How to avoid being wet & cold while camping.

Two reasons some people don’t like camping: it is wet AND cold, and uncomfortable. This does not have to be.
A properly positioned tarp and a fire will take care of the former: the usual 1m tall hiking tent which you are forced to retreat to in the event of rain will make your trip unpleasant (wet & cold). For many years I have employed a square tarp (2.4 x 2.4 metres is sufficient) pitched diagonally against (eg) a tree with a fire out in front. I have added ‘wings’ to such a tarp to improve the shelter. You will have seen this in some of my previous posts.

As to the second: you need an inflatable INSULATED pad (a good ultralight pillow will also help) at least 2 ½” thick.  I have found the Thermarest womens-neoair-xlite ( to be superb (R=3.9, 340 grams) but it IS expensive. If you are a bit shorter of cash (AND Stronger) Big Agnes’ pads @ R= 4.1 (eg the petite @ 499 grams) quite wonderful! I would couple either with an Exped UL pillow (@ 45 grams) eg ) and a good quality down bag for a delightful night’s sleep in the outdoors.

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2 thoughts on “How to avoid being wet & cold while camping.”

  1. Great website! I am looking forward to exploring it.
    Regarding this article….what size of tarp would you recommend for 2 people?
    For now we sleep in a tent but I would love to learn some easy tarp set up for hanging out/cooking when the weather does not cooperate. Any other good tarp set ups for this purpose?
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Alina. The 8′ x 8′ tarp (with ‘wings’ as shown) is sufficient for two people. I would make the wings slightly bigger. These were only 4/6″ at the bottom (to save on cuben fibre). I would make them 6′ at the bottom so you can close it right up or carry it along a couple of feet then come in four feet which increases the internal area. You can easily make one out of a 12′ x 12′ poly tarp. I will post some instructions soon, but if you imagine tying the tarp to a tree half way along one side, then pegging the same point on the opposite side to the ground, you will see that you have two triangles you can folder under for a floor and two wings at the front you can close the opening with. The tarp will be exactly the same shape as the one in the photo in the article. Cheers Steve.

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