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 Post subject: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 13th, 2022, 10:59 am 
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Guide or Guides, whatever it was called,
i have one, from years ago, silnylon, about 12' length.

at that time there was available:
- Guide, larger,
- Scout, smaller,

seems it has been replaced by the "MEC Silicone Scout Tarp"
which comes in large and small size,

if it has been replaced, then, as for the large one,
anyone know if it's same quality, features etc, as original Guide,
any comments about this "MEC Silicone Scout Tarp" ?

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/6000-992/ ... our=Squash

cheers,

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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 13th, 2022, 5:08 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
MY only comment.....

It's a better colour than the puke green Guide tarp I have....otherwise it look pretty much the same.

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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 14th, 2022, 2:05 pm 
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lol ya i'm surprised they didn't call it puke green
that would have been funny.
wonder how low they'ed have to price it to offset the repulsive aspect lol,

the mango here indeed is a pretty nice color, i like it more than yellow,
it does look same as older guide,
on sale now so im thinking of grabbing it,


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 15th, 2022, 8:46 pm 
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I have both and yes, they are very similar, biggest difference is just the weight and size the silicone one packs down to.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 15th, 2022, 11:08 pm 
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thanks branden for your help,
for those who may care to know, i managed to sort things out

mec has long been selling a

heavier -- Guides tarp - larger , polyurethane treated
heavier -- Scout tarp - smaller, polyurethane treated

lighter -- Silicone Guides tarp - larger, silicone treated
lighter -- Silicone Scout tarp - smaller, silicone treated


now things have changed to

heavier -- MEC Scout Tarp - Medium, polyurethane treated,
heavier -- MEC Scout Tarp - Small , polyurethane treated,

lighter -- MEC Silicone Scout Tarp - Medium, silicone treated,
lighter -- MEC Silicone Scout Tarp - Small , silicone treated,


waterproof treatment remains somewhat the same
weight has changed (reduced)
features + material remains same
size remains same (new Medium = old larger one, new Small = old smaller one)


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 21st, 2022, 6:23 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2018, 10:51 am
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto - Danforth
I have the new medium silicone Scout Tarp.

I find it to be lightweight, packs small, and the build quality / durability top notch.

4 seasons with it and a few brutal storms and it shows no signs of wear.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 21st, 2022, 7:42 pm 
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thanks for your help Alan,


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 26th, 2022, 10:58 am 
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If you can spring for a bit more cash, Cooke Custom Sewing tarps are much better made and longer lasting. Grommets blow out. (And they are made here in North America, by Dan Cooke). https://www.shop.cookecustomsewing.com/main.sc

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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 26th, 2022, 11:37 am 
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thanks steve, ya i've got a couple ccs tarps, i prefer to keep them back for certain trips. mec ones seem a good in between tarp as far as quality (and price), where the ends are ccs and, some cheap thing. the other great thing about mec is that if i ever did blow out a grommet (though i think not easy to blow out, as they're sewn in), then i know that MEC would replace the tarp.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 27th, 2022, 7:05 pm 
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Joined: February 24th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: HFX, Nova Scotia canada
I wouldn't count on MEC replacing anything these days. Zipper let go on a sweater my wife bought, maybe a year old. Might have worn it a dozen times. Took into store and manager said that garment was obviously abused even though in like new condition. After some discussion manager even admitted that the zipper was very light duty for the sweater. Still refused to cover new zipper. Even place where we had zipper replaced said zipper was way too light.

I have a 15 year old Guide tarp, just had to waterproof it for the first time. Its our fire edge tarp (has a lot of patches) and has taken a beating. All grommets and tabs are still good.


remogami wrote:
thanks steve, ya i've got a couple ccs tarps, i prefer to keep them back for certain trips. mec ones seem a good in between tarp as far as quality (and price), where the ends are ccs and, some cheap thing. the other great thing about mec is that if i ever did blow out a grommet (though i think not easy to blow out, as they're sewn in), then i know that MEC would replace the tarp.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 27th, 2022, 11:27 pm 
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thanks for the scoop, scoops,

hopefully they haven't downgraded anything since 15 years ago. i've seen some reviews saying the silicone gets sticky over time, to the point that unfolding it feels like peeling tape off something. haven't had any issue with the one i bought several years after yours.

i was shocked on the no-return thing. i've returned over 50 things in last 5+ years and never once been denied. some 2 years after purchase. i do always opt for credit (never refund). even returned Original Bug Shirt this 2022 with some blood stains (bug bites) after a 20 day trip 2021. instant replacement. cleaned it some before returning. said it was too big on trip and couldn't return it earlier as it was at cottage.

mec's return policy has not been even compared to by any other store i've dealt with. in fact, i look for sales at other stores only to get them at mec (price matched) for the return possibility. what you described is disproportional with the MEC i have come to know and depend on. fact that it was (as you say) 'like new' but to him 'clearly abused', and he agreed zipper isn't adequate, all seems so off to me.

