Any experienced backpacker knows that reducing even a pound or two of weight from their carry pack can make all the difference. If you have been using a traditional backpacking tent, it’s a smart idea to investigate a backpacking tarp that can serve as a suitable shelter.
Why a backpacking tarp? Weight alone is one of the biggest benefits of switching to backpacking tarps. A reliable ultralight tarp will only take up about 7 ounces as compared to three pounds (48 ounces) for a traditional tent.
There are numerous benefits to using backpacking tarps beyond the weight issue. Backpacking tarps are 100% waterproof and when put up as shelter during a backpacking trip, do an efficient job at keeping the backpacker protected from weather and the elements, as well as providing a dry, warm environment for sleeping.
For any backpacker on a budget, choosing backpacking tarps as a tent alternative is also beneficial because tarp prices even including the rope needed to construct a tarp tent, make them a less expensive option that the traditional backpacking tent.
A traditional tent may not be flexible enough to fit into certain terrains, but another benefit to choosing backpacking tarps is that you can construct a tarp shelter in a limited amount of space, with all the protective advantages of a regular tent.
Many backpackers prefer the open feeling that a backpacking tarp offers versus a fully enclosed tent, especially during warmer weather. Backpacking tarps allow for a better view of mother nature’s wonders in addition to providing more fresh air ventilation than other forms of tenting. This airy exposure, however, does present a problem when bugs are very active, but finding a location to pitch your backpacking tarp that offers a good breeze away from bug-infested areas is one possible solution, as is wearing bug repellant.
Backpackers who are novices at constructing a tarp tent would do well to practice in their own backyard prior to leaving on an extended backpacking trip. With a little practice using the ropes and various knots required to construct a well-built backpacking tarp tent, you will be able to venture into the wilderness much better prepared when it’s time to make camp for the night and erect your tarp tent.
For the ultimate in lightweight tenting options, there are few options that can beat the versatility, affordability and openness of backpacking tarps.