Tarps are among the most essential tools that any outdoorsy person, whether they’re a camper, a hiker, or a survivalist, would greatly appreciate having in their inventory.
These large sheets are usually made of durable, water-resistant materials that make them incredibly handy and flexible in many situations.
If you want to buy a tarp, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. So you can make the most out of your investment.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best tarps and what to use them for in a survival scenario, so you’re better prepared. Let’s check them out!
Top 5 Tarps Available on the Market
To help you pick the ideal one for you, we’ve scoured the market looking for the best tarps out there. Let’s have a quick look at each one of these options to see what they’ve got to offer:
1. Tarpco Safety Heavy Duty Tarp Cover
- FINISHED SIZE: Tarpco Safety’s sizing for the tarps are finished size which means when you choose your size you get the full size tarps and it’s not short a few inches from both sides like...
- 100% VIRGIN POLYETHYLENE: Most tarps are made with recycled or mixed materials. Tarpco Safety, on the other hand, uses pure, virgin, non-recycled polyethylene, that's why our multipurpose tarp is...
- STRONG GROMMETS & REINFORCED EDGES: The protective tarp has a 12 x 10 weave count, reinforced edges and metal grommets every 36 inches. The tear-resistant material is super durable while the...
Let’s kick off the list with one of the most balanced options out there that gives you a decent bang for the buck!
The Tarpco Heavy Duty Tarp Cover is remarkably sturdy and reliable because it’s made of 100% unrecycled polyethylene, which makes this tarp one of the most durable on the market. Additionally, the tarp is treated against UV radiation to keep out the harmful sun rays.
Another aspect of durability about this tarp is that it has a thick 12 x 10 weave count and features several metal grommets for an easier tie-down to set up as a tent.
We like that the tarp comes in a wide range of colors and sizes as well as two options for thickness, including 7 and 14 Mil.
- Great value for its price
- Available in different colors and sizes
- Durable construction with several metal grommets
- Might arrive in different sizes but the company will replace them
2. B-Air Grizzly Tarp
- True 8x8 weave 5 mil thick waterproof tarp
- Lighweight washable and mildew proof with rope in hem
- Woven and laminated polyethlene with heat sealed seams
If you’re on a strict budget and looking for a decent alternative that you can buy to spare money for other survival tools and kits, you’re going to like this one!
The B-Air Grizzly Tarp is made of tightly woven laminated polyester fabric with a true 8 x 8 weave, which ensures an unmatched level of durability and resilience in the wild.
The tarp is decently lightweight because it has a thickness of about 5 Mil, which makes it ideal for rain resistance but not the best when it comes to insulation and protection from the elements.
The tarp is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 6 x 8 to 20 x 30. It also features metal grommets like the previous item.
- Remarkably durable against wear and tear
- Ideal for protection against the rain
- Comes in various sizes
- Not the thickest option out there, so it’s only suitable for mild weather
3. Xpose Super Heavy Duty Brown Poly Tarp Cover
- EXTRA THICK & STRONG: The high quality of this protective tarp is amazing: it has a 16 mil thickness, 8oz per square yard, and a 16 x 16 weave count. This has the strength and durability you...
- ALL WEATHER PROTECTION: Rain or shine, snow or wind this heavy tarp can handle it all! It is UV resistant, water proof and weather proof, and can withstand storms and the elements outdoors.
- TIE IT DOWN EASILY: Metal grommets spaced every 18 inches or 1.5 feet and at each corner allow this poly tarp to be tied down and secured simply. Create a "tent" for camping, fairs and more!
If you don’t mind spending a little extra in order to land one of the most durable and functional optional on the market, you should consider the Super Heavy Duty Tarp from Xpose.
What’s unique about this cover is that it has a superior thickness of 16 Mil that makes it ideal for the harshest of weather and elements.
Moreover, it has metal grommets every 18 inches, which gives sturdier tie-downs, compared to the industry standard of 36 inches.
- One of the thickest tarps on the market
- A higher number of metal grommets for an easier tie-down
- Comes in a huge range of sizes
- A bit pricey when compared to other options
4. Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp
- Multi-purpose for a variety of uses
- Made of durable, rip-stop polyethylene laminated on both sides, Double reinforced corners
- Heavy duty rust resistant grommets, Rope reinforced edges
The Stansport Reinforced Tarp is also a unique one but this time, it’s due to its camouflage design.
This look makes the tarp hard to notice or stand out in the wild, which makes it an ideal companion for hunters or fishermen who need to stay under the radar so they’re not noticed by elusive hunts.
In addition to the subtle design, the tarp is also quite durable and versatile, as you can use it for other purposes, such as protection against rain and keeping your items dry and safe.
- Available in a camouflage design, which is excellent for hunting
- Rope reinforced edges for extra durability
- Versatile and easy to use
- Limited size options
5. Standard Poly Tarp
The Standard Poly Tarp is ideal for anyone who wants versatility in everything, whether it’s sizes, colors, and more.
The Standard Tarp is pretty affordable, which makes it a budget-friendly option along with the B-Air Grizzly Tarp. It also comes in 5 colors, so you can pick the one that suits your needs the most.
Additionally, the tarp is available in 19 different sizes, including an extremely large size which allows you to cover huge spaces or double fold for extra insulation.
- Affordable price tag
- Comes in a huge range of colors and sizes
- Can be used for a wide range of non-survival purposes, such as pool covers
- A bit flimsy
How Can You Use the Best Tarps in a Survival Scenario?
Now that you know more about them, here’s a brief guide with some of the best ways to use a tarp in a survival scenario:
1. A Makeshift Shelter in the Wild
There’s a pretty good reason why a lot of people call these items “survival tarps”, and one of the best examples for that is that you can build a full shelter straight out of a thick tarp.
With some sticks and ropes, you can simply build a makeshift tent using the thick sheets to keep you protected from the weather.
2. A Cover to Protect You from Rain
Speaking of weather, since these tarps are made from water-resistant or waterproof materials, you can use them as a cover that protects you from the rain. This can be achieved by either wearing them or hanging them above you.
3. Best Tarps – A Protective Sheet on the Ground
Tarps can also be used as a ground cover that protects you from all the tiny critters and insects as well as dampness and water in the ground.
4. DIY Container for Storage and Collection
In extreme survival mode, you can use the durable fabric of the tarp as a storage container to hold on to your items in case your backpack has failed. Moreover, you can use it to even collect drinkable water either from rain or condensation.
5. Other Survival Uses
In addition to all these primary functions of survival tarps, you can also use them as a DIY solution for various purposes. Such as sleeping bags, a stretcher to pull an injured person to safety, or even as a survival boat sail to take you to safety.
Bottom Line – Best Tarps
This wraps it up for today’s tarp guide and what to use them for in a survival scenario.
As you can see, there are tons of situations where you can benefit from the use of your tarp, making it a must-have item in your survival kit.
Ideally, we recommend the Tarpco Safety Heavy Duty Tarp Cover because it’s a great balance between value and functionality. The thick tarp is also offered in a variety of sizes and colors to suit your needs perfectly.
However, if you’re on a budget and looking for the most affordable (yet highly functional) tarp out there, you should go for the B-Air Grizzly Tarp.