their 'fair condition' standard may be higher for clothing than it is for gear though. i don't think i have ever returned clothing there. that's what's funny. i spend huge $ there but only on gear. Giant Tiger is where it's at for clothing lol.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 28th, 2022, 12:15 pm 
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MECs return policy has changed. While some people have been allowed to return things, that is the exception not the rule as a return like your big shirt is contrary to MEC’s new policy. So I agree with the comments that I wouldn’t count on it. The new return policy applies equally to gear and clothes and while you may luck out occasionally, MEC corporate will come down hard on stores that are accepting these types of returns so over time these exceptions will likely become few and far between.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 28th, 2022, 2:09 pm 
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this is their policy up to date
https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/returns-and-guarantee

i don't see anything special in there, all sounds pretty mec standard to me.

i don't expect that anyone would be able to return the bug shirt like i did,
that one might have been a nice exception.
but it was not the point to say that everyone would have that option.

the point was: blowing out a grommet on a tarp in the wind?
there is no question ill be getting that exchanged.
and there is nobody i know who hasn't got a gear failure like that exchanged.

obviously if you've got some spark holes somewhere near that blown grommet,
that shouldn't be returnable.
we're talking about circumstances of gear failing while used appropriately.
(as estimated by staff).

i have no option but to 'count' on mec returns.
like i have no option but to expect the sun up tomorrow morning lol.
nothing has changed.
though i also take very good care of my gear.
how that company does returns remains exactly as reasonable as always,

i just bought a carbon paddle (sup) for someone, who i expect may break it under arm force.
he has broken wooden paddles this way, simply accelerating a loaded boat on flatwater.
lots of flex in a paddle that length, and for someone so strong.

that's going to be returned without question if it breaks.
(intentional bomber strokes happening coming spring).
and this (return option) was already cleared with MEC at time of purchase. i knew it will be able to be returned, but as i spent more $ on that thing than i do on my own paddles, i wanted assurance.
they gave it.

have never heard of a company whose return policy is as good as mecs (aside from lulu lemon or whatever it's called, i heard they are amazing like mec).

for a manager to say "this has clearly been abused", i don't think we're talking about a situation where we can really estimate how good that company is with returns lol.

a situation where they Don't think that way, and still refuse the return, is what matters. and several of those situations speak, not just 1.

if you feel you deserved an exchange or something, which wasn't given,
i suggest going back a different day, to a different person, with a better story. you might be surprised what happens.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 28th, 2022, 5:26 pm 
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Location: Kingston, ON
remogami wrote:

hopefully they haven't downgraded anything since 15 years ago. i've seen some reviews saying the silicone gets sticky over time, to the point that unfolding it feels like peeling tape off something. haven't had any issue with the one i bought several years after yours.



A silicone coating is not likely to get sticky and stinky over time. Polyurethane coatings are the ones that get sticky over time (Hydrolysis). Hydrolysis is the process by which your old tent or tarp starts to deteriorate, get stinky and starts sticking to itself. Once it starts there is not much you can do. Time to get a new one. Older MSR Hubba tents were known for this problem.

If a Silicone Guides tarp had this problem, then it is not likely that they are truly silnylon (sil/sil). Rather they were coated on one side with Silicone and the other with polyurethane. I don't know if older guides tarps were coated on one side or both sides. Silcone coating on both sides (sil/sil) is the gold standard. This is how CCS tarps are made. The downside of sil/sil is it is expensive. Because almost nothing sticks to silicone, sil/sil is also rarely seam-taped.

Some tents and tarps have a silicone coating on one side and a polyurethane PU coating on the other. This was done so the tents could pass fire codes in California. If you see a tent or tarp that says it is silicone but also has seam tape. It's likely a sil/PU coated nylon. These are not immune to Hydrolysis. So you could have the sticky peeling your tarp apart problem with these materials.

If you are going to keep your tarp or tent for a decade or more it's best to look for ones without any PU coatings.


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 Post subject: Re: mec guide tarp
PostPosted: November 28th, 2022, 6:21 pm 
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Posts: 2478
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
remogami wrote:
thanks steve, ya i've got a couple ccs tarps, i prefer to keep them back for certain trips.


We have a variety of tarps, a large multi-color CCS Tundra Tarp, which is my usual choice favorite, a large Kelty Noah’s tarp, which is my wife’s favorite, a true parawing, and an NRS River Wing, a rafter-type tarp that packs down into a massive and heavy duffle, used mostly for car camping.

https://www.nrs.com/nrs-river-wing/pjwl

Note that the River Wing has a curved cat-cut ridgeline, but has flat cut sides. More on that “wing” aspect later.

And of course some smaller/cheaper semi-sacrificial coated nylon tarps or old tent flys, which are often used as a vertical wind break, sometimes in conjunction with the Tundra Tarp.

ImageP1070518 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That side tarp was employed during a high wind off-season coastal trip; not a lot of brush or low Loblolly branches to break the breeze, the side wind block was appreciated, especially when I just wanted to layabout in the day hammock out of the wind. Constant wind exposure wears me out; I need shelter.

