Tents vs Tarps – which is the better option for your Bug out Bag

Doug Williams
Public Domain
Public Domain

A Bug-Out-Bag or as it is famously known as a BOB is essentially a sports bag full of all the emergency supplies in case one has to leave the house in a hurry.

If one is to leave the house in a big SUV or a pick-up in the case of emergencies, then, of course, one has much more options as to what to include in their BOB. The weight and space would not really matter in this case as most of the big vehicles have ample space for pretty much anything you could need in an emergency.

However, a BOB must always be prepared keeping in mind that you might have to leave your house on foot. Considering a vehicle cannot run indefinitely, a portable BOB is always a better option.

Another factor to consider in this regard is that when checking your BOB for weight keep in mind that you might have to climb and trek difficult terrains, and you would not want your BOB to somehow limit you in your journey.

One of the most important aspects that you might consider in the case of an emergency is a tent to spend the night in, alone or with your family.

However, there is this ongoing debate amongst preppers regarding the superiority of tents over tarps. Following are some of the Pros and Cons for both the tents and tarps; so you decide which is a better option to include in your BOB.

Tents Pros

Tents provide perfect protection from all kinds of elements such as snow, wind, rain.

Tents are designed to protect you from insects and other creepy crawlies.

It is not really hard to set up a tent; as most of the tents designed today have what the manufacturers call the integrated support system. In many cases, it’s all about erecting the support poles and voila! The tent is ready.

One does not need a whole lot of skill sets to erect a functioning tent as most of the tents come with tools and often a pictorial guide to help a novice finish the task quickly and efficiently.

Woods/countryside are often wet or damp due to the rainfall that it receives due to its rich climate; a tent provides adequate protection against the wet ground ensuring a good night sleep.

Tents Cons

A fully functional and truly reliable tent costs a good sum of money; cheaper options are available but then again it is not advisable to bargain for your safety.

Famous as they may be, tents are not a very versatile entity, as in most cases a tent can only serve one and only one purpose.

It is very easy to get trapped inside a tent in case the camp gets overrun.

The tents do not provide a great field of vision and make you stand out from a considerable distance, hence compromising the safety of the inhabitants.

Tarps Pros

Tarps come in a number of different shapes, sizes, and weights; tarps are on average much lighter than a tent making them a better portable option.

Most of the tarps can be bought for a fraction of the cost of a tent.

Tarps are much more flexible and carry more functions than a traditional tent.

Tarps Cons

A tarp requires a set of additional tools such as poles and cordage to create a viable shelter.

Tarps do not provide any ground protection as their main aim is to provide over-head shelter.

Unlike a tent which is essentially a small room, a tarp is literally a piece of fabric over your head hence it provides very less protection against elements.

Even a very basic tarp requires a specific skill set to create an adequate shelter out of it.



fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival