What Size Tarpaulin Should You Buy for Camping?

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What Size Tarpaulin Should You Buy for Camping?

This eBay guide will explain the advantages of camping with a tarpaulin that buyers may not have been aware of, including what size tarpaulin is required for a certain amount of people to sleep under, as well as some useful tips on buying a camping tarpaulin using eBay.

What at the Advantages of Camping with a Tarpaulin?

There may be many reasons that campers have never tried camping with a tarpaulin have not considered this as an alternative to a tent.  They may feel that a tarpaulin cannot offer the same kind of protection from the elements that a tent offers, or they did not know enough about tarpaulins to give it a try and do not know how you would go about constructing a tarpaulin shelter.

There are a number of attractive advantages to camping in this manner that they may not have previously known; here are the best five things about tarpaulin camping:

Being Closer To Nature

Camping tarpaulins do not form a complete shelter around the campers inside and depending on what construction method is used, there will be one or two areas that are open to the elements.

What camping under a tarpaulin offers is a closeness to nature that campers don’t normally get to experience in the modern world.  Using a tarpaulin goes back to the way camping used to be and many who have tried it say it’s an experience that every camping enthusiast should try.

There is plenty of evidence for this on camping forums and websites, many experiences being shared by people that are experienced campers who offer an objective and informed perspective.

Tarpaulin is Extremely Lightweight

One of the properties that makes tarpaulin extremely good for use as a camping shelter is the fact that it is very lightweight. A tarpaulin shelter can even be placed into a backpack along with all the other camping supplies and it is likely that the person carrying the backpack won’t even notice its presence.

When taking a lot of equipment on a camping trip, it’s important that the shelter that campers will be sleeping under is a light and compact as possible to transport. Tarpaulin is able to offer both of these qualities, which is why so many seasoned campers will happily sleep under a tarpaulin as often as they can.

Easy to Construct a Shelter With

One of the best things about a using a tarpaulin as a shelter for camping is that it’s quick and easy to construct with and it can be used to make a shelter in almost any location, regardless of terrain.

Whilst some may be familiar with the classic “A pitch” design for a tarpaulin tent, where the tarpaulin is stretched over tent poles in an elongated triangle shape, some campers may be unaware that there are almost countless ways to pitch a tarpaulin shelter.

If there is a tree nearby, one corner of the trap can be attached to it, whilst the others are stretched out and attached to the floor, to form a dry, warm and convenient shelter.

It’s Very Affordable

Tarpaulin is one of the most cost effective camping shelters that money can buy. As a general price guide, most tarpaulins will cost between £10 and £50 depending on factors such as size and quality.

When compared to a tent of a similar quality however, tarpaulin is seen to cost significantly less money, something that will appeal to any camper who is looking to explore whilst keeping to a strict budget.

A tarpaulin may also be a good idea for novice campers, because if they decide that camping is not for them, they do not have to worry about the fact that they spent a great deal of money on an expensive tent that they will no longer use.

It Teaches Campers a Skill

Although many might not think it, knowing how to pitch a tarpaulin shelter effectively may be a skill that could save someone’s life one day.

Constructing a tarpaulin tent is a basic survival skill that is taught as a part of basic training by a great number of armed forces worldwide and it is a tried and tested method of staying alive when in the case of an emergency.

Although some people may feel that this is not important, camping in general is about learning how to survive in the wilderness without of the many home comforts we take for granted. Looking at it this way, it certainly seems like learning how to pitch a tarpaulin is a useful skill to have.

What Size Tarpaulin Should you Buy for Camping?

This question of course has no definitive answer, but depends on what a camper wants to use their tarpaulin shelter for, how many people will be sleeping in it and what time of year the trap will be used in. Here are some things to think about for anyone who is seriously considering buying a camping tarpaulin but isn’t sure what size they need:

  • As a general rule, campers will want to look for smaller traps during the summer months and larger ones during the winter months. The reason for this is simple, when camping under a trap during the winter, the chances are that those sleeping underneath the structure will want as little exposure to the elements are possible; a larger trap means that it’s possible to cover more.
  • Smaller tarpaulins are favourable in the summer because they allow for ventilation to keep those sleeping underneath from overheating.
  • On the smaller end of the scale, the most common tarpaulins are 8x8 feet and 8x10 feet, whereas campers looking for a larger tarpaulin should look at models that come in 10x11 feet and 11x 11 feet varieties.
  • Another factor that can also affect the size of a tarpaulin is the shape that it has been designed in. The most common trap shapes are rectangle, diamond, square and hexagonal. Although all of these different shapes of trap have their uses and all will do a sufficient job, it is worth taking a rectangular tarpaulin into consideration, because it is generally believed that they can provide more overall coverage for those sleeping underneath.

Tarpaulin Safety Tips

Whilst camping under a tarpaulin, it is important to make sure that all the appropriate safety concerns have been addressed. Below are some helpful tips that can make a camping trip as safe as possible.

Don’t light a fire either under or close to the tarpaulin. Most modern camping tarpaulins are made from high-grade nylon and they will ignite quickly if exposed to open flames. It’s also a good idea to keep any gas or paraffin cooking equipment away from the proximity of the structure also.

Any fires that are lit by the campers staying in a tarpaulin should make sure that the wind is blowing away from the structure as this can fill the tent with smoke, which is not only unhealthy if anyone is inside, but it will also make everyone’s possessions smell of smoke. This is another way in which a trap can end up being set on fire.

Be sure that when a trap is constructed that it has enough of an incline built within the structure for sufficient water drainage. Failure to do this will result in a pool of water forming on the roof of the trap, which in turn may leak through or even worse, rip a hole in the tarpaulin.

Buying a Camping Tarpaulin on eBay

Many campers who are looking for a tarpaulin find that eBay is a fantastic place to find one at a great price. Here are some tips to find the perfect camping tarpaulin using eBay.

Always read the product description that eBay sellers list on their camping tarpaulins. This will ensure that the product, which the buyer purchases, is exactly what they were looking for.

Do not be afraid to search for used traps. Many people overlook them, thinking they will be damaged or have other problems, but little do they know that the vast majority of the used camping tarpaulins listed on eBay are in very good condition. As always, a seller will describe the condition of any used camping product thoroughly as not to deceive the buyer.

It’s a great idea to browse eBay’s camping department for thousands of useful tools, gadgets and time saving equipment that will work well on any camping trip organised to test out the fantastic new tarpaulin you purchased on eBay.


When most people think of camping, the first piece of equipment that comes to mind is a tent. As a matter of fact, many people may not even be able to name another piece of kit that it is possible to camp with in the same way as a tent, but tarpaulins present another option.

Camping tarpaulins have been available for years and offer and exciting and more natural alternative to the enclosed, often cramped and claustrophobic experience of sharing in a tent with a large number of people.

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