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Personal Tarp Shelter

Do you have a plan to keep yourself warm and dry in case you get lost on a hike? While most day hikers do not bring a full tent with them, it’s a good idea to carry a lightweight tarp with you in case of an emergency. Practise setting up a personal tarp shelter and be prepared for any situation which could arise!

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  • When and where will you have this Adventure?
  • What equipment (including tarps) do you need to bring?
  • Has anyone slept out under a tarp before? What tips can he or she share?


  • In a small team, practise setting up tarps for effective personal shelters, and camp out overnight without the aid of tents.
  • Once you’ve mastered this skill, you will find that even when you plan to camp overnight you sometimes prefer this approach to carrying a tent. There are, after all, real benefits to packing light that should always be considered when planning any outing.
  • After you build your shelters, you can even spend the night in them to test them out. Is your shelter comfortable enough to spend the night in?


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?
  • What difficulties did you encounter? How did you overcome them?
  • How has this experience shaped how you view sleeping in a tent?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • How can you build on this experience?

Keep it Simple

  • You don’t have to sleep in your shelter if you’re not ready to! Make your shelters as a day activity.

Take it Further

  • Create a camp where you sleep in shelters rather than in tents! What supplies will you need to bring to this camp that you wouldn’t normally need if you were sleeping in a tent?