How to Build a Camping Tent From Scratch

How to Build a Camping Tent From ScratchFor many, the idea of roughing it while camping means something more than pitching a name brand, premade tent bought at the local sporting goods, or cuddling next to the fire on a huge bear fur rug sprawled out on the floor of a log cabin. Some people like to hike six miles, through the rain, and pitch a tent made from a neatly folded tarp, all in the name of the wilderness and a lighter pack.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:
  • 8-foot vinyl tarp
  • 12- to 15-foot rope or a sturdy branch
  • 4 6-inch spikes (wooden or metal)
  • Pocket knife
Step 1
Find two trees that are relatively close to each other, but far enough apart that the tarp will fit easily between them. The trees should be on flat, even ground if possible.
Step 2
Tie the rope securely about 3 feet from the bottom of the first tree. Tie the other end to the second tree, assuring that the rope is taut and level. The rope should look similar to a low-hanging clothes line. If rope is not available, secure a sturdy branch by wedging it between the two trees, making sure it is level.
Step 3
Drape the the tarp over the top of the rope or branch so that it is folded in half.
Step 4
Secure the corners of the tarp with spikes by driving the corners into the ground. Heavy rocks can be used similarly by simply weighing down the corners.

Tips & Warnings

If the tarp is slightly larger than the gap between the trees, simply fold the ends back until it fits. Make sure the tarp still completely covers the sleeping bag.
It may be useful to cut small holes into the corners of the tarp with a pocket knife or scissors to ensure the spikes fit snugly into spot. However, if the spikes are too small or holes are too big, or the spikes do not catch the tarp, the tarp will slip off the spikes.
If a second tarp is available, it can be laid down underneath the rope or branch to act as the tent floor.

Article Written By Paul Cox

Paul Cox has been a full-time freelance writer for about a year and has worked with major travel websites like Host Our Coast and has been featured on the Jersey City Independent. Cox has also been a feature writer for Trazzler.

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