Why Ultralight Tent Shelter

          A tarp is basically a sheet of waterproof fabric that can form a decent shelter when attached with guylines to trees, trekking poles, rocks or any other stabile things.

Tarps are by far the lightest portable shelters; a high-quality tarp that can form a shelter for one to two persons can weigh as little as 300 grams. Tarps can also be used with additional modular components such as inner bug nets, groundsheets, bivy sacks and hammocks. These components can be brought along on a hiking trip if the conditions require them as tarps in general can’t be completely sealed. A bug net, for example, comes in handy in warm weather to prevent the mosquitoes from entering the shelter while a bivy sack will protect you in heavy rain against horizontally blowing precipitation. You might think that it is much simpler to just bring a tent, but using a tarp with modular components allow you to pack according to the conditions and reduce the weight of your backpack by leaving unnecessary things behind.

Tarps are also inexpensive and very versatile. However, some skills are required to efficiently pitch the tarp, which is why tarps are not recommended for those who are new to camping out in the wild. How to set up and secure the tarp greatly depends on the terrain, but in general sparse woods are the best place to set up a tarp shelter because trees can be used to suspend and secure it. A tarp should be also pitched according to the weather; for example in stormy conditions a tarp should be pitched lower to the ground for better protection against rain and wind while in warm weather it can be pitched higher up for better ventilation.

In order to efficiently use a tarp as a shelter you should also know some basic knots. However, with a little experience you can make a great tarp shelter basically anywhere.



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