Three Things to Consider Before You Buy Your Next Camping Tarp

There’s more than one kind of tarp for camping. Which kind is right for you? We’re here to help

Tarps are about the most versatile product in your outdoor arsenal. You can use them to cover gear in your truck, protect the bottom of your tent from rocks and moisture, lay out a picnic, or keep your campfire out of the rain. You can get them simple and cheap, or you can buy specialized versions that pack easily and set up quickly. Which kind you pick depends on how you plan to use it most. Here are three things to think about before purchasing yours.

terra hiker camping tarp
If you're planning to use your tarp beneath your tent, make sure it's waterproof enough to keep water out even when immersed.Terra Hiker

If you're looking to use your tarp as a footprint for your tent, or if the storage space in your truck is at a premium, consider purchasing one that folds up tightly and packs down into a bag.

extra large hammock waterproof tarp
If you're buying a tarp for shelter, look for one with lots of tiedown points.Gold Armour

You can use any old tarp to create a rain shelter, but if that's your primary purpose for buying one, consider a lighter weight rain fly style tarp that comes with stakes and tiedowns.

grizzly tarps ba
At prices like these you can buy a 4-pack and build yourself a Taj Mahal.B-Air

If you want a tarp that you're not afraid to beat up, consider a standard old blue tarp. These are heavier and more durable than camping style tarps, which makes them a bad choice for carrying around in your backpack, but a good choice if you're just looking for a cheap and versatile piece of equipment.