Tarp recommendation for occasional shelter use, not sleeping

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Aug 7, 2014
Cheshire, UK
Hi All

I'm looking for a recommendation for a tarp or similar item I can use as an occasional shelter for bad weather, stopping for lunch etc. rather than for hammocking or bivying under.
It will be used by two people maximum, we'll usually have walking poles for roof supports and probably have a couple of tent pegs for the bottom etc.
How big a tarp are we likely to need? Anything else worth taking to make it more usable / practical?
We're off to the lakes soon and I want to make stops a little more comfortable as well as emergency shelter if the wind & rain really starts.
Realtively small and light is preferable as it'll be in my pack on days out.


Full Member
Feb 19, 2013
Stockton on Tees
Yep, I was going to say the same, very small pack size and light, I have made a shelter for 2 from it, it was meant for only 1 but things changed, a versatile bit of kit :)


Aug 7, 2014
Cheshire, UK
Okay, thanks guys. I guess the Superlight Tarp "S" (smaller version at 2.8m x 1.5m) would be a little too small for real comfort for two people, whereas the standard superlight is 3m x 2.9m?


Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
I suggest you experiment with a sheet or something and see what you think when you see the size pegged out.

I like the 3x3 but it can be a handful (especially on your own) when you're trying to get out of the rain and wind on the top of the Glyders (or even Scaffel); the smaller tarp is easier to deal with and, just for sitting for a brew, may be big enough. But …. as said above the larger tarp will make an emergency overnight for two if necessary.


Jun 22, 2009
South Wales
I picked up a Helikon Tex poncho for similar use. It also has the advantage that you can wear it over a rucksac if you get caught in the rain. I think it's about 2mx1.5m when flat so pretty managable as a quick tarp.


Feb 9, 2017
What about a bothy shelter? Loads less hassle than faffing around with lines and poles.

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Dark Horse Dave

Full Member
Apr 5, 2007
Surrey / South West London
What about a bothy shelter? Loads less hassle than faffing around with lines and poles.

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Agreed. Much more practical for your application. If it was me I'd get a 4 person one because you have that much more room. Of course you can sit on them like a groundsheet if you like. I've got a couple from this lot: http://jdscomponents.co.uk/default.asp which I'm happy with.

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Aug 7, 2014
Cheshire, UK
Some interesting ideas. We're not planning on going out on in terrible weather (Lake DIstrict is very changeable of course) and do have emergency bivvy bags already for emergency survival type situations. I was looking for something to use as a wind/rain break when needed. I'd like to be able to see the countryside while we stop for lunch so I'm not likely to go for the bothy shelter, plus I can't get a brew on inside that thing. Will check out the TW Ultralight though
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2010
NE Scotland
I have A TW saragasso tarp [and a number of their hammocks] and like their stuff. The scouts up here have DD 3x3 tarps and they seem pretty heavy duty. I have a DD super light tarp although I don't really use it much, it does come across as being fairly light duty [I do miss-treat my gear / am pretty heavy handed with things]


Apr 19, 2018
You could look for 'Wing' tarps. Come in different shapes and sizes. A freind had a great triangular one (MSR, I think) really handy when pausing in the rain for whatever reason. I never saw one in a shop, though I looked when I remembered.

Robens, Vaude, Rab, Asolo also

I use a tiny, light little square sil-nylon I picked up about eight or nine years back .. can't check who made it right this minute, but I often use it as a luggage annexe :) It has webbing tapes, not grommets

EDIT: found this whilst looking for who made mine


And, if I were going to go out and buy another one today, I'd probably go and buy one of these at MEC... which is v. similar to mine, only the tabs on mine are white cotton

Last edited:
Oct 1, 2018
Bit late to this thread but agree with MrEd regarding Army Basha, used one for ages.
I use a ripstop nylon Poncho Tarp now, weighs about 350g & measures 2.1m x 1.4m, packs down small (about 200 x 90mm)
Works fine as ground sheet & shelter in the rain. Carry it in my pack all the time.
Mine is from Kombat-UK but plenty on amazon for £15-£20.


Aug 7, 2014
Cheshire, UK
Thanks again for the replies. I settled with a DD superlight. Not the cheapest but it gets a lot of recommendations, is big enough for two people to comfortably shelter under and not too big or heavy to carry. Plus I can use it in future as a proper tarp for a bivvy or hammock setup.

Golf umbrella? In the Lake District? Not sure that would work...