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Backpacking and hunting often demand prioritizing weight and speed. Ditching the bulk for a simplified shelter becomes crucial. Enter the NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp, a game-changer that enhances classic tarp protection with time-saving features. This innovative tarp boasts multiple configurations, top-notch materials for durability and waterproofing, and a built-in camouflage pattern, making it ideal for adventurers seeking a lightweight and versatile shelter solution.


NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp
Material: 15D polyester ripstop with durable sil/PeU waterproof coating
Weight (estimated): Lightweight for prioritizing speed (exact weight not specified)
Camouflage: First Lite’s Cipher camouflage pattern
Dimensions: 126 x 102 inches (generous footprint)
Setup: Integrated G-hooks & webbing loops for various configurations, pole pockets for trekking poles (not included)

See the NEMO Scalar Tarp


  • Multi-Configurability: The NEMO Scalar shines with its versatility. Unlike a standard tarp, it allows for various setups, adapting to your needs and weather conditions. Whether you want a simple open canopy, a closed-in shelter for three-wall protection, or something in between, Scalar’s design has you covered.
  • Ultralight Champion: Every ounce counts when backpacking or hunting. The Scalar tackles weight concerns with its premium 15D polyester ripstop canopy. This material is not only lightweight but also impressively durable.
  • Built to Withstand the Elements: Don’t let unexpected rain dampen your adventure. The Scalar features a durable sil/PeU waterproof coating that sheds moisture, keeping you and your gear dry.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Hunters rejoice! The NEMO Scalar comes clad in First Lite’s proprietary Cipher camouflage pattern. This unique camo effectively blends into various landscapes, making you disappear into the background.
  • Spacious Sanctuary: Don’t be fooled by its packable size. The Scalar unfurls to provide a generous footprint of 126 x 102 inches. This offers ample shelter for you, your backpack, or even a fellow adventurer.
  • Fast and Easy Pitching: Setting up camp shouldn’t be a chore. The Scalar incorporates integrated G-hooks and webbing loops, allowing for quick configuration adjustments. Need extra coverage? Simply close off one end for a three-walled shelter.
  • Streamlined Organization: The Scalar keeps things tidy with built-in stash pockets at each corner. These pockets conveniently store the necessary guyline for tensioning the tarp.
  • Pole Pocket Power: For an even more stable setup, the Scalar boasts three integrated pole pockets. These pockets perfectly fit the handles of your trekking poles (not included), transforming them into makeshift tent poles and saving you additional weight.


The NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp goes beyond just offering a basic shelter. Here’s how it elevates your backcountry experience:

Lightweight Advantage

Shedding precious grams is a priority for weight-conscious backpackers and hunters. The Scalar’s ultralight construction translates to a lighter pack, reducing fatigue and allowing for faster movement.

Versatility Reigns Supreme

Unlike a standard tarp’s limited configurations, the Scalar offers adaptability. Whether you need a quick open-air shelter, a closed-in haven for harsh weather, or something in between, the Scalar adjusts to your needs. This eliminates the need for carrying a separate tent, saving weight and space.

All-Weather Protection

The durable sil/PeU coating ensures you stay dry even during unexpected downpours. This keeps you and your gear safe from the elements, allowing you to focus on enjoying your adventure.

Concealment on Demand

Hunters can leverage the built-in Cipher camouflage for superior in-field concealment. The camo effectively blends into various environments, making you less visible to wildlife.

Spacious Comfort

Don’t be fooled by its packable size. The generous footprint provides ample space for you and your gear, ensuring a comfortable sleep or rest area even when sharing with a companion.

Fast and Efficient Setup

The integrated G-hooks and webbing loops streamline the pitching process. Quickly adjust the configuration or close off an end for extra protection without wasting time.

Organized Efficiency

The built-in stash pockets keep your guylines neatly stored and readily accessible when needed. This eliminates the frustration of tangled cords and ensures a smooth setup.

