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Offline weedeater64

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Rain shelter.
« on: August 23, 2019, 06:53:20 PM »
Some time ago when I was looking at hundreds of internet articles, posts, blogspam and all about cheap and/or diy tarps I recall seeing a post about a low tech diy approach.

Some guy in some forum said that any material is suitably waterproof if you use two layers with some space between. eg.. string up any old bedsheet, then another just above with no touching.

Anyone know anything about this, or has anyone tried it?

I never did get around to trying it, perhaps I will soon as there is supposed to be rain incoming.
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 07:09:54 PM »
The caveat to this is that I have not tried it..............

I find it difficult to believe that two bedsheets (not touching) would offer a high degree of waterproof protection without first treating the material.

Online madmax

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 04:36:34 AM »
Yeah,  bedsheets are pretty sketchy on that.  But it is a well know hack during re-enactments that setting up a cotton canvas untreated fly over a cotton canvas untreated tent at a steep pitch will greatly slow leakage.  The theory goes the rain swells the cotton fly into a tighter weave and the steep pitch encourages the water to run off rather than soak through.

 I have a heavy untreated cotton canvas tarp that has kept me dry through several rain events, with no fly.  I think it's the heavy weight canvas I have.



Some other guys'.

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 08:31:32 AM »
There is quite a bit of discussion about leakage of tents on the net.

I recall that when we were kids and camping out in the State parks or backyard we were always using some kind of canvas "pup" tents or tarps but never a rain fly. When it rained they didn't leak all that much.  This was canvas material and not the lighter weight of a cotton sheet.  Treated or not we were advised to never touch the surface from the inside when it was raining.  I always thought that it would make water start to come through the material (which it does) but it is more complicated than that.

Dr. Steven Shropshire, Physics Professor, Idaho State University say's this is what happens when you do:

"When you touch wet canvas, surface tension will draw water to your finger. There will be a ?wicking? action then that will draw water through the canvas in response to your drawing water away from the canvas. When you take your finger away, this wicking will stop. However, the drop left behind where you touched, like any irregular point on an overhead surface, will draw condensation from inside the tent if it is humid. Since it usually is humid when it is raining, the condensation will build until you get a drop, but not all of it falls. What is left will still draw condensation more than the rest of the inside tent surface, so it will appear to leak from that point as long as the humidity is high."

Back to the original question:  My opinion is that a cotton bedsheet will leak, even in separated layers, when the cotton absorbs more moisture than can be held in the material. If it is pitched steeply then the excess water might tend to run down to the bottom of the material before it starts leak but it will eventually leak everywhere in a long duration rain. 
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2019, 04:01:16 PM »
 I put in about 25 years doing 18th and 19th century reenacting, mostly F&I and Rev War, and then transitioned to historical trekking eastern long hunter style,  outings were usually two or three day treks with minimalist gear including some sort of period tarp and a wool blanket, we tried just about every type of light weight fabric you can think of as well as different water proofing things we heard about.
 What we discovered was that treated canvas was way too heavy to be practical for the trail on foot, cotton or linen bedsheets left untreated leaked (always),  the best thing we could use for the money were thin cheap cotton canvas painters tarps found at most hardware supply stores,  5'x7' or 9'x9' are the best sizes, take them home and wash them in hot water and soap to remove the sizing from the fabric, then rinse in hot water to shrink the weave, if possible hang in the hot sun to dry.
 Doing this will help to tighten the weave of the fabric,  when using the tarp use a lean to, plow point, or A-frame setup so the walls are pitched steeply, in a hard rain this will help you stay as dry as possible, however, for what you can buy a good treated nylon tarp for today it's not worth fooling around making your own, you can buy a  decent quality 10'x10' lightweight water repellent nylon tarps with tie outs around the perimeter and along the ridge line for about $60.00 or under,  Walmart sells a really good Ozark Trail 5'x7' blue nylon, waterproof tarp for $10.00 bucks, buy two and put them together, it'll cost you far less than a good bedsheet and there's no work involved.       
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2019, 12:43:29 PM »
Chill Gorilla tarps are talked about highly on Hammock forums. Amazon. Kelty Noah also very good for price and durability.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline weedeater64

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 08:23:12 AM »
Chill Gorilla tarps are talked about highly on Hammock forums. Amazon. Kelty Noah also very good for price and durability.

