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Camping and Tarps

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Tarps are often associated with camping, but how many different ways can you use a tarp while on a camping trip? The answer may surprise you!

  1. Ground Cloth: Place the tarp under your tent to protect the floor of your tent. In order to prevent rain from pooling on the ground cloth, beneath the floor of the tent, you should use a tarp slightly larger than the tent and fold the edges under, leaving no part of the tarp exposed beyond the sides of the tent.

  2. Makeshift Rainfly: Tents generally come with an additional piece of material that goes over the top, specifically to keep rain out. This is known as a fly, or rainfly. In the event that this is damages, goes missing, or is simply insufficient, a tarp can be suspended over the tent to accomplish the same thing.

  3. Create a Canopy: When it rains, you may not want to hide in your tent until it stops. What if you need to cook your food? Suspend a tarp between some trees, and you've created a shelter from the weather.

  4. Equipment Cover: If your equipment does not all fit inside your tent, you may want a tarp cover to keep it dry. If you want to avoid using stakes, straps, or ropes to secure it, you might consider a drawstring tarp.

  5. Simple Tent: While there have been many advancements in tent manufacturing over the years, there's still an appeal to making a tent from a tarp. Tarp tenting is popular among some, and it has its advantages.

  6. Firewood Cover: Your firewood should be kept dry. A tarp is a great way to do that, and canvas tarps are a very traditional solution.

  7. Windbreak: When it's very windy, much of camping becomes difficult, especially getting a fire started or maintaining the flame on a grill. A tarp suspended vertically can provide a solutions to these problems.

  8. Sunshade: While a standard tarp will block sun as well as rain when used as a canopy, a mesh tarp can provide partial shade when needed.

  9. Privacy Screen: Whether for a latrine, a camp shower, or a changing area, there are many reasons to need some privacy in your campsite. A tarp is a perfect way to create a private location within your site.

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