How to Build Shelters With Tarps

How to Build Shelters With Tarps
If you choose to pack light on your camping trips and do not like sleeping in the open, then you may want to carry a light tarp. They are inexpensive and you can purchase them at just at about any hardware store. Several types of shelters can be erected in a short amount of time with them. Here are two such structures.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to Build a Lean-to

Things You’ll Need:
  • Small rope 12'x 8' tarp Hatchet
  • Small rope
  • 12'x 8' tarp
  • Hatchet
Step 1
Cut a long pole about as big as your wrist out of a sapling 14 feet long. This will be your ridge pole. Find two trees close enough to stretch across with the pole.
Step 2
Tie the end of the ridge pole as high up as you can reach on one of the trees. Don't tie it too tight, because you will have to bend it up until it's about level. Now tie the opposite end to the other tree you picked out.
Step 3
Connect 12-foot long ropes to the short side of the tarp. Throw the tarp over the ridge pole and let the end with the ropes hang down about two feet from the pole. Pull the ropes out and also away from the tent at an angle. Stake them or tie them on a tree or rock.
Step 4
Pull the other end of the tarp out as tight as it will go and down to the ground. It should be at about a 45-degree angle. Tie or stake all the eyelets at ground level on this side.
Step 5
Go to the upper side and make sure the ropes are tight. The two outer ropes should be tied a little out to the side to keep the tarp tight.

Building a Pup Tent Style Shelter with a Tarp

Step 1
Cut two saplings with a fork in them. Make them about four feet high at the fork. Sharpen the bottom (non fork side) a little bit so they will go into the ground to keep from sliding.
Step 2
Push the sticks in the ground about eight feet apart. Cut a ridge pole 10 feet long and lay it in the forks. Tie the pole to the forks with a figure eight pattern. Throw the short side of the tarp over the ridge pole and center it.
Step 3
Tie a two-foot piece of rope to each eyelet on the short sides of the tarp. Stretch the tarp out and stake or secure it to rocks.
Step 4
Stretch the other side out and secure it to the ground. Tie a rope on an eyelet at the front and back of the tent. Pull these ropes down to the ground and secure them.

Tips & Warnings

 
For visibility, tie fabric or even rope at eye level on ropes leading to the ground. Try to keep the ends of the tent away from the prevailing wind.
 
For visibility, tie fabric or even rope at eye level on ropes leading to the ground.
 
Try to keep the ends of the tent away from the prevailing wind.
 
Always keep your hatchet sharp and respect it. A dull tool is far more dangerous than a sharp one.

Article Written By Dennis Seabright

Denny Seabright has been writing for Trails.com since Nov. of 2008 with most articles being in the "How to" category. Graduating from James Wood High school in 1976 and going straight into the work force left little room for formal education but writing has always been dear to his heart.

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