So, currently I have a one man bivy tent. In it’s stuff sack, it is probably five or six pounds. This makes it the heaviest item to be attached to my bag. My bag is pretty heavy already, and adding another five or six pounds, I am wondering how that is going to affect the weight on my back. I suppose we can all speculate. So I started looking for low cost light weight shelters that were durable that I could replace my bivy tent with. I am looking for something that can be used in multiple seasons, even when it gets cold out. upon my search, I found a lot of inexpensive and expensive tents. Well, I don’t need a tent. I already have that. So, my search moved to YouTube. I sifted through a lot of stuff, some garbage, and some not, but i finally came across these. I don’t know if I am going to do any sewing myself, but these were pretty good.
Video on Tarp Shelters
Great post! Tarps are incredibly versatile and so light weight. I’ve done a lot of trips with just a tarp for a shelter, and always take one even if I do have a tent. Makes a great “front porch” or place to cook in the rain if you have a tent, and can be rigged in so many useful ways as a stand-alone shelter, adaptable to the conditions.
Thanks, Scott! Coming from you, that’s a big compliment. Hope all has been well with you. It is true, my BoB is an anchor, and I am seriously looking at breaking down the weight factor, and 5/6 pounds can be a back killer! I think two tarps, that can be multi functional as you mentioned above, and I should be good for most situations…
Still needs you to carry some kind of pole, tent stake, and line.
Where do you find a nylon “tarp”?
The first place I might look is Amazon.com, but I am sure if you Google Nylon Tarp there would be a good list that comes up.
Check these out (all found on Amazon.com:
I’ve used tarps and tents. Tarps work fine for me in the summer months, but any any sort of bad weather in the pacific north west I’d rather have a tent and even better than that I’d rather have a tent and a tarp.
You might want to checkout the Appy Trails tarp tent, plenty of room for you and your stuff and only weighs about a pound.
Thanks, Michael. I will check them out!
Tarp tents are great, and very lightweight, but if the bug-out is long-term (which is very possible), you are going to want at least a 3‑season tent for its durability, and comfort. If you are one person, do what the military do and go with a modular type system. They are about 9lbs total, and can stand up to the worst of conditions. They’re a bit claustrophobic though. If there is more then one person in your family, distribute the tents weight. If you bug-out for over a year, and you don’t have knowledge on how to build an efficient debris hut, then a tent will be a life-saver.
JV, good call on the shelter. Currently I have a couple of three season tents, and a bivy that can be considered three season. I would need a good tarp to make it a four season, if need be. Thanks for the comment!
Has anyone tried the common found everywhere shower curtain? I’ve meant to give it a try, but was wondering if anyone else had.
Good idea J.R. I alsomthought about cutting the air mattress I keep in the back of my truck… It is queen size and cut along the shallow side, you can make a nice shelter out of it for temporary stay.