Tarp Shelter Trick

If you have ever camped using a tarp in the wind, then you know the stress wind can place on a tarp and it’s tie out points.

I generally always use shock cord to attach stakes to me tarps. This allows some free movement of the tarp when the wind picks up a bit but I have a trick I’ve been using for years that helps on those strong windy days when it feels like your tarps going to rip and blow away.

Something simple, that I’ve done for along time, is to take some thumb thick sticks and make a toggle for each corner and then to use a stick long enough to reach all of the stake out points along the edge being staked down. Make sure to clean off any sharp points or edges on the sticks so that they don’t cause any cuts or holes in the tarp

I run the loop that’s on the stake up through the grommet or pullout and then run the toggle through the loop. This allows for a lot of the stress to be transferred over a bigger area. This is huge if you’re dealing with grommets as these are always the weakest points.

Adding the toggles allows for a stronger connection to the ground well also putting less stress on the tarp. It also allows a little free movement for the tarp which you want on those high windy days.

One last added benefit is that the toggles make it easier to pull the stakes out of the ground when it’s time to pack up camp.

I hope this little trick helps someone next time they’re setting up a tarp on a windy day. What tarp tips or tricks do you have? Do you camp using a tarp? What type of tarp do you prefer?

Quick Tip #22

Planning for a backpacking or camping trip? If so, I recommend using lighterpack.com You can sign up for a free account and use their free forms to keep track of what gear you’re taking, carrying and wearing. It’s a great way to track your pack weight and to see if there’s anything you need to change, add or do without. All the forms you create are saved to your account and you can share them as well. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Quick Tip #21

So, you made it to where you want to camp for the night, and you’re all setup, then you realize it’s going to be dark soon and you start scrambling around to gather natural tinder and wood to get a fire going. Does this sound like your normal routine? It used to be mine years ago until I started carrying a tinder pouch on my belt. Now as I hike along, I gather natural tinder, birch bark, small twigs and anything else I might be able to use to make a “birds nest” and get a fire going. I also grab a few pieces of wood (sticks) that are slightly thicker than my thumb and break them short enough to fit in the pouch. I use these for making feather sticks.

Carrying a tinder pouch and filling it as you hike makes for a less stressful time later trying to get a fire going and it means you’ll most likely have better quality material to work with. Some advantages to carrying a tinder pouch are that everything you put in the pouch gets mixed together and ground together as you hike and if anything is damp it will help dry it out by the time you get to camp. Also, if it starts raining along the way or by the time you get to camp or before you get a fire going, you’ll have a bag full of quality dry tinder to work with instead of trying to scrounge around in the rain.

I highly recommend training yourself to grab natural tinder as you hike, whether you put it in your pocket, pack or designated tinder pouch, you’ll thank me later when you have a much easier and relaxed time starting a nice warm cozy fire. Do you already carry a designated tinder pouch? If so, what natural things do you grab to fill your pouch? Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment with your answers to the previous questions.

Quick Tip #19

This is the time of year to check your local hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowes and Tractor Supply. With heating season in full swing you can find all kinds of pre-made fire starters at many stores at a fairly cheap price. Grab a mixed assortment and give them a try. You may very well find your new favorite fire starter.

fat wood

Every year I grab a few of these bags of Fatwood. They are great and easy to use all year long.

 

Firestarter

I found these little gems at Tractor Supply. They are made of Fatwood and wax. What more could you ask for? What are some of your favorite fire starters?