Bring Tarps on a Camping Trip to Protect Your Gear
When you and some friends decide to go on a camping trip, you make sure to pack a tent, clothing for a few days, cooking supplies, and food. While this may sustain you for a few days away from home, however, have you thought about what you will do if rain hits? Don’t count an umbrella to protect you, your gear, and your tent. Instead, make sure you pack a few tarps before heading out. Waterproof and UV resistant, tarps can be thrown over your packs and cover your tent if rain comes.
Camping or backpacking tarps are made from medium-duty polyethylene treated to be waterproof, UV resistant, mold resistant, and rot proof. Medium duty material typically has a six by six or eight by eight denier count and is designed for temporary protection, such as protecting your tent and supplies from rain for a few hours. Although blue is a common material for medium-duty tarps, consider going with a color that will blend better with trees. Green, brown, and camouflage colors are sold by most tarp retailers.
When you take a few tarps along, make sure you also bring supplies to attach them. Although a tarp can be thrown over your packs, it needs to be attached to trees to protect your tent. With rope, attach all four ends of the tarp to trees and angle the tarp downward to allow water to run down and off. Make sure that the tarp covers your tent and an area in front for a fire. An additional tarp can be placed under the tent to prevent water from seeping up through the material.
Although tarps are typically taken along to protect your gear, they can also be used as emergency shelters in case your tent is lost or damaged. To create this shelter, attach the rope you brought to two trees and place the tarp on top, having the rope go through the middle. Secure the ends to the ground with rocks, sticks, or stakes.