Do I Need a Tarp Under My Tent? 3 Main Benefits

tarp under tent to keep dry

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When you’re out camping, there’s usually a number of things you must consider so as to have the best time possible.

There are various budget-friendly tents that you can purchase to meet your camping needs. There are also different accessories to add inside it for extra comfort, and a homely feeling. The stuff you purchase for camping is largely based on your most important needs.

However, one of the questions you might have been asking yourself while preparing for camp is, “Do I need a tarp under my tent?” To properly answer this question, you must take a couple of things into consideration.

Adding a tarp could be as a result of the climate conditions at the campground’s location, especially if you’re camping on the beach where it’s the most useful. Here, we’ll address the usefulness of adding it beneath.

Why Do I Need to Put a Tarp Under My Tent?

In order to find out if you need a tarp under your tent, we’ll be taking you through some of the known benefits that you get.

1. Protects Your Tent from Damage

As you go out camping, you would want to set up your tent nicely for a comfortable experience. One thing that can easily damage it is the ground on which you pitch it.

The best grounds to set it up would be free of jagged objects and rocks; they are the smooth ones with soft soil.

If instead of some smooth and soft spot, you get a rough and stony plain, you would need to make use of a tarp. It will cover up the jagged objects that threaten to tear up your tent. It can also help to keep the floor clean and free of dirt.

2. You Won’t Get Wet

Another thing you must keep in mind when using a tarp on the tent’s floor, is the size of the tarp. Ensure that the tarp isn’t wider than the floor area.

The last thing you want is a waterlogged interior because of an outward projection of the tarp from underneath. Make sure to check widths before spreading out the tarp.

When the floor you pitch your tent for rain and wind on gets wet, there’s usually an upward movement of moisture out of the ground inside. This is where a tarp comes in. It will stop that moisture from seeping up.

3. Keeps Your Place Clean

You might not always get the neatest and driest spaces while you’re at camp. It’s good that you are prepared in such a situation where your floor is wet and muddy.

A clean tent will keep bugs away and help you enjoy your camping exercise better. It could be frustrating if there’s mud splattered everywhere within. Because you’re camping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live in a comfortably neat space.

How to Set Up a Ground Tarp

The choice to set a tarp beneath your tent is helpful in a couple of ways. It protects it from tear and also from getting waterlogged. However, if you want it to be effective, you must set it up properly to match the profile of the ground where you’ll stay.

The first terrains that we will consider are fields and woodlands. Based on the nature of these grounds, it’s best if you set up your tarp in such a way that it doesn’t protrude outwards from underneath. This won’t let water inside your area through the tarp.

The next terrain is the beaches. There’s a unique dynamism between beach sand and water. Because of this, it’s advised for you not to let your tent extend outwards from underneath; this is because a protruding tarp will collect rainwater and direct its flow.

Keep the edges within the tent’s walls. The sand will do a good job of absorbing excess water on the outside.

You should know that it isn’t only the bottom that a tarp can be used to protect. A tarp can also be used to protect the sides of your tent. Drape it over the side that receives the most rain-blowing action from the wind. This will protect the sides from water.

Should I Put a Tarp Down Under My Tent or in the Bottom?

When you want to set up your tarp, there are a couple of things that you might be considering. Some might prefer putting it under the tent, while others would want the tarp on the bottom. Either way, there are certain advantages that are unique to both options.

These advantages are usually dependent on what you’re trying to achieve with the tarp: are you trying to rainproof your tent and keep rainwater out? Or, are you trying to avoid jagged objects from tearing the tent? The answer to either question will determine how you position the tarp.

If you want to block off water from entering into the tent, it’s advised that you put the tarp in. This way, the edges will serve as a barrier against the inward flow of water into the tent area. However, choosing to let the tarp extend outwards from underneath will only lead to the accumulation and inflow of rainwater.

But if you want to protect from objects that threaten to tear it, it’s better to position the tarp in such a way that its edges protrude outwards from underneath.

Final Thoughts

So, do you need a tarp under the tent based on the information above? You should be able to decide if a tarp is useful to you or not.

They basically protect your tent from rough jagged plains. They can also keep water out. It all depends on which needs you have.

If you want to keep water out, it’s advisable to make sure that the edges don’t protrude from underneath. On the other hand, this position is good for protection against sticks, roots, and stones.

Whatever your needs are, a tarp is usually a good addition.

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My name is Chester and I'm on a mission to help families, single people, and just about everyone to have the best outdoor experience when exploring the exciting world of camping. I believe that life becomes more meaningful when you spend time outdoors and commune with nature. My mission is to educate you about the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors and inspire more people to embrace an active life outside their homes.


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