard."

It was a lot of fun relaxing in the dark with a head lamp on, tying knots and setting up, with a footpath 500m away and planes from Vancouver Airport roaring low overhead. Not a bad way to spend a night in the city.

I kinda knew how the top roof-y tarp would turn out, but the ground tarp was a new one for me.

If I have one, I usually put out a ground tarp just to keep my sleeping bag / mattress / tent dry and clean. Another layer of softnesss as well, and it protects more expensive gear from getting torn by sticks n' rocks. (If it's dry out, you can also prop up the corners with sticks to prevent critters from crawling up to you - good trick for the desert, where you don't need a tent, but snakes like to snuggle up to your warmth at night.)

The weather has been really rainy so this time it was a necessity. But when I laid the ground tarp out flat, I realized rain would flow off the roof and right onto the ground tarp, and puddle under my thermarest. So I got into my sleeping bag and tied the edges of the ground tarp around me and my pack, so I was kind of like a self-contained plastic taco. Totally waterproof!

I have no idea if this is standard practice, or if people have better ideas, but it worked well for me. Two 6' x 8' tarps, 20m of rope, sharp knife and four tent pegs - packs way tighter than a tent and, if you already have the knife, it costs about $20.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I -KNEW- you were going to say that!

  3. yah, i can be predictable when baited correctly ...i admire your commitment to anti-censorshipishness-acity ...i wouldn't
    'hold it against you' if you wanted to remove it now tho, the point having been made..just so you dont have to deal with some uncomf. questions if gramma or like that reads this...
    tho that might be kind of fun too...well, im gonna go google myself til it hurts...-d

  4. If I didn't know you, I'd delete it, because I'd think it was some pervy arsehead trying to bug me.

    But knowing the actual pervy arsehead who posted it means I'll leave it up.