I fell victim to the marketing bull and bought a Kelty Noah some years ago. Not only was it not waterproof, it was quite flimsy. Easily ripped to shreds by the wind. It was also a pain in the ass to set up other than as a flying V. Not a versatile tarp at all. At all. I would rate it around 3 out of 10, if that.
It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. - A.C. Grayling

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 07:30:14 PM »
Chill Gorilla tarps are talked about highly on Hammock forums. Amazon. Kelty Noah also very good for price and durability.

I fell victim to the marketing bull and bought a Kelty Noah some years ago. Not only was it not waterproof, it was quite flimsy. Easily ripped to shreds by the wind. It was also a pain in the ass to set up other than as a flying V. Not a versatile tarp at all. At all. I would rate it around 3 out of 10, if that.

I have three of the Kelty Noah's tarps (12, 16 and 20).  I have used them in high winds and torential downpours.  I couldn't be happier with them.  Some of the best tarps I have owned.

Online Yellowyak

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 07:44:29 PM »
Chill Gorilla tarps are talked about highly on Hammock forums. Amazon. Kelty Noah also very good for price and durability.

I fell victim to the marketing bull and bought a Kelty Noah some years ago. Not only was it not waterproof, it was quite flimsy. Easily ripped to shreds by the wind. It was also a pain in the ass to set up other than as a flying V. Not a versatile tarp at all. At all. I would rate it around 3 out of 10, if that.

I have three of the Kelty Noah's tarps (12, 16 and 20).  I have used them in high winds and torential downpours.  I couldn't be happier with them.  Some of the best tarps I have owned.

I agree. For my needs, my 9', 12', and 16' Kelty Noah tarp's have worked awesome. I've put them through many rain storms and windy conditions and have found them to be weather tight and very functional.

Online madmax

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 04:58:13 AM »
I can attest to Crashdive123's and Yellowyak's  Kelty Noah tarps.  They kept us dry in truly biblical rains.  I'm probably springing for a big one this season.
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 07:43:34 AM »
Chill Gorilla tarps are talked about highly on Hammock forums. Amazon. Kelty Noah also very good for price and durability.

I fell victim to the marketing bull and bought a Kelty Noah some years ago. Not only was it not waterproof, it was quite flimsy. Easily ripped to shreds by the wind. It was also a pain in the ass to set up other than as a flying V. Not a versatile tarp at all. At all. I would rate it around 3 out of 10, if that.

I guess it's possible that you got a cheap knock off tarp marked with the Kelty Noah logo,  but my experience has been that Kelty puts out quality products,  I've had and still have several backpacking tarps made by reputable makers and all of them have been excellent.
At one time lightweight treated tarps were pretty expensive which prompted people to try to make their own from cheap painter tarps or tightly woven cotton bed sheets, most had marginal success, few if any were ever really water proof.
Today things have changed, newer materials and manufacturing methods have brought the cost of good quality camping tarps way down in price and much easier to carry around while good quality cotton bed sheets have gone up in price sometimes surpassing the cost of a good tarp.
My three most used Tarps are a 10'x10', a 5'x7', and a 5'x7' tarp/poncho, all are made of nylon and bonded to a water proof sealer,  they are light weight, very durable, have reinforced tie outs on all sides and have four along the ridge line, my 10'x10' costs $65.00, the 5'x7' costs $30.00, and the Poncho/Tarp runs about $40.00 dollars, all are about three years old or more and are still in nice condition and still waterproof.
Some tarp tips that work for me,
 
*Choose a tarp with good reviews.

*Choose a tarp that has reinforced tie out attachments, don't by a tarp with grommets.

*Buy a Tarp made of Nylon or Silnylon with treated seems.

*Don't fold your tarp when stored, just stuff it into it's stuff sack, for long term storage hang it like you would a good blanket.

*Square tarps are easier to set up in a variety of configurations.

