10 of the best tarps for backcountry camping

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Gear

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Backcountry camping offers a unique way to immerse yourself in nature.

One of your most important pieces of gear is the tarp, a versatile tool that provides shelter from the rain, wind, and sun.

Tarps are lighter than traditional tents and offer a minimalist approach to camping.

They’re often simple in design yet incredibly effective in harsh weather conditions.

When selecting a tarp for backcountry camping, durability and weight are key considerations.

You’ll need something that withstands the elements without adding too much bulk to your pack.

The material, usually nylon or polyester, should be strong and waterproof.

Look for reinforced grommets or loops for easy setup.

Size is also important – the tarp needs to be large enough to cover your sleeping area and gear, but compact enough when packed.

The following section discusses the best tarps for backcountry camping, examining their features and practicalities in detail.

Free Soldier tarp

You’ll appreciate the Free Soldier Tarp’s waterproofing and UV protection on your next backcountry trip.

It’s designed to keep you dry and sheltered from the sun’s harmful rays.

With its large size and heavy-duty material, this tarp offers ample space and long-lasting durability.

Its weight strikes a balance between portability and sturdiness.


  • Waterproof and UV-protected for all-weather use
  • Sturdy construction with reinforced seams for reliability
  • Includes survival accessories for versatile setup options

Check Amazon price here.

NoCry camping tarp

If you’re in the market for a backcountry camping tarp, the NoCry Camping Tarp is a versatile and practical choice that offers reliable weather protection.


  • Provides 100% waterproof coverage, ensuring you stay dry
  • Extremely light, making it ideal for backpackers
  • Offers UV protection and includes essential accessories for immediate setup

You need a tarp that won’t weigh you down on long treks, and this one from NoCry is just 1.5lb by itself.

Having a waterproof shelter is vital, and this tarp meets that need with its durable TPU-coated polyester.

The diamond Ripstop design offers an impressive balance of durability and weight saving.

From its easy setup to its multifunctional use, whether as a hammock cover or a simple shade, its versatility shines.

A complete kit accompanies the tarp, including stakes, ropes, and a convenient carrying pouch.

Lastly, the added survival bracelet is a nice touch, potentially useful in emergency scenarios.

Check Amazon price here.

Kelty Noah’s tarp 12′

If backcountry camping is your jam, you’ll find Kelty Noah’s Tarp to be a versatile addition to your gear.

Getting caught in the rain or blazing sun can put a damper on your wilderness adventure. This tarp’s robust polyester construction gives you the shelter you need, rain or shine.

Setting up camp is a breeze, even for solo travelers. With attached corner guyline and multiple reinforced points, you’ve got flexibility for any terrain.

Ever tried hammock camping? If you’re about that minimalist life, this tarp has got you covered—literally. It’s the perfect top layer for those clear, starry nights.


  • Multiple setup possibilities
  • Durable against wind and rain
  • Compact and lightweight for easy transport

Check Amazon price here.

Slumberjack Roadhouse tarp

If you’re in the market for a versatile camping tarp, the Slumberjack Roadhouse Tarp is worth considering because it’s adaptable for different setups and conditions.


  • Equipped with two sturdy steel poles for easy setup
  • Crafted from durable 68D polyester to endure the elements
  • Offers three different configuration options for various shelter needs

Check Amazon price here.

KALINCO camping tarp

If you’re in the market for a multi-functional and lightweight tarp for backcountry camping, the KALINCO Camping Tarp is worth consideration.


  • Offers reliable weather protection with its waterproof 210T polyester and PU 3000mm coating
  • Versatile use as a rain fly, tent footprint, or instant shade
  • Packs down into a convenient carrying bag for easy transportation

Check Amazon price here.

Redcamp waterproof camping tarp

This tarp’s robust construction and versatility might be just what you need for your backcountry excursions.


  • Durable, waterproof fabric designed to withstand outdoor elements.
  • Spacious coverage suitable for 3-4 people, adding protection under your tent.
  • Compact and lightweight design ensures it won’t weigh your pack down.

Every camper knows the importance of staying dry and comfortable, and this tarp promises that with its water-resistant fabric.

With enough room to accommodate a small group, you’re all set for shelter against rain or dew.

The tarp also serves multiple functions, whether you’re seeking shade or setting up a dining area.

The convenience of portability cannot be overstated. Because it’s light and packs away into a small pouch, carrying it on your adventure is a breeze.

Setup is straightforward so you can spend more time enjoying the wilderness and less on camp chores.

Durability is also a key feature here. The tarp is crafted to endure the rigors of the outdoors, meaning you’ll likely rely on it for many trips to come.

Check Amazon price here

Compact camp poles

Tackling the backcountry just got easier with poles that adjust to your tarp’s needs and stand up to the elements.


  • Simple to adjust from 3.2 to 8.5 feet for versatile shelter setups
  • Constructed from sturdy stainless steel, designed to withstand the weather
  • Equipped with ground spikes for increased stability in various terrains

Adjustable poles are a game-changer when you’re setting up camp in uneven terrain.

A sturdy tarp setup needs reliable poles, and these deliver with a weather-resistant stainless steel build.

They’re not just sturdy; ground spikes add an extra layer of stability.

Check Amazon price here.

REDCAMP waterproof camping tarp

When you’re camping, you want gear that’s versatile and lightweight. The REDCAMP Waterproof Camping Tarp is ideal for keeping you dry from the ground up. Its ripstop polyester ensures your shelter remains intact, no matter where you set up camp.

Compact and light, this tarp won’t take up much room in your pack. It slips easily into its drawstring pouch, making it a breeze to carry. Setting up a dry area for your tent, or getting some shade, won’t weigh you down.

Durability is key, and this tarp delivers with robust waterproof fabric. You won’t have to worry about wear and tear quickly degrading your camping essential. It’s a reliable barrier against moisture and rough ground.


  • Waterproof 210D Oxford polyester offers dryness and durability
  • Generously sized for 2-3 persons while maintaining portability
  • Multifunctional with a design suitable for various outdoor uses

Check Amazon price here.

Unigear hammock rain fly

You’ll be dry and comfortable on your backcountry escapades with the Unigear Hammock Rain Fly.


  • Versatile and can be set up in multiple shapes with included stakes and ropes
  • Reinforced points and double stitches enhance durability
  • Compact and lightweight, yet offers ample coverage

Check Amazon price here.

NatEtoile camping tarp

If you’re planning a backcountry adventure, this NatEtoile camping tarp has you covered with waterproof protection and versatile setup options.


  • Adaptable design with 19 tie-out points for a variety of shelter configurations.
  • Constructed from durable 210T ripstop fabric with a PU5000mm waterproof coating for reliable weather resistance.
  • Includes a comprehensive kit with guylines, tensioners, stakes, and carabiners for immediate set-up out of the bag.

Check Amazon price here.

What to look for in a good tarp

When looking for a tarp for backcountry camping, durability is key.

You’ll want a tarp that can withstand the elements and rough terrain.

Water resistance is also a top priority.

A good tarp keeps you dry during rainy nights.

Weight is another consideration.

Your pack should be as light as possible without sacrificing quality.

Choose a tarp that strikes a balance between weight and resilience.

Ease of setup should not be overlooked.

You’ll appreciate a tarp that’s straightforward to pitch after a long day of hiking.

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About Us

Elise & Ross

We’re Elise and Ross, avid backcountry campers and outdoor adventurers! We started Gone Camping Again as a way to share our knowledge and experience about wilderness living and travel. Our hope is that we inspire you to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

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