Trekking Pole Power

Leverage your existing trekking poles (not included) for additional stability. The pole pockets allow you to convert your poles into makeshift tent poles, saving you the weight of carrying dedicated poles.

Additional Considerations

While the NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp offers a compelling package, here are a few additional points to keep in mind:

Trekking Poles Required for Full Functionality

The pole pockets are a great feature for adding stability, but trekking poles are not included with the tarp. Make sure to factor in the weight and size of your trekking poles when considering the overall weight of your shelter system.

Seams Might Need Sealing

Although the tarp boasts a durable waterproof coating, some users recommend seam sealing for enhanced weather protection. This can be a simple process using seam sealer readily available at outdoor gear stores.

Limited Ventilation

Due to its versatility and focus on multiple configurations, the Scalar might have limitations in ventilation compared to some dedicated backpacking tents. If good ventilation is a major priority for your camping style, consider researching the tarp’s performance in reviews or consulting with experienced backpackers.

Not a Four-Season Shelter

While the Scalar offers protection from the elements, it might not be ideal for harsh winter conditions or situations with heavy snowfall. For extreme weather camping, a dedicated four-season tent might be a better choice.

What I like about this tarp

  • Lightweight: The 15D polyester ripstop construction keeps weight to a minimum, ideal for backpackers and hunters prioritizing speed.
  • Versatile: Offers multiple configurations from open air to a closed-in 3-wall shelter, adapting to various needs and weather conditions.
  • Durable and Waterproof: The sil/PeU coating sheds moisture, keeping you and your gear dry.
  • Camouflage: The built-in Cipher camo provides excellent concealment for hunters.
  • Spacious: The large footprint (126 x 102 inches) shelters multiple people and gear comfortably.
  • Fast and Easy Setup: Integrated G-hooks and webbing loops allow for quick configuration adjustments.
  • Organized: Built-in stash pockets keep guylines tidy.
  • Trekking Pole Compatible: Pole pockets allow you to use trekking poles (not included) for additional stability, saving weight.

What I don’t like about this tarp

  • Requires Trekking Poles (not included): While convenient, trekking poles add weight and size to your pack.
  • Seam Sealing Recommended: For enhanced waterproofing, some users recommend seam sealing (additional step).
  • Limited Ventilation: Might not offer the same level of ventilation as dedicated backpacking tents.
  • Not Ideal for All Seasons: May not be suitable for harsh winter conditions or heavy snowfall.

Final Verdict

The NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp carves a niche for itself in the backpacking and hunting world. It prioritizes weight savings with its ultralight construction, a crucial factor for those prioritizing speed and efficiency. But the beauty lies in its versatility. Unlike a standard tarp, the Scalar transforms to suit your needs, offering open-air shelter, closed-in protection, or anything in between. This adaptability eliminates the need for a separate tent, further reducing weight and bulk.

Durability and weatherproofing are well addressed with the sil/PeU coating, keeping you dry during unexpected downpours. Hunters will appreciate the built-in Cipher camouflage for a tactical advantage. The spacious footprint ensures a comfortable sleeping area, even for two people. Setting up camp is a breeze with the integrated G-hooks and webbing loops, allowing for quick adjustments.

However, there are a few things to consider. Trekking poles (not included) are needed to unlock the full potential of the pole pockets. Seam sealing might be necessary for some users for maximized waterproofing. Ventilation might be a concern compared to some dedicated backpacking tents. Finally, the Scalar isn’t ideal for harsh winter conditions.

If you’re a weight-conscious backpacker or hunter seeking a versatile, easy-to-use shelter that excels in adaptability and keeps weight to a minimum, the NEMO Scalar Multi-Configuration Camp Tarp is a compelling choice. Just be mindful of the ventilation limitations and the potential need for seam sealing depending on your camping style and preferences.

For those needing a four-season shelter or prioritizing superior ventilation, a dedicated backpacking tent might be a better fit. But for adventurers seeking a lightweight, adaptable, and protective shelter solution, the NEMO Scalar stands out as a champion.