We love a space-age tent, a bit of glamping canvas or an all-mod-cons campervan, but we like simplicity too.
Thanks to fat dragon for this lovely guide to making shelters.
And see our recommendations for the best tarps and accessories.
Latest update: September 2020
The best tarps we’ve found
OK, so tarps are just a sheet of waterproof material with some eyelets. Anything will do, but these top picks are reliable and come with the bits and pieces you’ll need.
And here are a few tarps in real-life use!
Fishing umbrellas for shelter?
One of our readers told us they used a fishing brolly instead of a tarp. It’s a great tip.
These bits and pieces will cost you under a tenner and will change your (camping) life! Use the bungee cords to secure tarps, awnings, bits of flapping tent or for 101 other uses. The green clips fasten on to canvas taps, tents and so on without damaging the fabric and give you more options for securing.
We’ve used a combination to make sun shelters, to keep the rain off, to create a market stall backdrop, to cover stuff in a trailer…..and more.
A few bits and pieces to make your tarp perfect
Providing you have the tarp clips, guyline and trees, it’s pretty easy to make yourself a shelter. But for extra versatility, add a few tarp poles like the Noorsk above to your kit.
Go for as light as possible and don’t forget to check how many eyelets your tarp has to accommodate the pole ends.
This Justcamp tent and tarp pole is fantastic for height (it’s telescopic up to 95 to 230cm), so it would work as the central pole in a lightweight bell tent or tipi.
The Unigear tarp poles are the best we’ve found if you need something more packable than the ones mentioned above. They’ll give you between 40 and 240cm of height and are made with lightweight (800g in total) but strong aircraft aluminium. They also have some good bits of design to add strength and make it easier to set up. They come in a set of two.