Should I Put a Tarp Over My Camp Tent?

Most camping aficionados know a tarp can be a great tool for a great camping trip. However, many people don’t use the tarp in a way that enhances their camping experience.

There are some instances where it is appropriate to use a tarp, but there are also situations where it is a bad idea. For example, if I predicted the weather to be bad, you probably want to put up the tarp until the weather improves.

Now you ask yourself, should I put a tarp over my tent? …YES!!! You should, but; there are many tents today that are waterproof, it is still advisable that you use a tarp to cover your tent. If it rains while you’re camping, having a tarp over your tent will help you keep your gears dry. Regardless of the expected weather, always bring a tarp with you while camping.

A tarp

If you don’t have a tarp and it rains heavily, ask yourself if you really need it or not. Most of us know that a tarp over your tent can help keep the elements such as winter, rain, shade from sun out, but it can also keep in moisture, keep your tent clean, or just as a handy way to cover up your gear in the rain.

However; when we came across this topic earlier this week, we figured it was time to point out that tarping your tent is a great way to keep it clean in the rain. We asked other campers, some questions about tarping tents, what and why they like to use them, and how it works for them.

How do I Protect My Tent from Rain?

Why do we put up tents in the first place? Because it’s a damn good way to kick back and enjoy the great outdoors. But there’s a lot more to it than that. From the moment you wake up and throw your gear into your car and begin your journey, your tent will be your home for the next few days. It’s the place you go to escape the world and relax, and it’s also the place that can be most vulnerable to everything from rain to bugs.

We have all had the situation where we need to put up a tarp to cover up a small tent or shelter in the rain. This can be a complex task in the best of conditions. That is why we have been putting together a guide to help you put up a tarp.

How do You Cover a Tent with a Tarp?

There are different tarp installation methods. This is determined by your musical preference as well as the requirements of your campsite:

Method 1:

  1. Form a ridgeline. A ridgeline is a ribbon or rope tying trees or poles together.
  2. Cover it with your tarp. Make sure the cord runs down the middle of the tarp and is spread evenly on both sides of the ridgeline.
  3. To keep the tarp in place, pull the corners taut and then peg them into the ground.

Method 2:

  1. Place a pole in the center of the area where you want your teepee to be. We can also use a tiny tree as long as the trunk is thin enough.
  2. Tie one end of the rope to the top of the pole or tree trunk and peg the other end to the ground using many lengths of rope or cord. Make sure your rope or cords are taut and that you have enough of them evenly dispersed around the top of the pole.
  3. Drape the tarp around the cords from top to bottom. To properly secure it in place, use a rope.

Method 3:

  1. Using two poles or trees, create a ridgeline. It can be set to whichever level you prefer.
  2. Cover it with your tarp. Spread it out like A-frame on top of the ridgeline, but allow one side to have more tarp than the other.
  3. To keep the tarp in place, pull it taut at each corner and then peg it into the ground.

Should You use a Tarp Under your Tent?

As we all know, the last thing you want to do after pitching your tent is to go find some tarps for the tent stakes and a replacement for your tent fly. The tarp can be a very useful tool on a backpacking trip or for a backyard shed project. But should you use a tarp under your tent? That is the question the section of this post will answer.

You’ve probably heard that it’s unsafe to camp out under the stars without a tarp, but what about tents? Can you get away with just a tarp instead? The quick answer is no. Tarps covers are an essential way to protect your tent from rain, snow, and other weather-related dangers.

Is It Better to Put a Tarp Under or Over a Tent?

I put this tip here because when I was looking for a tarp to put under the tent; I found some people put a tarp under their tent, but it really depends on the size of your tent. You might want to try a smaller tarp to keep the fiberglass from scratching the floor, but this can be hard to find. A bigger tarp is good if you want to completely cover your tent with a waterproof layer and want to avoid the possibility of water leaking underneath your tent. If you want a smaller tarp to keep the fiberglass from scratching the floor, then you can also use a window screen to cover the whole floor of your tent. This is how I did it.

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