Lessons From The Trail Episode 11 Rig A Tarp With No Trees

Lessons From The Trail Episode 11 Rig A Tarp With No Trees

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Once we were past most of the whitewater, we made good time with few obstructions and ample current on our side. One day on this stretch of river we paddled 37-miles which was our best day of travel on the trip.

The crew pushed on into the evening on the lower stretches of the Adlatok. Photo: Jim Baird
The crew pushed on into the evening on the lower stretches of the Adlatok. Photo: Jim Baird

The best places to set up camp along the route were on beaches, or gravel bars, where there were no trees. So, putting this tarp rig to use was a daily chore and we found it could stand up to a good wind.

Follow these steps to rig a tarp with no trees: 

 

1. Peg one of the long sides of a rectangular tarp to the ground, or lay rocks on top of it.

2. Tie the tarp around the tops of paddles at the two front corners.

3. On both sides, run the rope down from the top of the paddle until it’s tight, and peg it into the ground.

4. Prop a paddle up under the middle to create more head space.

Note: If you’re having a fire in front of the tarp, it can get smokey as the smoke will eddy back into the tarp. Prop a small stick under the back edge that’s pegged to the ground to create a small opening. This will stop the tarp from creating a smoke eddy.

Marty cooks a small trout over the fire in front of the tarp rig. It was him that came
Marty cooks a small trout over the fire in front of the tarp rig. Marty thought up the solution to prevent the smoke from eddying under the tarp. Photo: Jim Baird

Well into September we pushed on towards the coast and experienced a couple cold nights. Warming fires and extra layers helped us shake off the chill as we focused on the ocean paddle that lay in front of us. We were heading into very different and unforgiving country.

Northern Lights dance in the sky on a cold night along the Adlatok. Photo: Ted Baird
Northern Lights dance in the sky on a cold night along the Adlatok. Photo: Ted Baird

 

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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.

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