|Rating:||8 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.7 / 2|
|Durability||1.5 / 2|
|Versatility||1.6 / 2|
|Weight||1.7 / 2|
|Ease of Use||1.5 / 2|
While tarp usage by ultralight hikers on the US long trails is relatively common this is something we don’t as often in Australia. Tarp usage in this country is often limited to heavier grade tarps for car camping and that’s about it. I very rarely see other hikers using tarps while hiking and over the past five years I could count the number of traps I’ve seen on one hand. having said that the practice is on the increase.
So why then would hikers use lightweight tarps? As a piece of equipment tarps are very versatile and can be used in a number of different ways:
From my perspective I use my tarp in very specific circumstances. Much of my hiking is done in the Australian Alps, during mid summer, and in particular the Mount Kosciuszko area which is about as treeless as you get. The UV radiation on Australia’s rooftop is punishing and greater than what is experienced at sea level. Having a bit of shade to cool down and get out of the sun is a lesson I learned the hard way. What I don’t do is use my tarp as a stand-alone shelter, I just like having protection against bugs and creepy crawlies.
The Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp (Medium) for me was the best choice being very lightweight and purpose built. It is compatible with a number of trekking pole brands as well as being that ideal size. I did look at the larger 3m x 3m version but considered the larger size to be overkill.
Probably the hardest thing about tarps, and not just this particular model, is setting them up. I found it to be a bit of a challenge when I first started using it but once I got into a routine it became second nature. There are certainly a number configurations you can play with and in the images below we have set our tarp using using four trekking poles which works well when you have two hikers but may not be an option as a solo hiker.
So while you may have never considered purchasing a tarp, if you are about to do some mid summer hiking, particularly in Australia’s Alpine region, it’s something I strongly recommend.
If you have worn the Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp (Medium) or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
This review was done with product purchased by Australian Hiker from a retail store
Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp medium set up in ‘A’ configuration using two tracking poles
Close up of eyelet with track point tip showing
Escapist Tarp set up below Ramshead Peak in the Kosciuszko National park
Escaping from the sun in the shadeless Mount Kosciuszko region
Amanda relaxing at the Walls of Jerusalem in Tasmania