Thursday, June 9, 2011

How To Build An Emergency Shelter With A Tarp

If you ever find yourself stranded or just want to pack lighter by not carrying a traditional tent, then a tarp tent can be a lifesaver. A tarp tent can provide great protection from the rain as well as a structure that will stand up to high winds due to its pyramid style design. They can also be easily modified to provide a run off for rain that can be used as a source of water collection. The first thing you’ll need to do is designate a good spot to build the tarp tent. Look for a flat smooth area that preferably has some type of trees or vegetation that will provide some shade during the hotter parts of the day if at all possible. Figure out the direction that the majority of the wind blows throughout the day and stake one corner of the tarp facing towards the wind. Then prop a pole, limb, or some other object under the opposite corner diagonally from where you previously staked the corner down. Then run a guide line from the top of the pole or object down to a stake, tree, large rock, or any other structure that would provide adequate strength. Then pull the remaining two corners tight and either stake them down or place heavy objects along its borders to provide enough weight to hold it under tension. Another neat trick is to make a door to your tent using a shirt, cloth, or any other object that you can use to either clothespin to the tarp itself or construct a light structure made out of sticks that have one end sharpened so you can stake them into the ground. Constructing a door on your shelter can help keep the heat in during cold nights, keep any wind and blowing rain out of your shelter, keep bugs out of your structure, and provide an obstruction for animals such as snakes. Once the shelter is assembled, I also like to place large rocks around the outside of the tarp where it meets the ground. This will ensure that even in the heaviest of normal winds, that the tarps rim doesn't lift enough from the ground to be toppled by the wind.

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