How To Make A Tent Out Of A Tarp

Updated Jul 2, 2023

Ready for an outdoor adventure? Your trusty tarp is here to help! We’ll show you how to craft a tent with it. Gather your materials and let’s go!

Using a tarp for camping or shelter is great – it’s lightweight and versatile. With a few simple steps, you can turn it into a cozy haven.

  1. First, choose the right size of tarp. Lay it flat and check for sharp objects or uneven ground.
  2. Then, use sturdy stakes or rocks to secure the corners. Drive them in at an angle so they stay in place.
  3. Next, tie two diagonally opposite corners together with a reliable knot. Repeat with the remaining corners.
  4. To add support, use extra stakes or paracord between nearby trees or structures.

When picking a spot, try to find an area with natural barriers that shield from wind and rain.

And that’s it! You’ve made a tarp tent. Now, sit back and enjoy nature’s serenity. Embrace your inner adventurer and let your tarp tent be your home away from home.

Benefits of Making a Tent Out of a Tarp

Tarps are a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts, providing lightweight and portable shelter options. They are more cost-effective than traditional tents, and can be customized to fit any space or terrain. Plus, they come with additional features such as reinforced grommets and tie-down points, making them reliable in windy conditions. Tarps also provide protection from the elements, keeping out rain and wind.

In fact, tarps have been used by survivalists and explorers throughout history, with one notable example being the Shackleton Expedition of 1914-1917, where explorers used improvised tent structures made from tarps to survive in extreme Antarctic conditions. So, grab your tarp, a sprinkle of creativity, and a dash of your neighbors’ envy, and you’re all set to build a tent that even Mother Nature would be jealous of!

Materials Needed

Constructing a tarp tent requires the right materials. You’ll need:

  • A durable, waterproof tarp
  • Sturdy tent poles
  • Long guy lines
  • Tent stakes
  • Grommets or eyelets
  • Strong cordage or rope

Plus, bring extras like:

  • Duct tape
  • Repair patches
  • A groundsheet for extra moisture protection

Prioritize quality – durability is essential. Depending on your size and design, you may need more items, like additional ropes and stakes for a lean-to or A-frame shelter.

For ages, outdoor enthusiasts have used tarps to make tents. It’s a popular way to create practical, versatile shelters in the wild. Become a master of makeshift shelters by making a tarp tent!

Step-by-Step Guide

Want to make a tent using only a tarp? Follow this step-by-step guide for an easy setup!

  1. Find a nice, level spot. Make sure there are no rocks or branches that could puncture the tarp, and no hazards nearby.
  2. Lay out the tarp on the ground, making sure it’s free of wrinkles. Position it so the longer sides are parallel to the wind.
  3. Secure the corners to stakes or heavy objects. Make sure each corner is pulled tight.
  4. Tie a rope between two trees or other sturdy objects, waist height off the ground. Hang the center of the tarp over the rope, like an upside-down “V”.

Additional Tips: Add guy lines and stakes along the sides for more stability. You can also use hiking poles or tree branches to prop up the corners.

Tarp tents have been around for centuries – reliable and lightweight – so you can enjoy the outdoors without disrupting its beauty. Ready to begin your tarp-tastic journey? Now you know exactly what to do!

Tips for a Successful Tarp Tent Experience

To ensure a successful tarp tent experience, proper preparation and consideration are key. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Choose the right location: Find a flat and elevated spot with good drainage to avoid water pooling.
  2. Secure your tarp: Use quality ropes or cords to secure the corners of your tarp tent.
  3. Create proper ventilation: Leave a small gap between the ground and the base of your tarp. Also use rocks or logs to prop up the sides for better airflow.
  4. Consider weather conditions: Bring extra tarps or an emergency shelter along with you, just in case.

For a truly successful tarp tent experience, try these unique details:

  • Use reflective materials: If you’re camping in hot climates, reflective tarps or shade cloths can help block out heat.
  • Bring mosquito netting: Attach mosquito netting around your tarp tent for a bug-free zone.

Fun fact: Bright-colored tarps can increase visibility during emergencies or search-and-rescue situations. This boosts your safety during outdoor adventures.

Follow these tips and unique details for a successful tarp tent experience!


Ready to wrap up? Making a tent with a tarp is practical and flexible for outdoor fans. Anyone can construct a shelter with just a tarp and some basic camping equipment by following the steps in this article.

Advantages of a tarp tent include:

  1. Lightweight and easy to carry, perfect for backpackers.
  2. Generally waterproof and sturdy, reliable protection from the elements.
  3. Customizable to individual needs.

For the best tarp tent experience, here are some tips:

  1. Choose the right tarp size. Think about how many people and the size of the sleeping space.
  2. Attach guy lines to each corner and tension them properly. Stops flapping in windy weather.
  3. Utilize natural features like trees and structures as anchor points and shelter from the rain.
  4. Learn pitching techniques. Experiment with different setups such as lean-tos or A-frame configurations.

By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your tarp tent and have a comfortable night’s sleep in the open air. Don’t forget to bring your tarp next time you go outside and give this DIY shelter a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What materials do I need to make a tent out of a tarp?

A1: To make a tent out of a tarp, you will need a tarp, ropes or cords, tent stakes, and optionally, tent poles or branches.

Q2: How do I choose the right size of tarp for making a tent?

A2: When selecting a tarp for making a tent, consider the number of people it needs to accommodate. A general guideline is to choose a tarp that is at least two feet longer than the total length of the sleeping area you require.

Q3: What is the best location to set up a tarp tent?

A3: An ideal location for a tarp tent is a flat and level surface. Look for an area with firm ground, away from potential hazards like dead trees or loose rocks. Additionally, try to find a spot with good natural windbreaks like trees or rocks.

Q4: How do I secure the tarp tent to the ground?

A4: To anchor the tarp tent, tie ropes or cords to each corner of the tarp and attach them to sturdy tent stakes or anchor points in the ground. Ensure the ropes are taut for proper tension and stability.

Q5: What if it rains when I’m using a tarp tent?

A5: To keep yourself dry during rain, ensure the tarp has proper coverage and angle to prevent water pooling. Consider using additional ropes or cords to create a steeper pitch for efficient drainage. It’s also advisable to bring along a groundsheet or tarp to place under your sleeping area to prevent moisture from seeping through.

Q6: Can I use a tarp tent in windy conditions?

A6: While tarp tents can handle some wind, excessive wind can pose challenges. To make the tarp tent more wind-resistant, ensure it is tightly secured to the ground and use additional stakes and ropes for reinforcement. It’s recommended to select a location with natural windbreaks and to avoid exposed, open areas.

Related Posts

About the Author

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, climbing, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while.

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley


Know Nothing Nomads

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This