I experimented with setting up a tarp for shelter in the backyard yesterday evening. I set it up several different ways using trees, tent poles, stakes and nylon line. After about 5 different set ups, one that I really liked, but used 4- 18 inch tent poles, and the advice from a friend, I settled on two corners suspended with nylon line to trees, and two corners staked in the ground.
The rain was coming straight down, so I didn't worry to much about it blowing in , and left a little more room than I might if the wind was blowing.
After tinkering with it a little more, I laid a groundsheet down and a sleeping pad. I crawled in and had my first experience under a tarp.
As opposed to a tent, which is zipped up tight when its raining, I was able to look around, even though it was pouring, and still stay dry. I could definitely see the need for a bivy if there was any wind at all. But on this night I was dry.
I decided to put it to the test and after the family went to bed, I got my sleeping gear and headed out for the night. The only issue with sleeping in the backyard in a lightweight camping set up, is that my bed is 50 feet away.
I slept fairly well and stayed dry, but when I woke up at 1 am, I succumbed to the call of my warm bed....
I went out this morning to take a look. I realized that the center seam is not taped and therefore there was a line of water right across my sleeping pad. I'll have to dry it out and seal it, then try again. I think I'm going to like this set up. Adding a lightweight bivy will help too.
Next step: bivy shopping.
Have a great day!