Permanent Tarp Frame Ideas?

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.
I want to (re)build a permanent tarp frame for my camp. I've used hazel for the frame in the past but find it doesn't last too long before the elements start to degrade the poles and make the frame less than structurally sound.

I'm exploring various longer-lasting ideas, not all of which are "bushcrafty" but I want something practical.
The tarp is only rigged when I'm there. It's used to shelter the dining area only and the side of the tarp - by design - don't reach the ground, there being about 1.5m from the edge of the tarp to the ground. The ridge pole for the tarp is around 5m long and about 2.5m above ground. The camp is slightly exposed so just setting a tarp from two guyed upright tent poles probably wouldn't serve. Anyway I want a quick setup. There are no trees tall enough nearby to suspend a parachute canopy.

My ideas to date...
Polytunnel hoops, i.e. a polytunnel with no permanent cover;
A structure made from MDPE pipe, similar to polytunnel hoops;
Ditto, but with MDPE side pieces woven into the frame for greater rigidity;
An A-frame at each end supporting the ridge, perhaps from chestnut fencing rails; this would likely need struts for stability;
A couple of vertical fence posts secured to the ground with fence post spikes and a ridge post bolted to them; would this be stable enough without any further supporting strut(s)?
Mobile car port (but I'd have to remove the cover every time due to aforementioned exposure).

Any other ideas out there, please, from the hive? Plus any pro and con comments on the above ideas will be welcome.

Ta.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Le Loup

crosslandkelly

A somewhat settled
Jun 9, 2009
23,570
1,051
63
North West London
At the Suffolk group permission, we built a Cruck type semi permanent shelter using Ash sourced from the woodland, about five years ago.
Still going strong.
51413144_969562853239503_7476221788003762176_n.jpg
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,382
1,452
McBride, BC
Many Canadian hunting and prospecting camps are occupied only seasonally.
Called "Shack Tents," the body is a 1.5m wooden wall with a wooden A-frame of ribs above that.
The canvas skin (tarps?) is spead over the Aframe ribs and nailed into place.

Our canvas was a Woods Prospector canvas tent. They have short vertical walls.
So you can walk in and out with decent head room to stand up.

Bushcraft by your definition it isn't. But, out of the weather and the bugs, yes, indeed.
Coooking on a wood heater stove and a Coleman green box, you might need to crack the door open.

If you built that, about all it ever needs is a good sweeping out each time you show up.
Of course, swing some tarps over ropes for an outdoor sheltered area, too.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,258
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
If you are allowed to, chop down a couple of thin, tall living trees. Use a knife.
Good practice.

If you are not allowed taking down trees, scaffolding poles will last many, many years.


You can weave frames using willow, and plant the ends in the earth. Living frame.
But then you need access to willow bushes/trees.

Alternative is to use rope, stretched between suitably distanced trees.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,587
1,263
55
W.Sussex
You mentioned Chestnut. So full of tannin it takes ages to rot and is immensely strong for poles, posts, cross members etc. It’s very easy to work, splits beautifully, bends, doesn’t snap. It’s like Hazel in that respect, just lasts a lot longer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robson Valley
I want to (re)build a permanent tarp frame for my camp. I've used hazel for the frame in the past but find it doesn't last too long before the elements start to degrade the poles and make the frame less than structurally sound.

I'm exploring various longer-lasting ideas, not all of which are "bushcrafty" but I want something practical.
The tarp is only rigged when I'm there. It's used to shelter the dining area only and the side of the tarp - by design - don't reach the ground, there being about 1.5m from the edge of the tarp to the ground. The ridge pole for the tarp is around 5m long and about 2.5m above ground. The camp is slightly exposed so just setting a tarp from two guyed upright tent poles probably wouldn't serve. Anyway I want a quick setup. There are no trees tall enough nearby to suspend a parachute canopy.

My ideas to date...
Polytunnel hoops, i.e. a polytunnel with no permanent cover;
A structure made from MDPE pipe, similar to polytunnel hoops;
Ditto, but with MDPE side pieces woven into the frame for greater rigidity;
An A-frame at each end supporting the ridge, perhaps from chestnut fencing rails; this would likely need struts for stability;
A couple of vertical fence posts secured to the ground with fence post spikes and a ridge post bolted to them; would this be stable enough without any further supporting strut(s)?
Mobile car port (but I'd have to remove the cover every time due to aforementioned exposure).

Any other ideas out there, please, from the hive? Plus any pro and con comments on the above ideas will be welcome.

Ta.
How about a simple half-faced shelter frame or a wigwam frame?


Keith.
 

GuestD

Need to contact Admin...
Feb 10, 2019
1,445
685
A living willow shelter would be amazing
Willow is just about the easiest thing to grow. Cut "whips" about 3 ft long, about the thickness of your index finger, get a metal spike of similar diameter and drive a hole about 14 inches into the ground and poke the willow into the hole, keep the ground moist, and they will grow.

Some info.
https://www.organicplaygrounds.com/living-willow

I've built a few and planted hops, and russian vine for extra cover.
 
Willow is just about the easiest thing to grow. Cut "whips" about 3 ft long, about the thickness of your index finger, get a metal spike of similar diameter and drive a hole about 14 inches into the ground and poke the willow into the hole, keep the ground moist, and they will grow.

Some info.
https://www.organicplaygrounds.com/living-willow

I've built a few and planted hops, and russian vine for extra cover.
A very good idea Deekin if one has suitable ground to grow it in. I would consider doing that here if the ground were not so dry.

Keith.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,607
944
63
Florida
You don’t have cypress there but cedar takes quite a while to d grade. So do hickory or ash if you have either.

Kevlar cables stretchentaight might also work but might prove expensive.