Explore the full potential of tarp shelters both for camping and survival situations with this guide to building a quick tarp shelter setup!
RELATED: How To Build DIY Survival Shelters To Survive Through The Night
In this article:
Survival Life Guide to Building a Tarp Shelter
Tips for Tarp Shelter Camping
A tarp shelter is one of the easiest temporary shelters you can build. It’s also multipurpose and incredibly lightweight.
This is why it’s so handy since you can easily fold and carry it along with you. With a tarp, a bit of cordage, and a little know-how, you can build a survival shelter in no time.
For surviving the wilderness, having a tarp and some rope can actually save your life as it can provide you shade in the day, warmth at night, or a dry place to stay when it’s raining.
There are some things you need to consider, though, before you actually set up one. Here are some tips and insights into building a tarp shelter for camping and survival:
1. Selecting a Location for Your Tarp Shelter Setup
This is probably the most important part of building a tarp survival shelter, particularly in situations where you only have a tarp and some ropes.
When selecting a location, you have to look for a place with some kind of pole, like trees, where you can tie your ropes onto. Look for a place where the distance between those poles is enough to accommodate the size of the tarp and ropes you have.
2. Clear the Vicinity
After you’ve found a place to build your shelter, you’ve got to clear up the area. Make sure to clear the rocks and other debris to make it comfortable.
You also need to check the general direction of the wind. Set your shelter properly so the wind doesn’t blow through it or blow it down (this is key to staying warm).
RELATED: 10 Critical Points You Need To Know About Building Any Natural Shelter
3. Tying the Knots
After clearing the unnecessary things up, you can now start building your shelter. First, tie the ropes to two different trees and form a hanging line.
Consider the height of the rope and make sure it’s elevated enough to accommodate the size of the tarp you have. This will serve as your frame for your tarp.
Make sure to tie those ropes tight enough to be able to withstand strong wind.
4. The Triangular Pattern Tarp Shelter
This is one of the most basic and easiest tarp shelter setups. First, put the tarp over the hanging rope and divide it into two equal parts.
Now, tie some ropes on every edge of the tarp. Pull and anchor the ropes on the ground to form the triangular tent shape.
When setting up a large tarp shelter, make sure you support it with ropes so it does not catch pools or puddles.
“Quick Up” Survival Shelters
Check rollingfox.com for an infographic about tarp shelter configurations.
Learn how to make a tarp shelter without trees in this video from Muddy Tiger Outdoors:
Building a tarp shelter is pretty simple and easy. Knowing basic survival skills like tying different sort of knots will also come in handy.
You can improvise with other materials like using long strong branches for your pole instead of using a tree or some vines when you run out of rope.
Do you have some tips on building a tarp shelter? Share them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Remember not to pick a site down hill from where water can swamp you. Pick a place high & dry. And don’t forget the technique of putting a little rock under the middle of the tarp and wrapping string or rope around it to make a center point teepee of sorts if your supplies are limited. You hoist up the center & can anchor it to a sturdy branch. Necessity is the mother of invention!