American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hybrid Lean-To/A-frame

This is a tarp shelter I've been playing around with for a couple of years and really find it to be a fantastic choice when in the woods as it provides a great deal of shelter and security while providing a 270-degree view.

I'm using a blue poly tarp that is approximately 8.5 feet by 11.5 feet and I turn the bottom third of the tarp into my groundsheet, stake out those four corners, bring the middle section back up as a lean-to, tie off the grommets to a couple of trees using slippery tautline hitches, and then bring the top corners forward and down and stake them down with a simple clove hitch around a tent peg.

I've got my bedroll inside along with my newest wool blanket and find it to be incredibly comfortable, plenty warm, and nice and dry. Plus, in a bad storm I could stake the flap down lower and closer to provide more protection from blowing rain or snow from the front. I could, of course, also stake it out to a couple of hiking poles, sticks, or trees and have a nice awning.

I can cook under this configuration using a stove, I might be able to have a very small fire, and I can stow my gear where it'll stay nice and dry.

I could also tie a ridgeline inside the peak for hanging gear if I felt the need but I just throw my headlamp, water bottle, etc. in the little corner behind my bedroll and it's ready to grab should I need it during the night.

One trick I learned yesterday involves pitching this configuration with a structural ridgeline. You can attach the grommets to the ridgeline using zipties and then you give the shelter its shape when you stake out the tent pegs. This allows you to keep the ridgeline attached to the tarp for quick pitching the next time you're out. I'm not sure this shelter would really benefit from a structural ridgeline but still want to pass this information along.

Thanks for reading,



At 11:54 AM, Anonymous George said...

That is pretty much my standard way to pitch a tarp for my wife and I- except I like side poles because the tarp stays tighter over an extended period.

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Mungo said...

I think we're both thinking about the same thing this time of year!

I've just posted about tarps too - your post is very interesting, thanks for sharing this information.


Mungo Says Bah

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Pablo said...

That's a good configuration. I'll have a go at that one. It looks like a lot of tarp though.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Mungo said...

It is a 9 1/2 foot square tarp - quite big - but once it is set up the way I did it, it is a good size. Long enough for me to stretch out, and at the apex, just high enough so my head doesn't touch. But easier to lay down in it.

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice brian... i have always liked thats tyle... i've tried that same set up a few times...

mtnfolk mike t


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