How To Keep Tarps From Flapping When Camping

How To Keep Tarps From Flapping When Camping

With summer close, and camping a great option during the season, you need to know how to properly use your camping equipment. Do you have issues with a flapping tarp, when camping? Then this write is for you. 

The best method to keep tarps from flapping is getting a bigger tarp. It is stronger, giving more shade and balance. Keep the tarp at the front flat and tight, to keep air or winds out. And tie the tarp, lower to the ground.

When camping, bad weather like high wind, storms, or rain, can occur. Having a stable tarp, that doesn’t billow is important. Thus, you need to be aware of how to keep tarps from flapping. This article would discuss some tricks to bear in mind. 

Why Your Tarp Flaps? 

Bad weather is the first cause, that comes to mind when a tarp keeps flapping. Yes, high wind, storms, or heavy rainfall, is a major cause that billows your tarp, but it’s not the only reason. 

There is the issue of the loose setup of the tarp. If the corners setup, guy line, and tie-outs aren’t set up well, then the flap would keep billowing. Choosing the wrong campsite may cause problems, as you may face bad weather and excessive flapping. 

The material of the tarp is another thing to consider. When the tarp has a stretchy material, flapping can occur. These major causes, added with persistent stormy, windy, or bad weather, would keep your tarps flapping.

How To Keep Tarps From Flapping When Camping

Even with a quality tarp, it is normal for it to flap and billow, when outdoors or camping due to nature or bad weather. Now you need to know solutions or tips, on how to keep it secure and tight. Here are simple answers on how to effectively keep your tarp secure. 

1. Use A Larger Sized Tarp Instead

The first tip to handling a flapping tarp is getting a bigger tarp before you go camping. A larger tarp would hold more weight, giving the flapping process more obstacles. It would also give you more shelter from bad weather and provide more dry areas, during rain. 

Camping experts recommend a 9×9 square tarp to provide ample shelter for one person, and a 12×12 as the absolute minimum for two persons. Although the 12×16 is a more recommended size for two persons. 

2. Select A Perfect Camp Site 

The suitable campsite can offer a billow-free tarp experience for you when camping, and the shelter of the campsite can help, fight off the bad weather. 

Select an area, with much shade and trees. A densely grown forest packed with trees and healthy short trees offers enough coverage from excess wind and keeps the tarp stable. Also, it is good to notice the movement and understand the direction of the air. Place your tarp in the opposite direction of the wind, and make sure it stays lower to the ground. 

3. Keep Ties Secure And Stable 

When setting up, ensure all tie points and medium to tie are tight and stable. For the corners, the angle should be straight and tied strongly. Also, make sure the tarp at the front is flat and properly tightened, this blocks the flow of air or wind. 

Check the strength of the base used for the tie points, if it’s a tree, pole, etc. Ensure it’s sturdy and can hold the weight of your tarps, use sticks to support tarp corners and the tie-out gives the tarp a strong fit. 

4. Drainage 

It is best to make a height difference between the tarp’s two parts. One should be quite higher than the other, as this works for stability and good water drainage. For heavy rain downpours, you can build the custom rain drainage and place your tarp away from the campfire or cooking area. 

Extra Tip: Read the buyer’s guide on how to properly tie the tarp and maintain a good angle when using the tarp tension.


The simple tips to survive against flap, require pre-planning and thought process during setup. These tips are not an instant process but are easy to get a hang of it. Now that they’ve been mentioned above, you can get a better output on your next camping trip. 

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