Survival Skillset: How to Build an Emergency Tarp Shelter

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In a survival scenario, your first and most important need is a place to shelter. A well-made shelter will keep you both warm and dry when it is built right. Since you need all the energy you can muster to survive, making an emergency tarp shelter is a much better alternative than finding materials and building your own. With that being said, this article will show you how to build an emergency tarp shelter of your own.

  1. Find a Good Anchor Point

    The first thing you must do when making a tarp shelter is to find an effective anchor point. Usually, two closely placed trees will make excellent anchor points but another area you may build a tarp shelter is in a large rock crevice. Consider choosing surroundings that will block out the wind and keep you warmer. Also, try to choose an area that is visible to rescue crews.

  2. Tie a Rope to Both Anchor Points

    After you have found two suitable points to have your tarp shelter between, now you must tie a rope to both areas. Secure the rope tightly so your tarp does not blow away in the wind or adverse weather. Another alternative to a rope is a very long and strong stick that can be wedged between the forks of two trees. When you don’t have a rope, you can also prop the tarp up by putting sturdy sticks into the ground and putting the end of them through the metal rings on the tarp. In this case, you should consider choosing a spot that has one to three sides completely wind-blocked so you have less to secure.

  3. Drape the Tarp over the Rope or Sticks

    Try to secure the tarp shelter over the rope so that it equally blocks the wind on both sides. Pull the ends so they reach the ground on both sides equally. If your tarp shelter is being propped up by sticks, you will have to secure the tarp to the sticks so that it is leaning downward at the entrance of your shelter to deflect rain.

  4. Stake the Tarp Down Tight

    Now it’s time to tie your tarp down tight to trap out the wind completely. When using a rope, simply place large sticks in the holes of the tarp nearest to the ground so that the bottom of the tarp is tightly touching the ground. Make sure that the sticks you are using have some type of knot or fork in them so they hold the tarp securely and don’t slip. Fill in any open areas with as many leaves or foliage as you can find to tightly insulate your shelter. Lean branches over your doorway that you can also have foliage placed over.

Conclusion That’s all there is to it to make an effective tarp shelter. If you ever do need to use one in an emergency then we hope that this article will help you out and that a rescue team is sent to you quickly.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Reviews

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A tarp tent is a wonderful addition to your bug out bag as it can be used in many different ways. A tarp tent is a tarpaulin, a plastic or nylon sheet, used in place of a tent. It is usually rigged with poles, tent pegs, and guy lines. Ultralight backpackers use tarp tents because they are easy to set up and lightweight compared to other backpacking shelters which makes for a more pleasant hike. Especially if you need a quick shelter when hit with a sudden downpour.


Recently I was looking for a good, reliable tarp/tent for my husband. We wanted something light, durable, and affordable. We decided, at the recommendation of others, on the UST Base Tube Tarp/tent 1.0. (Ultimate Survival Technologies) We have never been happier with a purchase.

UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Features and Specs:

• Ultra-light, compact, tubular tarp protects against foul weather
• Multi-use tube tarp can be used as a ground cloth or sleeping tent
• Reverses for reflective signaling surface
• Flame-retardant
• Sets up in minutes
• Compact and easy to transport
• Aluminized side provides thermal insulation and reflectivity for signaling
Hidden zipper transforms the tarp into a tube-shaped sleeping tent, providing protection from the damp ground below and the elements above
• Can be used as a sleeping tent or all-weather tarp
• Complete instructions are included and also conveniently located on the exterior of the stuff sack
• Includes stuff sack, guy lines, and steel stakes
• Erected HxWxD: 39” x 84” x 35” (99 x 213 x 89cm)
• Packed HxWxD: 15” x 4” x 4” (381 x 102 x 102mm)
• Weight: 1lb 12 oz. (794g)

We did a lot of shopping around and found the UST Tube Tarp to be one of the most affordable, reliable and used ones out there. Before this was shown to me the only recommended tarps I found were $80 or more. That can really hit your pocket if you have 4 bug out bags to supply for. that was a nice change from expensive basic gear. Below are some wonderful review videos for you to check out and decide for yourself if this will be an addition to your bug out or camping gear. A list of products in the videos will be posted at the end of the article.


