If you're on a multi-day canoe trip, and you don't have room to pack a full-sized tent, you might try using your canoe as a shelter. A shelter made from your canoe and a tarp will keep you warm and protect you from the rain and wind. A canoe-tarp shelter is also useful on a day trip should an unexpected rain shower interrupt your canoeing. Unlike a tent, a tarp is compact, light-weight, and can be quickly turned into a shelter along with your canoe.
Canoe-Tarp Shelter #1
If there's a nearby stump or low tree branch that's roughly three feet off the ground, you can use it to prop up one end of your canoe. Prop your canoe in the upside-down position so that its hull faces up. This by itself, provides partial cover from the rain. Drape a tarp over the canoe and anchor the tarp's sides to the ground using stakes through its grommets or rocks to weight it down. The tarp increases your rain protection, shields you from the wind, and keeps the shelter warm inside.
Canoe-Tarp Shelter #2
This method involves laying your canoe upside-down on the ground. You then prop it up on its side using a couple of wood braces. The braces are roughly 4.5 feet long and notched on one end. Two sturdy sticks with a Y-notch on one end (formed where two branches join together) work well as braces.
The notched end holds up the canoe while the other end is pressed against the ground. Drape the tarp over the canoe and wood braces. Then secure the tarp in place with cord and anchor points in the ground. The canoe can pinch the tarp against the ground on the side opposite the wood braces. It's best to practice this method in your backyard first.
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