When bugging out on foot, it’s not realistic to take an entire tent with you. It’s too bulky and heavy. Plus, tents are a bit expensive for people prepping on a budget.
Tarps, on the other hand, are small and lightweight. They’re also very affordable, and there are dozens of things you can do with them besides build a shelter. Another huge bonus, in my opinion, is the ability to build a fire right next to your tarp shelter. With a tent, the fire has to be outside which means you can’t get as much warmth from it.
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So now that we’ve established that tarps are usually better than tents for bug out purposes, it’s time to talk about how to build a shelter using a tarp. There are dozens of configurations, but if you’re a beginner, I recommend the C-Fly. It’s relatively simple, and it has many advantages.
In the video below, Survival Know How explains exactly how to do it. Here are the instructions:
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- Find two trees that are a little farther apart than the width of the tarp.
- Run a ridge line between the two trees and make sure it is taut. This line will be the top of your shelter.
- Fold the tarp over the ridge line with 1/3 hanging over the top of the cord, 1/3 from the line to the ground, and 1/3 lying on the ground.
- Put lots of insulation beneath the part of the tarp lying on the ground. Dry leaves, grass, or whatever you can find.
- Use two stakes to peg down the two corners of the tarp on the ground. If you don’t have stakes, find some sticks.
- Use three stakes and cordage to attach the other end of the tarp (the part hanging over the top of the cord) to the ground. Make sure it’s nice and taut.
Be sure to watch the video below. He goes into more detail, explains how to pick a good site for your shelter, and he goes over some common shelter-building mistakes to avoid.