How do you stow your wing tarp?

I’ve been very pleased with my Noah’s Tarp from Kelty. Formerly I just used the blue poly tarps and could not understand why anybody would spend the money on a proper tarp. After using the Noah, I don’t want to go back to the blue poly.

That said, the regular shape of a poly tarp makes it easy to fold. With its irregular trapazoid shape, I can never figure out how to fold the Noah. I manage to fold it to roughly the dimension of its carry-sack, but think I have done it differently each time.

If anybody thinks they have mastered the folding of wing tarps, please share your secrets.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

I don’t…

– Last Updated: Jul-31-07 2:54 PM EST –

I don't fold them; I stuff them in a stuff sack.
The bags the Noah's tarps come in are a pain in the butt. Too small to pack easily & once the tarp is inside, it is not flexible; so the places it can be packed are limited.

I have a 12 foot, and a 16 foot Noah's tarp.

Over the years I have gathered a wide selection of different shapes/sizes of stuff sacks.
I picked out a slightly larger than necessary sized stuff sack for each of my tarps.

After the tarp is dried, I simply take it down, daisy chain the cordage, & stuff it in it's stuff sack. No folding hassle, stuffing is quick & easy to do, and you don't create, or get wear on fold lines.

If the stuff sack is a little larger than the tarp, the tarp is flexible inside the bag; this makes it easy to change the shape of the package to fit wherever you want it to go.
Sometimes I carry the stakes separately, but most often I carry them in the same bag as the tarp. The stakes are in their own small bag to keep them together, and to protect the tarp from mud on stakes, and pointed ends of stakes.

Works for me; others opinions may vary.


P.S. I keep 20 to 25 foot of cordage permanently attached on each corner of my Noah tarps. When packed, or not in use the cordage is daisy chained. Ready to go when needed; no worries about untangling Gordian knots, or repeatedly attaching/detaching the cordage from the tarps.
I also have several pieces of orange flagging tape attached to several gromments on my tarps; has saved me & several others from getting "clotheslined".

Second the stuffsacks
I use net stuffsacks from REI for storing my Cookes 10x10 and 15x15. Much faster to pack than rolling, and can be done by one person wothout kneeling.

If you go the net sack route DO NOT think that a wet tarp will completely dry out. The net helps, but thorough drying is best done spread out.


I tend to stuff everything, about a billion times easier then folding/rolling and it gets much smaller. My thermarest is rolled though. I don’ think that it would stuff well.

Stuff my Noah
I have heard that if you fold it the same way every time, on the same creases, that the tarp will wear faster on the folds. True? Don’t know, but it makes sense.

Aw go stuff it!

– Last Updated: Jul-31-07 4:02 PM EST –

I do.



another tip…
I concur with all the other stuffy replies on this thread…

One futher bit I will add: if you do want to use the Kelty stuff sack, just do so inside out. The inside is too tacky and makes stuffing difficult, but I just use mine turned inside out and with the smoother finish inside, it stuffs just fine. A differently sized/shaped stuff sack like Bob suggested would be even better, but that’s how to make the original work if you prefer.


Thanks p-netters
Okay, STUFF SACK! I feel kind of dumb that the solution is so easy. OTOH, I’m really glad I asked.

Stuff sacks will also make it easier to collect and store a wet tarp without lying it on the ground to collect two pounds of leaves and dirt.

I started sleeping out under the tarp vs. pitching a tent last winter. It wasn’t too buggy last weekend, and I slept out under the tarp again, even though I did have to wake up a few times to throw the daddy long legs off my face. So I was interested to see Kheyashunka’s picture of a screen enclosure beneath the tarp. Is that a commercial or home-brewed solution?

One reason I like the Noah is that it behaves well in the wind. Somehow it seems to spill the wind rather than catch it. I suspect the irregular shape has something to do with that characteristic.

The cord Kelty provided with the tarp are black, which, to me, is hard to see. I knew we were going to be walking into last weekend. I hung the tarp’s carry bag on the string, but it was also a dark color. It was not long until we were walking into the cord. I use surveyors tape to flag my overhanging boats, and it is not unusual for a stray peace to show up in my kit. So, I actually looked for some to mark the cord last weekend. I ended up crimping a few scraps of tin foil onto the cord. My friend said, “ah, now I can see it, good idea!” So, if you don’t have surveryors tape, try some foil. Replacing the chord with some white line is also helpful.

I’ve been removing my cords, coiling 'em, and tossing 'em in a zip lock for travel. I will definately try out the permanently attached route.

Thanks, all!


The list of P-Netters
I have tripped and clotheslined with my Cookes tarp sets is long and distinguished.

That’s why flat tarps are more fun than wings!


That Noah is
the worst tarp I’ve ever owned. I get pissed every time I set it up. I hate the shape, and far prefer a flat nylon tarp. So the question no doubt is what do I know… Pro alpine guide for many years, ran outdoor programs, pro paddler etc. Thousands of expedition miles in a kayak…I hate that tarp. Anyone want mine? I’ll trade you for a flat nylon tarp! That thing is silly. Sorry Kelty. I probably set up a tarp 60 times a year now…100 times a year not long ago. Taut line hitches, truckers hitch, and buttons made from small rocks or cones and clove hitches.

Your favorite?
Wow, Salty, I think you probably set up more tarps in a year than I have set up in my life.

What’s your favorite tarp? Rectangular, I got that. Are you a Cooke’s devotee?


Noah Tarp
I love my Noah Tarp for the right uses. It sets up quickly and works great if the wind is light and the rain is coming straight down.

TO STOW IT: Just stuff it back into the bag – don’t fold it. If Kelty is still supplying the tarp with that dorky long narrow bag, ditch the bag, and buy a new stuff sack that has a wider opening.

My new favorite tarp is my Snow Peak Penta, which I’ve owned for years but never liked that much before. It sets up with one kayak paddle and is pretty nice for two. My old stand-by is a Integral Designs sil-nylon 8x10. If I don’t know what I’m going to expect and weather could be bad, it’s the one that comes with. A rectangular tarp gives you so many more choices. I’ve spent many nights sleeping under that sil-tarp.