Boy Scout Troop 303

Established August, 2003
Grayslake, IL
Chartered by Lord of Glory Church

Tarp Tenting


If you are interested in trying tarp tenting, here are some suggestions.

Important Points to Remember

  • Tarp tents are only limited by your imagination
  • Tarp tents can be inexpensive using low cost items from hardware stores
  • Tarp tents can be one person or two or more person. We suggest two person shelters working with another Scout for first experiences
  • Tarp tent parts can be split easily between more than one Scout for carrying in a backpack
  • You will generally want to use a tarp that is 10x12, 12x12 or a little larger to provide enough space underneath for 2 Scouts and gear
  • You can add new grommets inexpensively to tarps for your purposes. Mr. Rossbach has grommets and can help you add one or two if needed
  • Always try your tarp tent at home first!
    • You want to make sure the tarp tent will be sturdy
    • You want to make sure you know how to set it up
    • You want to make sure you have all the materials you will need: tarp(s), poles, stakes, line/cord, etc.
  • Tarps are available in many types and costs
    • Inexpensive utility tarps from Home Depot, Menards, etc. These tend to be heavier but you also know that if damaged you will not be out much money
    • Mid-range cost with mid-range weights - not recommended for starters. These may be a little lighter than utility tarps but at usually a considerable additional expense
    • Expensive, light weight tarps. We don't recommend these until you are a serious, older camper who wants to tarp tent often
  • Don't forget a second tarp for a ground cloth/floor

Trek Poles with Camera Mount Screws (Similar to Mr. Rossbach's)

Example Tarp Tents

  • Some good pros and cons of tarp tents. However, Scouts do not cook under a tarp!

  • This one is similar to Mr. Rossbach's demo.

  • This example shows a great example how to add a tie point using a marble and line.

  • Here is a good example of using PVC to make supports. You may need to add some guy lines for support however.
  • Great ideas, but the tarp used is a little small for most of our purposes. You could consider one man shelters placed close together.

  • This one shows another lean-to type tent.


Page Last updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2016