Survivalist Forum banner
  • Are you passionate about survivalism? Would you like to write about topics that interest you and get paid for it? Read all about it here!
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you put up a tarp (A frame/triangular canopy type hung between 2 trees), how close can the fire be to the tarp without risk of fire but also enough to kee you warm?
 

·
Bayonet Diplomat
Joined
·
63 Posts
Good question!

Alot of it depends upon the tarp's construction (what it's made of & how heat & spark resistant the material is) and the heat of the fire. As a rule of thumb, the tarp should never get warmer than "warm" to the touch. As tarps heat up, they begin to show what I call "pre-combustion" danger signs.

smells
warping (sometimes)
blistering (sometimes)
increasing tackiness (stickiness)

I live in the Canadian north and use a tarp within 1 pace of my fires (2 steps) and have never had a problem...but I almost never put a tarp directly over a fire because I don't want it to catch the direct heat off a fire.

Try experimenting with tarps...the ones you don't mind damaging, that is...

Kurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good question!

Alot of it depends upon the tarp's construction (what it's made of & how heat & spark resistant the material is) and the heat of the fire. As a rule of thumb, the tarp should never get warmer than "warm" to the touch. As tarps heat up, they begin to show what I call "pre-combustion" danger signs.

smells
warping (sometimes)
blistering (sometimes)
increasing tackiness (stickiness)

I live in the Canadian north and use a tarp within 1 pace of my fires (2 steps) and have never had a problem...but I almost never put a tarp directly over a fire because I don't want it to catch the direct heat off a fire.

Try experimenting with tarps...the ones you don't mind damaging, that is...

Kurt.
And you find that keeps you warm under the tarp? Say it had been raining and it took you 15mins or more to get to the nearest bit of shoreline in your canoe and then another few mins to set the tarp up, obviously you're going to want to get warm and dry pretty soon...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,224 Posts
If you and other humans can't take the heat from the fire, neither can a plastic tarp at the same distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
If you and other humans can't take the heat from the fire, neither can a plastic tarp at the same distance.
This is true, but what if it's cold?

I think it's like getting ot the center of a tootsie pop. You're not going to know until you experiment a little. And as mentione dby another member, keep a look out for pre-burning signs.
 

·
superdizi
Joined
·
78 Posts
if you can carry them, get some of the big heavy canvas tarps. some are covered with fire retardant and there are products you can apply to the tarp to help.

they will be much more fire resistant than nylon. although much heavier.

if i was winter camping with a basecamp i would really try to carry a huge canvas tarp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
For nylon tarps the body is not a good indicator, a nylon tarp can be affected by heat before the human body is effected.

It also depends on the kinds of woods you use. Canadian softwoods such as pine and fir trees tend to give off burning embers (especially if you throw on boughs) which can float on the winds and land on your tarp burning holes in it.

The size of the fire and location also matters. A fire in the open is heating the entire planet so to speak because there is nothing to hold in the heat. A fire inside a shelter (ala wood stove in a cabin) is heating up the shelter because the heat is being stopped from escaping somewhat by the shelter.

If you take the risk of having a fire under your tarp then do not go to sleep, better to heat some non-river rocks and build a fire bed.
 

·
Outdoorsman
Joined
·
90 Posts
dcliffhanger had a good idea, that I was about to mention - use a reflector. Build a little wall behind the fire, and you could go so far as to use light colored materials (light stones, peeled wood, even a mylar survival sheet) to reflect heat into your lean-to. To get warm, get dry - keep your body off the moist earth with a stool, or piled branches, or even your pack. "Nothing insulates like 'nothing' ". Keep that dry air gap around you in all directions, direct the heat to where you'll be, and get toasty.
 

·
hunter-gatherer
Joined
·
751 Posts
Another good 'reflector' is a space blanket inside the tarp. Or a tarp with a shiny side to it. Reflects some of the fire's heat back down on to you (and specifically your back, which isn't getting any benefit from the fire without it. )

You can also make reflectors like that for your camp chairs if you like - makes your back and buns nice and warm instead of freezing them while your face cooks :)
 

·
Numquam Succumbe
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
I had a cheapo chinamart tarp 24 inches perpendicular above the top of a ~16 inch diameter pine fire all night with no damage to the tarp.

As was said, only one way to find out! :thumb:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top