- 4 to 12 stakes (4 minimum with trees for ridgeline tie outs, more stakes needed if windy, snow load or using poles for support)
- 2 trees, trekking poles, or tarp poles (use of at least one tree is easier to set up for one person, if using poles two people holding poles on each end really speeds things up)
- 6 cords @ 3′ on corners and middle sides of fabric panel
- 2 cords @ 6′ on ridge line (having some extra cord is useful for trees spread farther apart, and needed for tarps large enough for more than one person)
First attach the Ridgeline tie out to a tree or pole at a height that allows the netting to sit 4″ on the ground.
I like to use a releasable tautline hitch.
If using a pole for the ridgeline, tie a clove hitch around the top of the pole and then run the line down to a stake on the ground. Adjustable trekking poles make height adjustments easier.
Have someone hold the pole upright and go attach the other ridge line to a pole or tree.
Stake out the four corners at a height that maintains about 4″ of netting laying on the ground.
Adjust cord length using the tautline hitches and by moving stakes so that the tarp is stretched snug with minimum wrinkles. In a wind, you want the tarp to hum, not flap.
If needed, tie out center side points and four corner points on netting. Shepherds crook type stakes work well for the netting. The netting should be snug but not tight along the sides of the tarp (gentle on the netting) and loose on the pleated ends so one can crawl under the netting easily without having to remove a stake.
Shade for a hot spot on the lawn that also blocks one of the neighbors cameras from looking into our backyard. Made of very lightweight 30 denier silicone coated nylon, this will be a good test of the fabric to see how long it holds up to daily UV light.
Other pictures are of another of the neighbor’s camera’s seen looking out from our couch. Amazing this isn’t against the law. Also amazing is the creepiness of the neighbor. Time for another screen since he placed the camera above our new fence.
DIY Kits for 5×8′, 9×9′ and 10×10′ ultralight tarps
How to Video Steps
1 Sew Reinforce Panel Tie Outs
2 Sew Tarp Center Seam, 1st Pass
3 Top Stitch Center Seam, 2nd Pass
4 Sew Reinforced Tie Out to Center of Tarp Along Seam
5 Sewing the hem and inserting reinforcements
6 Sewing on the webbing
Grateful to a customer who sent these photos of a FlatTarp set up at several campsites.
From our friends at Equipped.org. Extensive article on using tarps to make shelters.
I wanted to share these pictures with you! These these tarps have been dubbed SUPER TARPS!!! They are working great. Thanks for your willingness to go BIG!
Custom sizes available
These photos show tarps 24X30 feet.
Largest made to date 70X90 feet.
An old favorite returns with some new improvements. Used by Utah river runners when the bugs come out.
A flat tarp with noseeum netting around the edges and ends.Floorless makes it lighter and more compact. Less issues with spills while dining underneath too. No zippers to break or fill with sand or salt, just leave one corner un-pegged and lift it to enter.
Two sizes available, sewn to order with several fabric choices. NetTarp5 (10×14′) and theNetTarp2 (8×10′). These now come with a cat curve cut into the hems for tighter set up and line loc3 cord tighteners on the 4 center tie outs to adjust headroom.
Poles available too, but many use hiking poles, trees, or paddles for the uprights.
Purchase stock one here
bivysack.com or call for custom fabrics and prices.
“Beaks”? We don’t need no stinkin’ beaks!
(or tent stakes or poles for that matter)
The lightest and most versatile of shelters, and can be used for a place for teaching out of the sun or rain. Their set up can inspire craftsmanship among students. They are used by many major outdoor schools and savvy go light backpackers everywhere. Our tarps are available in various weights of nylon with a thick waterproof coat of urethane or an ultralight silicone coating. To add strength, sewn on webbing loops are used instead of grommets for tying the tarp out and are also reinforced with an extra layer of fabric at high stress points. Custom size tarps also available.
- Flat Tarps TM
- We coined the term “Flat Tarp” to distinguish our rectangular and square tarps from the
- tarps with curves (catenary “Cat Tarps”) cut into the seams. A Flat Tarp allows for more pitching
- options in many shapes, while a Cat Tarp allows a taunt set up with fewer ties out, but is limited
- to a specific shape of shelter. Reinforced center tie outs allow a flat tarp to be set up sealed close to the ground on the sides and one end like the photo. This without the limiting shape of “beaks”. For those who want to go light (pun intended) but enjoy tarp
craft while using natural features to set up camp, a square or rectangular tarp can
be set up in many ways (see bottom of page).