Tips for a Secured Tarp Shelter while Camping

chrisp By chrisp, 15th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Outdoor>Camping

Article with tips on hwo to construct durable and safe shelter while camping.

Camping tips

Camping is all fun and adventure until it rains, which emphasizes the importance of tarps. Aside from rain, a tarp shelter can also protect you from several emergencies. With its importance, you need to make sure that your tarp shelter is secured.

I started hiking early and by around 20’s, I challenged myself to hike the John Muir trail, a 225-mile hike with my handy, dandy plastic visqueen where I stayed during my trip. You may not believe that I survived that journey by having a simple plastic as my shelter.

But, what can I do? I was young and broke with a somewhat costly hobby. All I can do is to use gears that fit my budget at that time.

Years passed and I was able to invest on a number of backpacking tents. However, I still use tarp frequently because of its versatility. Usually, I carry a tarp and use it as snow shelter or if I want to pack light on my trip.

You might think that tarp shelters won’t be that beneficial for you. Remember, however, that limitations are just in your imaginations. If you’re worried about tarp shelter security, you can use the following tips to make it sturdier and suitable for your camping. Being an camping-experience packed Aussie I’ve learned that weather can really mess your trip up. With years I learned that using proper type of tarps can keep you dry and warm during the storms which are happening quite often downunder. I decided on Marson tarp materials as it’s made durable from scratch and fit rough Australian weather conditions.

Start Studying and Practicing Knot Tying

Knots will rig your shelter on the ground and you need to know several knots to make sure you will effectively put it in place. Types of knots that you must learn include those that will work in any type of weather condition, particularly if weather changes became too sudden.

Furthermore, the type of knot must be something that you can do fast for emergency purposes. You should be able to tie the knot despite the panic or racing against the time before the rain pours.

A Frame is one of the simple yet effective shelters that you can use. An A Frame is a line placed between two anchor spots. The tarp is then draped over the line, which is similar to a pup tent minus the ends. The good thing about this frame is you only need two types of knots. First, you need to tie a timber hitch to secure the line’s end in place. This knot is simple to do, but with extra tightening feature as it receives more pressure or weight.

A Frame tent:

The other knot that you need to use is the tucker hitch for the other end. While the timber hitch stays in place waiting for pressure for tightening, this knot allows you to tighten the centerline by pulling its tag or loose it when needed. Utilizing this hitch lets you stretch the rope tightly as if you’re tightening a bamboo string.

Find Your Campsite

You’re using a tarp shelter, so you must find a campsite where you can pitch it. Some campsites may be good for you, but they may not have the right anchor point where you can tie the knots. Look for a campsite with at least a single spot where you can tie the line. Check for dead or fallen branches around the area.

Seeing these objects around the campsite may be unsafe for you since you’ll just use a tarp shelter. Finally, look for a spot with slightly slanted land to give way to easy water drainage in case it rains while camping. Dig trenches around your shelter to help the draining process.

Employ the Help of a Small Stick

Grommets are essential parts of the tent and you need a small stick. You need to thread the line through a grommet or eyelet and then place the stick in the created loop. The stick will keep the tarp anchored at a certain point as it allows the rope to move and tightened in a simple way. This procedure will tighten the tarp evenly while stick and rope combo will protect it and grommets if strong winds are present.

I remember that we did this during one of our camping activity. It was rainy and windy, so, we used this procedure to keep the tarp over the cooking area and the spot where we keep the gears. Two days of continuous rain did not affect our shelter and even helped in draining water effectively. There was also a time when we camped for two weeks and pitched the tent using this technique. It stayed the same although paracord stretching was noticeable. It’s a good thing that a I learned this during a PeterKummerfeldt survival seminar that I attended before.

Bring Aluminum Tent Stakes

Aluminum stakes are very lightweight, so bringing them during camping will not be a problem. They can be used to fasten the tarp’s sides and corners. I often use rocks to keep the tarp’s corner in place, but they are not as effectively as aluminum stakes on some occasions or camping scenarios.

Walking Stick or Pole is Essential

You need to bring a stick, a pole or even a ski pole as tarp shelter support. You can also use a pair of sticks for support and to give your shelter the A-shape design that you’ve seen on other tents.

Prevent Grommets from Tearing

Grommets are found at the tarp shelter’s corners. You must keep these from tearing since they will affect your shelter’s security during windy camping schedules. Bob Patterson of Mankato, Minnesota, a friend of mine, gave me this tip.

Bob Patterson

As a fireman and a brilliant individual when it comes to ropes and knot tying, he said that it is important to prevent eyelets from tearing by dispersing strain and stress caused by strong wind gusts.


Thread a paracord in between the three eyelets set on a corner. Loops will then be threaded via a carabiner. Dispersing the pressure between the eyelets, it prevents a single grommet from receiving strong pressure or strain. Check this video to see how this concept works.

Don’t let nasty weather changes affect your campouts. Keep your tarp shelter in a secured spot through these tips, which will help you survive the harsh weather changes while outdoors.

Watch this video:


Camping, Outdoor, Safety, Shelter, Tent

Meet the author

author avatar chrisp
I'm web developer and internet marketeer experienced in key technologies to make your online business blossom. Also, i'm a passionate gadget lover, Android enthusiast and technology addict.

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