Survival Skillset: How to Build an Emergency Tarp Shelter

Man in Tarp Shelter

In a survival scenario, your first and most important need is a place to shelter. A well-made shelter will keep you both warm and dry when it is built right. Since you need all the energy you can muster to survive, making an emergency tarp shelter is a much better alternative than finding materials and building your own. With that being said, this article will show you how to build an emergency tarp shelter of your own.

  1. Find a Good Anchor Point

    The first thing you must do when making a tarp shelter is to find an effective anchor point. Usually, two closely placed trees will make excellent anchor points but another area you may build a tarp shelter is in a large rock crevice. Consider choosing surroundings that will block out the wind and keep you warmer. Also, try to choose an area that is visible to rescue crews.

  2. Tie a Rope to Both Anchor Points

    After you have found two suitable points to have your tarp shelter between, now you must tie a rope to both areas. Secure the rope tightly so your tarp does not blow away in the wind or adverse weather. Another alternative to a rope is a very long and strong stick that can be wedged between the forks of two trees. When you don’t have a rope, you can also prop the tarp up by putting sturdy sticks into the ground and putting the end of them through the metal rings on the tarp. In this case, you should consider choosing a spot that has one to three sides completely wind-blocked so you have less to secure.

  3. Drape the Tarp over the Rope or Sticks

    Try to secure the tarp shelter over the rope so that it equally blocks the wind on both sides. Pull the ends so they reach the ground on both sides equally. If your tarp shelter is being propped up by sticks, you will have to secure the tarp to the sticks so that it is leaning downward at the entrance of your shelter to deflect rain.

  4. Stake the Tarp Down Tight

    Now it’s time to tie your tarp down tight to trap out the wind completely. When using a rope, simply place large sticks in the holes of the tarp nearest to the ground so that the bottom of the tarp is tightly touching the ground. Make sure that the sticks you are using have some type of knot or fork in them so they hold the tarp securely and don’t slip. Fill in any open areas with as many leaves or foliage as you can find to tightly insulate your shelter. Lean branches over your doorway that you can also have foliage placed over.



That’s all there is to it to make an effective tarp shelter. If you ever do need to use one in an emergency then we hope that this article will help you out and that a rescue team is sent to you quickly.


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.


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