How to Build a Tarp Shelter

Making a shelter out of tarp is one of the easiest ways of creating a shelter in a survival situation. When you are out in the wild with limited resources, a tarp is one of the most useful materials to have with you.

Building a shelter can be really difficult, especially when you are trying to keep out the elements, like wind and rain. Tarp is waterproof, which will definitely help in this scenario, and it can also help to keep you warm and out of the wind.

If you are going on a camping trip, taking some tarp is a great thing to do just in case you ever get lost in the wilderness. However, you might also find yourself in a survival situation at some point throughout your lifetime, and it can be useful to know exactly how you can build a tarp shelter.

Having an efficient shelter can make the difference between life and death in a survival situation, and we are going to explain exactly how you can build your own so that you can be prepared for any situation.

The Uses of Tarp

Not only is tarp really handy for waterproofing and stabilizing your new shelter, but it also has many other uses that can come in handy in whatever survival situation that you might find yourself in.

It is a useful item that can help you along the way. You can use it as a way to gather water if you don’t have any sort of cup with you, and you can even use it to camouflage or protect your supplies from people and animals.

As well as providing you with a great shelter, you can also use it to keep you dry when you go scavenging for food or water if you do not have waterproof clothing. This is going to help to keep you both dry and warm.

How to Build a Tarp Shelter

One of the most common types of tarp shelters is the a-frame tarp shelter. It is simple and easy to make, and it will take very little time to complete.

All you need to hand for this one is some tarp and paracord or rope, or whatever you have available to you to secure things in place. The first thing that you need to do is to string the paracord between two trees.

Next, you will need to drape the tarps over the top of the paracord, and then there is only one step left to follow.

You will need to make sure that your tarp is at a slight angle, as this will help any rainwater to run off the edge instead of pooling inside your shelter. However, there is no floor to this type of shelter, which can leave you cold during the night or in the winter. 

Another type of shelter that you can make using a tarp is called the diamond fly tarp shelter. This shelter is more than suitable enough for two people, and it is simple and easy to make.

You will need to secure a paracord to a tree and the ground and then put the tarp over the top of it at a diagonal angle. The amount of height that you will have for this shelter depends on the length of the paracord and the angle at which it is secured to the tree.

The fact that the walls of the shelter are at an angle will ensure that the rain runs down the sides and doesn’t get trapped on the shelter, causing it to collapse.

These walls will also help to deflect any winds to help keep you warm. You will be able to fit two people inside this tarp shelter, while many others only accommodate one person.

This is great in a survival situation, as you can stay close together if anything were to happen and having two people in one shelter will help to keep you both warm due to the shared body heat.

There should also be sufficient space for all of your tools and materials to be stored inside the shelter too. However, there is no floor to this shelter, which means that it can get very cold, and it won’t keep out the elements entirely.

In harsh weather conditions, this shelter can easily become compromised. It is better to use this type of shelter when the weather is not extreme.

Things to Avoid When Building a Tarp Shelter

Now you know how to build your very own tarp shelter, there are some additional things that you will need to think about in terms of the building location. You will need to properly check out your surroundings before you go ahead and spend time and energy building your shelter.

The last thing that you want to do is spend hours building the perfect shelter only to find out during the night that you are sleeping among an ant’s nests. Always remember to carefully inspect the ground and surrounding area for signs of other habitats that have been created by natural wildlife. 

As well as looking down at the ground, you will also need to look up above. Avoid setting up your shelter near any dead or dying trees, as these can break and fall on you or your shelter, causing a hazard to both your health and your living area.

The same thing applies if you are attaching a tarp or rope to trees, as your shelter can collapse if you use unstable trees.

If you are near the coast or another source of open water, try not to get too close. Factors such as the tide and overflowing rivers can pose a dangerous threat.

The same thing applies if you are near a hill or a bank that you can fall down. Anyone can make a tarp shelter, but you need to make sure that the area you are in is safe.

Also, consider the direction that the wind is blowing in to avoid your shelter being blown away or compromised. You can also build a shelter that is surrounded by trees or vegetation to provide additional protection from the wind.

You also shouldn’t set up your shelter in a ditch or at the bottom of the hill, as these areas can easily get flooded with water on a rainy day. 

Make sure that you are not setting up your shelter among uncomfortable rocks, as it will be impossible to sleep in such an uncomfortable place. You can clear the area yourself if you need to and use moss and leaves to soften your sleeping area. 

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