As rewarding and fun as it is to go on a backpacking or camping trip, the amount of packing and planning for such an outing can be a daunting task to say the least. Deciding exactly what gear you need to bring for a specific destination and bringing enough food for the duration of the hike are all important things to consider. Keeping all of that stuff organized, and not forgetting crucial items back home, are important parts of the process as well that can leave your mind spinning at times. But a new product that recently launched on Kickstarter promises to take the hassle out of preparing for your adventures, making it easier than ever to ensure you’re completely prepared when you head out into the backcountry.
Developed by a professional backpacking guide, the TripTarp is an organizational tool specifically designed to make sure you don’t leave anything important behind when you set out on an outdoor adventure. The 5′ x 7′ nylon ground cloth serves the same purpose as a regular tarp when used at the campsite – namely it is a great place to keep essential gear off of the wet ground and can help you to stay organized too. But, this product also has some handy reminders, organizational tips, and backpacking best practices printed right on the the tarp itself that can make the pre-trip preparation process easier and faster than ever.
The organizational tools printed on the TripTarp are broken down into two distinct sections, the first of which is an integrated packing list, while the other is the “flex-zones” packing area. The packing list serves as a detailed checklist that reminds you to bring the 10 essentials of hiking with you on your adventure. That list includes things like food and water, a shelter, a first aid kit, and so on. This part of the tarp was specifically created to remind you of the most important items that you’ll need while away so that you won’t forget them in the busy period right before you set out.
The other – much larger – section of the TripTarp is the packing area. This is where you’ll organize and place all of your gear prior to stuffing it into your backpack. Visual icons serve as a reminder of what you’ve already set aside for the trip, and what you still need to collect prior to departure. Having all of your important outdoor gear in one spot makes it easier to see exactly what you’re bringing with you, and how to best pack it for efficient use out on the trail. This zone also comes in handy when you reach your campsite each night too. Placing the tarp on the ground provides a place to keep all of your items organized as you unpack, and makes it easy to find the items you need most.
The TripTarp includes a number of other handy features that backpackers are sure to appreciate as well. For instance, the nylon fabric has been treated with a DWR coating to keep it waterproof, which provides a dry place to sit down as you sort through your gear. The tarp also has eight metal grommets along its edge that allow you to secure it to the ground in windy conditions or convert it to a basic rain shelter in a pinch as well. One edge of the cloth even features a five-foot ruler, which is a nice touch too.
The designers of the TripTarp are hoping to use the Kickstarter campaign to raise $32,000 to help turn this great idea into a legitimate product. If they are successful, it will begin shipping in March of 2017 with a retail price of $75, although early-bird backers can preorder one now for $55.
Considering how useful a good tarp is around the campsite already, this looks like a very promising product. Anything that helps make the organizational process faster and easier is definitely something that most backpackers can appreciate. And since the TripTarp weighs just 8.6 oz., it is light enough to take with you on your adventures without adding much bulk to your pack.