How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy Tarps are one of the most useful and versatile items to have on your next camping trip. They are economical, easy to pack and have a range of various uses.

For example, tarps can be used to make your tent a drier and more comfortable place to stay by hanging directly over your tent.

How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy? The simplest canvas shelter, called an A-frame shelter, is created by creating a taut line between the objects above your tent. Guideline tension, tarp height, and properly placed drip lines are essential to a successful tarp shelter.

How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

Using a tarp over a tent with no trees in severe weather is a wonderful way to buy yourself and your camping buddies some relief from the elements. Tarps, tarp over tent ideas can be hung over your tent in a number of ways, depending on your needs, skills, and available resources. There’s no real reason why you should not consider buying a tarp and learning all the ways you’ll use it to your advantage.

How do you hang a tarp over a tent?

A-frame shelter building: Lay the tarp on top and spread it out as much as you can. Attach the 4 corners of the tarp through the holes provided with the tie lines. Make sure you create this tight enough in order that the rain can flow off from the tent effectively.

Choose a tent | If you are short on time

The type of tent you would need for long-term camping would depend on the kind of weather you have and the kind of abuse you can expect there.

From this information, you can begin to explore your tent living full-time options, listing them based on their materials and how solidly built they are as follows.

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Why do you need a tarp? | How to set up a tarp canopy

The great philosopher Swanson, when asked about the sheets of tarp given to a group of Boy Scouts, once said, that’s a tarp. The most versatile object known to man.

It can be used to make tents, backpacks, shoes, stretchers, candles, tarps, and I suppose that in the most extreme circumstances. It can be a surface on which to make ‘art.’ If we are getting to learn something from this great man, we must learn to use them effectively; Tarps are a tremendous tool and like all good tools.

If you, God forbid, forget about the tent, then you have an additional option for an impressive makeshift shelter that protects you from rain and wind.

It would be best if you had a dry place to sleep, eat, cook, and build a fire.

You can place your tent on a tarp as an extra layer of protection between you and the ground. It will make it even easier to pack your tent nice and dry. Packing a dirty, wet tent into an already smelly and damp car is easily my least favorite part of camping.

I already mentioned that you need a tarp to sleep on, but I can’t stress enough the importance of this. Sleeping in a dry, warm, and well-ventilated tent will make a difference.

Shelter terminology | How to make a tarp canopy

This quick list of words related to shelter construction will be helpful. When you do more research on how to improve your shelter.

Ridgeline: This is the line that is created by placing the stake on your tent poles, and it is where you will place your tent.

Widowers: dead trees that have not yet fully fallen. Avoid building your shelter underneath these.

A-Frame: This is one of the most popular forms of canvas shelter. It is created by placing the canvas on the ridgeline and then laying the canvas on each side to create an A-looking frame.

How to Put a Tarp over a Tent

Apex: The very best part of the shelter you’re building.

Windbreaker: Another way to guard yourself against the wind is to make a windbreaker. It is simply any structure that is configured to block incoming wind from a specific direction.

Guy-line: a cable used to secure a tarp to the ground.

Taut (tense): To tighten, stretch.

How to Make a Simple A-Frame Canvas Shelter | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

Before you start

Make sure you pick a spot that has some good trees that are far enough away from each other that you can create your ridgeline on them. Check above to make sure there are no windows on top of you, and all the dead branches have fallen.

Choose a flat location that has a slight slope so that water that collects on the ground will flow away from your site. Remove any remaining debris so you can set up your tent comfortably.

A-frame shelter building How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

Wrap your string around a tree, pole, tarp poles, or any other nearby structure that is firmly staked. Find another structure nearby to tie the other end to create your ridgeline. Try to tie the cord higher than you think it should be; you can adjust this as needed later. 

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Lay the tarp on top and spread it out as far as you can. Place the four corners of the tarp through the holes provided with the tie lines. Make sure you make this tight enough so that the rain can flow away from the tent effectively.

Important note

Be sure to think about tarp setup for rain how the rain will fall from the tarp you just built. Keep your lines tight. Consider pouring some water from a bucket onto the tarp beforehand to test the durability of the tarp line.

After setting | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

Create a “drip line” on your ridgeline. It is simply a piece of rope on the outside of the tarp at the ridgeline that diverts the water that collects on the ridgeline from the lowest part of the ridgeline, which is, of course, where the canvas weighs on the cord.

Tie this drip line on either side of the ridgeline a few inches from the tarp. The only knot to use here may be a Prusik knot.

Knot terminology | How to set up a tarp under the tent

For your own benefit, I have also included several terms on how to tie knots that will come in handy as you continue to learn about the following knots listed, as well as other knots that you decide to learn in the future. Plus, it’s always nice to sound like you know what you’re doing.

Working end: This is the part of a rope that is used to tie a knot, such as the part of the laces that you hold with your thumbs when you tie your shoes.

Foot end: Part of the rope that is not used to tie a knot.

Tail: This is basically the part of the rope that is not the working end. It is usually the part that is connected to something else, like the ground or a tent.

Loop: Exactly how it sounds. It is created when you cross a rope around itself or cross two ropes over each other, as in a leaf-fold knot or a taut-line hitch.

Bight: This is like a loop, but it is created when the string is bent on its own and not next to each other. It may be important once you start to tie your own knots. The water isn’t coming from the conventional direction.

Hitch: As a knot is used to attach two ropes or a rope to itself, a hitch is used to attach a rope to a different object such as a tree, truck, pole, etc.

Elbow: Formed by doing an extra twist in a loop.

Knots to know | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

Bowline knot 

This knot can be found in all cultures of the world that have a history of relying on the sea for food and transportation. This knot is used to secure a rope to some type of cylinders, such as a tree or tent poles.

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You can use this knot to secure a bear bag to a tree, hang a hammock, and to create a ridge for your canvas shelter.

Make a “Q” shape with the string, crossing one end of the string over the top of the other part of the string. Pass the working end of the rope through the loop you just created from behind along the remaining rope. It should create a new, bigger loop next to your “Q.”

You will then wrap the short part of the end string around the back of the excess string and then do this again, this time going through the small loop of the “Q” from the front. Pull the knot closed, and the largest loop created will wrap around the cylinder to which you want to secure the rope.

Half hitch | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

It is a very easy knot to learn and is found in many other knots, so learning it is very useful for readers who want to learn more knots. Usually, this is not extremely safe, so consider folding it to feel more stable when using it for your rain or tarp fly. 

It is a very simple and quick knot to learn to tie, so be sure to practice this one. Make a loop around the object you are tying the string to. Pass the working end of the rope around the end of the rope and through the loop you created.

Prusik knot | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

This knot can be used to create the drip line. Take a small piece of string (it can be a foot long or so). Fold the rope in half. Place the end of the loop directly above the line. 

Place the working ends (as they are bent) through the loop around the line. Tighten the knot with the working ends towards the ground so that the water drips there.

Emergency protection for your Tent | How to make a rain shelter with a tarp canopy

Sometimes the weather can be really bad, with horizontal rain hitting your tent. When the rain is coming from the side, or even below if you are on a hill (yes, it can happen!).

Then your tent may let some water in as the water is not coming from the normal direction. Having a tarp on your gear can save the day by providing additional cover for weak spots like doors.

Conclusion | How to Put a Tarp over a Tent Canopy

You really can’t go wrong if you bring a nice tarp on your next camping trip. It can be used as a complement to the shelter you already have and also as a shelter itself. They’re relatively easy to find in the store, they’re inexpensive, and can be stored in your car or backpack without worrying about extra weight or space used. 

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