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Outdoor Programs in Desert Survival and Bushcraft

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rigging Tarps and Ponchos for Survival Shelters



Whether it's for camping or survival, a lightweight tarp can be a trusty friend. I use one regularly for sleeping out, coping with a brief storm on a dayhike, or when I'm shade-hungry in the desert. In addition to a Heatsheet in my shirt pocket, I always carry a small 6'x8' blue tarp in my pack for short trips or a 10'x10' Campmor nylon tarp for multi-day trips. These can be erected in mere minutes compared with the time (and calories) it takes to construct a shelter from branches and pine-needles. A blue or red tarp can also serve as a ground-to-air signal panel for searchers.

When I'm staying in a wilderness basecamp near my truck or weight isn't an issue, I prefer a more rugged 14'x14' canvas tarp from Panther Primitives which I arrange in a diamond configuration  (photo above). This provides ample space for sleeping, storing gear, and room for my dogs. There's nothing better than waking up to the first rays of the morning sun from the spacious interior of a tarp. If mosquitoes are severe, I'll defer to a tent but, thankfully, that rarely happens in the mountains and desert regions where I live. See the pics below for more info on rigging methods.


About Ancient Pathways

Tony Nester is the author of numerous books and DVDs on survival. His school Ancient Pathways is the primary provider of survival training for the Military Special Operations community and he has served as a consultant for the NTSB, Travel Channel, Backpacker Magazine, and the film Into the Wild. When not on the trail, he lives in a passive-solar, strawbale home in northern Arizona. For information on Tony’s books, gear, or bushcraft courses, visit www.apathways.com.
 

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