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Why Survivalists and “Preppers” Stock Up on Tarps

Many people are unaware that having a tarp on hand is a lifesaving item to have not only when camping, but also during instances of accidents, emergencies and disasters.  In the context of camping, experienced campers have long used one or more tarp coverings as an additional layer of overhead protection that not only helps keep tent surfaces clean and dry, but also helps prevent falling branches, ice shards and even critters from piercing the surface of the tent.  The same applies to using a tarp as an under-layer that protects the floor of a tent from being pierced by sharps rocks, and also providing air layering that help insulate the tent floor.  Indeed, a tarp can function as a rain-fly, an insulator, or even as means to create a vent that can be advantageous for diverting air or even water flows away from the tent or its surroundings.

Noting that the likelihood of precipitation poses a long term risk for a tent’s durability, the relatively low cost nature of having tarps in the field makes a great deal of economic sense as well.  No matter how large or high quality your tent is, the risks one encounters in the wilderness should make you may feel uneasy about not having a tarp available to cover your tent, to place underneath your tent, or to provide a means to collect and route clean water collected into containers for cooking and drinking.

In addition to the above, many survivalists “preppers” also endorse the use of Camouflage Tarps to help conceal the location of a tent in the field.  The use of “Camo Tarps” to blend into the surroundings, and some even make this type of tarp their primary holding.  Indeed, the use of Camouflage Tarp can aid in having a material available for creating a “hunting blind” for large and small game, as well as in the use of duck blinds.  Further to the above, freshly cleaned game can be wrapped in the tarp and hung from a tree in order to reduce the possibility of being eaten by wild animals.

Many survivalist preppers also advocate the availability of having a roof tarp available to cover damaged areas typical to old cabins and other abandoned structures commonly found in the wild. Also, roof tarps are wonderful to have in the event of weather disaster such as a severe storm, tornado or hurricane that damages homes and other structures used in day to day life.  Not only does the availability of a roof tarp help insure the ability to survive a disaster, they also provide an additional protection for the possessions needed for daily life, as well as providing more dry living space.

Here is a shortened description of the advantages of having tarps available as a physical form of insurance for you, your family, friends and neighbors:

Waterproof Tarps & Water Resistant Tarps

A tarp over your tent will give you another layer of security against invaders. If you set up a tarp over your tent, the interior will remain dry regardless of the weather conditions. Due to space limitations, there is a maximum amount of water that may be stored inside a tent. This seepage pressure can be attained during a prolonged period of heavy precipitation. While tarps may be as watertight as or even more airtight than the outer layer of a tent, even the slightest pressure allows a shocking amount of moisture to penetrate the construction.

Tarps Create Air Layers for Insulation

Tarp Shelter Tips for Rain and Wind While Camping - Uncommon Path – An REI Co-op Publication

Tents are constructed to utilize condensation to chill the ambient air. When a tent’s outside covering becomes wet, the air inside will become more humid. Both of these will make it more difficult for your body to generate heat when it is cold outside. Insulated tents represent cutting-edge camping technology, yet they are prohibitively expensive.

After a long day on the mountain, we’re eager to return to our tents and get some much-needed rest. Do you have any warm tents? Simply draping a tarp over the top of your tent will provide you with a dry and comfortable night’s sleep.

Tarps Reduce Intense Sunlight and Ultra Violet Radiation

Your tarp will be darker in the mornings, which is perfect if you wish to sleep in. Outside of this window, it may be equally important to provide shade for your tent as it is to waterproof it. If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep, it is prudent to purchase a blackout tent.

Camping in a tent during the summer may be rather unpleasant due to the heat. By affixing a tarp to the exterior of your tent, you may significantly reduce the amount of heat you feel when reclining in the sun. Tents can deteriorate if kept in the sun for an extended period.

Tarps Increase the Amount of Dry Living Spaces

Additional space is usually always desired when tent camping. Multiple nights spent in a tent can be a very trying experience. Rain makes everything more challenging. Using a tarp, you may add a waterproof porch to your tent. The increased space can be utilized for a variety of tasks, including meal preparation, supply storage, and the washing and drying of equipment.

Pin on Best Campsite Setup

Never allow the tent to become damp.  If you cannot keep your tent dry during wet weather, your evening comfort and warmth will suffer. Utilizing this additional space will prevent moisture from entering the tent. You can change into dry gear, so you won’t have to worry about transporting wet clothing into your tent. A tent that has been cleaned, dehumidified, and generally readied for use will produce less condensation and breathe more readily. If you place a tarp on top of your tent, you will be less concerned about rain entering.

Step by Step Guide to Outdoor Tarp Use

There are instances where a tarp can be used to create a makeshift tent on the fly when

  • First, lay down a tarp under the floor area of your tent.
  • Take care to ensure that no puddles can form beneath your tarp.
  • Next, erect your tent. When setting up your tarp, ensure that it is taut and find a place to store your belongings. This will prevent you from losing equipment or standing on it if either of the aforementioned occurs.
  • You can verify the condition of your lines and ensure that they are not entangled by unfolding your tarp. Attach each end of your tarp to a tree at the ridgeline of your tarp.
  • After determining that the ridgeline is stable, peg off one corner, then proceed clockwise. Commonly, elastic is used as the lining material for tarps. The structure retains its stability but aggressively sways in the wind.
  • If you live in an area with few or no trees, you may need to put your skills in tarp construction to the test. Your tarp will serve you more effectively if the tent does not impede its mobility.
  • If you pull the tarp too tightly, you risk destroying the tent’s framework. Fold the tarp in half and knot together the loose ends to prevent it from flapping.
  • If your tarp is placed over your tent in a manner that it can shed rainwater quickly; otherwise your surrounding will become muddy, and thoroughly drenched.
  • Some survivalist preppers prefer the use of cordage placed between to create a tent covering independent of the tent. Others will simply lay the tarp over the tent, and then fasten it to the tent pegs.
  • Once your tent and tarp coverings are properly placed, consider using another tarp to create an outdoor porch area, to ensure the ability to sit outdoors during inclement weather. Some will also use a tarp as an outdoor floor covering.  This type of tarp materials can also be used to collect clean water for drinking and cooking, as well as providing coverage.  A campfire place at the edge of the tarp covering is also more likely to sustain a fire overnight, and provides a means to prepare foods.
  • If you locate an old cabin or similar structure while in the wild, your first step should be to ensure the roof does not allow water to pass to the interior of the structure. Use a roof tarp for immediate repair, and if possible, use the roof tarp to divert fresh water to a container for collection. If the door or window areas are drafty or insecure, use a tarp to either cover or plug areas that create air drafts.  Use a tarp in flooring areas to further ensure a clean, dry living area free of insects or other forms of infestation.
  • Be sure to include one or more Camouflage Tarps for use as hunting blinds or to better hide your location in survivalist conditions. Take care to hang cleaned game from trees away from living areas, for safety from wild animals who are competing for food supplies.

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