BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Put Up a Tarp Shelter (lean to configuration)

Your rating: None
If you are hiking and plan to stay out overnight, a tarp is a lightweight and convenient way to carry a shelter in your rucksack and saves you from carrying a much heavier tent. They are very easy to put up, you can tie some paracord line between two trees and sling it over that, or you can tie one end to a tree and the other end to a hiking pole.
What you'll need: 
A tarp
A hiking pole
A wooden stave
Two trees in close proximity
A small hand axe
some steel tent pegs
A small bale of paracord or string
Find a likely spot between two trees to camp in, should be flat and dry with some shelter from the wind.
Tie a length of paracord or string to the first tree.
Tie the other end of the paracord or string to the second tree and adjust it for tension. It should be taught enough that it won't sag in the middle when the tarp is slung over it.
Sling the tarp over the paracord or string and adjust so that it is in the 'lean to' configuration, ie one side longer than the other so that it's touching the ground.
Find some deadwood which can be made into a pole and use the hand axe to strip the twigs and side branches from it.
Sharpen the end of the pole and drive it into the ground in a position that the corner eyelet on the other side of the tarp can be tied onto it (the side which isn't touching the ground).
Drive a hiking pole into the ground at the other corner eyelet, on the side of the tarp which is above the ground (other end of the tarp from the pole in step 6)
Push the tent pegs through the eyelets in the side of the tarp which is touching the ground, adjusting the tarp for distance and 'best slope', to ensure that any rain runs off .
Use the paracord to tie the corner eyelets on the side of the tarp which is above the ground, to the wooden pole and the hiking pole, which were installed in steps 6 and 7. Adjust the paracord/strings for correct tension.
Put down your ground mat and sleeping bag under the assembled tarp and brew up some tea.
In the UK tarps are best used in spring or autumn when there are a lot less biting insects. They offer reasonably good protection from the elements in calm weather and a fire can often be lit alongside them to keep you warm at night
Don't chop down live trees to make poles or for firewood, people who manage forests tend to get upset at this type of behaviour
Get some instruction on safe usage of axes before doing this
Working with axes can be risky so carry a first aid kit in your rucksack


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links