Using a Camouflage Tarp

Using a Camouflage Tarp to Make a Great Survival Shelter

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Tarps have been used to make outdoor shelters for ages. Camouflage tarps, being an integral part of most survival kits, are no exception.

They are the most accessible medium when you need to protect yourself against the weather and blend with the surrounding without attracting undue attention.

The quality of your tarp will significantly impact how easy it will be to forge a survival shelter out of it and the standard of the shelter.

Some manufacturers design their survival tarps to facilitate the assembly of survival shelters, making your work much easier.

Let’s start by looking at one of the most robust camouflage tarps when it comes to making a survival shelter.

1. FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Camping Awning

FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp Multifunctional Outdoor Camping Traveling Awning Backpacking Tarp Shelter Rain Tarp (Camo)
  • WATERPROOF & UV PROTECTION - Hammock Camping Tarp made of 210T ripstop polyester fabric with 2500 PU waterproof rating, enhanced the shelter's waterproof function and offers long-lasting protection, strengthen tear resistant & puncture resistant material without any worries. FREE SOLDIER Backpacking Tarp also can be put up as awning is effectively for blocking ultraviolet ray and protect your skin from the sun.
  • STRONG & STABLE - This Camping Awnings using heat sealing and melting process, well combined with the puncture-resistant fabric, water penetration would never happened. Reinforced ridgeline seam, well prevent the connector from falling off, showing excellent protection performance for continuous stormy weather, reliable, durable and safe.
  • HEAVY DUTY & PORTABLE - Large size in 118" × 126" when expended, enough for 2 persons. It's convenient to folded and put into a lightweight stuff sack when not in use, essential tarp gear for your outdoor travel. Net weight: 1.2kg(42oz), not super light but heavy duty, you can consider of the thickness of the fabric, excellent quality, value for money price.
  • ACCESSORIES & SIMPLE TO OPERATE - Comes with everything of survival backpacking items: 1 hammock rain fly, 4 nylon guy lines with tensioners and 1 stuff sack. Rectangle survival tarp shelter with 19 guy points and 5 strengthen grommet points which gives you the most coverage. Easy to set up into ground sheet and hammock shelter to avoid wind and rain.
  • QUALITY GUARANTEES - FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Portable Tarp apply to heavy duty operating, tactical, military, shelter, hunting, fishing, backpacking, traveling, hiking, working, camping and other outdoor adventure etc. FREE SOLDIER guarantees to provide 1 - Month return or replacement service & life-time free customer service. Your 100% satisfaction and happy is our pursuit.

This is a multifunctional tarp that can build different shelter shapes and a hammock to get through the night outdoors as it protects you from predators and nature itself.

The heavy-duty 210T ripstop fabric is tear and puncture-resistant. Its 2500 PU coating applied through heat sealing and melting makes it water-resistant and can block UV rays.

Its reinforced ridgeline seams prevent the connectors from falling off, and it has five reinforced grommet points and 19 guy points, which enable you to set it up in a variety of ways. The package contains four nylon guy lines and tensioners for setup purposes.

It comes in a large size, 118 inches by 126 inches when expanded and can fit two people easily and yet is foldable into a compact sack for transportation when not in use.

Making a Survival Shelter

Different kinds of shelters can be made from camouflage tarp, each with its own application. We shall concentrate on the most common as we go through the processes involved.

The Wedge Tarp Shelter

As the name suggests, this shelter forms the shape of a wedge. It is one of the simplest shelter designs for a tarp, and you should be done in minutes.

This is built mostly to shield against the strong wind coming from one prevailing direction. It also forms a perfect shield against rain if it is pouring at a particular angle.

  • Stake down two corners on the same side of the tarp facing where the wind or rain is coming from.
  • Tie up a line at the center of the opposite side of the tarp, which will be used to raise the wedge. You can use a stake or pole to raise this part of the tent if there is no grommet point on the tarp or the site has no trees or shrubs to hold it up.
  • The height will be determined by what you need to fit inside the shelter. The lower it is, the better because it leaves less room for wind or rain to get inside the tent, and it offers less resistance which makes the shelter stable.
  • Stake down the remaining two corners, ensuring the tarp reaches the ground to enhance your weatherproofing.
  • You can place rocks on top of the tarp close to the first two corners for stability, better weatherproofing, and to create a water catchment trough, striking two birds with one stone in the process.

