CCS Tundra Tarp

I’m looking to purchase a Tundra Tarp and they offer two options, 1.1oz and 1.9oz fabric. Which to buy?

I asked this question of CCS and got a prompt response but I was wondering what additonal pros and cons might come from those who use a Tundra Tarp.

I’ve chosen the 10’x 12’ size. Any thoughts on size?

I camp out of a canoe and a kayak, mostly in fair weather and I plan to use the tarp for a shelter in a group camp and I want to experiment using the tarp for a sleeping shelter when conditions allow.

Another Option
I’ve never used the CCS model, but I have had an MEC Mantis for several years and it is the most versatile tarp shelter I’ve ever known. It allows set-up with no poles and the height is adjustable from low and wind-shedding to full headroom. Great bit of gear.

The MEC Mantis is interesting
I have no experience with it but it seems to be along the lines of a tarp tent shelter useful in beach situations or in open areas.

I have a 10x14 1.1 CCS silnylon tarp. Its five or six years old and been through many a blow in Canada. Its well sewn and just incredibly versatile. So far I have found about ten ways to string it up. But it does depend more on trees or strung line.

Did you talk to Dan about his Leans? That might be more what you are looking for.

I got the 10x14 for extended trips where its pretty much guaranteed to rain wind and be cold at least once. The large size gives me room to roam under and raise and lower sides as needed.

There is a kind of cool thread on “tarpology” here

The pictures are quite interesting.

I Have the Heavier One
Still lighter than old fashioned tarps. Been very pleased with mine and have several friends whom are equally pleased with their CCS tarps.

That’s a Clever Setup
CCS tarps are the only brand I’ve ever seen that allow the basic type of setup shown in that article (among a few other CCS-only methods that I’ve seen over the years), and lots of people use that general method, but I don’t think I’d previously seen that little modification that causes each end of the peak to droop so nicely. That’s a very clever idea, as I’m sure it would do a lot to reduce flapping, and lowering what’s otherwise a uselessly-high edge of the tarp will proportionately reduce blow-in of rain. I have a simple method of my own that adds lots of extra wind control, but it will be interesting to combine it with drooping the peak ends. Thanks for posting that.

Tarp Stuff

– Last Updated: Dec-01-11 10:29 PM EST –

10' x 12' will likely be fine, but if you are a tarp newbie, you may find that it looks smaller than you expected once it's set up. For two or three people who aren't expecting a shelter the size of their living room, that size should be enough.

For several pretty cool ideas about setting up tarps, some of Cliff Jacobson's books might be good. I think I might have a book with tarp set-up ideas. If I find it, I'll come back and list it here.

Okay, I didn't find descriptions of all the neat ways I've heard of for pitching these tarps. I must be remembering a presentation at Canoecopia. Still, two books by Cliff Jacobson list a few methods that a person is not likely to think of unless spurred by lots of experience. The books: "Camping's Top Secrets" and "Boundary Waters Canoe Camping".

CCS tarps are terrific.
These are wonderful tarps and they will last a lifetime if you care for them properly. I have three. All made from the heavier material. If I had the money I would go with the lighter material because it is stronger, and lighter. But the heavy stuff is great too and not really that heavy. I have used them in extremely harsh environments and high winds both in the trees and in barrens and they have always performed extremely well. I agree that Cliff has some helpful info on tarp setting including combining two tarps into one large shelter. I would not go on a trip without at least one tundra tarp. I often set a small fire just off one end, or even under, the tarp in the rain and it makes for a wonderful warm place to lift the spirits on a cold rainy day.

I have the 10x12 CCS
Got it used in September from Red Lake Outfitters, the 1.1 oz cloth.

Haven’t really used it yet outside my own property, but it seems like a good size, although it’s more like 10x11. Can’t compare it to the 1.9 oz fabric since I don’t have that, but I’m sure it would be just fine except a little heavier and bulkier.

If I hadn’t gotten a used deal on CCS, I was seriously considering an OES silnylon, because Brian seems to offer a good 1.1 oz product at a good price:

Thanks for the comments, another ??
I have the Cliff Jacobson DVD “The Forgotten Skills” and on my only trip to the BWCA we were weather bound on the point of an island for three days with driving wind and rain so I’m pretty sold on getting the right tarping equipment.

On that trip we had a telescoping, two piece galvanized steel pole that was used for some of our tarp setups. When the pole wasn’t in use it stayed lashed into our canoe. I don’t have the option of that type of pole for when I camp out of my kayak.

