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How to Hang a Tarp for Shade

by Ann Wolters

A tarp has numerous uses and can be hung for protection from the sun when camping or hiking. With tarp shelters, often it is all about using what you have on hand and applying your ingenuity to create a structure that suits your need. A simple tarp shade made by tying or propping up the four corners may work in a pinch, but the shade created moves as quickly as the sun. If, on the other hand, you create a makeshift structure with some sides, you’ll have more consistent shading. A diamond fly tarp shelter provides shade as well as a measure of protection from the wind.

  1. Fold the tarp diagonally. Secure one of the corners at the fold by striking a tent stake through the grommet and onto the ground. Position this corner on the windward side if there is wind of any significance.

  2. Tie the rope to the opposite diagonal corner of the tarp. Thread the other end of the rope through the skyhook. Hook the skyhook to a tree branch, a chain link fence or some other secure anchor point so the tarp fold is positioned at less than a 45-degree angle. The smaller the angle, the lower your tarp roof will be.

  3. Pull the rope taut so no slack remains between the tarp corner staked to the ground and the corner attached to the tree or fence. Tie the rope end securely.

  4. Spread out the two remaining corners to create an A-shaped opening. Pull them taut and secure them to the ground with a tent stake through each corner grommet. Now get inside and enjoy the shade.

Items you will need

  • Tree, chain link fence or other anchor
  • 12-foot by 12-foot tarp
  • Skyhook
  • 10-foot or longer rope
  • 3 tent stakes
  • Tent stake mallet

Tip

  • To prevent raveling of a nylon or poly rope, melt the end slightly and then, while wearing gloves, roll the partially melted fibers to create a pointed end that is easy to lace through a grommet.

About the Author

Ann Wolters has been a writer, consultant and writing coach since 2008. Her work has appeared in "The Saint Paul Almanac" and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a Master of Arts in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

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