If you are a camper then seeing a tarp under a tent will not come as a surprise to you. But are these tarps truly necessary? By the end of this post, you will be able to answer the question: should a tarp go under a tent?
So, Should a Tarp go Under a Tent?
There are certain things to consider when deciding if a tarp is necessary for you on your camping trip. Tarps are mainly used to protect the bottom of your tent from punctures that can be caused by rocks or anything else on the ground. Tarps are also great at helping with moisture reduction. If you are going camping and the forecast calls for rain then a tarp would be a smart investment for you since you would not want to go to bed on a wet floor.
Tarps are also a great way to protect your investments. If you invested a large sum of money on a good tent then you would want to make sure you are taking the steps necessary to minimize the damage to your tent that debris on the ground causes.
Benefits of Having a Tarp Under Your Tent
Having a tarp under your tent is never a bad thing as it only provides additional benefits. Tarps serve four important purposes that will make your camping trip an even bigger success:
Tarps Protect Your Tent
A tent is an investment for any camper, so why wouldn’t you protect this investment? Tarps add an additional layer in order to reduce wear and tear on your tent. Before you set up your tent in any campsite you always clear out the ground to make sure you are not being poked and prodded by any rocks or sticks on the ground. But there is always some stubborn debris that will come up, a tarp just simply protects the bottom of your tent from these bad boys!
Tarps Keep You Dry
As mentioned previously, tarps are an added layer of protection for the bottom of your tent. Along with helping to reduce any punctures your tent may endure, they also help to keep your tent dry.
We can never predict the weather, so it is better to come prepared for anything. Tarps can prevent any pre-existing moisture on the ground to get in your tent as well as direct any rain to the perimeter of your tent rather than gathering underneath. But there is one thing to keep in mind when choosing a tarp for your specific tent. The tarp should be around 2-3 inches smaller than the dimensions of your tent since any extra tarp that extends more than the dimensions of your tent can cause water to run and puddle underneath.
Tarps Add Insulation to Your Tent
When camping we need to use as many layers as possible to keep us warm. Tarps do not provide an extreme amount of insulation but any layer between our body and the cold ground is an added help. Laying down a tarp can be compared to placing an extra sheet layer beneath us which adds just a tad bit of warmth especially on cold nights.
Tarps Help Keep Your Tent Clean
When camping one can expect to get a little dirty and so will your tent. Adding a tarp underneath your tent will provide an extra layer in order to reduce the amount of dirt that will gather underneath. This is especially useful on nights the air seems to be a bit moist and can cause the ground to become muddy. Tarps will allow you to sleep well and not wake up in a puddle of water nor in a muddy mess.
How to Set Up Your Tarp
Finding a tarp that fits your tent may be the most challenging part of your camping preparations. We have to keep in mind that we want a tarp that does not over extend past the dimension of our tent, so we can prevent water pooling. But in order to set up your tarp you can follow these following steps:
- Choose a tarp that is an appropriate size for your tent. The tarp should be as previously mentioned 2-3 inches smaller than the outside dimensions of your tent.
- Once you have arrived at your camping site you must clean out all the debris on the ground before laying down your tarp and tent. You should remove all the rocks and sticks that may try and puncture your tent. Although the tarp adds an extra layer we want to make sure there is no remaining debris that will cause you any type of discomfort while laying down.
- Follow all the directions to set up your tent and then lay it on top of the tarp. When laying down your tent we want to make sure all the corners are properly aligned and any excess tarp is tucked under the edge of your tent.
Remember before you go camping to choose the best camping tarp for your tent, so your trip can be a success!
Written by Paola Valdez and Christine Quist