My kayak buddies used a Greenland paddle for a tarp pole on a resent trip. I see that trekking poles are sometimes used and CCS advertises a bungee-corded segmented pole. What’s a good option for a pole that will fit into a kayak hatch?

From comments in this thread I assume that the 1.1oz fabric is an extra expense to minimize weight and volume. I guess I’ll go for the thinner fabric.

Thanks again for the info.

Poles, Fabric, Etc.
I have some of those CCS bungie-corded, segmented poles, and they are really handy. I must admit I had to grit my teeth a bit when I bought them, as they are not exactly cheap, and it’s “just a pole”. I haven’t seen other collapsable poles that work the same though. They come in two sizes, and surely the smaller size would fit in your kayak, but I think the bigger size might too. The nice thing about them is that they have some range of adjustable length.

Before deciding that the lighter fabric is more expensive, check with CCS. When it comes to fabric, often lighter is cheaper, but it won’t be if it’s a special material. Either way, you won’t be looking at a huge difference in weight.

It sounds like you have some familiarity with tarps, so you’ll appreciate how you can do so many different things with this style because of the multitude of anchor loops all over the top surface and pole anchors on the bottom surface. Now that I’ve used mine a few different ways, I’d never spend what it takes to get a top-of-the-line tarp of any other brand unless it had the same features found on a CCS.

Fabric weight and poles
The thicker CCS fabric is actually 1/3 less expensive than the thinner, stuff. The thicker fabric will shelter out the UV and heat better which is a consideration in the Central Valley of CA where I live.

I’ve seen some clever tarp setups on the net and where and when the bugs aren’t an issue I’d like to experiment with using a tarp instead of a tent for a sleeping shelter.

As for poles I might add a couple to my tarp order from CCS. I just finished sculping a 90" Greenland paddle that could also double as a kayak camp tarp pole.

The only time I have ever felt the need for a pole to set my CCS tarps is when I was traveling in treeless barren land. I generally set the tarps using lines running in all various directions to trees and bush etc. Sometimes I will use wanigans to tie off lines. When I have been in the barrens i have carried a nesting aluminum pole that could well fit in a Kayak - I think CCS sells the pole - or maybe Campmor?

Love a good tarp…
Have one from this site, pretty sweet

Have slept under one of these extensively as well, great piece of gear

Eureka nesting poles
Sold at Campmor and some other places come in 6’ and 8’ lengths, and are a lot less expensive than the CCS poles. Never used any of them, so I’m not vouching for how they work.

Yes that is the one I have -
the nested version. Not real light. Not perfect. But they have done the job for me in barren lands. Trees work better if you have em and you don’t have to carry anything.

the Campmor poles work
but they are considerably bigger in diameter and heavier than the CCS ones. I have an old version of the Eureka ones.

Depends on portage weight. Dans primary clientele is portaging between lakes in Minnesota and Ontario.

I recommend going to You’ll see hundreds of reviews on tarps by a dozen or more companies. The info at that site gives lots of links on what you are looking for.

Since you are kayaking, you may not need super ultra-lite, etc.

My personal experience

– Last Updated: Dec-03-11 1:41 PM EST –

I have been through all sorts of tarps made of all sorts of different materials from canvas to plastic and in all sort of different dimensions. Personally, I have settled on CCS tarps, rectangular or square. They are made extremely well. Many other tarps I have used (in fact ALL other tarps I have used) developed problems at the tie out points. CCS tarps are constructed in such a way that they do not have problems with tear out at the tie points. I know some folks like tarps in shapes other than rectangles. I find that rectangles give you the most versatility and just plain work out the best. The key is learning a variety of ways to set the tarp in different conditions. The most challenging is when you have no trees, but it can be done. Personally, I would look no further than CCS if you can swing the price. They are not cheap but they are definitely worth every penny and more.

I’ve been also thinking about a tarp
and wondered which size when you have no specific uses for it - mainly for “in case” when doing a day paddle and hitting rain - for shelter 2-4 people. I plan on the lighter silicone version for weight but don’t want to have a circus tent either Would 10x12 be a good in the middle size - i haven’t seen these but have heard good things about Cookes tarps.


– Last Updated: Dec-04-11 11:53 AM EST –

Sounds like a good plan. Might also carry a good supply of cord and maybe a few 12" easton alum stakes. The more cord you have along the better job you will be able to do setting the tarp. Take good care of it. Never store wet. Best to store in heated space in a cotton sleeping bag storage sack so it is loosely packed. If you ever go on long trips you can use this size with another larger tarp and do a mutlitarp set up with a chimney feature so you can have a fire at the front edge and the smoke will pass out through the overlapping gap in the two tarps.