How to make a teepee from a tarp

Written by shaun juan
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How to make a teepee from a tarp
Bad weather can force you into setting up an emergency tarp shelter. (storm clouds 2 image by Paul Moore from

Constructing a tepee tarp shelter will give you the advantage of using a material that dries easily, breaks down quickly, and gives you plenty of room inside the shelter for yourself and supplies. The structure of a tepee is a good design to stand against harsh weather conditions like wind and wet weather. A tepee tarp shelter should be used as a quick emergency shelter or a lightweight alternative to a tent.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 10-by-10-foot tarp
  • Rope

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  1. 1

    Locate a tree branch that is hanging about 7 feet off the ground. Take your rope and throw one end of it over the tree branch.

  2. 2

    Find the centre of your tarp. Fold your tarp in half once, from the bottom to the top. Fold your tarp in half again, from the left to the right. The fold on the bottom left-hand corner of your tarp is the centre.

  3. 3

    Grab a palm-size rock. Push your rock up from underneath the centre of your tarp. Loop one end of your rope around the base of the tarp-covered rock. Tie the rope to itself securely around the base of the rock making sure the rock cannot slip through.

  4. 4

    Pull your tarp up 4 feet off the ground with the other end of your rope. Tie the loose end of your rope around the trunk of the tree with a simple knot.

  5. 5

    Find some rocks that weigh about 4.54kg. each. Place these rocks every 3 feet on top of the base of your tarp. This will anchor your tepee to the ground. Once the base is weighted down, adjust the rocks as needed to make sure the tarp is taut. Your tarp shelter will now have the shape of a tepee and is complete.

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