Tarp Vs Wind

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Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Complexity » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:35 am

Having done a fair bit of research on shelter - and particularly light, portable shelter which will be easy to put together for someone coming from overseas - I've settled on a tarp anchored to my vehicle on one side, propped with tarp poles on the other and anchored to the ground on the remaining two sides with a combination of rebar, dog-ties and swearing.

One thing eludes me: with a prevailing SSW wind, is it better to present the vehicle anchored side to the wind to provide a barrier against it, or better to present one of the ground anchored sides in that direction to encourage the wind to flow up and over the tarp?

Or knowing that the wind can move around, does it really make much of a difference?

Your wisdom, oh tarp and shelter gods, is much appreciated.


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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by lemur » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:58 am

use the van as a windblock. and it also works as a sunblock..
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by MedullaB » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:03 pm

A helpful tip when using tarps - bring some golf balls - when the grommets fail (or wisely before) in the big wind storm, wrap the corners around a golf ball and then secure the rope around the tarp covered golf ball... holds WAY better then the grommets do. If you don't have any balls, rocks will work fine too! :lol:


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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by essjay » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:08 pm

Be careful attaching the tarp to you vehicle - the force from a windstorm can damage the vehicle.

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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Token » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:06 pm

That's what insurance is for!

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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by HookahGod » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:48 pm

Last year was my first, but all the strongest wind storms came from about 5:30 - you'd get some stiff wind from every other direction, but the serious ones were from the one way. I'd have the car blocking the wind - better to present a smaller profile for your tarp, or you might come back one night and find it not there. Or just bring double the rebar and rope you think you need - if you see give, add more, or make a friend with a gift.
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Bexx » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:48 am

oh wow, I'm so glad you posted this. It is what I plan on doing, and I could see it in my head as working, but trying to explain it to my Husband, he was just giving me the look of :? big time. We plan on anchoring ours to the roof rack of our Rav4 and then using 1in PVC pipe which we cut to 7 feet as poles. We've got extra long rebar to put in the ground, and then the poles over that. The rebar will go up about 4 feet. - then we will anchor on the outside with more rebar. - The plan is to fit our tent underneath all of this.

but now I fucking wish I had thought of Tarp poles. I didn't even think of those. I might go and pick up two - and then they can slip inside the pvc.
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by JoeJoe » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:26 am

I'd say there's a pretty strong chance the wind will rip your roof rack right off the car with the tarp tied to it... Might want to anchor to the ground on the other side of the car, run rope over the roof rack if you need to to help avoid scratching car...

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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:33 am

I would strongly recommend against plastic piping as the poles. Simply use a 2x3 or 2x4 8' green stud you can pick up at any home store in Reno. You can put a few 2" screws in it to make a place to tie the rope around it without the rope slipping up or down.
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Ugly Dougly » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:47 am

I believe a playa favorite pole is electrical conduit.

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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Phil G » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:37 am

I just wanted to add a little technique we use in our camp. May not necessarily be applicable here.

We usually set a couple of the cheap 10x10 (or 12x12) collapsible shade structures and create walls around them with tarps. The trick is in the anchoring. Using zip ties and rope to attached the tarp to the side is easily done (gonna try the golf ball trick this year thanks!). Its the spare tarp on the ground that key. I take a piece of 2x4 or 2x3 it can be however long, a couple 4 footers usually, but lets call it 10' just to make it easier to explain. I drill 1" holes in it every 2' or so, then I take the excess tarp at my feet and I roll the wood up in it. I keep rolling so that I can lay the 2x4/tarp burrito flat on the playa while making the wall as tight as possible. Then you simply break out the ol' rebar, locate the holes in the wood and drive them through the tarp and the 1" hole all the way as deep as your can. I use candy caned rebar or some that look like crusifixes that I have. Do this at the base of every "wall" and you are good to go. Yes, your tarp is a little thrashed, but you can used them for this many times over. Also the life of the shade structure is extended, I have one returning for its 3rd burn.

Hope this made sense:) See you out there!!!


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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by mudpuppy000 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:44 am

I did the SUV lean-to my first year and it worked pretty well. It would have been nicer with poles but I didn't have any with me that year. Put the vehicle up-wind and be aware that wherever the tarp or ropes touch your paint will get scratched all to hell.

Or you can make a monkey hut if you want a free-standing structure.

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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Turnip » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:30 am

We're doing something similar this year, only miles more simpler.

We drilled holes directly into the top of our Bus/van's extended top, aligning with the grommets of our extra long tarp where we're going to pound the other in directly into the ground using about 3 times as many stakes as necessary. Being sure to pull it taught. Obviously the looser the tarps, the more the wind will beat the shit out of it.
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Bob » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:02 pm

Whatever you do, try it at home first on a windy moor.
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:30 pm

Did someone drop a copy of Wuthering Heights in your cushions?
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Re: Tarp Vs Wind

Post by Stickygreen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:56 pm

tarp vs wind,

wind always wins.....

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