*A properly staked out tarp kept tight will fair better in high wind than one that is loosely set up.

*Tarps should be dried well before being packed away to prevent mildew and staining.

 And when it comes to outdoor gear,  it's always more economical in the long term to buy good quality gear in the first place than it is to buy lesser quality gear and have to replace it over and over.     
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline weedeater64

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2019, 01:40:43 PM »
I guess you guys have never seen real rain. The Kelty I bought was not a knock off, and they are definitely not waterproof.

When mine leaked I asked around various forums and dug a little deeper into the fine print of their literature. They clearly state their tarps are not water proof, however they hide that bit behind a lot of marketing hype designed to fool customers into thinking they are.

Best tarp I've seen for cheap is visqueen, sold under a bunch of names. Clear plastic used by painters and whatnot. It won't last though. The black stuff will last longer, and be hotter with no visibility. With careful rigging it can stand up to some pretty strong wind, but not very high winds. Absolutely water proof.

On that note, a good idea to pack a contractor bag or three in you pack for emergencies. Learned when I was a kid to use them as a ready made shelter, just climb in and close but for a breathing hole. Safety nazi's will tell you to not sleep in there, but they are just nazi's.
It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. - A.C. Grayling

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2019, 02:39:31 PM »
Haven't seen real rain?  Laughing.

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 06:07:29 PM »
LOL, on not seeing real rain, come on down sometime. I've used my kelty in both florida, & Tenn Smokeys where it rained every day for 4 days straight with a few breaks. Not one leak and only a slight pitch.
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Online Yellowyak

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 06:32:08 PM »
LOL, I believe Florida is consistently in the top 5 states in the US with the most annual rainfall. We see HEAVY RAIN, no doubt.

Offline hayshaker

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2019, 05:42:46 AM »
7hours once na pali coast Kauai rain no where to go on trail so I just sat in it.
I had a issue poncho woodland camo that was useless.

Offline Pete Bog

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2019, 10:32:09 AM »
I'm going to go with weedeater64. If you want to stay dry, use the construction plastic or the contractors bags. I never knew what heavy rain was until I moved to Memphis and we got that moisture coming up out of the Gulf. I had never seen such big drops and so many of them all at once. A contractors bag would have been most welcome. I don't think they had been invented yet.

A couple years ago, in Northern North Dakota, I walked into a fast food restaurant with an umbrella. Fella says "I'm from Florida were it rains a lot, and I've never used an umbrella." OK. The rain up North is a lot colder, and once your wet, you stay wet and cold for a long time up here. I'll just assume he learned that later in the day. Those of you that have been to the Boundry Waters should know what I mean. Staying dry is important. I've just never had a lot of faith in a tarp that a wind driven rain will permeate and pass through as a fine mist, or is to small to reach all the way to the ground and stop the rain from sneaking in under it.

What you can get away with in the warmer Southern climate won't cut it in the North. Even getting damp in anything but the warmest days can turn miserable. Keep your powder dry? Keep everything dry!

Offline weedeater64

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2019, 05:05:32 PM »
Haven't seen real rain?  Laughing.

If you stayed dry under a Kelty, then no. You haven't seen real rain. Not even close.
It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. - A.C. Grayling

Offline weedeater64

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2019, 05:07:32 PM »
I've used my kelty in both florida, & Tenn Smokeys where it rained every day for 4 days straight with a few breaks. Not one leak and only a slight pitch.

I said real rain, not a slow drizzle which is the only thing a Kelty will keep you dry from.
It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. - A.C. Grayling

Offline Pete Bog

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2019, 10:32:18 PM »
Since rain seems to be the topic, Mitchell South Dakota received 7 inches (18CM) of rain last night and 5 inches (13 cm) in just 2 hours tonight. Since it's coming up from the South, how you folks down in Nebraska fairing?

That kind of rain reminds me of a story told back in the '60's.
Noah was complaining about building the arc.
God called down to him in a booming voice, the kind of voice that echoes across the hills.  "NOAH!"
Noah answers in a small meek voice "Yes Lord?"
God simply asks him "How long can you tread water?"

