When I was learning to backpack, I found it helpful when others posted their gear lists. It gave me a reference point for the kinds of things I needed, what I was doing right, and what I could be doing better. That said, there is no “one size fits all” gear list. There are a number of personal factors that go into making a gear list, such as size, weight, fitness level, and need for comfort. It also matters where and when you plan to go backpacking. One must factor in temperature, precipitation, terrain, water availability and natural shelter, among other things.
This is Part 2 of the story about how I came to make my own backpacking tarp. (For the first part, click here.) It all started when I first got into backpacking. All of the experts told me that the best way to sleep while backpacking was under a tarp. Of course, I didn’t believe them, and bought a two-man backpacking tent.
I’ve been doing my best to spread the light, and I’ve motivated my friend Paul to give tarp camping a try. He was excited to try this liberating experience after joining me on a trip in Harriman State Park last year. Tarp camping offers many benefits, including weight savings, great views, simplicity, and a sense of community with nature that you don’t get sealed up in a tent. That said, sleeping under a tarp can require advanced skills in site selection, weather prediction, and knot tying, just to name a few. Check out the full report for my 2014 adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness.