With all the warm, dry summer evenings that we have been having this July, who can resist the temptation to take a simple tarp and sleeping bag out for a night under the stars.
Unfortunately as I was driving out of town for my night out it started to rain. I nearly turned back, but in the hope that it might be a passing downpour I pressed on to find a spot to spend the night. I am glad that I did, the stars never did appear from the clouds but the rain did stop, except for a brief shower in the early hours.
The Terra Nova Competition Tarp 1
I was keen to try out the Terra Nova Competition Tarp 1. I have used it a few times but never as a ‘basha’. There is some wild land north of Leicester an ideal spot to camp out for an evening, that was where I was heading. It was getting late by the time I found a suitable spot to camp, there was an amazing sky in the west but I was still not confident that I had seen the last of the rain, so I set the tarp up as below.
I set the back of the tarp against the prevailing wind with a half roof to ensure I did not get wet, this left me with little head room, which was ok if all I did was lie down and not want to move about much. The ground was a little damp so I had to make sure I stayed on my sleeping mat to avoid getting damp myself. It was really comfortable and snug wrapped up in my sleeping bag under the tarp, and it was great to feel the breeze of fresh air across my face while looking out at the landscape around me.
Slowly I dropped off to sleep, I am not a great sleeper when not in my bed but I slept enough, and when I did wake up to turn over I loved seeing the grass and greenery that surrounded me through the night gloom.
Reluctantly around 6am I rolled out of my sleeping bag – literally. Some of the inside of the tarp was covered in condensation so if I touched it I got wet, and as I have said there really was not enough head room to do anything without touching it. So I rolled out onto the grass which fortunately was dry by now, and got dressed (there was no one around – luckily).
When I was up I changed the set up of the tarp so that I could sit under it, and so that it would dry off while I cooked my breakfast of bacon butties and coffee. It so peaceful and restoring sitting watching nature embracing the day while eating my breakfast, much better than my usual mornings spent groggily preparing for work. Three walkers passed me with their dogs as I sat there cooking and eating, they all found it highly amusing that I had slept out for the night, none of them had a go at me for camping where I should not, thankfully.
Breakfast finished it did not take long to clear up, stash everything away in my backpack and head back to the car, leaving no trace of my overnight stay.
The Competition Tarp is incredibly light (290g) and takes up very little room in your bag. The nylon fabric is very slippery and it is hard to fold it up, but easy to just screw up in its stuff bag, I know it is thoroughly waterproof from a very wet experience I had in the Lake District. The eight reinforced eyelets enable various structures to be constructed according to the weather or your personal preference. It provided good coverage for me, I am about 5′ 11” and good wind protection.
The Competition Tarp 1 is good for one person ultra lightweight backpacking, nights out wild camping or as general shelter against the wind of rain.
- Minimum Weight: 290 grams
- Packed Weight: 290 grams
- Packed Size: 8cm x 40cm
- Product size: 1.4m x 2.4m
- Material: Nylon 5000mm HH
- At e-outdoor £65.00
- Webbing tapes for multiple set up
- Watershed Si2 fabric
- Reinforced eyelets
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