The post UST Base Tube Tarp 1.0 Reviews appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Wool Blanket Roll

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I have always been fascinated with how survivalist, campers, hikers etc. were able to tuck their survival gear inside a military style wool blanket and then turn it into a pack that can be carried in multiple ways. I have personally had a wool blanket like the one in the video for a very long time and just used a basic roll to attach it to my pack.

A wool blanket can be used in multiple ways. The most obvious is a way to keep warm by fashioning it into a sleeping bag. It can also be used as a coat/poncho, a back pack, a lean to, an insulated cushioned seat, cordage or even a water filter. (Note: As a water filter that simply means to filter out debris, not diseases or parasites that may lurk in the water.)

In the video posted below, produced by BlackOracle69, he will show us all how to easily roll and tie down a compact pack using only the blanket. The items he rolls into the back are your very basic needs. A tarp shelter, a cooking pot and fire starter, some dry socks, a bandana, a light, para-cord, and a hammock. He shows the placement of each item and how to fold a pocket to keep things you might need, such as a fire starter or dry socks, accessible without undoing the blanket.

I hope you enjoy the video and please feel free to leave comments below.

Video By BlackOracle69
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Number of speakers: 1 (blackoracle69)
Duration: 9 min 28 sec

The post Wool Blanket Roll appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Setting Up a Tarp Tent Shelter 4 Easy Ways

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Carrying a tarp for shelter is a very convenient and efficient way to travel when you’re camping, hunting or hiking for the day. It is also wonderful to add to your bug out or emergency bag that you carry with you and countless other uses.  There are many different styles of tarps but the cheaper you go the more often you have to replace it. On the flimsy tarps the grommets can tear easily in the wind or it might get a tear in the actual nylon material. It is better to get a good one to start with even though you pay a little more than the average tarp. There are some things you just shouldn’t skimp on if you are going to survive in the woods.

My personal favorite tarp tent only weighs 1.9 ounces and compresses down to 6x6x3.5 inches. It is very well designed and will last for a substantial amount of time and in all types of weather. At 13x 9 it is 100 percent water proof and comes with 16 nylon hoops and 1 top center loop.

In this video Forest Walker Outdoors shows us four very easy ways you can set up your tarp tent quickly and efficiently for any situation. It is important to know how to protect yourself in all different types of weather. He also shows you how you can set up the tarp tent if you have no rope.


The post Setting Up a Tarp Tent Shelter 4 Easy Ways appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

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A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic. There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out. After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees. A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in. Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain. The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour. […]

The post Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

20 Uses for Tarp

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This post is by Bernie Carr, On our last road trip, we used tarp to protect camping gear on top of the truck.   The tarp held up very well and the contents stayed dry in spite of heavy rain.  Use tarp closest to the color of your vehicle to make it look as unobtrusive as possible. It also came in handy when we went on a picnic by the river and got caught in a sudden rain storm.  I […]

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19 Off-Grid Survival Uses For A Plain Old Tarp

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19 Survival Uses For A TarpWhen it comes to expediency, a tarpaulin is one item that can easily top a survivalist’s list of must-haves. Tarpaulins have so many practical uses, there’s probably no limit to the number of ways it can be used in off-grid living.

Tarps come in different types depending on their thickness, durability and material. There are cloth tarps, canvas, vinyl, polyester, mesh, and the most modern type — the polyethylene or “poly tarps”.

Vinyl types are the kind used for heavy-duty industrial applications such as construction, farming and trucking. Lighter, breathable ones, such as those used in advertising, are perforated to reduce wind resistance. Mesh tarps, made of either canvas, vinyl or polyethylene, are threaded wide apart like screens to allow more wind and light to pass through. These are as often used as privacy screens, site barriers and awnings in construction sites to give partial shelter from the sun, wind and debris.

Restore Your Old Blades To A Razor’s Edge In Just Seconds!

Of all the different kinds of tarpaulins, the poly tarp is the most common and popular worldwide, owing to its low cost and immense versatility.

Poly tarps are a melding of two to three different kinds of polymer films, layered and cross-woven into varying degrees of tightness. Because these are such thin, fabric-like plastics, they’re weightless and water-resistant. In disaster situations, they make reliable temporary shelters — often used in earthquake, hurricane and tornado relief. Many campers and wilderness enthusiasts choose poly tarps as cheaper, lighter alternatives to regular nylon tents.

