Welcome to the Tarpology information session.
Even though we here on the wet coast are accustomed to rain, some of us have developed an interest in the Ancient Art of Tarpology. There are many local indigenous solutions, using a mix of traditional and modern materials.
Tarplogy is custom-made for each situation, but there are certain principles that apply.
For example, a tarp is not -- and should not be -- a water-collector. That is the most common cause of tarp failure, when suddenly a whole whoosh of water drenches you unexpectedly, and so you say, "Stupid Tarp."
The tarp is wise, the student is always learning.
The tarp is only useful when matched carefully to the immediate geography. If, for example, your site slopes from left to curbside (from driver's side to FGRV door) and you have a firepit between you and the lake, river, or ocean, a River Will Run Through It, and there is nothing a tarp can do.
Do not ecpect too much of your tarp, or your tarplogy skills, until you have had some experience. (Awnings count.)
Lesson Two to follow.
A tarp or tarp-like object
A number of sticks: we use 3 short, five tall (one modified); minimum height about 4 - 10 feet tall, sturdy and light
A way to affix the tarp&stick to a steady place: trees, into ground with tent pegs, straps, etc.