Winter tarp camping with LayBakPak.

My first experience of sleeping under a tarp in winter was a very positive one.

The forest setting I chose gave plenty of options for trees to tie my rope between. With temperatures of zero and light winds forecast, I opted for the tarp reaching the ground on both long sides to give maximum protection. Some natural insulation was provided in the form of dry leaves on the ground and I used branches to create a wall at one of the open ends .

Sleeping set up.

Of course my first line of defence against the cold in my sleeping set up was my LayBakPak camp bed.

With the ground being the coldest place in the whole set up, the fact that my bed kept me off it was already a bonus. Dry leaves between bed and ground partly created an insulating layer. I also had the option of adding my backpack, a blanket or more natural materials to the layer if I needed it.

On top of the bed, I added a thin mat and my sleeping bag.

A night in nature.

Winter nights are long and I woke a few times but never because I was cold.

A light shower of rain woke me at about 4am but only because of the sound of it falling on the tarp; I was snug and dry in my shelter.

Before I slept, I heard several owls calling, the barking of muntjac and what I thought was probably an altercation between two foxes.

In the pitch black, I felt fully immersed in nature. Plus I woke to the dawn chorus. It was brilliant!

A shout out for sleeping on a LayBakPak camp bed.

Ok so I know I may be biased but for me, sleeping on a bed is so much better than sleeping on a mat.

First of all, just the fact that you’re off the ground adds to comfort and warmth in cold temperatures.

Some camp beds have a hard and rigid surface. Not LayBakPak. Because thick bungee elastic attaches the cover to the frame, there is a certain amount of give when you lie on it, making it very comfortable.  I slept both on my back and on my side.

Also you don’t have to lie completely flat: you can incline the head section slightly or further if that feels more comfortable. There’s a choice of 4 positions in total.

And when you pack up, the bed disappears into the back of the bag for storage, taking up no space in the gear carrying main backpack.

A shout out for sleeping under a tarp.

Most of my camping has been in a tent but I can definitely see benefits for sleeping under a tarp.

Firstly a tarp is light and compact thus reducing the overall load.

Once you’ve found your pitch, a tarp is very quick to put up. Moreover, I like having lots of different configurations to choose from. For example, my set up on a warm, dry summer night will allow for much more air flow than I need or want on a winter night.

Clearly more air will circulate in any tarp configuration than in a tent. That meant no condensation which was an added bonus.

And I did feel very close to a natural environment and the animals that inhabit it. For me, that was the best part of the experience.


For a short tour around and inside the tarp, check out my video:

More photos of this and other camping trips can be found in our gallery:

More information about LayBakPak can be found on our homepage: or shop page:


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