MYOG No. 7 – Flat tarp 2 person ultralight

Spacious 2 person tarp on the Loowit Trail
Spacious 2 person tarp on the Loowit Trail

GEAR: Flat 2-person ultralight tarp

WEIGHT: 10 ounces including 10 titanium stakes

DIMENSIONS: 9′ x 10.5′

COST TO MAKE: $210 (shared components with solo tarp poncho)

USE: As an ultralight 2 person shelter in dry to mild conditions

WILL I USE IT?: Yep. I have and I will continue to use it

I love my solo tarp-poncho, but what about when I want to camp with my man? That’s what this amazing, insanely light 2 person tarp is for! It’s simple, easy, versatile, super ultra light weight and compact. It weighs a measley 10 oz included stakes and guy lines.

Interior shot
Interior shot

I designed and constructed the flat tarp with 0.34 oz/sqyd Cuben Fiber (tarp body), single sided cuben fiber tape and double sided cuben fiber tape (reinforcement), 1.43 oz/sqyd Cuben Fiber adhesive material (tie outs), D-rings and mittenhooks (removable tie out hardwear), zline 1.25 mm spectra cord and micro line loc guy line adjusters (guy lines), single sided cuben fiber tape and double sided cuben fiber tape (reinforcement), and titanium ultralight tent stakes. I was able to reuse the guy line components I constructed for my solo tarp poncho.

Smooth setup
Smooth setup

I cut the cuben to length and attached the two pieces together lengthwise using double sided cuben tape and stitching with polyester thread for strength, then added single sided cuben tape for waterproofing.

I designed the tie outs for maximum strength. The tie outs were cut by hand with rounded edges to minimize strain. The tarp corner is sandwiched between two offset layers of cuben on either side. Tie outs are reinforced with polyester stitching. I incorporated D-rings for guy line removability. Guy lines clip to D rings on tie outs with mitten hooks.

How does it compare to commercially available gear? Zpacks sells rectangular tarps comparable in size for $255-$275 ($50-$65 more than it cost to make this one), although the tarps available are in a thicker 0.5 oz/sqyd cuben fiber.

The tarp in all her glory
The tarp in all her glory

How does it perform? Great!

Jared and I have used the tarp on the Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier and on the Loowit Trail around Mt St Helens. The tarp has yet to experience rain, thanks to the dry Northwest weather. But so far it’s a success! It is incredibly spacious and more than roomy enough for the two of us and our gear. It gives us shelter when we need some buffering from the elements (we’re certain an elk came into our camp one night, but thanks to the tarp it did not stomp on us) and could be used in drizzly conditions.

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