A tarp is an essential piece of gear for any camper, hiker, or prepper. It's versatile, lightweight, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a shelter. In this blog post, we'll explore all the different ways a tarp can be used as a shelter, so you can be prepared for any situation when you're out on the trail.
The A-Frame Shelter
One of the most popular ways to use a tarp is to create an A-frame shelter. To do this, simply run a ridgeline between 2 trees or 2 poles stuck into the ground. Throw your tarp over the ridgeline and then you can stake down the ends on each side.
You can then use either your gear or additional tarps to create walls for your shelter. This method is quick and easy to set up and provides good protection from the elements. However, it's not recommended for use in high winds.
The Lean-To Shelter
Another popular way to use a tarp is to create a lean-to shelter. To do this, tie one end of the tarp to a tree, pole, or ridgeline and stake down the other end. You can then use either your gear or additional tarps to create walls for your shelter.
This method provides good protection from the elements and can be used in moderate winds. It's one of the fastest and easiest ways to set up a quick shelter.
The Poncho Shelter
If you find yourself in a pinch and need to set up a shelter quickly, you can use your poncho as a tarp. Simply tie the corners of the poncho to trees or poles stuck into the ground and you've got an instant shelter. This method is quick and easy to set up but doesn't provide much protection from the elements.
The Hammock Shelter
For those who love hammocking, you can use your tarp to create a makeshift hammock shelter. To do this, tie the corners of the tarp to trees or poles and drape it over your hammock. This method is quick and easy to set up but doesn't provide much protection from the elements unless you add walls made from either your gear or additional tarps.
The Ground Tent Shelter
If you don't have a hammock but still want to use your tarp as a shelter, you can pitch it on the ground like a tent. To do this, simply stake down the corners of the tarp and prop up the middle with either your gear, trekking poles or a stick. This method provides good protection from the elements but can take some time to set up properly.
The Wrap-Around Shelter:
For added protection from wind and rain, you can create what's known as a wrap-around shelter using your tarp. To do this, tie one end of the tarp to a tree or pole and drape it over your sleeping bag or bedroll.
Then, stake down the other end of the tarp so it forms a half-circle around you like a cocoon. This method takes some time to set up but provides great protection from both wind and rain.
The Debris Hut:
If you find yourself in an emergency situation without any supplies whatsoever, you can still build yourself a shelter using only natural materials found in the area around you—and your trusty tarp!
To do this, collect some large sticks and branches and lean them against each other in a teepee shape (you can also use rocks if there are no sticks available). Then, drape your tarp over top of the structure and secure it in place with more sticks or rocks.
The Snow Cave
In colder climates, one way to use your tarp is to build yourself an igloo or snow cave for added warmth at night. First, find an area where there's at least 4 feet (1 meter) of snow on the ground—the deeper, the better. Once you've found your spot, dig out a trench in the snow that's big enough for you to lie down in comfortably.
Then, drape your tarp over top of the trench so it forms an A-frame shape. Finally, pack snow around all sides of the structure until it's well insulated. This method takes some time and effort to set up but provides good protection from both cold temperatures and wind.
The Beach Shade
One final way to use your tarp is as beach shade. Simply stake down 3 corners of your tarp in the sand (making sure that 2 of them are perpendicular to each other) and either set up a pole on the fourth corner or simply drape the tarp over yourself. This method is quick easy and provides good protection from both sun heat and UV rays.
As you can see there are many different ways that you can use a tarp as a shelter depending on both your needs and situation. So next time you're packing for a camping trip make sure to throw one (or two!) tarps into your bag—you never know when they might come in handy!
Check out our article on camping tarps below: