In this post about poncho shelters we’re going to take a look at four different versions of the Fly, which is a shelter made for shade.
Let’s start with the most basic configuration. You will need one ridge line, two poles, two guy lines, and two stakes. It doesn’t matter if you set this up lengthwise or widthwise you still get the same structure. Attach two corners of the same side of the tarp to the ridge line and on the opposing side attach a pole and guy line to either corner, run out your guy lines, and stake it down. To set this up with poles you will need four poles, four guy lines, and four stakes. I set up this structure like I would tighten the lug nuts on a tire, going from opposite corner to corner.
Moving on let’s take a look at the dining fly which is basically an A Frame on stilts. This is another shelter that can be set up length or widthwise. To set this up you will need a ridge line, four guy lines, and four stakes. Attach the tarp to the ridge line then run out the guy lines from the four corners. If you wish to set this up with poles all you will need is two poles, six guy lines, and six stakes. I start by spreading out a tarp on the ground, and then loosely staking down the four corners using guy lines, then i decide how I would like to setup the peak and add the center poles with guy lines. From here you can readjust the corner guy lines if need be.
The Diamond Fly is next one on the list. You can stake it straight to the ground or use guy lines to spread it out. You’ll need a ridge line, two stakes, and two guy lines if you want to open up the shelter. Attach the tarp to the ridge line diagonally and then stake down the two other corners. If you’re setting this up with poles, stake down two opposite corners first, then attach poles to the remaining two corners.
I call the last shelter the super fly. To set this up you’ll need a ridge line, two poles, six guy lines, and six stakes. Attach the center of the tarp to the ridge line, add poles to the other side, attach guy lines to the four corners, and run out the lines. To set this up with poles you will need four poles, eight guy lines, and eight stakes. Spread the tarp flat on the ground and loosely stake down the four corners, then add poles to the inside center points of the tarp and stake down the poles guy lines.
Tarp Rigging (Knots) Links:
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