Tarp Tents

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Tarp Tents We are always looking for new and exciting shelter options. There are a lot of options when it comes to using tarps as shelters. When I happened upon this article I didn’t think I would find out so much about the opportunity of tarps. There are some serious methods for creating legitimate shelter …

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Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bag

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Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bag If you enjoy camping but hate sleeping on the ground, the Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bag might be just the thing you need to make that outdoor adventure enjoyable. Sleeping out in the Great Outdoors can be fun, but even a comfy sleeping bag doesn’t fully disguise the fact that you’re sleeping on the ground, not …

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25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping

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long term camping

If you’ve ever gone long term camping, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement, and then will have plenty more observations to add to this list. The more camping and outdoor skills you have, the better. Just a few days ago, I was contacted by a man who is now homeless and plans on living in his car as well as a tent, when the weather is conducive.

  1. Snails can CEMENT themselves to nearly anything, and often they will do it in the least expected places.
  2. You MUST make peace with the giant spiders. They eat mosquitoes.
  3. Raccoons have no respect for personal property. They can taste pretty good, though!
  4. If you fall asleep in in the open, don’t be surprised if you wake up with wildlife curled up with you or on you. Of course the wildlife could range from a squirrel to an ant swarm.
  5. Nothing shiny is ever safe in the open from raccoons.
  6. Armadillos like to lick plastic and exposed toes.
  7. Make peace with skunks or your life will stink (literally).
  8. Always look where you’re taking a squat (answering nature’s call) at least three times before going. You’re pretty vulnerable in that position, so you want to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.
  9. Make sure you know what bull thistle looks like. Sharp thorns but, surprisingly, quite edible.
  10. Don’t allow people to throw cigarettes in the latrines, if that’s what you’re using.
  11. Cedar smoke may be hard to live with, but mosquitoes are much harder to deal with. Burning cedar bark is a natural insect repellent.
  12. Don’t camp by still waters. If you do, you’ll only do it once. (See #11 above.)
  13. Clear well the area where you put your tent. Rocks, briars, and twigs don’t disappear just because you put a tarp over them. If your camping is truly long term, weeks or longer, every bit of gear you have needs to be treated with care. You may not have the money or opportunity to get it replaced.
  14. Racoons will chew through things they cannot open easily. It’s easier to appease the raccoon than to keep buying new things.
  15. Given time, mice and rats can chew through things you might think were rodent proof. Be on the lookout for telltale signs of their chewing.
  16. Shake your clothes and shoes well before putting them on.
  17. Wet tobacco makes fire ant stings stop hurting.
  18. You may not react to the first, second or 100th fire ant bite, but someday you will and get huge welts from them. Chigger bites are almost as bad.
  19. Don’t camp anywhere near fire ants and know what their mounds look like. You’d be surprised by how many problems can be avoided just be carefully selecting your campsite.
  20. No matter how awesome that spot in a valley looks, and no matter how much your significant other likes it, don’t camp there. Water ALWAYS goes to the valley.
  21. Do not attempt to burn American literature books. It won’t work. However, over time you’ll develop survival hacks that DO work, or you can just buy a book like this one from expert Creek Stewart.
  22. Raccoons can chew through sterilite containers. (Yes, raccoons again.)
  23. You cannot protect your valuables from raccoons unless you half bury a box in the ground and set a small boulder over it.
  24. Dont piss off blue jays. They remember and have no inhibitions in attacking you.
  25. ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS check your shoes before putting them on.

What do you have to add?

The post 25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

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.

15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think

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15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom

We don’t believe in waiting until our kids are “old enough” to camp.

My first child was 6 months old when we set up the tent in the back yard and spent the night. My second child was 10 months old when we managed to pick the hottest weekend of the entire year to go to a campground. And my youngest was a co-sleeping, nursing infant when we packed her off to the campground with her siblings.

Camping with kids is not easy. But it’s also fun and probably not as hard as most people think. Camping is a sure-fire way to find quality family time. It’s a chance to really put your skills to the test, like fire starting and plant identification, and teach those skills to your kids. And it can be a chance for character-building, too, as you solve problems together, engage in campsite diplomacy, and make do with what you have with you.

Anyway, I’ve learned a few things over the last decade of tent camping with children. Maybe my trial and error method can give you a head start with your learning curve.

