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Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team

6 Ways to Pitch a Tarp

By Hati Whiteley
01, Jun, 2018

Don't tie yourself in knots and or get tangled in your tarp on your next camp trip, just take a look at our 6 top tarp setups before you go!

© Alpkit

Summer is upon us! That means more daylight to enjoy, more agreeable to enjoy it in (well, in theory), and more nights out under the stars feeling like your part of nature… It’s time to dig out your tarps and revise some tarpology.

The benefits of tarps

When you know how, a tarp is one of the most versatile and handy bits of kit you can own. It’s lighter than a full tent, goes up faster when you’re caught in unexpected downpour, and lets you sleep out in the wilderness.

 

Adventure Pedlars Pete bivvying in the woods with his bike
Setting up a bike wheel tarp configuration
 
Two people are bivvying in a forest with a red rig tarp

 

You can craft your tarp into a shelter using any one of an inexhaustible list of configurations, depending on your campsite, the weather, and how ambitious you’re feeling.

When we say inexhaustible, we mean inexhaustible (one of the books on our HQ bookshelf is called ‘651 ways to rig a tarp’). There's such thing as too much choice though, so we've chosen a few of our favourites. Click the images for detailed instructions.

Plough Point shelter

Plough Point tarp shelter diagram

Why we like it

Bucket loads of headroom (especially with a CarbonLong trekking pole), really quick to set up, and minimal kit required! 

Continuous Ridge Line

Continuous Ridge Line

Why we like it

A classic: super simple if you have a tarp with riser attachment points, uses minimal hardware, and fits nicely over a hammock!

The Reflect Wedge

The Reflect Wedge

Why we like it

Ideal for bike packing: it’s quick and easy to setup, requiring little equipment, a small area, and no natural features.  It provides wind shelter from two directions and you can light your stove just outside.

Buried Sand Bags

Buried Sand Bags

Why we like it

Stay cool on the beach, peg-free!

Kayak Bivvy

Kayak Bivvy

Why we like it

Minimal extra equipment needed: uses the Rig tarp’s stuff sack.

Van Attachment

Van Attachment

Why we like it

Simple trick for extending your living area and creating a quick shelter, awning, or changing room.

Got a favourite tarp configuration that we’ve missed? Send us your photos!

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