When going hiking or bushcrafting weight can be a critical factor to take in consideration. Having your backpack packed with the things you need for your adventure as well as having to carry a tent can add much weight.
As weight affects mobility, we can reduce it a lot by removing the tent from our gear. But where will we sleep? If you are a hardcore bushcrafter, you can always sleep under the open sky, but for those that like to prepare, there is still a solution. Tarps can replace tents, and they are lighter and more convenient to carry around.
Things we need to consider when buying a bushcraft tarp
Choosing the best bushcraft tarp can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. When selecting the best tarp, you need to take in consideration your budget, your needs, limitations as well as your personal preferences.
1. The Bushcraft Tarps Weight
Weight is a significant factor when it comes to bushcraft gear. The lighter your equipment is, the more you are capable of carrying, and the more you are able to travel without rest breaks. When it comes to tarps, the lighter one is, the more money you need to get out of your pocket.
2. The Materials
The prime materials used in Tarp making are:
-Cuben Fiber/Dyneema composite.
Silnylon is by far the cheapest out there, but the advantages it offers are usually equal to the price, and it is heavy. Silpoly gains the intermediate space in the tarp making materials. It comes in both light, and heavyweight variations and the price isn’t a killer. Cuben fiber is the way to go if you can afford to spend a bit more money. Cuben fiber is the best tarp material, and it is lightweight and durable.
3. Water resistance
When you are under a tarp, you don’t want to get wet. Water resistance is also an essential factor when it comes to choosing the best bushcraft tarp. Today, even the cheapest tarps offer some level of waterproofing.
Here are our top 5 best affordable bushcraft tarps
1. Super Heavy Duty Brown Tarp 8 Oz., 8’X10′ by TarpsDirect
When choosing the best value for the money, the Super Heavy Duty Tarps by TarpsDirect is the way to go. This tarp is very resistant, and it is also waterproof. The weight of the tarp can be a bit of an issue, but it’s nothing too wrong, 4lbs can be an issue for some people.
When it comes to the bad points, the only problem that we found with this tarp is that the plastic layer tends to crack after some years of use. If you are looking for something inexpensive that you can use for bushcraft and also cover things around your yard, the Super Heavy Duty Tarp by TarpsDirect is the one you are looking for.
2. YUEDGE Waterproof Rain Tarp
If you are short on money and you want to get a bushcraft tarp, the Waterproof Rain Tarp by Yuedge is the way to go. It has a PU coating and UV protection, which is very good considering the low price of this tarp.
It is well built, and it is able to resist harsh conditions, but it good is not to push it too far. This tarp is also waterproof so you can set it up to keep you protected from rain. If you are looking for something cheap but also good, this Yuedge tarp is the best for you.
3. Aqua Quest Guide Sil Tarp
Another good tarp that doesn’t cost a fortune. Aqua Quest Tarp is very reliable and quite light. Yes, this tarp only weights 1,5 lbs, meaning that you won’t even notice that you are carrying it! Having a lightweight tarp in your travels is a good idea, it allows you to cover more ground, or you can bring more items in your backpack.
It is also very compact and doesn’t take up much space. Despite being lightweight, this tarp is durable. It comes with UV protection, and it is also waterproof. It is straightforward to set up, and it has a variety of uses.
4. CARTMAN Olive Drab 10 oz Canvas Tarp
The Cartman tarps come built from quality materials. It might not be the best, but it strikes the middle ground when it comes to tarp making materials. The Cartman tarps make quality is excellent. They prove to resist in harsh conditions, because of the build quality.
If you want a tarp that is inexpensive and also that provides an excellent resistance to wear and tear, the Cartman tarps are the way to go. This tarp is also waterproof, it is lightweight (not as thin as the other tarps on our list), and it will provide you with some extra miles on your journey.
5. 6X8 18oz Heavy Duty Canvas Tarp with Grommets by Tarp Nation
If you are looking for a heavy duty tarp, this one is for you. It may not be that suitable for bushcraft, but it will get the job done. This tarp is very resistant, and by very we mean it. Want a tarp that you can pass down to your grandkids? This is the one for you. The build quality is excellent, and the materials used are top notch. This tarp is also waterproof.
The only disadvantage this one has is its weight. This is a heavy duty tarp that covers trucks and tractors, not a tarp that you can take with you around the woods, but if you are willing, it will get the job done. If you need a heavy duty tarp, look no further, this is the one for you.
Tarps are an excellent replacement for tents.
Picking the right one can save you a lot of time and money. If you decide to go on a long journey, a tent is a better choice over a tarp.