      • Use disposable everything!  Even if you use cloth diapers, washcloths, and real plates at home, camping with kids is the time to go disposable. Pack paper towels, disposable diapers, plastic grocery sacks (for trash or wet clothes), and paper plates with plastic utensils. You’ll have enough to do without washing extra camp dishes or trying to haul home extra laundry.
      • Pack extra clothes. Pack even more clothes per child than you think you’ll need. If you do this camping thing right, they’ll need them!
      • Keep a change of shoes and clothes in the car. Reserve at least an extra pair of shoes and a full change of clothes for each member of the family in your vehicle. More than once, we’ve had the unexpected rain storm, or discovered a new leak in our tent. If nothing else happens, at least you’ll have clean clothes for the ride home. And you avoid a major car cleaning chore after your adventure, too!
      • Familiarize your children with your tent ahead of time. Each year before the first camping trip, we set up the tents in the front yard to play in them, or even have at least one nap time in the tents. If you’re planning to use a Pack N Play for an infant or toddler, make sure they’re used to sleeping in it, too.
      • Do a backyard trial run. If it’s the first time camping for your family, or for the newest famiy members, consider “camping” in your own backyard for a night or two before hitting the actual campground. This will give you an even better idea of what to pack and plan for.
      • Plan familiar foods. Camping with kids is probably not the time to try that fancy 17-ingredient recipe. Stick with hot dogs and hamburgers or something equally easy. If you’d like to expand your camping menu, try to add just 1 new recipe each trip.
      • Go with a group. If you can, coordinate your camping experience with another family, or several! We’ve found that having lots of adults around makes it very easy to keep track of all the kids, share meal responsibility, and even give each mom and dad a bit of time together.  For example, each family could take a meal to cook and host for the entire group. Camping with a group also helps to keep the kids occupied—they have friends to go bike riding or exploring together.
      • Pack a battery-powered fan. If you choose to ignore all the rest of the list, at least pack a fan! Not only will it help keep the hot summer air moving, it can also help mask some unfamiliar night noises. A better nights’ sleep will make all your day time experiences much more pleasant.
      • Give them a gift– to use while camping. Depending on your child’s maturity level, consider giving them a tool to use while camping. Even a younger child could probably handle a very small pocket knife. Older children could learn to use fire-starters, tent peg mallets, or even hatchets. And if they own it, they’re much more excited about using it to help out.
      • Establish clear rules around the fire. This is the one area where we are very strict. No running around the fire. No lighting sticks on fire and waving them. And have a containment plan for any mobile infants or toddlers. To date, we’ve never had any serious fire-related injuries, and we plan to keep it that way.
      • Have a wide-ranging first aid kit. We use a plastic tackle box as our camp first aid kit. If you un-package items, you can easily fit everything you need for burns, bug bites, scrapes, upset tummies, and allergies. Placing items in zip top baggies will keep them organized and water proof.
      • Don’t do everything. Don’t send the kids off to play while you set up the tent and start the dinner fire. Give everyone a task, such as holding tent poles, or collecting a certain size stick. They won’t learn unless they’re involved, and in the long run, your job gets easier. Just imagine 5 years from now, sitting in your camp chair while the kids set up and get dinner on the fire.  
      • Let the kids get dirty and give them the freedom to explore.  Camping puts you directly in contact with nature, and nature is messy. If the kids are sweaty and muddy at the end of the day, you’ve probably done things right.
      • Teach respect for others campers. Camping etiquette means going around, not through, someone else’s campsite. It also means being aware when riding bikes or playing catch in the road and observing quiet hours at night. And when you’re by the water, be aware of people fishing.
      • Don’t be afraid to pack up early. Last summer, there was a severe line of thunderstorms moving in on our last night. It was just me and 3 kids, so I made the decision to pack it up early and head home. Good thing, because we had severe weather all night long—one of the worst storm systems of the season. You don’t have to prove anything—there’s always next time.

Camping teaches kids survival skills in a fun way. It builds their confidence as they realize how much they know and can do. It gets them away from screens and in touch with nature. And it creates family bonds and life-long memories.

Camping in general gets easier with experience. People give all sorts of excuses why they can’t take kids camping.   “Oh, I’d love to take my kids camping, but not while they’re in diapers!”  But if not now, when? What if you find yourself “camping” someday after an unexpected event? You’ll be glad you practiced now!  Besides, it’s rewarding to hear your kids telling their friends, “We had the BEST time ever camping!”

15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom


Tentsiles: The Beauty of the Floating Treehouse

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Tentsile Tree Tents“We put them up in London,” architect Alex Shirley-Smith claimed as he tightened the ropes around a sturdy tree. He spoke with a reporter about his latest invention, Tentsiles, which is basically a portable tree house that can be assembled in any environment, whether it be city or country.

Inspired by the natural structure of spider webs, Tentsiles is a brilliant invention that relies on the physical element of tension, or tensile design. The goal, as Smith says, is to use as few materials as possible, making for a simple design as well as an eco-friendly experience for campers.

The tent also has a slue of other benefits that normal ground tents don’t have, including the comfort of a hammock as opposed to backbreaking sleep one gets from sleeping in the dirt. Tentsiles also lessen the chance of suffering from any nasty bug bites or animal intrusions by keeping its residents floating comfortably and safely in the air.


The triangularly shaped tents are so easy to set-up, they only take ten minutes, which is perfect for those looking to travel far and light.

“It’s soft on all sides and it’s warm,” one of the reporters said as he hopped inside, lounging with two other adults. “You get sort of that peacefulness,” he added. At one point, one of the individuals in the tent stated that the tent felt like a hammock, but without the unstoppable swaying.

“It took several prototypes to get to this shape,” Alex said at the end of the interview, the reporter stating that the invention recently brought on the idea of small villages that can be made up of sky tents, one stacked above the other. Like the invention of Tentsiles, this thought is idyllic and dreamy, one that fits as perfect as your body does with the tent’s design.

Watch This Video of Tentsile Tree Tents By Kirsten Dirksen

(Click Here if video doesn’t display)This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

The post Tentsiles: The Beauty of the Floating Treehouse appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Camping Basics Part 1 Episode 95

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Mike In a Hammock as a bed camping basics

Mike In a Hammock



Camping Basics Part 1

Camping Basics

This is a solo week after the two week break. James got hit with a sore throat and couldn’t talk and Mike went to Disney Land. I am back with a show on camping. I cover a few of the basics of camping in this part 1.

The focus of part one is on shelters and fire. I cover a few of the types of shelter and their strengths and weaknesses. Ending on why everyone should just own a hammock.

In the fire section I talk about how to make a fire. What tools to use, favorite tinder. I talk about two methods of building a fire. My prefered way is to build a fire teepee. For me it just works the best.



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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.

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