“What about bugs? Or, what if it rains? And how do you stop animals from getting into your stuff?”
Not surprisingly, there are a few 'myths' about tarp camping that come up in conversation, time and time again. So, we decided that it was time to debunk the most common myths about tarp camping once and for all.
In this blog, we'll explore the top five myths about tarp camping and reveal whether or not there is any truth to the rumours.
Read to the end to find out the WORST myth about tarp camping – you might be surprised!
A camping tarp won’t keep bugs out.
People get all in a flutter (see what we did there?) about bugs when tarp camping.
And yes, while it is true that a camping tarp alone won’t provide much protection against bugs, the solution is simple.
Use a bug net. Problem solved!
Jokes aside, it is seriously easy to create an insect-free zone in your camping tarp shelter.
Myth #1 = False
Camping tarps can’t protect you from wind, rain or snow.
Without closed walls around you and a floor, surely the wind and rain and snow will get into your camping tarp shelter, right?
Wrong! Well, kind of…
A waterproof camping tarp can be just as effective as a tent in bad weather, provided you have the right gear and setup configuration, and enough experience to be able to adapt your shelter to the conditions.
Unless you are planning on doing some snow camping, any standard flat-cut tarp, such as our 3m x 3m Ultralight Tarp, can be just as protective and effective in most conditions, including wet and rainy weather.
But, if you ARE doing some extreme missions – we’re talking snow, gail-force winds and rain – then you need to be prepared, properly equipped and highly experienced.
There are specific camping tarps that are designed for harsh weather, but regardless of what shelter option you’re planning to use, camping in extreme conditions requires careful planning to manage the risks.
Myth #2 = False, but use your common sense, kids!
Animals will come inside your camping tarp!
We have some good news and bad news on this one.
Let’s start with the bad news.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a tarp or a tent, if an animal really wants to get in, they probably can.
The good news?
Animals invading your camping tarp is one of those things that is scary to think about, but is so rare that it isn’t really worth stressing about.
All around the world, people use camping tarps, and none of them report experiencing more problems with wildlife. It’s just not an issue.
Besides, the vast majority of animals that you’ll encounter aren’t out to get you. They’d prefer to avoid you, if they can. If they do pay you a visit, it is because they smell food.
To avoid attracting any unwanted visitors, keep your campsite clean and avoid cooking too close to where you will be sleeping if possible, always store your food in airtight packages and hang it up off the ground away from your campsite when you’re not using it.
Myth #3 = False… Unless you have food inside your shelter.
Camping tarp shelters don’t offer enough privacy.
Privacy is subjective, so what feels like ‘enough privacy’ is going to be a little different for everyone.
Location is everything when it comes to this particular issue.
For example, if you are planning a trip to a popular location in the peak season, chances are that campgrounds are going to be teeming with people.
In this situation, you can set up a camping tarp to shield you from view on two or more sides. This will certainly offer you some privacy, but if you feel uncomfortable at the thought of not having enclosed walls around you, then consider opting for a tent instead.
On the other hand, in remote locations, the openness of a lightweight tarp is a major draw card for many campers because it brings you closer to nature and gives you a new and exciting way to experience the outdoors.
Plus, with no one around, privacy ceases to be a concern.
All in all, whether a camping tarp will offer enough privacy really comes down to where you plan to use it, and how much privacy you need to feel comfortable.
Myth #4 = It depends, privacy is subjective.
Tarp camping is hard and complicated, so it is only for experienced adventurers.
Look, we get it. When you are new to tarp camping, it can feel a little intimidating.
You might find yourself thinking that you’ll never know your Bowlines from your Siberian Hitches or your Prusik Loops. And that’s just knots – how on earth will you ever learn all those crazy camping tarp shelter configurations?!
If you catch yourself feeling a little flustered at the idea of setting up a camping tarp, then listen up.
First, take a deep breath.
Seriously, I’m not joking. Do it.
Alright, that’s better, right?
Now, ask yourself this question: what is so bad about being a little bit uncomfortable?
It’s called a learning curve for a reason. At first, the incline is steep. And, just like climbing a steep mountain slope, it is HARD, especially at first.
But, that isn’t a reason to stop, is it? You came here to climb a mountain, afterall.
Once you’ve struggled up that mountain for a while, you’ll find yourself appreciating the view. It’s still hard, but it’s not as unpleasant. And then, before you know it, you’re at the top, looking out over the landscape and feeling in awe of how far you’ve come. Yes it was hard, but you made it.
Tarp camping can be a bit like that for some people. It feels a bit awkward, you make mistakes, you get your knots wrong.
Keep trying it again, and again, until you start to get the hang of it. Before you know it, you’re doing it all without even thinking about it.
So, if you notice yourself (or someone else, for that matter), feeling daunted by learning any new skill – not just tarp camping – just remember that the best things in life come when we step outside our comfort zone.
Myth #5 = 100% FALSE!
Do you believe any of these tarp camping myths?
There you have it; the top five tarp camping myths, debunked!
Had you heard any of these camping tarp myths before? We believed a few of them before we tried tarp camping for ourselves, but as soon as we did, we were obsessed.
We love hearing about your tarp camping adventures, so if you’ve got any stories to share, send us a DM on Instagram or tag us in pics of your adventures.