Need minimalist weather protection for you and your gear? Look no further than Gossamer Gear’s Solo Tarp! Want to add your BFF to the mix? Our Twinn Tarp will have you both covered!

Our super simple tarp shelters have been a hit for years thanks to being lightweight and easy to set up with two trekking poles. They’re roomy enough for a cozy night under the stars, yet still compact enough to fit in your pocket. With custom 10D high-tenacity nylon and 1,800 mm waterproof UTS coating, our tarps are tough enough for any backcountry adventure.

But, in addition to being a minimalist shelter, did you know that there are approximately one million other uses for our tarps too? To prove to you just how versatile our backpacking tarps are, we gathered together as a team to brainstorm all their potential use cases. 

Below are 21 to get you started. Make sure to read to the end for a special #GGTarpChallenge that could have you rewarded with a pretty sweet gear bundle!

1. Ultralight Halloween costume.

Not sure what to wear trick-or-treating this year? Tired of showing up to your Halloween party with the same old costume? Dress as an ultralight shelter by wrapping yourself in the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp!

2. Superhero cape.

Did you bring donuts for the whole office on Monday? Not all heroes wear capes, but they can with a little help from the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp.

3. Picnic shade.

Picnics are one of the loveliest things we have on this earth, but sometimes that sun is just a little too sunny. Use the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp for a little shade to keep your picnic more comfortable.

4. Ready-to-go napping station.

Have a break before your next appointment? Getting tired waiting in line at the DMV? Bust out your Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp and take a little nap.

5. Get-out-of-the-rain backcountry kitchen.

You were all prepared to host a four-course meal for your backcountry guests, but right before the commercial break, a storm broke out and your tuna wraps are under threat of getting soggy. Luckily, you have a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp to quickly pivot to a rain-proof outdoor kitchen and are back in the running for Best Chef.

6. Replacement sail for a small schooner.

We cannot be held responsible for how well this ultimately works, but we wish you the best of luck and think it will be great.

7. Replacement window.

Were you playing catch at the park and accidentally threw your baseball through your friend’s car window? No problem! A Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp makes a great temporary replacement window.

8. Cover for hammock camping.

Wish you had a little roof over your tree bed? Solo Tarp to the rescue!

9. Parachute for an egg drop contest.

Are you competing with friends, classmates, or colleagues for the best design to keep a raw egg safe while being dropped from a tall building? First of all, fun times! Second, consider attaching a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp as a parachute to help lessen the fall’s impact and keep that shell intact.

10. Awning for your Gossamer Gear shelter.

If you want a deluxe ultralight shelter set-up, add an awning to The One, The Two, or The DCF Whisper using a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp.

11. Car camping companion.

Set it up at the campground for a little outdoor hang space. Give it a name, if you’d like. Have a nice chat with it.

12. Shade for your pets.

Especially during the hot summer months, we all need to remember to keep our pets safe and comfortable too. Set up a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp when your pup needs a break from the sun.

13. Beach companion.

Read in the shade of your Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp while your friends build sandcastles nearby and the sound of waves gently lulls you toward a slumber.

14. Ultralight cabana.

Are you at the pool and everyone has already taken up all the cabana space? Make your own with a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp!

15. Companion on a 250-mile canoe trip.

It has been done by a member of our community before. Read all about it on the Light Feet blog.

16. Makeshift pickleball net.

For when you’re in a pickle.

17. Makeshift volleyball net.

For when you’re in a… volley? Or a pickle.

18. College football tailgating.

‘Tis the season for cheap beers, chips and dip, and gameday predictions with pals, all set up for the afternoon with help from a Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp.

19. Group shelter during pop-up thunderstorms.

We got this one from the wise Glen Van Peski himself. In his own words: “Used it once on a guided trip in the Sierra. We were heading over a high pass, and thunderclouds started massing. Since those are not good conditions to be above treeline, where you’re the highest thing around, we quickly set the tarp up with one side open, and all four of us hung out until the rainstorm passed. Way better than everyone having to set up their tents, get them wet, isolate in them, and then pack them all up again.”

20. Office hideout.

Did your company just switch to an open-office layout? The Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp is here to help office introverts everywhere.

21. Pillow fort.

Have a little fun, friends! The Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp provides excellent structure for your majestic pillow fort.

Grab a Gossamer Gear Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp for Any Scenario

Our lightweight tarps are so versatile that we wouldn’t be surprised at all if, after reading this blog, you decide to make them a key piece of your every day. In fact, we hope you do! 

If you can prove to us that you’ve used the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp for all 21 of these uses, reach out to our team for a special prize package that might include anything from a pack to a limited edition visor. We want to celebrate you and your ingenuity! 

Just getting started with the list? Share your journey with us by tagging Gossamer Gear on social media (@gossamergear)  and using the hashtag #GGTarpChallenge. We’d love to see your other creative uses of the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp too. Share your fun scenarios with us by tagging us and using the hashtag #takelessdomore.

Hungry for more backpacking gear and planning knowledge? We think you might fall in love with these other articles on the Light Feet blog:

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September 19, 2023 — Korrin Bishop