Backpacking? Try a Tarp for Shelter

| 10/19/2014 8:07:00 PM

Tags: backpacking, hiking, tarps, Colorado, Dan Klein,

Backpacking Tarp For Shelter 

For many people, the thought of backpacking conjures visions of physical hardship and heavy, cumbersome gear. It’s a grueling challenge of man vs. nature, a battle in which each contender fights to overcome the other.

It doesn’t have to be.

Imagine this scenario. Your total pack weight, with food and water, is well under twenty pounds, and you save money doing it. I typically carry just seven pounds of equipment. No longer are you competing with nature, but you’re traveling lightly and living in harmony with you environment.

Ultra-light and minimalist backpacking has taken off in recent years for a number of reasons. Most importantly, less gear and lighter weights means it’s easier than ever to skip out for a weekend in the woods. The first step in lightening your load is to consider your shelter.

A Tarp for Minimalist Backpacking

Using a tarp, instead of a conventional tent, will cut your pack weight considerably.

10/21/2014 7:35:45 AM

For an extra pound you can have a fully-enclosed silnylon "tarp tent". Bug protection and full rain protection. I also carry a quarter-pound silnylon tarp, useful for daytime stops in the rain and to cover wet/dirty gear you don't want in the tent at night. I'm in the light-weight category, with a fully-stocked weekend pack (including food and the first load of water) around 18 pounds. That also includes my one luxury, a Sling-Light chair. Sure you can go with a 7 pound pack but there are certain things you just shouldn't skimp on. Pitch your tarp wrong, your bag gets wet, and now your last defense against hypothermia is useless.

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