Friday, October 30, 2015

More Canvas Canoe Tarp Rigging Options

After completing the quick 10x10 canvas tarp shelter made from a painter's dropcloth (see post HERE) some nice yard time was spent fiddling around with setups.

My preferred method of shelter is to have one exposed side not only for the view but also for heat from a radiant fire. So as posted on before, a favourite tarp pitch is the "Adirondack Wind Shed" very reminiscent of the Whelen leanto. It needs just 4 ground stakes on the tarp and two guylines for support.

Tarp pitched in a "Whelen style" leanto

Here's an old web image featuring a whelen lean to setup with the canoe in front to add an extra bit of protection from the elements. Personally, I would have the canoe propped up much further away and have a small reflecting fire built.

Another option for pitching is a more enclosed shelter with open ends at the front. This one is supported with a single paddle at the head and another paddle in the rear is used to lift up the drooping middle for a little more interior space.

What's nice about this setup is that with the foot area completely staked down, one side can be opened up and pulled back to give a bit more coverage but still retain an open feel. Basically with a bedroll thrown in there, your upper body can be exposed to a warming fire with your lower body more covered by the tarp.

One side opened up for ventilation

Another classic setup with nearly full enclosed protection is the so-called "Tarp Tent" that is featured in lots of different old camping books. Claude P.  Fordyce 's  Touring Afoot  (1922) has a great description on making one along a with a clear image of its setup.

The 1916 Abercrombie and Fitch catalog also featured this design for the outdoorsman...

For a while, the NorthWest Woodsman was selling a high end version and his webpage tutorial on setup is still great reading on the pitching method.

Generally this pitch works best with a rectangular tarp but it can still be done with a 10x10 square design resulting in a more narrow and compact solo shelter (roughly 5.5' high at the entry x  5' wide x 7.5' long).

However, my 58" paddles are too low to raise the front entry to practical levels. For that reason, one would need to find something in the bush or use a canoe pole. For this yard demonstration, I just used a piece of 8ft - 2x2 lumber. It was rigged with two prussic cords that held in position once everything is tensioned. One is connected to the top of the tarp with a carabiner, the other supports some guylines.

Single Pole "Tarpaulin Tent" pitch

The door flaps can be staked closed as in the above picture, angled out or fully pulled back to give a bit more air and space.  It requires a minimum of 7 stakes to pitch properly plus the guyline. Of course it could be rigged with two lashed poles to free up space in the entryway but I didn't have another piece of suitable lumber to play with here.

Here's another view of the interior  with one door flap angled out and another folded fully back...

As a last resort or in a quick downpour, one could always rig a quick shelter with the canoe paddles and pole like so...


David said...

Again Murat that is great info. I could only find the 8x12 drop cloth locally, it is the same brand as yours... Maybe I should go for it and try some thing. How much shrinkage did you get in yours? Why going with the drop cloth over the 10oz army duck sunfogger?
Will you do some thing for fire retardant treatment?

Thank you

Murat said...

I didn't measure for shrinkage since I washed the huge 12x14 twice in hot water and then cut out the 10x10. Had lots of excessive material. I went with this instead of 10oz Sunforger because of cost and the Sunforger fabric seems to come in 36" or 60" width. I don't have a sewing machine so this wasn't an option to make a proper 10x10. Natural canvas is spark resistant but not flame resistant. I'm more concerned with spark holes from a reflective fire but don't plan on having open flames in the shelter. Guess if you're planing making a proper hot tent with a stove inside then fire treated Sunforger would be the safest way to go. If you want, I'll try to see if I can find the 12x14 again here in TO and determine what the shipping cost will be to Whitehorse.

David said...

Thank you Murat, I forgot the no sewing machine part.... As for shipping a 12x14 that would be great!! I have a sewing machine and looking into buying a other one bigger, so maybe I could sew 2 8x12.... Anyway, keep me posted.


Murat said...

Give me a couple of days to get back to you David. Now it's trick or treat time. I'm "dressed up" as an exhausted father.

David said...

take your time... Today is Halloween and my daughter's birth day... She's out on a scavenger hunt with friends and her mom... I'm taking care of supper for 10 and then trick or treat... I will dress up as a "coureur des bois" jus like last year!!
Ho and winter is here since this morning...

Jonas Sjöblom said...

Really great and inspiring as usual Murat!
I use that last setup witht he canoe a lot, especially on solo trips when I don't need a lot of space. I usually put some logs or stones under the sterns to raise the canoe a bit. It gives a higher ceiling under the tarp. And instead of using the paddles I just tie it to the lower gunwale, like here:
Yea I know, it's an ugly synthetic tarp. I plan to make a 1.5m x 3m (4.9 x 9.8 foot) cotton tarp solely for this setup later.

Murat said...

Great photo Jonas! Looks like a quick and secure setup. Your tarp isn't ugly. I like yellow. Let me know when you're finished your tarp project too.

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