I have wanted a tarp for a while now to create a sheltered area outside of the tent under which I could cook or loiter during a long rainy day. The Terra Nova Tarp Shelter is not cheap but it is extremely light and shimmers to the touch in a pleasingly quasi-organic fashion. The good people of Idealo.co.uk were kind enough to send me one to test out and you can find similar products on their site here. The Terra Nova Tarp Shelter is here.

The tarp comes without guy ropes or poles. Fortunately I had a some lying around, left over from my previous aborted attempt to turn a spare groundsheet into a tarp. I set to improvising the best way to set the tarp up, eventually arriving at this set up attached to my tent.

Tarp attached to Vaude Badawi II tent

If camping near a tree, I would have used a high branch instead of the exterior of our tent. There is a loop in the middle of the tarp that – if strung up to a tree – would make it drape in a triangle shape, ideal for sleeping under during a wild camp.

When the rain came, I cooked under the tarp and made a few notes on how to improve the pitching of it next time out. I’ll need more guy ropes, for a start. The tarp is full of possibility, a shelter against the sun, the wind and the rain. That’s why I’ve always hankered after one. I feel that I am only at the very beginning of mastering my tarp skills.


The following weekend we camped at Forgewood in Kent in the pitch known as Nick’s Nook. This gave me the chance to pitch the tarp without poles and tethered to the surrounding trees. It makes such pleasing shapes.

How to put up a tarp in a wood

  2 comments for “Tarp

  1. Sarah
    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve just bought the new version of the Vaude Badawi and it had its first outing in the rain over the Jubilee weekend! Guess who has just ordered a tarp…………I loved the tent and the space (we have a 3 year old and a 5 year old), our old tent just wasn’t big enough (north face trailhead 6) and it had a hole in it, but it did have a porch which was great for cooking in the rain! We are out again this weekend, I’ll let you know how it goes!

  2. admin
    June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    It’s year three for our Vaude Badawi tent which means it’s been pitched about thirty times. I’ve abandoned the little pole that goes in the hat but otherwise I am as convinced of its virtue as ever. Tarps are superior to porches because you can pitch a tarp way away from your tent, over the campfire for example. Also I never liked porches on tents as the poles invariably flop around. Have fun this weekend.

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