When the front moved past and the wind shifted 180 degrees it was much easier to move the windblock to the other side than to reorient the Tundra Tarp. That sideblock is actually an old Timberline “Annex” door awning, which fortuitously already had clips nicely aligned with the Tundra tarp webbing loops for easy attachment.

Different tarps for different trips and purposes. If you are looking at buying yet another  tarp perhaps something different in size, shape or functional use than what you already have. Maybe a spark-resistant campfire tarp made with some newfangled fabric?

I am loath to hazard our sil-nylon or PU coated tarps to campfire sparks, and I’m done toting a heavy duty poly cheapie for that fire’s edge purpose. If such material exists I wouldn’t mind a spark-resistant fire’s edge tarp myself. I’m looking for material suggestions for a fireside tarp.

Maybe a parawing? A true parawing, made with catenary curves on the ridgeline AND sides. There are tarps sold as “wings”, but on many (most) the curve is only along the ridgeline, without the catenary cut curves along the low sides, which provides an airfoil bat-wing shape, making a true parawing essentially windproof, flap-proof and aero lofted reduces stress on the fabric, stitching and corner ties.

Parawings have a couple downsides. No pun intended; the staked-near-the-ground “downsides” reduces the headroom considerably. And the <> shape doesn’t provide as much shade or protection from sideways blowing rain as a flat tarp. All four corners of a true parawing must be set squarely spaced with the fabric bat-wing taut, and one low side should be set facing the wind.

With those notable downsides why would anyone bring a wing tarp? Because a catenary cut parawing, curved at both the ridgeline and low sides, is bombproof when properly erected, even in crazy high winds.

ImageP5061985 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That was up a high cliff walled, open mouth canyon site, perfectly oriented to funnel intense and sustained winds. There were multiple guy lines off each corner, anchored via buried deadmen with rocks piled atop, but the parawing assumed a true bat-wing shape, with the airfoil aspect keeping it lofted on high, without wind stress on the fabric, and absolutely unflappably quiet.

The harder it blows the more lofted firm an airfoil shape a true wing becomes. It was hard to hear anything over the howling wind, but at least there wasn’t a staccato whap-whap-whap over my head.

In places with a death or absence of trees a wing tarps two-pole set up is likewise handy.

ImagePA170435 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

In tighter spaces with overhung branches the wing’s low sides provide a smaller footprint.

ImageP2180690 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

One final advantage to a parawing; properly erected a wing drains water without any possibility of pooling on the fabric, and drains rain only, and exactly, at the two low corners. That makes orienting the wing to direct run off away from the tent, fire pit or other areas an easy consideration.

That directed drainage is beneficial on coastal or desert trips, where potable water, or even un-silty without alum settling filterable water, is rare or non-existent.

ImageP5132040 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Thank the weather gods, desert rain is acoming. Quick, get the collapsible buckets under the low drainage ends.

ImageP5112025 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The two collapsible buckets on the rock at the left had already been filled. Fresh, un-silted, easily filtered water for everyone, take as much as you like, we are off the river in a couple days.

Mid way through a long desert river trip a sleet and freezing rain event provided me with a bucket of ice water. I still had a few tepid beers left. Ahhhh, that’s the ticket, a properly chilled ale.

Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t. A week to go, praying for rain that didn’t come, but collection ready just in case. I had to put a rock in the bucket to keep it from blowing away.

ImageP5092008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Downsides/upsides to a parawing. Downside, the wing shown, IIRC, is 19’ x 19’, but because of the <> shape the coverage is best for two or three people, four in a shoulder-rubbing pinch. Upside, because of the <> shape there is less material (coated nylon) than in a square 19x19 tarp, and the wing packs down surprisingly small. A sil-nylon wing would be smaller still.

One last upside; that wing is 20+ years old, and has endured insane winds on many trip-specific desert and coastal occasions. The only pole or guyline connections are sewn webbing loops at the four corners. Probably due to the wind shedding, lofted unflappable aspect those webbing loops are still sound, and the stitching on the tarp panels still firm.

We had our Tundra Tarp up when the wind speed and direction unexpectedly and radically changed. Sitting under the wind-stressed tarp I freaked out looking up and seeing daylight pinholes opening along the stitching. I bellowed for my tent-bound companion “QUICK, COME HELP ME DROP THE TARP!”.

In the (brief) time it took us to do so the wind shredded a Hennessey Hammock tarp nearby. A tarp with grommets would likely have come to rest somewhere over the State line.

I have no idea who, if anyone, currently makes a bat-wing tarp. That blue one was from Campmor, and not terribly expensive even 20 years ago. I’d love to find another, with the same airfoil bat-wing shape. It could be even smaller, for use as a solo wing, and/or made from better, lighter materials than PU coated nylon.

Any ideas who makes a bat-wing wing from modern materials?


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