9 ways to use a tarp to survive

Survival tarps
How to use a tarp and how to pick the best survival tarp

Tarp Diem! A tarp is a good thing to have if you're a prepper or a
survivalist, but you'll want to stay away from the neon blue ones
because they will attract too much attention. How might you use
a tarp for your survival? What are some alternatives to blue
tarps? Here's a list to get your creativity going...

Top Uses for Tarps

Prepper tarp use #1. Pitching a survival tent.
With a tarp you can pitch a survival shelter. Aclassic scouting
activity is to pitch a tent (an A-frame shelter) using nothing
more than a tarp, a tree, cordage and skills in lashing it

Be sure to make your shelter breathable! The purpose of the
tarp is to keep away the baking sun and shelter you from the
pouring rain or snow. It's not to be air tight (or you won't be
able to breathe). Another method is the tarp combined with a
pole popular in bushcraft.

Think of this as well:
  • If you're out in the wilderness: you might not want to pitch
    ground shelter at all. Your best shelter may be up a tree
    and away from floodwaters, snakes, bugs and dangerous
  • Tarps are also invaluable for ground covering and overhang
    of a prefabricated tent.
  • Consider also, Tarp tape for repairs (pictured right).
  • Use tarps to protect your firewood to keep it dry.
  • Here are five other emergency tarp shelters:
  1. Tarp Tepee
  2. Reflected Campfire Tarp Tent
  3. Lean To Tarp Tent
  4. Whelen Lean To
  5. Forester Tent

Prepper tarp use #2: Shading crops.
There may be a time when you'll want to protect your harvest
from overheating or damage from the sun. Pitching a covering for
this use may ensure you have the food you need to make it to
through the next Spring. Likewise to cover hay bales to protect
them from the elements for your livestock.

Prepper tarp use #3: Gathering water.
Remember this when the dark clouds gather and you're out of
water: you can make your own mini reservoir using your tarp!

  • Plastic tarp water pit (rain trap): Dig a large circular pit,
    line it with a tarp (weighted by large stones). Rainwater is
    clean and safe to drink, but it will go stagnant in just a few

  • Cloth water pit. Another way to make a rain catching
    device is to wrap a long cloth around the trunk of a tree, so
    the rain soaks the cloth and runs down the to drip into a

Prepper tarp use #4: Covering during building repair.
Without supplies and specialists to come fix a roof or window, a
prepper will need to become resourceful.
  • cover a leaky roof
  • patch a broken window

Prepper tarp use #5: Flotation Device.
how to use a tarp as a flotation device

Prepper tarp use #6: Camouflage a car.
As a survivor, you'll want to hide your stuff or at least protect it
from the elements so that it will last longer. Better stay away
from bright blue tarps, which are highly visible. Here are some
good alternatives to blue tarps:

  • Camoflauge tarp, top center of the page, provides the
    perfect cover. The Grommets are invaluable! Camouglage
    duct tape may also help seal tarps together if need be.

  • Top left, the camoflauge netting tarp is a clever disguise for
    an entire vehicle! Start with the netting tarp as a base,
    then add branches and foliage to help you hideout

Prepper tarp use #7: Ideal for car survival.
Pack a tarp in the car as you'll find several ways to improvise:
  • Tow a car out of the mud.
  • Wrap a cargo bag on the roof of your car.
  • Wrap a hypothermia victim to keep in body heat.
  • Make an emergency rain poncho.

Prepper tarp use #8: Improvise a hammock.
A tarp with grommets, pictured right is ideal for making a
  • Craft a hammock

Prepper tarp use #9: Hauling stuff.
A tarp is useful for collecting food you forage or from a hunt.
Indeed it is also useful to help you haul the deceased.

Alternatives to Blue Tarps
On this page, you'll find a nice selection of alternatives to blue
tarps, which would attract too much attention when SHTF. Go
beyond the ordinary blue tarps with alternatives including
sliver/brown, green/brown or a white tarp for snow!

Happy endings...
A tarp alone won't keep you completely dry. On the bright side,
having a tarp is better than not having one in an emergency
provided you know how to use it properly. If you use a tarp to
build a lean-to structure, make sure you build a layer of
insulation as suggested below by

More prepping articles...

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