How to Set Up a Plow Point Shelter


One of the things I find gives beginning outdoorsmen the most trouble is the setting up of a tarp. Understandably, as there are countless configurations with endless knots that can be too much for anyone to remember. Today however, I’m going to help solve this problem by presenting a shelter that can be set up and taken down in under 2 minutes and requires only a single piece of paracord, 3 stakes and a single tree.

The technique demonstrated in the video above is called the plow point shelter and it is my go-to when weather sneaks up on you quickly. In fact, not that long ago my brother and I were canoeing across a lake when we were hit with a downpour. Within 2 minutes of hitting shore we had the plow point shelter up and were safely underneath to wait out the storm.

As I mentioned above the only items needed for this shelter are 3 stakes and a bit of paracord and a tree. However, the type of tarp one uses is very important. I always recommend a tarp that is square in dimension (NOT rectangular) and has tie outs instead grommets. Tie outs are much stronger in heavy wind and do not have a tendency to tear out like grommets. A great, budget friendly option that fits this criteria is the Kelty Noah’s Tarp 9.

One last thing to note is that although only 3 stakes are needed to set up this shelter, if you’re expecting heavy winds it often pays to stake out all of the tie outs. This will lend greater strength to the shelter and ensure the stakes are not pulled out by the wind.