A Guide to Tarps

By: Ken Marlborough

Tarpaulins have been in use for well over a century, and they are still being updated and used in new situations.   

There are countless uses for tarps, ranging from covering baseball diamonds during rainstorms, to hauling lumber, to protecting campers from the elements.  They can be used both as a roof or extra layer of protection of a tent and as a first layer on the ground to keep out the damp. 

Many tarps can be used for several purposes, but others are made for one or two specific uses.  Tarps can be used for basically any outdoor endeavor, including gardening, hauling, large scale lawn care, camping, and numerous military uses.   

Tarpaulins come in numerous colors, including camouflage.  They are made of different materials, depending on what they are used for.  Some of the strongest tarps are made of polyethylene and other synthetic fibers.  Most tarps are water-resistant and many are fire retardant.  There are several different sizes of tarps as well.  Some are small squares of fabric measuring a few square feet, and others are big enough to cover a football field.  

Tarps are such a large part of many activities that they may be taken for granted.  People assume that all tarps are the same, but that is not the case.  Tarps are made of many different materials and come in several different strengths, sizes and colors.  There is a similarly wide range in prices, but one can be found to meet the needs of most any budget.

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