The only places we've used a tarp on top of the tent (tied up a few feet above it) were Alaska and Boundary waters where it rained almost every day. If rainy weather is likely it really helps keep the tent dry. Otherwise it isn't needed. Security had never been a problem for us - like other posters said - don't leave valuables in the tent and make sure it is well staked to not blow away. Also make sure you have a fleece hat, gloves, and long underwear. You can sleep in all of them on a cold night and be toasty,
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Going tent camping for the very first time - advice please