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Monday, 9 February 2015

Adapt and Improvise Tutorial 1; Affordable Tarp

Last year I promised some blog articles on adapting and improvising, it has taken me a while to make a start on them but here is the first:

Tarpaulins are the staple shelter of refugee camps and the homeless all over the world 

Shelter from tarp and sticks
By trokilinochchi [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

But in recreational bushcraft they seem to have become a bit of a fashion excessory, we still call them tarps but they are now normally made of lightweight nylon, have a multitude of attachment points and will probably cost you tens or maybe even up to a hundred pounds.

Tarpaulin's were traditionally tarred canvas sheets, or 'palls' used to cover items on the deck of ship's now more often than not they are woven nylon or polyurethane. So what if we don't want to, or can't, spend a fortune on a state of the art 'bushcraft' tarp. Here are my suggestions;

Take a couple of small pebbles or bits of wood

Now wrap them in the corner of a cheap builders polythene sheet, It needs to be a fairly thick grade of polythene but that need not be expensive, maybe four or five pounds. Using a larks foot knot now you can attach your guy lines. 
Using builders polythene with guy lines attached as shown above to shelter a cook fire and kit bags. It may be a bit bulkier and heavier than the modern specialist kit but it's certainly cheaper.  

Or you could always forget the tarp completely and make shelter from what nature provides, in this case a harvester had cut down a block of cedar and left massive strips of bark all over the place which made excellent rain proof thatching for this shelter.


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