MEC Silicone Guides Tarp
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $105
Great all-purpose emergency shelter for a small group.
- Very light, good for backpacking
- Tough, reliable
- Excellent design
- Reasonable price for the quality
- Overkill for the average camper
- Don't forget some rope!
This is Mountain Equipment Co-op's larger housebrand siltarp. Personally, I'm not fond of them for camping – I prefer tents – but as tarps go this is one of the better designs. Many guides carry it for emergencies, or just as a shelter for a group in case of an unexpected rainstorm. I've used it both ways, for shelter from wind or rain at a campsite, or as an impromptu umbrella to wait out a storm or to take a group of clients down a rainy trail. In over two years of regular use, it's survived everything that's been thrown at it.
The tarp has nylon tabs at each corner and one central one, plus grommets along the sides, so it can be rigged as a shelter with a ridgeline or as a pyramid and staked out. Side points are reinforced with Cordura patches, so you can use a bit of tension when hanging it. At 3.9x2.9 m. (12.8x9.5 ft) it's big enough to serve as an emergency shelter for a group, or hung over a tent. One cute extra is that the stuff sack can be snapped onto the centre seam as a pad, so you can use a hiking pole, stick or paddle as a support without risk of punching through.
The fabric is 30-denier ripstop silicone-coated nylon which provides excellent waterproofing, and is extremely tough and very light. Total weight is just 792 grams (28 oz.), which means the tarp can be stuffed into the bottom of a pack for emergencies without loading you up too much. The stuff sack is included.
Don't forget to bring some paracord or some rope, and you'll be all set.
Where to Buy
The MEC Silicone Guides Tarp is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the MEC website.
Retailers: Do you sell this product? List your site here.
The classic Guide’s Tarp is big enough to shelter several people for dining or sleeping. The silicone-treated fabric is awesomely light and compact and has incredible tear-resistance. It is a versatile design that you can rig as a roof, or pitch at an angle to create a comfortable shelter from the wind.
- Multiple attachment points provide lots of rigging options. Nylon tabs on each corner, and grommets along sides.
- Side points are reinforced with triangular Cordura® patches to add strength and keep tension when rigged.
- The stuff sack snaps onto an attachment near the middle of the centre seam, so you can use a trekking pole, paddle, or length of wood as a centre pole.
- Centre loop lets you suspend it pyramid-style.