Picture a tarp. Imagine it is impregnated with a chemical that makes the tarp waterproof yet breathable to allow water vapor to escape. That’s exactly what you get when companies use technologies to produce world-beating tarpaulin products. This has now been made in Australia for over 10 years, yet there is still not anything like it on the market anywhere else in the world. Even more impressive is that this great tarp can withstand any weather condition; fireproof, acid-resistant, and even bulletproof!
Material in use
The material was initially by scientists to replace steel and other high-strength materials used in infrastructure. The tarp is an ultra-lightweight fabric that is incredibly strong but still breathable to allow moisture from rain or sweat to evaporate through the material. This means that it works as a protective barrier and is waterproof, durable, and easy to clean.
The product can handle severe weather conditions such as hail, fire, and even bullets without ripping or tearing, making it the world’s toughest tarpaulin! It also gives 100 percent protection against UV rays and lasts up to 10 years. Although you may not find this tarp at your local hardware store, it’s essential to realize that it is not just for the likes of truck drivers. It can be used as a standalone shelter, barrier tape on roadworks sites, and even fencing. The uses are endless, but with prices starting from approximately US$12 per square meter (depending on where you buy it), the high-tech product has its limitations.
Problems with shelter:
Having used tarpaulins (tarps) for about two years, I know the problems that come with this shelter. The main problem comes from the fact that there is not one tarp that solves all problems. When you want to sleep during bad weather, you need a stronger tarp like the hexamid or pentamid, but these tarps are annoying to carry around if it’s hot and sunny. If you have more people in your group, you will require many stakes – so many even for a simple windbreaker! What about carrying them? A raincoat weighs almost nothing compared to five or ten stakes! Maybe it makes sense after all to use several smaller tarps? Unfortunately does not solve any problems either. How about an all-around tarp?
The all-round tarp problem
I have been looking for the “perfect tarp” for a long time. I don’t think there is one, but I want to ask anyway: what should it be like? There are many factors to consider: price, weight, colors (the fewer colors, the fewer stains), how much stuff you can put in it, etc. Many different tarps appear suitable on these aspects, but they all have their shortcomings too. The perfect tarp does not exist! (yet) Now that I’m expecting to spend a few months in the UK, I want to reduce my backpack’s weight as much as possible by using a tarp instead of a tent. So let’s make our ideal tarp!