A tarp is a sheet of waterproof fabric. In most cases, it’s made out of Nylon (preferable Ripstop Nylon) and attached with 550 paracord lanyard to trees, aluminum rods, rocks, and other stable things to form a shelter. They are the lightest and cheapest portable tarp shelter to carry inside a survival backpack. Although many preppers prefer to sleep in a tent, however, if you know your bushcraft skills, you can build a proper shelter with the right size tarp.
Different modular components are available for tarp shelters, such as indoor insect nets, blankets, sleeping bags, bivy sack and hammocks. An insect net, for example, is useful in hot climates to prevent mosquitoes from entering the shelter, while a protective sack will protect you against precipitation that blows horizontally.
You may think that it is much simpler to bring a tent or plastic cover, but using a tarp shelter with modular components allows you to pack according to the camp site expected conditions. Thus, you can significantly reduce the weight of your backpack by leaving unnecessary things at home.
Tarps are also inexpensive and highly versatile. However, some skills are required to assemble the tarp, so it will be beneficial to practice setting up the tarp before you need to use it in an emergency.
Tarps are also inexpensive and highly versatile. However, some skills are required to assemble them, so it will be beneficial to practice setting one up before you need to use it in an emergency. The canopy is installed and secured depending on the terrain, but a wooded area is generally the best place to set it up.
The tarps must also be set up according to the weather; For example, in stormy conditions, it should be closer to the ground for better protection from rain and wind. In hot weather, it may need to be higher for better ventilation. To efficiently use a tarp shelter, you should also know necessary knots skills.
What is the most important thing when buying a survival tarp shelter?
Experienced preppers prefer tarps instead of tents to carry in their backpacks because it is lighter. Therefore, choosing one that is significantly lighter than a tent will allow you to have additional gear in your bug-out bag. A high-quality emergency tarp that can accommodate two people weighs as little as 10 ounces, while high-quality two-person tents weigh about 3+ pounds.
Size And Occupancy When Stored:
Tarps generally take up very little space in a backpack, less than tents. There are preppers that once they have folded their tarp, they place them inside a sealable plastic bag and seal them with a vacuum to compact them much more. Remember that as an experienced prepper, you should always maximize your bug-out bag with only the necessary items to survive.
Size When Deployed:
The larger the tarp, the more area it will cover and protect you from rain and wind. A preferable size for a survival tarp shelter is between 8×8 to 10×12. You can also increase the covered area by decreasing the internal height (A pitch). However, if you reduce the internal height too much, you will have trouble using modular components such as an inner mosquito net or a bivy sleeping bag.
Tarps used by preppers are made of nylon, the same material from which the bottom or floor of the tents is made off. The nylon fabric is usually impregnated with silicone or covered with a polyurethane layer to make them weatherproof. Many manufacturers also use ripstop technology to increase resistance to abrasion. For example, the material is reinforced with interlocking threads).
The fabric of a tarp is not breathable but rarely has condensation issues, as the setup is well ventilated. However, you must ensure that no part of your sleeping bag or your clothes is in direct contact with the tarp. The heat from the sleeping bag or your body can cause condensation to form on it, causing the sleeping bag or your clothes to suck up that condensation.
Fixing The Tarp In Place
Survival tarps have six or more attachment points or grommets, depending on size and design. Typically, there is one attachment point near each of the four corners, while two additional attachment points that are located on the sides in the middle. Attachment points in the middle allow you to suspend the tarp. These two attachment points can usually hold the tip of a trekking pole or aluminum pole to quickly set up the tarp in an “A-frame” configuration, even if there are no trees. The other four attachment points (grommets) are used to secure the tarp to the ground with stakes.