15 Ways to Use a Tarp at the Campsite

8. Create a Slip 'N Slide: If you're camping with children, knowing how to use a tarp to create a slip and slide can bring an afternoon of fun. Find a hill in the campground or nearby, lay the tarp on the ground and make sure it's wet before sliding down.

9. Keep your woodpile dry: Don't risk losing dry firewood to a surprise shower. Cover your pile with a small tarp to ensure you have a fire regardless of the forecast.

10. Shelter your pet: When camping with an animal, use a tarp for their shelter. You can hang sides to make sure they are fully protected from the elements.

More: Essential Dog Gear for Outdoor Adventures

11. Protect yourself from the sun: UV tarps are specifically made to protect you from harmful rays of the sun. When desert camping, these tarps will come in handy as makeshift shelters.

12. Cover your bathroom area: If there are no restrooms nearby, this is an easy way to make a private bathroom space. This is especially valuable for primitive and backcountry campers.

13. Cover your boat: Ditch the vinyl or poly tarp for a heavier, sturdier canvas style to cover your boat or canoe. This will protect your vessel, and everything inside of it. This is especially important for canoeing campers. 

14. Get great photos: Use a camouflage poly tarp to get better wildlife photos when exploring outside of the campground. Use this as shelter to change lenses or to hide from nearby animals.

15. Make a shelter with walls: If you're caught in a bad rainstorm, a simple roof shelter may not be enough to protect you from the wet and cold. Use clear poly tarps to make walls so you can see out while staying dry.

Every camper should know how to use a tarp; with so many valuable uses, your camping trip will benefit from this lightweight item. Keep it in your camping box so you don't forget it on your next adventure.

More: 10 Must-Bring Camping Essentials

RAFind a Campground at ReserveAmerica.com.

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