How to Make a Tent out of a Tarp

If you are thinking to make a tarp tent, then you have reached the right place! To make a tent tarp is easy and provides you with the necessary shelter you may need for outdoor camping

To make a tent out of a tarp and to get started you need a long rope, stakes for the tent, and a large tarp sheet. All other materials are optional. Tarp tents come in various forms ranging from the easy-to-make A-Frame to more complex structures like the Rectangular Stall.

Check out our article for more instructions on how to make a tarp tent

Choosing an Appropriate Spot to make a tarp tent

More often than not, choosing an appropriate spot for the tent proves to be more challenging than making the tent itself. This is because there are a lot of things to consider before choosing a spot. This ranges all the way from being close to a water source to being safe from ants invading the tent.

Being close to a water source is important, you also have to ensure that the place you picked doesn’t get flooded after heavy rainfall. It’s equally important to make sure the surface is flat. Otherwise, sleep and shelter at the tent might be a cause of discomfort down the line. It’s safe to place the tent between a group of trees to ensure any threats of a lightning strike are warded off.

You should also check nearby trees and ground to inspect whether the spot is prone to visits from reptiles.

Deciding on Structure and Making a tarp tent

While deciding on a structure to make a tarp tent you’ll need to keep a few things in consideration. Things such as the number of occupants the condition, and the suitability of the ground underneath. Moreover, you will need to take into account the weather, most importantly the wind to decide on the level of structural rigidity.

Here are some of the most popular tarp tent structures and how to make them. All of which have their own features and are suitable for specific weather and ground conditions.

Basic A-Frame

These tents are the easiest to assemble and are popular around the world for their ease of setup.  It’s shaped like an A which allows the rain and snow to curve off the surface. The major pitfall with A-Frame tents is that they do not have floors.

To make an A-Frame tent you’ll need to find two poles (most commonly trees) standing about 12-15 feet from each other. Depending on the desired height (suitably 4-6 feet above ground) tie a guy line tightly and hurl the tarp sheet over the guy line. Make sure the middle of the tarp is properly aligned with the cord. The structure should properly be hammered in the stakes in each corner of the tent.

Flat Roof Lean to Tent

The Flat Roof Lean-To tarp tent to make is a little more complicated than the basic A-Frame tent. It however comes with its own advantages such as protection from rain and direct sunlight. It also helps rain run off one side. However, they do not come with floors while protecting wind from only one side.

Start a Flat Roof Lean tent by tieing a guy line around two trees for a roofline. Now with the tarp hurled over the roofline, stake the two corners into the ground. On the other side, use two sticks or poles and similarly tie two guy lines on each corner and stake properly into the ground for structural integrity. In our opinion, we would use the above to make a tarp tent

Rectangular Stall Tent

The Rectangular Stall tent is similar in a lot of ways to the Flat Roof Lean-To tent with the major difference being its rectangular shape.

They are great for protection against the rain and sun and similarly to Flat Roof Lean-To tents they only offer protection from one side when it comes to wind. They come with no floors and are prone to sagging after rainfall.

To start, we need to tie two guy lines across two trees for structural support. Then, we’ll need to place poles at the length of the tarp away from the trees and throw the tarp over the poles after which, we’ll need to secure the open corners with two ropes, stacking the vertical side into the ground.

Body Bag Tent

The BodyBag Tent is widely known and used to make a tarp tent. It’s quite similar to the Basic A-Frame tent but they come with added floors which help provide comfortable ground cover.

Alongside ground cover, it provides protection from the sun, wind, and rain with rain sliding off of both sides. It can however get congested in there due to lack of space.

Similar to the Basic A-Frame tents, you’ll need to tie a guy line between two trees going slightly lower than the Basic A-Frame tent. The tarp is thrown across the guy line and is then to be folded angularly to make a triangle where the opposite ends meet each other in a corner. After the structure has been shaped, you’ll need to secure it by stacking the sides into the ground.

Final Thoughts

Tarp tents provide a true barebone nature of shelter that is more befitting to the ones seeking to be closer to nature in the wilderness. While there are more comfortable and pricy options available, they often require constant tending and repair. It’s best to make a Tarp tent as it provides a much more flexible experience.  If you don’t want to make a tarp tent, begin your search and find few tarp tents here