Poncho Shelter: Lean-to with Peak
In this week’s video on poncho shelters we are going to focus on the Lean-to with a peak and its longer counterpart, including ridge line and pole setups.
The basic lean-to is a great way to start out but sometimes you need a little variation. Add a peak to your structure for a little more coverage from above and a little more space underneath.
Regular (Ridge Line)
To set this up you will need a poncho, a ridge line, two guy lines, and four stakes. Choose a ridge line and set it up in-between two trees, then attach the tarp to the ridge line leaving a quarter of the tarp draped over the line, stake down the two lower corners, and run out your guy lines. If you don’t have grommets at the peak, then just stake down the two lower corners first and drape the tarp over the ridge line and then run out your guy lines. Remember you can add more space under the tarp with a hood pull. Twist and tie the hood into a knot, lash your guy line onto it, then clove hitch the line onto an elevated pole, and stake it out using your preferred method.
Long (Ridge Line)
You can add some variance to this structure by rotating your tarp 90 degrees. The setup is identical, attach the tarp to the ridge line, stake down the two lower corners, feed out your guy lines from the peak, and add tension while staking down the line. Add the hood pull if desired.
You can’t always rely on trees being everywhere you need them so having a set of trekking poles at you disposal can be extremely useful. Setting up this structure with poles will require six stakes, four guy lines, and two poles. Begin by staking down the two lower corners, then three quarters of the way up the tarp attach your two poles, leaving the last quarter to be used as the peak. From the poles run your guy lines out the same way you would a normal lean-to, using the corners to point out the way. From here stake out the peak’s guy lines and then readjust the pole guy lines to the sides which will add tension to the peak of this structure.
It can be difficult to set this shelter up using poles without grommets but not impossible. Find a small, smooth, river stone and clove hitch it onto the tarp where you need to attach a guy line and then proceed as usual. Again you can do the hood pull if you can borrow an extra pole from a buddy or find one in the woods.
The longer version is set up the same way. Stake down the two lower corners, attach the poles three quarters of the way up the tarp and stake it out as you would a regular lean-to. Run out the peak’s guy lines and then readjust the pole guy lines to add tension to the peak. Add a hood pull if possible.
Setting up a tarp with poles
A Comprehensive Guide to Tarp and Tent Guy Lines
Tent Stakes & How to Use Them
3 Tarp Ridgelines: Tied, Toggled & Hardware
5 Knots You Need to Know