Hello, my friend and welcome back! In today’s post, we are going to look at tents, tarps and temporary shelters that you may need in an SHTF world. Even if you have a brick and mortar bug out location, there will still be times when you will need to set up temporary shelters, so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.
I remember going camping a young boy going and it was a love that I still enjoy today. There is something about going out into the wild and setting up a shelter where there was none that makes a person feel alive. Facing the elements and overcoming them just seems to get my blood pumping, as it does for many people. If you are one of those who also enjoy camping then you too are ahead of the game.
Now I know that many of you have real nice bugout locations that you have spent a lot of time and money to prepare, but even you will eventually find yourself in need of a temporary shelter. Maybe you have to travel a long distance to find wild game that has not been hunted into extinction. You will find yourself in need of a good shelter for the night and it would serve you well to know how to make one.
While there are several good tents on the market, the trouble is that most of them are heavy and in a post SHTF world, weight will be a factor just as it was for our Grandparents. Of course, you can always get the little hiking tents which are light and will usually fit one or two people or one real person comfortably, or kind of comfortably anyway.
If you’re like me, however, and are six-foot or over then you need a lot of room to move around. You also need to be able to exit it quickly in the event unwanted guest arrive. In this case, using a canvas or plastic tarp and cutting your own poles when you setup is often the best solution. The trouble is that those good Canvas tarps tend to be expensive if you buy them ready to go at Sporting goods stores or Military Surplus stores. Once in a while, you can get a really good deal on some, but it’s not often.
For those of you who don’t know it, you can make tarps from old sheets or Canvas painting tarps. You just need to make them waterproof before you use them. There are a lot of great videos on the internet on how to do this, but I like to do things the simplest way when possible. This involves going to Harbor Freight or your favorite paint supply store and purchasing a standard painters tarp. Most of these are not water-resistant out of the package and cost about seventeen or eighteen dollars for a 9 X 12 tarp.
Once you have your tarp you will need to get what you will need to make it waterproof, for me that’s a gallon of Thomason’s Waterproofing. I unfold the tarp and then place it in a large wash tub and pour the contents of the can on top of it. Using an old broom handle, I push the tarp down in the liquid and move it around until it’s completely saturated. I then let it set for a little longer to ensure it is soaked through and through.
Next using a pair of good waterproof gloves I squeeze as much of the liquid from the tarp with my hands as I can. Once this is done, you hang it over a rope or a tall fence or something to let it completely dry. You will also want to make sure it airs out real well as it has a strong odor to it when you first do it. Let it dry for at least a few days before taking it down and rolling it up to put away. Thompson’s water seal does a great job of making it waterproof and it will stay that way for a very long time. Something worth mentioning is that it should be kept away from open flames as it will catch fire and burn like any other tarp will.
You will most likely want to add some fasteners holes along the edges for securing it the tarp with. There are many types of aftermarket grommets, which you can buy, to add them where you want them. You can also purchase what are called “Tarp Clips” which allow you to fasten ropes to a tarp without then need to pop a hole in it. This can be handy if you are going to be using it for multiple projects such a wrapping things in it.
If you don’t like the white color of the canvas, you can dye the canvas to a color of your choosing, before you make it waterproof. It won’t work after you make it waterproof though, in case any of you were wondering. Fold or roll your tarp up and bring with you the next time you go camping and try it out. Cut you some small trees and create a frame to drape it over for a tent or as a shelter for working under.
As I mentioned before, the internet is loaded with articles and videos on how to make a piece of cloth waterproof, so do your homework. Some of them also use all natural methods like the pioneers used and it would pay you to know how they did it whether you use it now or not. Tarps, Tents, and Shelters will be an important part of living in the post SHTF world so learn all you can now and your life will be a lot easier when it happens.
I guess that is it for today and I hope you have found the post interesting. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Save America!