With a poly shelter, campers can warm themselves and cook over a small fire underneath. Poly fabric has the ability to bounce off heat, so one can build a fire close to it and enjoy the warmth it reflects, without having to worry about sparks burning holes in an expensive tent. Although poly tarps can burn, they are easily patched up with duct tape.


Indeed, expediency and versatility are the poly tarp’s biggest benefits. Depending on your needs, you can select one based on the following features: corrosion resistance, abrasion or tear defiance, and “arctic flexibility.” Tarps aren’t breathable, and they can freeze up. When caught in the cold rain, don’t use a tarp as covering or poncho if it isn’t arctic flexible. Never wrap it on yourself, your animals, plants or anything you don’t want getting hypothermia.

The spacing between grommets can also vary. Grommets are the metal or plastic eyelets along the sides through which you can pass ropes to secure tie-downs. Some suppliers provide replacement grommets along with cords and pegs, but it’s always wise to have an extra rope or paracord handy. And some duct tape.

Other features you can look for are ultraviolet protection, mildew resistance and fire-retardant coatings. UV protection is important in outdoor use, as non-UV treated tarps can become brittle after constant exposure to sunlight.

The most common poly tarp colors are blue, green, black, silver, orange, yellow, brown and white. They also come in camouflage designs.

Rescue Perishable Food In A Power Outage

Here are practical ways you can use them – some obvious, others you may not have heard of.

  1. Shelter to protect against rain, sun, wind and debris.
  2. Cover to protect your wood pile, hay bales, harvest — virtually anything — from the elements. Great on loads carried on trucks and car/van tops.
  3. Rain-catching system. Suspend the tarp in the air with one corner lower than the rest, and use it to collect and channel the flow of rainwater into a drum or barrel. Or you can dig a hole in the ground and use it to collect water.
  4. Makeshift poncho.
  5. Emergency “band-aid” for a leaking roof or a broken window.
  6. Waterproof lining for a small fishpond or aquaponic system – and makeshift kiddie pool
  7. Shower or window curtain.
  8. Ground pad under a tent, for added barrier against moisture, critters, sharp rocks.
  9. Protection over a car seat or a truck bed from all kinds of mess.
  10. Improvised backpack, yukon or horseshoe pack.
  11. Makeshift “stretcher” to carry an injured person. Actually it can be used to haul all kinds of stuff: freshly caught game, harvested produce and even hay.
  12. Ground sheet for mixing cob or plaster when building cob houses.
  13. Picnic mat.
  14. Improvised hammock.
  15. Privacy screen for outdoor toilets in the bush.
  16. Drop sheet during paint jobs.
  17. Emergency sail for a small boat.
  18. Canoe or any kind of flotation device.
  19. Emergency signal: Lay it flat on the ground for rescue choppers to easily see.

Whether you’re out in the wilderness or just working around the homestead, you’ll find poly tarps very handy.

What survival uses would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:


Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Wilderness Survival Part 3/4

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2  (Matt, Tyler)
Duration: 15 min 56 sec

Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 3/4: Hand Drill, Tarp Shelter, & Resource Gathering

Hand Drills:

Matt: “Hi, I’m Matt with Boulder Outdoor Survival School and what we are gonna talk about here this early afternoon is hand drill fire. We are gonna go ahead and make a fire, I think its tea time so I think we are gonna boil up some water and make a natural tea. To do that we are going to use and hand drill set to light the fire.”

“Hand Drills are a very, very universal, very ancient way, to make fire by friction. Some of the benefits of making a hand drill over a bow drill are that it is much simpler to make. Not as many moving parts and not as fidgety. On the flip side of it is one of the cons is that it takes much more practice and really perfect material and perfect form to be able to perform hand drills reliably.”

“So, here are some various iterations of a hand drill set. What I recommend and what I teach in the field is usually starting with some sort of spindle that will be from arm pit to wrist length. Much longer than that and you will get to much play at the top. Almost like trying to spin a car antenna or radio antenna. It wants to whip around. Any longer than that is not ideal. Shorter than that is going to be harder for someone just learning. The material that I am using for these spindles is generally some sort of flower stalk that has a piffy center and this ones been used so it’s a little harder to see.”

