What size tarp for camping?

What size tarp for camping?

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When it comes to camping, having a tarp is an essential item to protect yourself and your gear from the elements. But what size tarp should you choose? In this article, we will dive into the factors to consider when selecting the right size tarp for camping.

Factors to Consider

Tent Size: One of the primary factors to consider when determining the size of the tarp is the size of your tent. If you have a small tent, you may only need a tarp that covers the footprint of your tent. However, if you have a larger tent or multiple tents, you will need a larger tarp to adequately cover the entire area.

Weather Conditions: The weather conditions you expect to encounter during your camping trip will also influence the size of the tarp you need. If you anticipate heavy rain or strong winds, you may want to opt for a larger tarp that provides more coverage and protection.

Additional Space: Consider whether you will need additional space under the tarp for activities such as cooking or storing gear. If so, you will need to choose a tarp that is larger than just the footprint of your tent.

Setup Options: Think about how you plan to set up your tarp. If you intend to use it as a standalone shelter or as a canopy, you will need a larger tarp compared to using it solely as a ground cover for your tent.

Common Tarp Sizes

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what size tarp to choose for camping, there are some common sizes available in the market. Here are a few examples:

6′ x 8′: This size is suitable for solo campers or small tents. It provides enough coverage for the tent’s footprint and some additional space.

8′ x 10′: A popular size for small to medium-sized tents. It offers good coverage and can accommodate a small group of campers.

10′ x 12′: This size is suitable for larger tents or when you need more space under the tarp. It provides ample coverage and can accommodate multiple campers.

12′ x 16′: A larger tarp that is ideal for larger groups or when you need significant coverage. It offers plenty of space for activities under the tarp.

It’s important to note that these are just examples, and tarp sizes can vary. Always check the specific dimensions of the tarp you are considering to ensure it meets your needs.


Choosing the right size tarp for camping depends on various factors such as tent size, weather conditions, additional space requirements, and setup options. It’s crucial to consider these factors to ensure you have adequate coverage and protection during your camping trip.


– REI: www.rei.com
– OutdoorGearLab: www.outdoorgearlab.com
– Camping World: www.campingworld.com