Cook's Tundra Tarp

Wha Ho, Pilgrims;

Jus’ took delivery on a Cook’s Custom Sewing Tundra Tarp (say dat three time fast). Any of ye Pilgrims use one an’ how do yer like it?

Fat Elmo

fa’ elm: gotta link?

Thaar yer go…

I have two
I bought a 10x10 to replace an aged Sierra Designs tarp that dated back to the late 70s, and then a couple of years ago bought a 15x15 for larer groups. Both of mine are the coated ripstop, not the newer sil-nylon (bad timing in my purchases!).

Both have stood up to pretty fierce winds, including small craft warnings on the Chesapeake Bay. No failures to date. Dan Cooke makes a great product.

Nine times out of ten, when I pull into camp the very first thing I do is set a tarp. Gives me a great sense of security for some reason.


And Elmo, welcome to the “Flat-Tarpers”. We look askance at those “Wingers”

Cooke tarp
I have a 10’ x 16’ and really like it. Light weight in the portage pack, stuffable in a sack, and I leave the lines on and stuff them in the sack so everything is set to be put up. I also really like using the ridgeline and prussic method Dan Cooke recommends to set his tarps up. Fast and easy to adjust the tarp anywhere you want it along the ridegeline. Only negative I call say is if you set up the tarp in the path of campfire smoke, your sil-nylon tarp will smell of smoke forever. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

I have one
Didn’t know it was a “tundra tarp”. To me it’s just a tarp. I got the four-panel, four-color 8’x 10’ sil-ny tarp, but haven’t had the conscience to use it since I discovered Salty is opposed to bright colors.

So how does it compare
I just bought from REI on sale two different tarps to decide on which one to keep and I know nothing about these things and didnt have much luck alone trying to use poles (and leki’s) to support it - anyway truth please (now remember i have a budget so i cannot go for the gusto these were 70 with discounts about 55 bucks

1 Kelty Noahs tarp 12x12

UV resistant polyester taffet 1800 mm coating and sealed seams (feels like it could rip easy but neat design i think)

2. WXTex waterproof gear D3 10x12 40D Ripstop Nylon welded reinforcements and pullouts? seams reinforced and taped seams feels more substantial (closeout) but odd triangular shape

They are both lightweight and would fit in a kayak hatch easily (now the poles…they are bigger except for the lekis which i havent quite figured out how to use them as a pole that is high enough !!)

any thoughts on these or experience with them?



I Have A Couple Of Cookes
I have a 10x10 1.1 oz that I bought after the Paddler Magazine review trip. These are extremely well planned out tarps that can be set up in a variety of different ways.

For our recent Green River Utah trip I ordered a 1.1 oz Lean 3. During pleasant weather we were able to open up the from as a porch area. On a few occasions the wind picked up but we simply tied down the from flap and weathered the blows nicely.

rectangle or triangle?
10x12 sounds rectangular. That’s what you want. I like the Cookes because it comes with plenty of loops–six per edge–not gromets–to tie off the tarp. The way I rig it, I look for two trees and set up a ridge line: a single fifty-foot line pulled taut, suspended about head level to serve as the leading edge (high point) of the tarp. From there you can configure it various ways. You can build an A-frame. Or a wind screen with one edge of the tarp secured to the ridge line and the other running down, at an angle, to the ground. The Cookes tarp is also nice because it comes with a reinforced area in the center to raise the center with a pole if you want. You can do the same with whatever you get. You might just have to do some customization (add loops, etc.). Good luck with whatever you get! Happy tarping!

(PS: Some people consider bright colors “noise”.)

Whoops not triangular
what was i thinking?? I meant Rhombus shaped (diamond like) It doesnt have grommets just loops. The kelty has 4 grommets but reinforced at those points. Maybe i cannot make up my mind and keep both??!! husband wants none! geeez do I have to hide this too?? thanks for the suggestions.

check out the pdf files
in the “Additional Resources” section at the bottom of the page:

Illustrates the set-up.

A nod to Topher and Clif Jacobson
At my first Raystown I saw Topher’s tarp equipped with short tie-outs at each loop. He told me that it was a Clif Jacobson trick - from the “Forgotten Skills” video. I put 'm on mine, and they work great.