“The other component we are looking for is what we call a hearth board. A hearth board is these three items here. You’re looking for generally looking for things on the softer side than you would for a bow drill. So, something like yucca or our local material, my personal favorite, is the root of the cotton wood tree. I am going to go ahead and do a demonstration.”

“With anything fire, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a match, or a lighter, or a Ferro rod, or a hand drill. Proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. (Editor’s note: Say that five times fast. Lol) The old military saying, so, everything that I want to make a sustainable fire needs to be ready to go before I start putting this into service.”

“So, we’ve got our tinder bundle ready, we’ve got kindling and a fire lay ready to go. I’m going to get myself in a comfortable, level position. Get myself in a nice comfortable tri-pod and I’m actually going to wet my hand slightly to give me traction on my spindle. Seat my spindle and then I’m gonna start warming the board. So, what I am doing, this technique is called floating. Floating is kind of a modern, aboriginal innovation as far as I can tell, but it is very useful. The reason being, I don’t have to migrate down the spindle and then quickly move back to the top. I can continue spinning just by adding a little rocking motion with my hand. I can keep my hand stationary and actually warm up the board and start creating.

You can see already I have a notch full of dust and it’s smoking pretty heavily from the periphery of the spindle. It’s not an ember yet. I am basically just building my heat and budgeting my energy.”



“At this point I’ve got a full notch and I’ve got some good heat so I am gonna go ahead and start adding some more speed and downward pressure. You can see I just have to move my hands back up to the top really quickly. And now, I have an ember and the reason I know that is because that smoke is coming from the pile of fuel I created. So at this point I am actually not in a hurry. A lot of people see that ember and get excited, they’re tired, out of breath, and their hands are probably shaking. “




“You have time with this. What I’m gonna do is gently pull the board away from the ember and let that ember collet into a nice solid material. Right now it is basically a pile of powder or piled dust.



If I gently fan it you can see it starts to glow. So I want to bring my nest to my ember. At this point it is held together well enough that you should be able to gently lift it up without it falling apart. Then I will gently tap it in to my tinder nest.”




“Here is where this little glowing ember becomes a flame. It’s got more fuel to grow into but it needs oxygen so I’m just going to gently start blowing on it. There we go.”




Making Teas:

Tyler: “To make tea one of the things we are gonna use is pine needles which has a lot of vitamin c in it. We have what’s called Brigham tea or Phedra tea, which is a stimulate and then some elder berry. This is a little prudent so they kind of balance themselves.”

Matt: “So there’s some wild tea brewed on a fire made with a hand drill.”


A-Frame Poncho Shelter:

Kirsten: “What we have here is an A-Frame poncho shelter. To start with you want to make a very taught ridge-line. I’ve connected it between two trees here. In general you want to start at at least a waist level in height. If it’s lower it will keep you warmer. If it is higher it will be a little more spacious but you’ll have more wind flow through it so it could be a little bit colder.”



“On each corner of this you want to pull out from the grommet to about a 45 degree angle, once again making sure your poncho is very taught so that you can have water slide off of this and wind not blow your shelter everywhere. So making sure things are very tight is important in any shelter but particularly in an A Frame.”



“I’ve gone ahead and tied off the hood. Tied it off so no water or precipitation can get in there, but also tied another piece of P-cord to the hood and extended it to the nice tree behind me, once again creating even more tension in this poncho.”

“With two ponchos like this you can fit about three people in there comfortably. The more you put in there the warmer it’s going to be from shared body heat, but two people, one person, this would be a good size for any of them.”

“So when you’re sleeping directly on the ground the biggest problem is the heat transfer from your body to the cold ground that wants to rob you of all your heat. The easy way to take care of that is to build up what we like to call a BOSS duff. This could be anything from dried grasses, leaves, pine needles like they have on the ground here. Bows of trees would do. What you want to do is create insulation to get yourself off the ground to slow down that transfer of heat and allow it to kind of sit around in those empty air spaces so the air pockets in the duff below you.”

“So now that I’m all set up, my shelter is taken care of, I’m gonna go walk the area and look for resources I can eat and use fore other crafts that I have in mind.”


“When we are in survival situations we don’t always have a book telling us all of the wild edibles of the area but those types of food may be really important in your diet if you’re only living off mice and a few greens.”

