great eastern knife ad1ksfbanner95
Emergency Shelter

Video: How to keep your tarp corner grommets from tearing out

Video: How to keep your tarp corner grommets from tearing out

If you’re a tarp camper, you’ve probably had a situation where the wind blew hard enough to rip out the grommet at the corner.  Here’s a rope trick to stop that from happening.

by Leon Pantenburg

The wind comes up unexpectedly, and for a moment the tarp shelter turns into a huge sail. All the power of the wind in focused on one spot, the corner of the tarp.  It may rip out the corner grommet. Then, how will you tie that corner next time?

We camped in this Death Valley "forest" and later moved when it started to rain. Flash flooding can be a concern in many areas.

Death Valley, CA 1977: We camped in this “forest” and later moved when it started to rain. Tarp shelters can be improvised in most places. (John Nerness photo)

This tip came from my friend Bob Patterson, of Mankato, Minn. Bob is a retired firefighter and emergency responder, and knots, ropes and lashings are his thing. We’ve used tarps for shelters on many outings.

The idea here is to disperse that stress and strain from the wind among three grommets on the corner. Here’s how to do it.

You’ll need:

  • Several feet of of paracord or light rope (six to 10 feet depending on the size of the tarp).
  • A carabiner

Here’s what you do:

  • Run the cord through three grommets, creating two loops that will stretch out to about two feet.
  • Tie the ends of the cord to each outside grommet.
  • Gather the two loops to the midpoint, and attach the carabiner so it moves freely.
  • Attach your corner rope to the carabiner.

Now the corner rope will disperse all the force among the three points. If the tarp is moved in any direction, there will be enough flex so the material can move with the wind.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Be Sociable, Share!
Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Emergency Shelter

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

More in Emergency Shelter