How to Make a Rain Shelter with a Tarp

making a rain shelter with a tarp

Want to find out how to make a rain shelter with a tarp yourself?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual camper or an avid backpacker, the tarp is a versatile and indispensable part of your camping gear.

You should bring it with you for every outdoor adventure no matter how much gear you have beside it. You’ll always need it.

How to Make a Tarp Shelter by Yourself

In this section, we’re going to give you a play-by-play of how to make a rain shelter with a tarp that will keep you clean while camping.

But, before we do, it’s important to distinguish between the five different types of tarps available and how they’re actually made.

Let’s get right into it!

1. A-Frame Shelter

The A-frame tarp shelter has a simple structure and this is part of the reason why it’s such a popular design.

To make use of it, all you need is a spot with at least two sturdy trees that are separated by 10 feet. But, the distance between the trees will also depend on how large or small your tarp is.

  • Tie a single guy line four to five feet above ground around each tree. Of course, the exact measurements will also be determined by your tarp size.
  • Make sure each line is nice and tight.
  • The cord and shelter should be closely connected to one another so you can throw the tarp over the line.
  • Hammer the stakes into the corners to make sure they’re properly secured.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 guy line
  • 4 stakes
  • 2 poles or trees
  • It’s a great way to keep yourself safe from the rain
  • Because it’s hung up at an angle, this type of tarp prevents leaks
  • It doesn’t have a floor
  • If you don’t tighten the guy line properly, this tarp can easily become attached to the listing

2. C- Fly Wedge

Follow these steps to make your own C-Fly tarp:

  • The first thing you need to do is place the tarp on the floor. Using 2 to 4 pegs, attach it to the ground from the edge of the long side.
  • Attach all the edges onto the ground through the roof-line.

What You Will Need:

  • 3 guy lines
  • 6 stakes
  • 2 poles or trees
  • You won’t have to worry about rain and snow
  • It has flooring
  • Provides protection from the wind
  • It’s exposed to the wind on two sides
  • It has a problem with sagging

3. Square Arch Tarp

Here are the steps to take:

  • The simple square arch is super easy to make
  • Connect two guy ropes around a duo of trees separated, at least three feet high or so.
  • Get the tarp and use it to cover the guy ropes and put a trio of stakes on either side of the ground
  • One of the guy ropes should be higher than the other so that your rooftop can be at an angle. Failure to apply this tip can leave you with a sagging and droopy roof. The last thing you need is a roof that collects precipitation.
  • It’s important to ensure that your shelter is long and wide enough to comfortably fit two adults.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 guy lines
  • 6 stakes
  • 2 poles or trees
  • It will protect you from the wind
  • Protects you from the sun and the rain
  • It’s super quick and easy to make
  • There’s no flooring
  • It makes it difficult to find tree angles sometimes

4. Tarp Shelter without Trees

This type of tent is pretty standard but it’s also very popular because it’s quick and easy to make.

The following is ideal for a square-shaped tarp under the tent and effective for different sizes as well.

  • Put the tarp directly on the ground and place a stake on each corner.
  • Look for the front of each side and put a pole under each one.
  • Place a stake on the front corners in order to make sure they’re perfectly secure.

What You Will Need:

  • 4 stakes
  • 1 pole
  • This is the quickest and easiest shelter to setup
  • It will protect you from the wind
  • Provides protection from sun and rain
  • There’s no flooring
  • The entrance is open to the wind

5. Basic Fly Roof-Tarp

Follow the steps below:

  • This tarp is super easy to assemble and you don’t even need a tree to put it up.
  • The only downside is that you must bring extra poles or branches, or long sticks.
  • You’ll need four guy lines for this tarp to make sure it doesn’t sag and that each corner is covered.

What You Will Need:

  • 4 guy lines
  • 4 stakes
  • 4 poles
  • It offers protection from the sun
  • You’ll need four branches or poles
  • It doesn’t offer a lot of wind protection
  • Can collect so much rain water from the center so as to cause sagging
Final Thoughts

Nothing beats a tarp when it comes to protecting you in the wild. Unlike a 10 person tent, it only takes a couple of minutes to set up, and can offer protection from the elements, including the sun, rain, and wind.

You just need to find a good spot for it and follow our guide on how to make a rain shelter with a tarp and you’ll have a protective shelter in no time!

Just make sure it’s positioned so that it doesn’t sag or wobble in the middle as that can cause trouble when it rains.

A lot of the time, you don’t even need poles to set it up, and once you’re done, you can easily roll it up and pack it into your back-pack to continue your journey. Nothing is easier!


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