Offline crashdive123

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 03:54:21 AM »
Hey Weedeater........no t sure why you are doubting the experience of several members here, but it you want to troll a site please go elsewhere.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2019, 08:56:01 AM »
Weedeater does this whenever he comes back to post something.  Argumentative, his way is right, the rest of us don't know from apple butter, and so forth.  Unfortunate that he is that way but I agree Crash, we would be better off without his trolling.
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 10:21:13 AM »

 Two thumbs up !
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Offline weedeater64

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2019, 05:50:17 PM »
Hey Weedeater........no t sure why you are doubting the experience of several members here, but it you want to troll a site please go elsewhere.

Calling out bull is not trolling. Your precious 'members' are doling out bad advice. That might be why you only have three or four active users here.
It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a privilege endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. - A.C. Grayling

Offline Dabberty

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2019, 11:04:21 PM »
Sooo, everyone had their say and shared his experience.
Done, no need to agrivate eachother about different opinions and experiences.

And to relax a bit, lets watch some interesting tennis.
You might be surprised about how tough the fabric is that this lady is using :-)

My outdoor & DIY blog:  www.dabberty.com

Offline Pete Bog

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2019, 11:26:59 PM »
In an earlier post I agreed with Weedeater64, and I'm going to stick with that.

 I don't have and have never seen a Kelty and am unlikely to. But I look at the video that Weedeater posted over in 'General Discussion', and I see this fancy little lightweight specialty store tarp with cute little catenary curves along the edges and my first thought is "What a nice looking piece of gear, but I doubt it will perform when the chips are really down." and my next thought is "Danged if I'm going to pay that much for it"

I'm just guessing but I suspect Horace Kephart would roll his eyes at the Kelty after trying to deploy it in the limited confines of his old stomping grounds. They (Kelty tarps) are limited in their versatility of use, and require a fair amount of real estate to set up correctly. 

For now, I'll use what I know works and if I see a (insert name brand here) that works as well or better for a competitive price, I'll try it.  :soap:

Does Dabberty's post remind anyone else of  "Sing along with Mitch" (TV show from the '60's)? If you look it up on you tube, an important part it is missing from the videos. Guess you had to have been there.  I wasn't aware of tennis outfits made of kevlar and tyvek.  ;D

Offline wolfy

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2019, 10:09:26 AM »
We seem to have been in a bit of a 'slump' lately, but that seems to occur naturally during certain times of the year.  I always assume that most of the membership is occupied with other things and doesn't want to substitute 'dirt time' with 'screen time'....good weather should not be wasted!  Me included....if it ain't raining, I'm either alone on the bike or with Heather on the trike.:banana::banana:

If that video from Dabberty doesn't 'stimulate' more forum activity, we are indeed doomed! :lol:

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. 8)
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Online madmax

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2019, 01:02:53 PM »
I would imagine she needs somebody to rub some Bengay on her after that. 
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Rain shelter.
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2019, 09:24:41 PM »
Rain?  Two of my sons and I were fishing out of Rockport one morning.  We started catching sand trout as fast as we could get them in the boat.  I broke off and tied a bare shiny silver hook on and kept catching. I wasn't even casting, just dragging the hook next to the boat with about six feet of line out.  We probably caught 50 - 60 fish.  Then....... they stopped, and the rain started.  It rained 13 inches the first hour and about 10 inches the second hour.  The bilge pump was going the whole time while the boys bailed and I limped along back to the ramp.  When I got loaded there was still so much water in the boat that I couldn't pull it up the ramp.  I finally got it out using the 4 wheel drive.  We went straight to "Whataburger" and froze while eating and watching the stream of water spew out of the two drain holes on the boat while the rain filled it up again. 

I don't think the tarp has been made that could keep anything dry in that kind of rain.

I grew up in South Louisiana and occasionally we would put on our yellow slicker suits but most times we just  kept doing whatever we were doing in the rain.

We used lots of WD40 on nearly everything.

It was actually kind of refreshing when I moved to Texas and it didn't rain every day (sometimes it doesn't rain for months). 

I still like for it to rain though.

Alan