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How To Set Up a Camping Tarp

How To Set up a Camping Tarp

Introduction- How To Set up a Camping Tarp

Guest contribution by Victor Nicholson

Going camping is an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts who love being surrounded by nature. However, it takes more than loving it to have a complete experience in the green. In this article, we will help you out with some tips and suggestions to learn how to set up a camping tarp.

So choose a location, get some goods from the supermarket and grab your tarp. It is time to venture into the wild!

What Is a Camping Tarp

Tarp camping is a type of outdoor shelter that falls into the minimalist category. This is because it involves few required resources, such as ropes and a tarp (or tarpaulin). While camping tarps provide a good number of advantages, they can also be less than ideal in some situations.

Some of the advantages found in camping tarps are:

  • Transportation: Camping tarps are very easy and comfortable to carry. As a matter of fact, you can fold your tarpaulin and put it in your camping bag, and wrap it with the necessary ropes. If you have an appropriate bag, it should not weigh that much, so you can comfortably move around while carrying your outdoor shelter.
  • Durability: Camping tarps are commonly made of a waterproof material called silnylon. This is a blend of nylon and silicone, which provide a long-lasting shelter that can endure friction and punctures. As a plus, this material can also reduce the heat from the sun, while also maintaining the one lost in your sleeping bag at night.
  • Versatility: As we have already mentioned, camping tarps are a type of outdoor shelter. However, campers also tend to find other uses for them, as their waterproof material can transform into a rain fly or even a hammock or place to sit and eat when the ground is too moist.
  • Quickness: Traditional tents may take a long time to build. This, combined with little light during dawn or even night hours can become a big issue. Camping tarps are very easy to set up. You just need to find the right spot!

How To Set up a Camping Tarp

While camping tarps sound like a great idea when going camping, there are some other elements you need to consider to make up your mind and decide if they are the best choice for your type of experience. Here are some of the most common drawbacks when using a camping tarp:

  • Accessories: Just as we said, a camping tarp consists of a tarpaulin made of plastic material and some ropes. This, of course, does not include all the amenities you can find when using a traditional tent. In other words, you may need to add some accessories to your camping bag if you’re planning to use a camping tarp.
  • Security: Traditional tents are not famous for their security, but they are still more secure than a camping tarp. This means that you may be vulnerable to bugs or any other type of crawling creature you wouldn’t like inside your sleeping bag!
  • Exposure: You can set your camping tarp to be weatherproof and protect you from rain and wind. However, if winds change during the night, you may need to adjust it a bit. This element falls a bit behind traditional tents, which protect you from every single possible angle at the same time.

How To Build a Shelter With a Tarp and Rope

Building a camping tarp is a very easy process that requires few resources. In fact, all you need to put up your shelter is your tarp, a rope, and some kind of stake or peg to anchor your tarp to the ground. Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial to build a shelter with a tarp and rope in a few steps and a short time.

  1. Find an area: Before putting up your camping tarp, you should look for the best area to do so. This area should be as flat as possible, with solid soil and strong trees. If you can’t find any trees, you can use some thick anchor sticks to support your tarp.
  2. Set up a ridge line: The ridge line is the rope that will provide support to your camping tarp. This should be high enough to let you in, but also low enough to secure your tarp to the ground. Consider using sturdy trees that will endure throughout the night and won’t shake too much during strong gusts of wind. If you’re using sticks instead of trees, remember to dig a hole deep enough to provide stability.
  3. Lay and secure the tarp: Once your ridge line is ready, you can lay your tarp. Remember to let it fall equally to either side. The space created inside the camping tarp will depend on how many people and luggage it should shelter. Once finished, use some pegs or stakes to secure your tarp to the ground.

How To Set up a Camping Tarp

How To Put up a Tarp by Yourself

Anyone can put up a camping tarp on their own. However, there are some things you should consider before choosing your camping spot. For example, pay attention to any branches or sticks that may fall onto your tarp during the night if it gets windy. This will prevent it from being harmed.

You should also consider the soil where you decide to put up your camping tarp. If you can’t find a flat surface, prioritize balance between solid and moist to allow your anchor pegs to dig yet remain anchored throughout the night.

The video below shows how you can set up a tarp for camping (credit to DropForgedSurvival):

Choosing a Tarp for Camping

Choosing a tarp for camping is not a difficult task. However, there are several elements to consider. Here are some tips for you to ask the correct questions when choosing the best camping tarp for your party.

  • Size: How many people are going to sleep under your camping tarp? How high would you like to set your ridge line?
  • Material: Do you need to isolate heat or water, or both? How windy can it get?
  • Pegs: What type of soil can you find on your camping site? How many pegs would it take for your camping tarp to be securely anchored?

These are just some suggestions, as choosing a camping tarp may require some other elements depending on your party’s age range, likes, and dislikes. Don’t forget to pack your tarp next time you go camping!

Images: Unsplash/ David Castro and Hendrik Morkel

Author Bio

Victor Nicholson is an outdoor enthusiast, camper, fisherman, and hunter. With 20 years of experience exploring incredible Australian landscapes and nature, he has honed his ability to evaluate and recommend the right equipment for various outdoor activities.