Packing your tarp away


If you haven’t already, take a look at this post on setting your tarp up.

Packing your tarp away

I said previously that how easy it is to put up your tarp is determined by how you put it away, so now it’s time to look at that.

Undo your lines from the pegs and take the pegs out of the ground, clean them and put them away so as not to lose them.

Next up ‘figure 8’ the guy lines.

Step 1

Start with the end tied to the fixing point on the tarp and lay the cord across the palm of your hand.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Step 2

Wrap coils around your little finger and thumb in a figure 8 shape.  If you have a lot of cord to hank, really stretch your finger and thumb apart, if it’s only a short bit, relax them.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Step 3

When you’ve got about 50cm or so left remove the figure 8s from your thumb and finger.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Step 4

Start wrapping coils around.  Make sure you pull each coil tight, this makes the hanked cord a little smaller and also reduces the chances of it coming undone.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Step 5

Before you run out, slip a loop under the last coil and pull tight.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Once all the lines are hanked undo the midshipman’s hitches on the ridgeline but leave the ridgeline attached to the trees.  This means you can pack away your tarp without having to put it on the ground.

From there fold the tarp into 4.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

And then into 8.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Next flip the hanked cords in and roll the tarp up towards the ridgeline.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Once it’s rolled up slide the tarp along to one of the trees and undo the knot; if you’ve used an evenk knot or a taut line hitch it’ll be quick release, making your life much simpler..

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Coil the ridgeline around the tarp.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

And put a loop under the last coil to keep it in place.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Then undo the other end and coil that too.  And the tarp is packed away neatly and in a way that’ll let you put it up quickly next time.

setting up a tarp \ bushcraft | Kent | south east | London

Storing your tarp like this, folded in the same way each time, can mean that your tarp can degrade along the fold lines, so if it’s going to be a while before it comes out again, think about undoing all your good work when you get home and just shoving it in a stuff sack.

With everything in bushcraft, there are many ways of accomplishing any given task, this is what works for me!  But however you do it, practice will only improve your performance, so get out and give it a go.

Putting up tarps, and taking them back doown again, is something we do on both our 2 Day Bushcraft Course and 5 Day Bushcraft Course.  It’s a great way to camp out in the woods, really helps with ‘leave no trace’, is quick to put up and comfortable to boot.   You can see photos from those courses, as well as all of our others, on our Facebook page.


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About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.

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