“So if you’re testing a new plant the first thing you want to do is take a tiny bit of it and rub it on the inside of your wrist and then you want to wait a number of hours to see if you have a reaction. If you don’t have a reaction, you believe it to be something edible you can take the tiniest of bites. Leave it on your tongue for a few seconds and then spit it out and then rinse with some water. See what happens after a few hours, if you have anything going on. If you don’t then maybe you want to take a tiny piece, chew on it, actually swallow it and take it down with some water. If you don’t have a reaction in a few hours go for a small, but larger gathering of that plant. Have that, and then wait a full day and see what your system actually does. Anything that gives you diarrhea, anything that gives you an itchy throat, anything that gives you a stomach ache maybe that food isn’t even poisonous but it is new to your body. If it is causing you harm then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. That is part of the progression.”


“Alright, so here we have a Ponderosa pine that has been struck by lightning actually. A couple things that are great. One, we have all these fantastic pine needles here on the ground. Nice, duff material right? So we would gather all these perhaps in a large cloth, take them to our camping sight and have bedding material. If we take a closer look at this pine, we actually find that there is a lot of pitch wood on here. Remember that pitch wood is great for flames and making fires and holding onto it. Then throughout all of this we are looking at sap basically. Sap has a lot of uses. I will take pitch and fill in different wounds that I have, cuts or things that are bothering me. Just to patch it and be done with it. Then these pine needles themselves, these larger pine needles are very high in Vitamin C so when you come across this tree with green needles on it you can take off the needles and make a tea. It taste good to. It’s a little bit sweet.”

“So this is a great plant. This is a big sage brush. Its foliage is a anti-microbial. So just by rubbing this in-between my hands it is sort of like hand sanitizer which is fantastic. If I take a bunch of it and have a pile of it we are looking at some fantastic toilet paper and when you look at the shape of this particular one and find a larger example you will find nice straight pieces that don’t have the curvature of the older sage. This is what I use for my bow drill fire kit. Pieces of sage brush. It also has some nice pealy bark on it which we know is great for nest materials. A lot of uses from a big sage brush.”


Knife Sharpening:

“Nice. So this is a good example of something that is getting close, but not quite what we are looking for for a sharpening stone. Sand stone out here works great to sharpen our Scandinavian bevel knife anyways. But you want a very flat surface and of course you need to get to the grit that is appropriate for your knife. These would rip them up and not quite a flat surface. “

Tyler: “Can we grind them out?”

Kirsten: “Yeah you can do some grinding for sure to flatten it a bit but it is nice just to get the perfect stone. Nice, flat and easy to carry. We have so much around so if you keep your eyes peeled you should be able to find something naturally.”

“So when we are looking for sharpening stones a nice place to start might be in the bit of a washer or drainage. Something like this where there has been more abrasion from water. Until you can find smoother pieces, flatter pieces or potentially something you can sharpen your knife with. Consequently out here we are able to find a lot of silk stuff which we use for our socket rocks very frequently. It’s grind-able but holds enough durability that your spindle isn’t actually going to burn into your hands and through the rock.”

“Another thing that is great about these larger slabs of sand stone is they will work very well for dead fall traps. This isn’t a good size or anything but you can see it is fairly flat in surface so we should be able to have a solid drop against another hard, durable surface and really compress and compact the animal for a death blow. Then there is also a little bit of texture to it so I might be able to get my bait sticking in a little bit of a nook without having to use a knife tip or something like that to actually create a little notch on the bottom of my trap. So, our sand stone slab works very well for dead fall traps.”


Cordage material:


Kirsten: “We have some examples of milk weed here. I use this plant for cordage material but what we need to find is dead, second year stalk. This is a small example, but this is a second year stalk from a milkweed plant. So what it can do is crush the plant all the way up to the tip. Open it up, take one half, and bend off all of this hard stuff we don’t want. What we are looking for is the fiber right here and you just peel it off. Once I’ve gotten all of my fiber clean I can twist it in a reverse rap cordage method and ultimately come out with some rope.”


