A Camping Necessity: Blue (or any other color) Tarp

A blue tarp in place

It won’t take up a lot of room in your camping gear, but a big tarp, a lot of rope, and a couple of extra tent poles can come in handy or possibly save the day on your next camping trip. The tarp in the picture covered our picnic table and the camp kitchen (stove, water  jug, ice chest, sealed food containers, dishpan, etc.) that we leave out on the table all day and night. We tied the tarp to trees, shrubs, two tent poles and the back hatch of our car.

A long rope across the center created a peak high enough to stand under while we cooked and cleaned up. As the dew began to fall, we (and all our kitchen gear) stayed dry. If it had started to rain, we would have appreciated our blue tarp  even more. At night, when we closed up the  car, the tarp came down and covered the picnic table. We weighed it down with two or three full water bottles so it wouldn’t blow away. In the morning, we carefully lifted up the tarp, let the dew run off, and raised it up again.Walking around the campground, we saw lots of blue tarps in use. Some were shading card players and readers in the middle of  the afternoon, and some were sheltering active babies in play pens from the intense sun. And they were all blue! Do tarps come in any other color? If so, we didn’t see any.

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