Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a relatively new conservation organization that promotes itself as “the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.”

The group has started posting how-to videos in an outdoor skills series on its website. We’ll be sharing some of their videos with you here on as well. In their first lesson, woodcraft expert Clay Hayes gets back to basics and shows you how to build a simple tent with a tarp, some stakes, and two sticks. {C}

Here’s his take on using canvas tarps for shelter: _”I like a canvas tarp because they’ve been around for a while and I just like old stuff. But, it’s heavy. I’ve got another made from silicon treated polyester that I use for backpacking. It only weighs a few ounces. I’ve used both in all sorts of weather including snowing/below zero to sun and rain. Canvas leaks at the point of contact if anything inside the tent is touching the tent walls or roof. So, if canvas is your choice of material, be careful to keep yourself and gear from touching the tarp during a prolonged rain. Other synthetic materials don’t have that issue.

The tarp in the video is 9X10. The inside dimensions are pretty small so that would be the smallest tarp that would work for this configuration. A 10X12 would be better, especially if you want to store much gear inside. I sometimes carry a heavy duty black trash bag to use as a ground cloth inside.”_

See more backcountry tips here.