“What’s a Tarp for?” said the wife. “Well, anything you need it for, I guess…” I replied. And that’s about the sum of it. A tarp is a piece of kit which you should consider keeping at the bottom of your bag because, in a McGyver moment, it could be a beach shelter, a rain shelter, a picnic rug, a rain jacket, a signalling device, a bag or something to cover your dignity if you split your pants. Here we have it modelled by the wife and dog as an outdoor reading room.
The BASE all-weather tarp is a handy little package of 2-sided tarp, tent pegs and guy lines so that you can configure it to your own heart’s desire.
The tarp itself is a strong orange colour on one side, and a silvered material on the other. The orange is pretty good at standing out in a woodland, and the silvered side is both insulating (so it can be used as a thermal blanket) and for signalling, should you become stuck in bright sunlight. Oh, and it’s flame resistant, so you could use the silver side to help shield a stove in a high wind.
The tarp isn’t massive, at a diagonal measurement of 8ftx 6ft, but it does provide ample coverage for someone who is sleeping in a waterproof bivvy, to keep the rain and some wind off your face.
Configuring the BASE tarp is a task to bring joy to the heart of any knot afficionado. The bag it comes in has a couple of handy ideas for ways that you can use the guylines, trees or even your walking poles to create a shelter. I prefer the old mucking-around until you’ve got bored approach myself.
Got a hot dog? Stick him under here to give him a bit of shade on a hot day. Same with the wife.
The pegs that come with the tarp are, well, tent pegs. Nothing special there, but you do get 6 of them, along with 6 orange guylines to help with the configuration games.
And two of the corners of the tarp have brass eyelets which you can use with the aforementioned walking-poles or a a small carabiner, or anything else you can think of!
And, well, that’s it. It’s a tarp. It’s well made, and the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
At 14.8oz, which is a bit more than a can of coke, it is the kind of thing that you really should consider adding to your pack just in case. Just in case of many reasons.
More: Whitby and Co.