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Have a clean and dry surface underneath, or to be able to make a waterproof shelter, is always good. These means will serve greatly for this. But we have to choose material, type and above all size.

Sleeping outside on cold or wet ground is not pleasant. We can get cold and wet too and the next morning our mood is also not pleasant. We could possibly make an underlay from the dry grass, but its users wouldn´t be happy. Another option would be using of so called tarpaulin/tarp cover. Both of these variants will help us with sleeping in many ways. We just need to know what it is and how to use them correctly.

Tent or underlay 

What the cover is we all know. A piece of material that is partially waterproof. It has no standard dimensions or description. On the other hand, the tarpaulin, is very interesting. The name comes from german Zeltteil, which means tent part. It has standardized dimensions and is waterproof. We know from the name already, what it originally served for. Using so-called olives, individual sheets were connected, from which a tent was created. Of course, with the help of spikes and another elements. But we are only interested in tarp. Is it roof of the tent ? Roof, side or underlay. They have been produced for a very long time. We could see their perfect use during World War II, where soldiers slept on them or were covered by them.

Use me !

So what can you use it for? It is true that even a well -folded tarp takes up quite a lot of space in the backpack. However, when we realize what it can substitute, we will be happy to forgive it. For example, a pad/underlay can be the basic use. Due to good material and waterproofness, it does not let moisture from the ground. We can put it under a sleeping bag, mat or even under us. Another possibility is making a temporary shelter. We simply put few sticks together and create a "A tent". Or we stretch the rope between two trees and throw the tarp over. It all depends on your imagination and creativity. We can use a (tarp) cover in the same way. It offers similar properties, only for this purpose is not made. 

Firm and waterproof

Tarpaulins are made from different fabrics. In the past, the very densely woven cotton was used. Its properties were not ideal, so it was replaced by polyester and then nylon. Nowdays, we can see so called Heavy Duty nylon. It is highly durable and strong, while providing great water resistance, which is the main thing for us. To improve the possibilities of use, the tarps are equipped with steel rings, through which we can stretch a rope or wire. Likewise, we can connect two tarps together using them. The material, however, must be reinforced. If it is not the rings will be easily ripped, which is the thing we certainly don´t want.

More of them 

The category is filled with various shapes and dimensions of tarps. We should always make at least a place for a small tarp during our trips to the outdoors. There are plenty of colors and designs to choose from. Let´s be careful with the materials and already mentioned reinforcement on the metal rings. The possibilities of use are really wide. It can also be used in the garden for a shelter or a base layer under the wood.

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