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Old 08-30-2012   #1
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 70
River Shelters

I would like to be sure and have a river shelter for next year. It seems that there are 3 main purchase options out there. The NRS River Wing, the NRS Ultralight Wing and Kelty's Noah Tarp. I have carried an easy up down the river but it is just to heavy and bulky. I would think that there are other options out there. I sure some of you have a great way to just rig a tarp. Pros and Cons, great tarp rigs, lets hear it!

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Old 08-30-2012   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I have an original Moss outfitter wing and the smaller parawing.

Both have been bullet proof on more river trips with rainy days and nights than I can count and I expect to get decades more river and camp use out of them.

On the newer models you mentioned, I have no idea how long they will perform, last and shed rain, I suspect they do not have the quality of construction or design Mr Moss gave us many years ago designed and made in USA for what it is worth. My experience with the Moss units is the coatings just seem to remain solid and the stitching looks as good now as when I first got them.

In any event a good river tarp will be a lot lighter than the unit you now have. The changes I made for both my tarps is good overbuilt sand stakes and solid metal spikes for rock hard ground. The little yellow ones from Wally World do not hold the strain of afternoon and storm river winds. message me on the buzz and I can give you places with bulletproof sand and hard ground tarp stakes.

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Old 08-30-2012   #3
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
I have Kelty. It was like $70 for a 16x16. We had two on a layover camp one covered the cooking area the other a seating area. It didnt rain but was windy so had to adjust a few times

I have a hard time with the concept of shelling out $300-$400 for an improved one, especially since i'm not an outfitter and was able to make the kelty work

I set up a pair of diagonal guy wires under the tarp using rope (criss cross or x) and rings sized to just fit over the handle. This allowed me to tension the oars without ripping the tarp. Once done it was a cinch to tension the tarp against the oars
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 08-30-2012   #4
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 184
Para-wing hard to beat

We have used the original Para-wing since '96.
The odd shape and two pole design seems to handle the wind and shed rain with no problems. Use big rocks for guy-lines and available drift wood or oars to improve its height around the edges.

Cascade has a similar "Zing Outfitter wing" or even the "Big-Duck" series if you have lots of friends and even more money.
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Old 08-30-2012   #5
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I am with you Senor Rojo

That is a good photo.

We usually put the smaller para wing up for the kitchen

larger outfitter wing up for chairs

Was on Middle Fork last month during the rains. Awesome cooking in dry comfort while the group relaxes in their chairs with drink in hand enjoying the dryness before and after dinner.

Soon as we hit camp we put up the tarps if conditions warrant and they sure make life easier on the group.
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Old 08-30-2012   #6
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 134
Another Option

I purchased one of these a few years ago:

tarp Picture - More Detailed Picture about Luxe Bat Wing 500'S flysheet/tarp Picture from Sky outdoor

They are made for the Asian outdoor industry and are most commonly available in NZ and Austalia but I had found a dealer in Canada that carried the product. I think I paid about $90 with shipping from Canada. It has worked great as a good sized tarp on our trips. It measures roughly 16'x16' and it is similar to the Moss products in weight.

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Old 08-30-2012   #7
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
I have a NRS and a MSR 19' Parawing (along with 2 Hepta Wings) and the biggest improvement I've made to them is adding loop straps and quick release snaps to them, It makes it much easier to set it up by yourself.
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Old 08-30-2012   #8
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Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
I've got the big MSR Zing. It's fantastic. Rigging tarps is an art, though, and it's more about an ability to manage pull vectors and anchors than anything else.

I only use the zing for larger groups. for my 3-4 person IK trips and backpacking, I have a 16 oz 10x12 spinnaker tarp from OES. Thing is bomber, stood up to blackhawk prop wash from 50' off the deck on Rainier.

For rigging tarps, I like to set on main long line that is highly tensioned. Then I attach tarps to that, either lean to stlye or a frame, depending on weather, height, etc. I like to use small prussik loops to tie into that line, because that way I can quickly move and adjust the tarp if needed.

for the big tarps like the zing, they can be a chore to get weather ready if they are free standing. I prefer to only attempt that if I have oars to use as poles....
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Old 08-30-2012   #9
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I went a different route for my river tarps. I didn't want a heavy/bulky tarp. I was turned on to lightweight, sturdy, US made silnylon tarps by my ultralight backpacker friends. I have a 12X15 Wilderness Logics Big Otter tarp, and a 12X 9.6 Big Daddy tarp. The Big Otter cost $245 and weighs 29 oz. and the Big Daddy cost $115 and weighs 13.9oz. These tarps are hand made in North Carolina by a cottage industry tarp maker. The tarps have held up great on the Main Salmon & Middle Fork for shade & rain. These tarps pack up really small. I've been very pleased with them. Here's a picture of both tarps pitched for group and kitchen shade on the Main Salmon.
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Old 08-30-2012   #10
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,136
I came back from a rainy hike on the Middle Fork thinking that the ones that had stayed in camp for the rain storm would have set up the tarp.
Instead they were sitting in the rain, in their drysuits, drinking beer.

Drysuit or tarp? YMMV

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