Camping Shelter – Tarp or Gazebo?

You’ve heard me say a hundred times before, “There is no such thing as bad weather… just bad camping gear!”  Nothing more true has been said after an erratic weekend of wild weather we had camping back In February. When it comes to camping shelter and protecting our families from the outside elements, what is better to use – “Is it a tarp or a gazebo?” This short clip will show the weather we were caught in and what our thoughts were at the end of our camping experience.

I would love you to leave a message and here with feedback below. Have a good weekend and happy camping!

4 Comments

  • Max Morley says:

    So I’m a TARP fan from way back and only recently (last 3 years) had exposure to using gazebos. Your scenario of heavy rain is only one facet. When wind is involved big Tarps (8x6m) are much more challenging to maintain than a 6x3m Gazebo (much as I hate to say it) or two lashed 3x3m gazebos. The structural component of a gazebo is difficult to replicate in a big tarp. Experience gained from camping on exposed beaches in SE trade winds and storm cells 🙂

  • Troy Allen says:

    Hey Jarrod – concur with everything you have said. We had the 18ft tarp with spreader bar up during Easter to cover the camp kitchen, food tables etc and it changes the whole camping experience. As per one of your original vides on setting up a tarp, it doesn’t need to be that hard or time consuming to put one up (possible with one but a breeze with two people). The spreader bar is the key to the whole thing though – strength, airflow, no flapping of tarp at night etc. I guess in simple terms we sleep easy at night knowing that thing isn’t coming down even in very strong winds and all of the chairs and gear aren’t getting wet.
    On the flip side, we have often wished we had a shade tent for short-term situations like day trips and over-nighters when you are reasonably confident of good weather – I guess that is what they were designed for. BUT for serious camping adventures, the tarp with spreader bar wins every day for me. Cheers, Troy.

  • Simon Hamilton says:

    Hey Guru, great advise on the tarp verse gazebo debate. Gazebos are definitely “fair weather” camping options, they have their place, but for that secure, sleep well at night feeling, you can’t go past the tarp. Great new web site by the way. Simon.

  • Graeme Barnes says:

    Totally agree with the tarp vs gazebo argument. The number of times I’ve seen wrecked gazebos dumped on Teewah Beach is a good testament.

    As you know, the winds can reach 70km/h on any good camping day (or night). There’s no substitute for a well set up tarp in my opinion.

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