Tarp Hammock

Sometimes you will need to get off the ground if it is wet or bug-infested. A hammock is a convenient way to rest while suspended. Your tarp needs to be certified heavy-duty to guarantee no tears under the pressure of your weight.

  • Identify two trees that are roughly 10 feet apart with trunks strong enough to hold two times your weight.
  • Spread the tarp on the ground and roll one of the long sides of the tarp to the center of the tarp, then repeat with the opposite side. It should now look like two rolls of tarp placed side by side.
  • Bend both edges and tie secure sheet bends on them, leaving approximately 15 feet of rope that will be used to tie the hammock to the trees.
  • Tie the ropes as high up on the trees as you can reach to ensure the hammock will settle at a safe distance from the ground and make an allowance for settling as you exert your weight on the hammock. Wrap the ropes twice around the trees for a better grip on the bark and double tie for extra safety.
  • To ensure the bugs will not follow you to your safe haven, you can soak pieces of cloth in bug repellant and tie them on each hammock line to prevent the bugs from walking down your hammock line.
  • As an extra precaution to protect against both bugs and snakes, soak the rugs in kerosene. You should exercise caution with this option by keeping the fuel-soaked cloth away from any flames.
  • You can tie an A-framed camouflage tarp between the same two trees as a roof to shield you from the rain and provide extra camouflage.

A-Frame Tarp Shelter

This is another survival shelter option that is easy to forge using a camouflage tarp. It mimics the roof of a house and shields against rain, wind and excess heat, and UV rays from the sun. The higher up it is built, the more it allows wind circulation to be less efficient as a defense against wind.

  • Once you pick the site, you need to identify two trees or rig up similar supports between which you will tie a line of cord to suspend your tarp.
  • Hang your tarp over the line and tie down all its four corners. If you tie them directly on the ground, the shelter is more airtight, although you will have less room inside.

After going through these different types of shelters that can be made from camouflage tarp, we feel obliged to suggest another tarp primed for this purpose.

2. AquaQuest Defender Series Heavy Duty Tarp

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Aqua Quest Defender Tarp - 100% Waterproof Heavy Duty Nylon Bushcraft Survival Shelter - 15 x 15 ft Camo
  • 100% WATERPROOF - The Aqua Quest Defender tarp will keep you completely dry, even in extreme weather. With a hydrostatic resistance of 20,000 mm, you can be absolutely certain that not a single drop of water will get through your tarp.
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE - The Defender has a proven record of being incredibly durable and resilient to the forces of nature, even after extended use. 70D nylon + Heavy TPU coating + Reinforced stitching + Heat taped seams = 2.4 - 9.15 lbs of superb defense against mother nature.
  • COMPACT - With its own convenient stuff-sack, and a small packed size, the Defender is an incredibly tough tarp that still packs up small. Tuck it away and be prepared for when you need it most!
  • VERSATILE - With a total of 19 - 47 reinforced webbing loops including loops for overhead hanging and pole inserts in all four corners, you’ve got all angles covered. Set it up in virtually any situation - you don't even need trees! Say goodbye to regular tarps, and hello to a tarp that’s stronger, quieter, more compact, more versatile, longer lasting, and more waterproof.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - AquaQuest products are backed by a Lifetime Warranty. AQ's customer service is based in the Pacific Northwest, where they have designed and tested waterproof gear since 1994. See the AQ website or call toll-free for more info.

It has 19 to 37 reinforced webbing loops and pole inserts in all corners, which help to reinforce or even hang your structure however you see fit.

You don’t need to find a tree to hold the shelter up with the right combination of rope, poles, and tensioners.

They rate its hydrostatic resistance at 20,000mm, meaning it will hold up to incredible water pressure and shield you from storms.

The 70D nylon material with reinforced stitching is tough enough to withstand all the pressure and tension required to make a great survival shelter.

It covers up to 92 square feet yet packs small into a compact 8.5 by 6 by 4.5 inches which fits snugly in its stuff bag to easily carry it with you.

Survival shelters

Survival shelters are a part of every survival plan you can think of, and it will be presumptuous to plan otherwise. If you will use your camouflage tarp, get it right from the beginning by going strictly for quality to make your work easy when push comes to shove.

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