A heavy duty tarp can provide you extra shade, an area to set up a kitchen and dine under, cooler temperatures in tents, protection from falling debris and great protection from the ultimate camping dampener...
But most people can't tell the difference between a heavy duty tarp and any other kind of tarp
There are many differences between a heavy duty tarp and other tarps, expecially a lightweight tarp.
A heavy duty tarp has computer stitched webbing attached to stainless steel D rings, reinforced seams and corners, UV protection, 14x14 strong weave, welded rop perimeter.
Another measurement that is important to tarps is the ounce per square yard measurement. However, this will be different for canvas tarps than it is for polyethylene tarps. Strong polyethylene tarps are considered to be heavy duty if they are about 6 oz. per square yard. Strong canvas tarps are considered beavy duty if they are about 12 oz. per square yard.
Tarps that are more loosely woven such as blue tarps might work for some purposes, but you need a tarp with the dense 14x14 weave, if you want the tarp to last a long time.
How to choose a right Tarp?
#1. What Size Tarp?
To determine what size tarp is required you need to ask a couple of questions, firstly what the tarp will be used for. Secondly what is the size of tent, load, or area to cover?
If the tarp is to be erected over a tent and have enough room to provide shelter for a kitchen and dining area, you will need to obtain the dimensions of the tent and add sufficient coverage for table, chairs and BBQ. It's a good idae to allow 600 to 1000mm awning for the rear and sides of your tent.
#2. How Many Poles, Guy Ropes and Pegs?
Once you have determined the size of the tarp, look at the packaging and read how many D-rings are specified. You will require one pole to every second D-ring (poles=D-rings divided by two). You will need one guy rope for each pole, and double guy ropes on all four corners to alleviate tension from the corners of the tarp as well as providing the extra stability required on the corner poles. It's also advisale to incorporate the use of tension springs on the guy ropes to cater for any buffering the tarp may experience from wind. Last but not lease you will need one peg for each guy rope.
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