Show/Hide Navigation
fern bluebell

Prolong your Microadventures into Autumn – build a “basha”

It’s been a fabulous summer for so many people who bought their first bivvy bag and tried sleeping out under the stars.

Autumn’s arrival should not mean the end of enjoyable nights away, either by yourself or with friends. Bivvy bags are certainly not much fun when it is pouring with rain though. So today I’m going to encourage you to expand your microadventure kit list a little bit with the inclusion of a “basha”.

A “basha” is army slang for a simple shelter made from a tarpaulin. Rig this up over your bivvy bag and you’ll get a good sleep even in snow or heavy rain. It’s well worth the cost of just a few quid, the weight of a couple of hundred grams and the hassle of 1 minute’s assembly. (If, however, you are eager to spend loads of money, then the Trailstar is great too).

I don’t want my blog to turn into some sort of Ray Mears / Bear Grylls  survival against the apocalypse thing. So I’ll settle for showing you a photo, adding a couple of shopping links and leaving the rest to you to figure out. If you google “basha” you’ll see all sorts of fancy bashas. You can learn what to do from them. Personally I tend to go for a very simple version like this:


Basha Kit

  1. Tarpaulin with eyelets. Get from a pound shop, B&Q or online. The size is up to you, but 8 foot x 10 foot is pretty luxrious.
  2. Bungees. You’ll need at least 2, but up to 6 would increase the pitching options.
  3. Tent pegs. You’ll need at least 2, but up to 6 would increase the pitching options. Or use twigs
  4. String. Optional to increase pitching options.

Let me know how you get on!

Read Comments

You might also like

As we destroy nature we destroy ourselves “As we destroy nature we destroy ourselves. It’s a selfish thing to want to protect nature. To do good you actually have to do something.” – Yvon Chouinard Those of us who love adventure must, almost by definition, love the natural, wild […]...
Behind the Scenes – life as a Rapper (or Adventurer) Replace the word ‘rap’ with ‘doing talks in village halls’, and this song by DJ Format is a fine summary of the life of an adventurer. An interesting addition to the old debate of “how can I get paid to […]...
Begin with Why Let’s begin with your dreams. Allow me to guess a few easy ones for starters: To be less stressed by work and enjoy more time with your friends and family. To be fitter, perhaps lose a bit of weight, maybe […]...


  1. Jason Clark Posted

    Bashas are a great, lightwieght way to sleep out in wet weather.. very versatile and easy to pack down. It does attract some funny looks when you set up on a camp site with one though..

  2. Chris Kennett Posted

    I’ve bought a poncho tarp for this reason – dual purpose of course, though I’ve yet to find a video or other account of how to make it into a shelter when already wearing as a poncho (it’s raining) and not getting wet! Any suggestions?

  3. Andrew Tee Posted

    I love using a basha. It was always my ‘tent’ of choice for Glastonbury! Using an army poncho like the one pictured is so easy and really effective, and they’re tough as old boots. I’m still using the one I was issued in army cadets 25 years ago!

  4. Disappointed to see you describe bushcrafters as ‘weirdos’. While I’m not a bushcrafter myself I’ve only ever found them to be an incredibly helpful and often very knowledgeable community. They have long been at the forefront of wild camping and appreciating the countryside, I’ve learnt a lot from them.

  5. Michael Kruger Posted

    Hi guys. What is a good size tarp for me to use as a basha? I’m 1.85m (6ft) tall. Ive done some reading and it seems like a 8 x 10ft tarp is a good size?

  6. Neill Wylie Posted

    Scotland. Sideways rain. Dammit!
    Then tried a 1 quid foil prism shaped one from poundland. Awesome!!!

  7. Ian Watkiss Posted

    Great! First time wild camping this weekend in a pine forest and used a basha. Read a lot of info from this site and the book and we had a great time. Used Rab bivvies and stayed,dry even though it rained all night. Thanks for the site guys

  8. Any suggestions for a couple of poles to give the tarp more pitching options?



Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton