Dec 21 , 2021
Is it recommended to place a tarp underneath your camping tent? While the material isn’t the finest ground cloth option for every situation, it’ll suffice for most car campers. A tarp under your tent protects its underside from wear and tear, insulates it well, and acts as a moisture barrier to keep water out.
If you’re planning for your next outdoor adventure, here are a few reasons why bringing a tarp along with your tent is a good idea.
First of All, Choose a High-Quality Tent, if Possible
As a traveller, you will want a tent that can do it all while remaining compact and lightweight. Your tent should feel light when carried and efficient when used. If you can find a tent that offers lightweight livability, then you will be more comfortable than other campers on your trip.
Something like MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Backpacking Tent is ideal—with its optimised and symmetrical geometry, non-tapered floor, and integrated, adjustable stake-out loops.
Make sure that the tent you choose allows you to enjoy the whole backcountry experience— including time spent in the tent.
A Tarp Can Protect Your Tent
Campgrounds usually have tent sites with gravel, roots, dirt, or plain rock. You can seldom find a nice patch of green grass on a gentle slope. It’s common for car campgrounds to only designate a pad to set up your tent, so you may not always get to pick the right spot.
When you’re camping, your tent becomes your home, so keeping bugs and wetness out is a priority. However, holes in your tent will make it impossible to keep them out. Because you’re moving around within your tent while sleeping, packing, changing, or chilling, its underside is rubbing against pebbles, twigs, and roots. That friction has the potential to rip your tent apart. A tarp beneath your tent provides an extra layer of protection, extending the usability of your tent.
Tarps Can Keep Moisture Out of Your Tent
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: Water condenses when the energy that maintains water molecules apart in the air is lost. Water droplets develop when heated air cools. During the night, the soil holds heat from the sun, and dew will form in your tent as the temperature drops just before dawn. This happens because the warm earth cools and loses the energy needed to keep water molecules together.
Your tarp can help keep your tent from touching the dew-covered ground. It can act as a vapour barrier between your tent and the ground, preventing condensation within the tent. It can also protect you from rushing water when it’s raining and damp ground.
Tarps Can Keep Your Tent Clean
There are instances when your campground doesn’t have many options, and you end up camping on muddy ground. There’s no contest to see how clean your tent is after your camping vacation, but keeping the outside of your tent clean makes it easier to deal with. Mud and sticky pine needles are a hassle to clean up, so getting your tarp muddy is preferable because it’s easier to clean.
You might not want to bring a tarp because it’s bulky. But it offers more advantages to your camping trip than the slight hassle of carrying it around. Do your tent a favour and let it have a trusty tarp as added protection.
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