1. Standard Hammock Set up / Shade Sail
I've used the Rolling Fox diamond shaped tarp for all of these configurations but other similarly sized and shaped tarps should work as well. The diamond shaped tarp was designed to be used in the "shade sail" configuration. This setup is ideally used when hammock camping.
How to Set it up
It's fairly easy setup and doesn't take a long time. If you are hammock camping I'd recommend going higher than in the image, probably around 6 foot. This way you'll be able to fit and tie off your hammock under it with out any issues.
You'll need to find 2 trees a suitable distance from each other. You'll also want to make sure there is little risk of branches falling, so avoid dying or dead trees.
- Lie the tarp flat on the ground in the diamond shape so the corners point to each tree. You'll be able to gauge the distance and make sure it fits.
- Tie a guy rope on each tree at around 5-6 foot, depending on your height and preference.
- Tie off each side using the cord / guy lines to the corner tie off points.
- Adjust the length of the cord on either side if needed. You might want to use a slip knot to make this easier.
- On the remaining two corners loop cords around them and pull them out on either side.
- Pull the cords taut and stake them into the ground.
- Ideal for hammock camping
- Good protection from the rain
- Easy to setup
- Requires 3 guy lines
- You'll need to find a suitable location with two trees
2. Half Tetra Wedge Cover
You'll need two poles or sticks to make this type of set up. This shape will provide very good protection from wind and rain from three directions as well as shade from the sun. It can be a bit fiddly to setup and will require some time to get it right if you've never set it up before.
How to set it up
You'll need to lie the tarp out flat a take a note of where the longest side is. On the Rolling fox tarp you can see the taped seam marks the longer side.
Stake in the tree corners you like you can see in the image. Two corners at each end of the taped seam and one corner where the logo is.
Using the trekking poles, push them under the 2nd tie off points from the taped seam corners that are already staked. You'll need to adjust the height of the poles to fit and you may need to adjust the angles of where each corner is staked. Once you are happy and the setup looks solid you should tie off each pole to make it more secure.
The final touch is to tie a cord around the last corner tie off point that is in the front and centre. This will angle the centre of the roof down giving you more protection from the elements and allowing water to drain.
- Good protection from the weather on 3 sides
- Big enough for several people
- Requires 2 poles or sticks
- Can be hard to set up correctly
The Plough-point is easier to setup and only requires one pole and one cord. It provides less cover than the Half Tetra Wedge Cover but might be more convenient.
How to set it up
Essentially you start the same way as you did with the Half Tetra Wedge Cover. Lay the tarp flat on the ground. Stake the 3 corners, two where the seam ends and one where the logo is.
The pole is used to push up the final corner. There will be more height available so use a bigger stick or If you have an adjustable pole you'll be able to extent it higher. Tie off the pole to make it more secure.
If you don't have a pole you could use a cord to extent the final corner tying it off on a tree.
- A higher roof
- Easy to setup
- Less protection than the half tetra wedge cover
These are 3 tarp configurations that work well with diamond shaped tarps, if you'd like some more ideas see our guide. Let me know if you've found some nice tarp configs that I might have missed.