Tarps - An Essential Piece of Camping Gear

In Japan, the Corona pandemic has made it difficult for many people to gather in places with large groups of people. As such, camping has been growing in popularity as a leisure activity that can be enjoyed by families, and an increasing number of people have started camping. Tents are important when camping, but another piece of equipment that's incredibly important is the tarp. In this article, we've chosen a video in which an advanced camper introduces how to set up a tarp.

Video Introduction

Image of a tarp
Photo:A tarp

This video, titled "The Definitive Guide to Setting Up a Tarp - All the Techniques and Tips for a Perfect Setup! After This, You've Got No Excuses!" (【決定版】完璧なタープを張るテクニックとコツを余すことなく大紹介!これで張れない訳がない!), was uploaded by "" (チキューギ.). It's a detailed guide on how to set up a tarp.

This channel has published various videos on tarp setup in addition to this video, but this video is a culmination of all them. The video shows how to set up a tarp without fail, even as a solo camper!

If you're planning on setting a tarp up for camping any other outdoor activities, be sure to check out this video before you do it!

General Information About Tarps

Image of a tarp
Photo:A tarp

A tarp is a large sheet of waterproof or water-resistant material without a floor that protects against the sun and rain when outdoors.

The material they're made of varies, but it's generally a heavy polycotton or a light polyester.

There are many different types of tarps:
・Hexagon tarps - Hexagonal tarps with two poles
・Square tarps and rectangular tarps for large groups or families
・Wing tarps - Which are almost square in shape
・One-touch tarps - Freestanding and easy to set up
・Screen tarps with mesh panels
and many more.

Tarp sizes range from approximately 2m to over 6m, with the type and size adjusted to the number of people and situations in which they will be used.

How to Set Up a Hexagon Tarp With 2 Poles

Image of a woman hammering stakes
Photo:A woman hammering stakes

The video explains how to set up a 2-pole hexagon tarp. However, the method can also be used for a basic 2-pole tarp, rectangle tarps, or even square tarps, so be sure to check it out.

First, fold the tarp in half, place it down with the sun facing you, and drive a marker stake into the ground where the tarp's eyelet is.
Place the poles in a straight line from the folded line of the fabric and place a marker stake at the end of the pole.
[Video] 1:43 - Laying the tarp down
[Video] 3:03 - Positioning the poles
[Video] 3:32 - Marker stake

Next, lay the pole down so that it is perpendicular to the marker stake you just put down. Drive another stake into the ground 2/3 of the way up the pole, at an angle such that they create a 30-degree angle between the ground and the stake, and a 90-degree angle between the stake and the guy lines. By doing this, not only is the angle determined, but also the distance the poles are from the stakes, making the tarp more wind resistant.

Thread the top of the pole through the eyelet of the tarp, followed by your guy lines. Connect the guy lines to the stakes while leaving some slack, then set the poles up and tighten the guy lines. After that, tie the sub ropes in the four remaining eyelets, making sure they're tight.

The video also shows how to tie sub ropes, including how to tie the Eskimo Bowline, the Bowline, the Slip Knot, and the Cow Hitch using sub ropes at four different locations.
[Video] 15:37 - Tying knots for your sub-ropes

Tips for Avoiding a Saggy Tarp

Here's a tip for when your tarp is a bit loose after setting it up.
Move the base of the poles towards the center of the tarp slightly. This creates more tension on the guy lines.

Pulling the guy lines tight will remove wrinkles and creating a nice, clean-looking shelter.
[Video] 22:15 - Tips for more tension

Choosing the Right Camping Gear

Image of steel stakes for securing a tent when camping
Photo:Steel stakes for securing a tent when camping

Polyester can be used without the methods shown here, but polycotton and cotton tarps are heavy and can be easily affected by wind and other factors if the angle and position of the tarp isn't correct. Also, because tarps can be heavy, it's important to choose the one that's right for you when purchasing any equipment. Having said that, ropes should be 5mm or longer, and sturdy stakes, preferably 3cm or thicker, are also recommended.

Safe in the Rain and Wind! Summary of How to Set Up a Tarp

The video explains how to put up a tarp in an easy-to-understand manner with a variety of tips and tricks.
It's a great video that can help even beginners put up a tarp beautifully and without failure. If you can put up a tarp properly, you can enjoy peace of mind even when it rains or there are strong winds.
If you're a beginner who is just learning to put up a tarp, or you've managed to do it before but aren't quite confident in your skills, be sure to check out this video, as it's packed with tips from an advanced camper.

Written By
Jun. 18, 2022
Japan
ひろ(HIRO)
I'm a writer who likes to eat good food wherever I go
How to Set Up a Tarp - A Definitive Guide for Solo Campers! Works for Square, Rectangle, and Hexagon Tarps Too!
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