Basha (tarpaulin)

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A Basha is a waterproof canvas or plastic sheet with eyelets or loops on the perimeter, which is used in camping, outdoor, or military situations to act as a shelter, in the form of an impromptu tent and/or groundsheet, usually supported with rope or even bungee cords attached to trees.

Military application

They are used by the military, particularly the British Army and the Australian Army as a shelter while in the field or on operations. They are lightweight and can be put up rapidly, and camouflaged simply with foliage specific to the area of operation. Their low profile gives them a small silhouette, and many are also Infra-red Reflective or IRR, which makes them, and their occupants, less visible to enemy infrared detection equipment. Normally bashas are erected in woods, as the trees both serve to give visual cover and support the basha through bungee cords or rope. Because they are nearly invisible if well camouflaged, they are ideal for forming covert observation posts or OPs. The word Basha is a Malay word meaning Shelter or hut and was first introduced into the British Army vocabulary by Veterans of the Malayan Campaign (1950–1959) e.g. Malayan Scouts, who would eventually evolve into the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (SAS).

See also: tarpaulin.