What will you do if you have to survive in the wilderness? What are you going to use for shelter if you have to leave your home due to a natural or man made crisis?
For shelter, a tarp is a great option. Tarps are light in weight, durable, and can be setup in a number of ways to suit the environment you are camping in.
There are several good shelter systems to consider, but we are going to go over one of our favorites that is very flexible in a typical camping scenario.
A typical tarp size to bring would be a 10 X 13 foot rectangle. Ideally you would want to find a tarp with reflection strips on the upper side so that you can be seen in rescue situations. You could also sew or tape them to your existing tarp if they don’t come with it.
This setup is fashioned in a typical A-frame design similar to a pup tent, with a center line running down the 10 foot side of the tarp. This allows for 13 feet of tarpage that will be predominantly pulled to one side touching the ground, and becoming a screened curtain backside.
This leaves the smaller area to serve as an open side for easy access. The corner ties will be strapped to a tree trunk at shoulder height, with the other end corner ties fastened to a stake on the ground. This will create a sloping angle from end to end that will allow for rain water runoff at the lower side.
You can easily customize this tarp setup by adjusting the angles of each end using poles and additional corner tie points. Depending on your preference you can open up the low end a little for additional access points. The upper end could be adjusted to create an overhang used for a cooking area.
What ever shelter system you decide upon, be sure to purchase light weight but durable materials, and practice assembling them ahead of time so you’ll know exactly what to do during an actual crisis event.
Watch for our up coming post on which knots you should know when backpacking in a wilderness environment.