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Five Best Camping Tarps To Improve Your Camp

Updated on November 25, 2010

One of the first things that come to mind when campers are preparing for their camping trips is their camping shelter. It’s always important to have something to shield you from the harsh elements when you’re going outdoors. That’s why camping tents are the usual images that easily pop up in our minds when people mention the word, “camping.”

However, tents are not the only things that can provide you and your companions with shelters because you can also use camping tarps for more of your protection. Tarps can be used to fortify your tents against the sun and the rain especially during extreme weather conditions like a heavy downpour that can make your tent really wet even in the inside. You can also use them as awnings during warm days or nights. You can use them as shelters for your dogs when they’re with you on camp. You can also use them as shades over hammocks or over a spot near the water if you’re camping with streams, rivers or lakes nearby.

Aside from shelter, you can also use tarps to create rooms or provide walls for outdoor bathrooms and toilets. These will give you privacy, hiding you from other people’s views as well as getting intruded by small wild animals. You can easily set them up by tying them at the corners or using poles. So, you see, there are different advantages in having tarps with you when you camp and very few people know this. They are such lightweight items that can do lots of help.

For your convenience and options, here are some different kinds of tarps you may want to buy. Some of them are considered painter’s tarps while some are transparent plastic tarps that serve well for waterproofing purposes. However, if you want the strongest ones, always prefer those that are made of heavy duty materials.

Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarps
Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarps

Reinforced Rip-Stop Polyethylene Tarps

These tarps are made of heavy duty polyethylene reinforced with fibers. It’s waterproof and UV resistant so it’s very useful and appropriate for fortifying tents as well as making awnings and shades in different areas of your camp. This tarp is also washable so you can use it over and over again. It’s got rust-proof grommets too and a hemmed edge which makes it strong against angry winds. Always put some of these in the trunk of your car or in your camping bag before you set off into the wilds. You can bring one for your tent, one for your outdoor bathroom, one for a cool shade and who knows what other things you may want to do with them while on camp. This will keep you warm and dry in rainy weather and it will keep you shaded during very warm days.

Granite Gear White Lightning Ultralight Tarp
Granite Gear White Lightning Ultralight Tarp

Granite Gear White Lightning Ultralight Tarp

Ask any avid backpacker and they will all have this same thing in common which is taking camping gears that are light weight. That’s why when it comes to backpacking, you’ll be delighted to find tarps that not only provide reliable protection but also easy on your shoulders as well. This Granite Gear White Lightning Ultralight Tarp is made of lightweight 30 Denier Cordura Ripstop fabric and features a catenary cut that helps keep it taut and stretched out. Tension tapes sealing the center and the edges make this tarp able to withstand stretching while you’re tying it up for tent reinforcements or for a shade. This tarp also comes with its own carry case as well as some micro cordage.

 Dry Top 312201 12-by-20-Foot Super Heavy-Duty 10-Mil UV Treated Tarp, White
Dry Top 312201 12-by-20-Foot Super Heavy-Duty 10-Mil UV Treated Tarp, White

Dry Top 312201 12-by-20-Foot Super Heavy-Duty 10-Mil UV Treated Tarp, White

This durable, white tarp measures 19 inches long, 16 inches wide and 14 inches high. It is made of heavy duty industrial polyethylene that’s waterproof, UV resistant and features 14x14 cross weave, laminated on both sides. These features make this tarp dependable when it comes to protection and reliable camp enhancements whether during very warm days or stormy conditions. This tarp also features rust-proof grommets for easy set ups. This is one of the most reliable tarps you can use for your camp needs. It is resistant to tears and mildew and it’s washable so you can keep it clean and use it over and over again. This one is something that won’t last just for the duration of your camp but for a longer time after that as well.

Kelty Noahs Tarp
Kelty Noahs Tarp

Kelty Noahs Tarp

This tarp comes from a name that’s also known when it comes to vary useful and durable camping equipment. The Kelty Noahs Tarp is great for use during spring, summer and autumn. It’s made of tough 75 Denier 190T 450-millimeter PU polyester taffeta that’s great for just about any camp purpose under the bright sun or storm clouds. Its seams are strengthened with tapes that prevent it from tearing and enable it to take some stretching during set-ups and high winds. Be sure you don’t forget to bring some of these if you’re planning to go camping and do some activities such as canoeing fishing. This can give you instant and reliable shade and shelter in just a matter of minutes.

Crazy Creek Crazy Tarp (Royal Blue)
Crazy Creek Crazy Tarp (Royal Blue)

Crazy Creek Crazy Tarp (Royal Blue)

Talk about wider tarps, this tarp can cover an area of 55 square feet so it can give you enough coverage for tent fortification and for hammocks and fishing shades. It’s made of 70 Denier coated ripstop nylon that makes it one of the strongest tarps in the market today. It features taped seams for a stronger construction too. You can use this tarp whatever the weather because it is waterproof, it is tear-resistant as well as UV resistant. It comes with guy lines, stakes, a seam sealer and its own carrying pouch. You can use this for your tent awnings, camping gear storage areas and other parts of your camp. The stakes come in handy too so you can set the tarps up easily even when there are no trees around. This one is also perfect for making your outdoor bathroom a private area.


Crazy Creek Crazy Tarp (Royal Blue) Amazon Price: $47.00
Crazy Creek Crazy Tarp (Royal Blue) Amazon Price: $47.00


Submit a Comment

  • Resolver2009 profile image


    7 years ago from Bournemouth, UK / Oslo, Norway

    Very informative and precise article about camping tarps (which I barely knew existed before reading this article) :-) Think you are doing a good job Outdoorguy, writing articles which are relevant to your niche. Well done.


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