How to Put a Tarp Over a Tent?

Do you want to know how to put a tarp over a tent? This is an extremely useful skill for any person looking to do some camping or other outdoor activities. It is not only useful in a planned camping trip but can be useful in an emergency as well. A skill useful for experienced campers and camping newbies alike, putting a tarp over your tent can be an extremely useful and helpful skill!

So how do you put a tarp over a tent? Run a rope between two trees (or tent poles), run diagonal ropes down from the anchor points on the trees or poles, peg the ropes down into the dirt, and place your tarp over the rope structure you’ve created.


What are the benefits of putting a tarp over your tent?

There are a number of reasons that you should put a tarp over your tent when you’re camping.

Big camping tarp

Firstly, it will help keep you dry. As any experienced nature-lover knows, there’s nothing worse than getting wet while you’re camping. This is not only due to the discomfort it causes, but also the danger it can present, especially in colder months or at night. It will keep your tent dry so that you don’t have to worry about getting wet while you sleep!

Not only will it keep you dry, but it will make sure none of your important equipment gets wet too. Things that aren’t inside your tent but need to be kept dry anyway are better off under a tarp. These types of items include camping stoves, fire pits, small electronics such as radios, and other water-sensitive items that need to be accessible, but you don’t have room in your tent.

Secondly, in warmer weather or climates, it will allow you to get some much-needed shade from the harsh sun. This will not only make you more comfortable (it will), but it will also protect you from sunburn, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related ailments, as well as protecting any sensitive equipment from the heat and sunlight.

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Are there any cons to putting a tarp over your tent?

There are (or can be) a couple of drawbacks to setting up a tarp.

Firstly, if you’re putting up your tarp to counteract moisture that you think could be from rain, make sure it actually rained! The moisture could be from something else, such as humidity creating condensation on or inside of your tent.

Tarp on a beach

If you set up a tarp in these conditions, it could actually make things worse! This is because it gives water from the humid air more surface area to collect on.

Secondly, adding a tarp to your camping arsenal can be extremely useful, as highlighted above. However, it can take up a lot of space! Whether you’re transporting your gear in a car, or hiking it up to the site yourself in a backpack, a tarp and the accompanying gear needed to put it up and keep it up take a lot of space!

Make sure to plan ahead when you go camping. You should know what the weather will probably be over the days you’ll be camping, and if you think you’ll need a tarp or you can go without it. When in doubt, bring it along, but know it will take up a good amount of space! So how do you put a tarp over a tent? Read on to find out!

Tarp over tent set-up guide

So how do you set up your tarp? You’ll need the following materials: The tarp, ropes and pegs (to be stuck in the ground.

First, find two trees a little longer than the width of the tarp that are on either side of your tent, or wherever you want to set the tarp up over.

Wrap your rope around the tree and tie it. Any knot could work, but a taut-line hitch would be an excellent choice. Then run the rope to the other tree and do the same. Make sure the rope is fairly tight, but not too tight, as you don’t want it to break.

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Run two lines of rope diagonally down into the ground from each of the ropes around the trees that you just tied. Make sure that these are long, because if they are not there will be no room underneath your tarp!

Use the pegs to make sure the ropes are secured firmly to the ground. This is extremely important. You don’t want your tarp to blow away!

Next, you can finally drape the tarp over the ropes! Make sure that the distance between the diagonal ropes you put is less than the width of your tarp, so that the ropes can support the tarp with some left over to hang.

How do you put a tarp over a tent with no trees?

If you have no trees to use, you can use tent poles! This can be really hard if you’re by yourself, but still doable. If you are camping with family or friends, they can hold the poles and it’s exactly the same!

If you do happen to be on your own, try sticking the poles firmly into the dirt, if it’s soft enough. If they are secure and unmoving, they should work about as well as the trees do.


So, make sure to be prepared before you go camping! Make sure you know if you’ll need a tarp, and how to set that tarp up if it needs to be done! Sure, it can be detrimental in certain humid environments, and take up a lot of space, but a tarp is more often than not a very important part of any camping trip.

Setting up a shelter over your tent can help protect you from the elements, and make camping a more comfortable experience for you and your camping group! So find a few trees, string up those ropes, and drape that tarp over to make sure you and your tent are protected!