Friday, 6 January 2012

4 reasons why using a tarp under your tent is essential

For many people, their tent is the single largest expenditure made when getting set up to go camping.

For this reason, it's a good idea to try protect your tent as best you can.   Ensuring you get the longest life from your tent.  The single biggest thing you can do, to protect your tent from damage is by using a ground sheet, tarp or mesh underneath your tent.

By using a ground sheet, tarp or mesh under your tent you will:
  1. Know the space you need for your tent,  before beginning to set it up.  This will allow you to thoroughly check for any rocks, sticks, bumps and lumps and possible ants nests that you may be setting up on.
  2. Protect your investment:  By using a easily replaced tarp as an additional layer of defence you'll further protect your tent from any tears or punctures that it may be exposed to from any missed rocks, sticks etc.
  3. Makes pack up easy as your tent floor will be dry and clean.  
  4. Replacing a tarp is a heck of a lot cheaper than replacing your tent.
Tip:  If using a tarp, make sure that no edges protrude out the sides of your tent.  Just fold any extra tarp under the tent.  Otherwise if it rains the water will pool under your tent!


  1. Jo - Singles Camping Qld6 January 2012 at 13:39

    I actually cut my tarp to the same size as my tent and leave a little extra out the front for under the vestibule. I was thinking of actually punching about 3 holes in the tarp just in case the water does run between and pool, thus allowin...g it a drain. Wasn't sure if this would generate more moisture gathering between the tent base and the tarp with dew and rising damp from the ground though. I only buy ultra cheap and light tarps. I don't use them for any other purpose so they last forever. When I pack up to come home, I am able to pack my tent away and I just leave the tarp out to dry on the clothesline when I get home. So easy this way and you can protect/lengthen the life of your tent. Cheers Jo :-)

  2. I prefer to use shadcloth trimmed to the size of the tent, makes no difference if it hangs out from the tent as the water just drains through. The open mesh of the shadecloth allows the grass to survive longer than a tarp would, and the tent pegs can also be driven through corner of the shadecloth to hold it in place. Cheers Todd :D

  3. To Jo and Todd, thankyou very much for your extra camping tips there they're both great. Much appreciated! Cheers, Jon

    p.s - keep them coming! ;)

  4. Pat....Williams, WA30 July 2012 at 17:27

    Just as well I took notice of one of your top 80 camping tips....bring along duct tape.....very useful for patching up the holes "somebody" made when throwing one of our tailor made, heavy duty tent pegs in the general direction of the storage bag, and missed...straight through tent floor and tarp!

  5. I am a shadecloth man too. It is reasonably light, it dries really quickly and if it is wet you can clean it far easily than a waterproof tarp. As mentioned above, you can peg it with the tents pegs and if it sticks out, it doesn't really matter. Great as floor under a tarp too, especially when wet or in sandy conditions.

  6. Crickey Pat, I would not have been happy if that was my tent! You are right though, duct tape is in my packing list every time now. Always handy.

    Yeah Feral Oz, shadecloth is the way to go I think. I've used both recently and it's the go in my opinion.



  7. i was thinking i could cut a tarp to fit the floor of my tent then stick it in with super glue or other adhesive that would in theory stop any moisture getting in there from in between the two floor surfaces

    1. Not a good idea- moisture will still get in and no air to dry it will cause damage and rot

  8. The problem I am having with tarps under the tent is rain and dew run down the sides of the tent, under the bottom, and pool up on the tarp. The next morning its like walking on a giant waterbed. That's what I'm trying to stop

  9. I agree that by using a tarp under your twnt, you will have a much better isolation and keep your tent from getting damaged. Actually, when it comes to tarps, I found an article that helped me a lot in making the right choice because it offers reviews of some of the best models on the market, and the price range is for everyone's budget. You can check it out here:


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