“I’ve already got a tent, so why get a tarp?” A camping tarp, hoochie, or fly is a simple piece of gear but has multiple benefits and uses. Tarps are usually square, rectangular or hex cut pieces of fabric with tie out points. Great to use with a tent and for some, instead of a tent. They are really adaptable and have lots of uses - an essential bit of camping gear to keep handy. Yeah, nah? Here are 15 reasons to get a tarp (there’s probably heaps more) to make your next camping adventure even better.
- Weather protection. A tarp offers great protection from the elements. Set one up for easy cover in the rain, shelter from the wind or shade from summer sun.
- They’re very spacious. You get a bit claustrophobic in a tent, small spaces and walls inches from your face. Not so under a tarp, set it as high or low as you want.
- Easy access. There’s easy entry all around, no doors and zips to fiddle around with. Easy to get up in the night for quick loo trips too.
- Great views. All the beauty of nature is on display.
- Ventilation. Great ventilation with none of that damp, stuffy, humid air that you often get in a confined tent space. And with great airflow no condensation problems.
- Waterproof. They’re waterproof and a good sized tarp will keep you and your gear dry from rain and dew.
- Simple. They are durable and no fuss. No bits and pieces to assemble (or lose) and can be set up easily using what you find in the surroundings.
- Lightweight. They weigh less than a tent and are easy to carry.
- Compact. They’re small and compact when packed but can cover a large area.
- Cost. They’re way cheaper than a tent! Great if you’re on a budget.
- Adventure. Tarps take you back to basics, get down with nature and turn up the adventure (stay safe though!).
- Challenge. If you’re a minimalist camper and using a tarp, you’ll learn how to camp in different ways with a tarp and start thinking outside the box.
- Back up gear. A tarp is great for back up or emergency. Easy to carry and multiple uses.
- Great compliment to a tent. Tarps work well with tents. Having a tarp means you can get away with a smaller tent as many of a tent’s functions can be covered by a tarp. Tent for sleeping, tarp for all your other activities.
- Versatility. Last but not least tarps have lots of uses and ways they can be set up. Eg. hammock tarp, minimalist shelter instead of a tarp, covered living or cooking area, sunshade, windbreak, extra waterproof layer over your tent or footprint under your tent, … only limited by your imagination.
So what are you waiting for? Try out a tarp and see for yourself.