Tarps for Camping: How to Set Up a Tarp Shelter

The same type of blue tarp that can be used for temporary roof protection can also be used to protect your tent from rain during a camping trip. In case of rain during a camping trip, make sure to take two tarps along, with one being 25 inches long by twelve feet wide. The larger tarp will be used to protect the tent, while the smaller tarp will be used to protect the base of the tent.

The tarp used to protect the floor of the tent doesn’t have a specific size, although it should be slightly smaller than the base of the tent. While this tarp can be used to protect the campers inside from rocks, it can be used, as well, to prevent the bottom of the tent from being soaked with rain. When below the tent, the tarp shouldn’t have any edges sticking out. If any edge of the tarp sticks out, this could cause the water to slide between the tarp and the tent and will still cause the base of the tent to get wet.

The larger tarp, which should be 25 by 12 feet, is positioned over the tent in case of rain and to protect the tent from condensation. The tarp, however, doesn’t only go over the tent but also the area in front in case the campers need to go outside of the tent during the rain and make a fire or cook food. To attach this tarp, the edges should all be attached by rope to four surrounding trees. In addition, this tarp should be set at an angle to prevent water from building up on its surface. The runoff from the tarp shouldn’t go onto the tent, and the tarp should be angled away from the tent.

For a demonstration of how to set up above tarps for camping, these YouTube videos give step-by-step examples involving trees and stakes to tie down the ropes supporting the tarps.

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