Light backpackers and hikers are often obsessive over their pack weight, and often run into problems when trying to decide what to do about shelter.
While building shelters from natural materials is always an option, there are going to be times when the appropriate building materials to construct a shelter might be scarce. If this happens, not having a tent can turn into a real problem, especially during nasty weather. If the weather turns bad, you want a quick and easy way to construct an emergency shelter.
This is where a good Tarp comes into play.
A quality camping tarp is both lighter and cheaper than even the lightest of tents. In my opinion, tarps have a number of advantages that make them a much more attractive option to a light backpacker.
Why Tarps make a good shelter for light hikers and backpackers.
- Tarps are great in the rain….. No one wants the hassle of setting up a tent in a rainstorm, and building a waterproof shelter out of natural materials can take hours. A good tarp can be put up in less than 60 seconds, and will help you stay dry until the rain stops.
- A tarp is far lighter than almost any other type of backpacking shelter.
- Tarps are cheaper that tents.
- When combined with a hammock, they make a great outdoor shelter.
- Tarps are a great backup plan for when you can’t find natural materials to build a shelter with.
Types of Tarp Shelters
With a small amount of paracord and a tarp, you can quickly setup an improvised shelter that will keep you dry and warm with a small reflected fire.