Hand drill:

Matt: “So I mentioned that the hand drill and the technique for the hand drill is deceptively simple and it is. It is basically rubbing one stick against another. But when you get into trying to do this and learn this, especially the beginner. It is extremely difficult to get the technique down and the muscle memory and also just the hand toughness essentially. It is hard on your hands and also hard on your muscles. There are muscles you use doing this that probably never get used for anything else. So, you have to kind of develop those muscles over time and build up to it and not burn yourself out in the process.




This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND license.  You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice.drill 21 

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#AskPaulKirtley Episode 17: Tyvek, Wool Blankets, Bivvy Condensation, Ridge Lines and Wilderness Licences

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In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions on various considerations with respect to shelter and sleeping arrangements, bivvybag condensation, wool blankets (again), Tyvek as a material for beds and tents, setting up tarp ridge lines and the important question of whether or not there should be such a thing as a wilderness licence? What […]

This first appeared on Paul Kirtley’s Blog. If you like my content, CLICK HERE to get 20 free videos today.

Bug Out Bag Debate: Tarp or Tent for Emergency Shelter

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Bug Out Bag Tarp or Tent

Bug Out Bag Debate: Tarp or Tent for Emergency Shelter

A Bug-Out-Bag Is Designed For Emergencies, So Some Inconvenience Is To Be Expected

When on a family outing, you can carry a six or eight person cabin tent in the back of your vehicle. Weight is not a large factor when you can pack your supplies in the cargo space of an SUV or pickup.

When packing supplies on your back however, weight can be a deciding factor. What you think you can carry on your back, and what you can actually carry, are two different things. Twenty minutes hiking up and down the sidewalk with 30 to 50 pounds strapped on does not mean you can perform the same way physically while in a crisis when walking over rough and uneven terrain for hours at a time.


Most backpacking tents are designed for 1 to 2 people. A one person tent allows approximately 15 square feet of sleeping space. Keep in mind you will have gear as well, so it will be cramped. The weight can be anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds depending on the model and actual size.

Typically, the tents can be rolled tight and strapped to the outside of the pack, or even put inside if you prefer. The bulky nature is always a problem with tents especially after they have been removed from the retail packaging and set up. They rarely roll up as tight and as compact as they were before removing from the packaging.


  • Better protection from the elements, wind, rain and snow
  • Provides good protection from insects
  • Easy set up generally, because today’s tents have integrated support systems, so it is just a matter of telescoping the support poles in most cases
  • Tents usually do not require other materials for set up other than a tool to pound in stakes
  • Provides some ground protection against wet/dampness


  • Expense
  • Not as versatile as a tarp, practically speaking a tent has only one function
  • Weight
  • You could be trapped inside a tent if your camp was overrun
  • Reduced fields of vision while inside a tent


Tarps come in various sizes, weights, material, colors, and textures. Obviously, you want a tarp that is waterproof, tear resistant and has metal grommets for securing with cordage or stakes.

If you shop around you can find tarps that weigh less than a pound, are waterproof, and have a reflective coating on one side to help protect you from the sun and to help with heat retention in the cold.

If for survival uses you would want a tarp that could also be used for signaling so a brightly colored one would be ideal. On the other hand if you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to use evasion tactics then bright coloring is not ideal.

The weight would allow you to carry more than one tarp. Tarps can be secured together to make a larger shelter, or one can be secured separately over your gear to protect it as well. Tarps can also be used to retrieve larger game kills by fashioning a travois, or simply place the game on the tarp and pull it behind you. You can also use a tarp as an emergency stretcher to carry injured personnel.


  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Has more uses than a tent


  • Requires additional materials such as cordage and poles to make a shelter or to secure over gear
  • No ground protection
  • Less protection from the elements
  • Requires certain skill sets to make an adequate shelter

Ideally, you could carry both. If you are moving fast, and can only take a few hours for rest then a tarp would be ideal. You would have some protection from the elements, because you can literally roll up in one, or drape it over a limb or even a bush to gain some cover.

Tents are ideal however, if you plan to make camp for an extended period, but they may be harder to camouflage if you have to worry about others stumbling upon your camp.

A quality tent would be the best choice in many cases, because of the protection a tent offers from the weather and insects. Carry a good tent and one or two quality lightweight tarps, so as the situation on the ground changes you can adapt.

The post Bug Out Bag Debate: Tarp or Tent for Emergency Shelter appeared first on Preparing for shtf.