Making a translucent tarp more opaque

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Sundial
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Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Sundial » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:30 am

So I got a Eureka VCS 16 tarp (basically the same thing as Noah's Tarp). I did a test pitch in the park and found its sunlight blocking abilities could be better. I'm planning to get a black king size bed sheet or two to clip to it with spring clamps, but I was wondering if there's a better solution? I considered black spray paint, but I'm guessing that would just result in a moop blizzard.
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Drawingablank » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:30 am

Do not under any circumstances spray paint a tarp - it will cause a major moop problem.

We had neighbors that brought a sprayed tarp in 2012 and spent hours picking up that moop. It is super light and blows all over the place, and even worse it crumbles as you try to pick it up.

Not sure a black sheet is a great idea either since black absorbs heat.
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Sundial
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Sundial » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:32 am

Drawingablank wrote:Not sure a black sheet is a great idea either since black absorbs heat.
White sheet then? Or maybe beige?
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Canoe
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:06 am

That style of tarp setup won't block the heat radiating in the sides from the sun-baked playa, but it is blocking the direct UV, direct Infrared and a lot of the visible (some is reflected away, some is absorbed as heat).
Even shade cloth lets light through...
Why the concern?

As to a black sheet.
If it's on the top of the tarp, it is now a solar absorber, taking the sun's UV, Infrared & visible and it all goes into the sheet as heat. That heat it will radiate away, up and down (where you are).

One on the underside of the tarp will block light coming through more, but it does so by being a solar absorber for what gets through the tarp, which heat it then has to radiate or conduct away. The open nature of that tarp setup lets heat slip out the sides (hot air rises) and any wind works to take that heat away too.

With a white sheet on the underside, any heat from the sides or below will be reflected back down at you and your tent. With a black sheet, it won't reflect that heat back down, but will absorb it; then it will radiate that heat, but as above, any wind will be working to take that heat away.

Until you try something, you won't know what the net effect will be: more heat or less heat.

Some people like having a black sheet on the inside top of their tent, so their body's heat isn't reflected back at them, but is absorbed and held above them. But again, we're back to we can't predict in a setup what the net effect will be. Black in some on-playa structures has been very effective.

So unless you like to experiment, and are willing to work at adjusting things to work on-playa instead of doing other Burn activities, you'll have to stick to what others have Playa-Tested©)'( if you want to be sure of results.
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Sundial » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:11 am

Fair enough. I'll probably get a black sheet and experiment a bit without worrying too much about perfection. I'm guessing it's more likely to be effective on the underside.
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by Canoe » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:23 am

Correct.
And don't forget to try in on the inside of your tent. Some people swear by it. YRMV

If you haven't noticed it anywhere, if you use two guy-lines per attachment point, the result is much more robust in the wind. Less likely to get any dynamic whipping loads on the tarp as it's held in place better.
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Re: Making a translucent tarp more opaque

Post by mudpuppy000 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:30 pm

I have a feeling a sheet will get shredded in the wind but it's worth a shot I guess. Maybe some aluminet would work better.

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