How to use your tarp on the beach as a sun shade?

Tarp on a beach

I recently hiked to a lovely stretch of isolated beach and made these photos to show you how you can easily use your tarp as a sun shade on the beach. The day I made these images was very windy. It takes a bit of time (10-15 minutes perhaps) to set it up but a large or a small tarp provides excellent protection from the sun in case you need it.

What you need?

Tarp hiking poles tent stakes and footprint on a beach

You need a tarp and hiking poles (or any other poles – for instance canoe paddles work just as well). There are special stakes for sand. But who would bring them to a hike? 🙂 Anyway, I would say the stakes are 100% optional if there are any rocks, driftwood or fallen branches around that you can use instead.

How to pitch your tarp in the sand?

The basic method is exactly the same as setting up your tarp as an A-frame anywhere and I have a blog post that teaches you how to set up your tarp as an A-frame with step-by step instructions, photos and some video.

The only big difference is that normal takes don’t work in the sand, so you need to use anchors instead. I used rocks found on the beach. All you need to do is dig a hole with your trovel or hands, tie the guideline to the anchor and bury the anchor in the sand. That’s super easy.

Tarp or tent guideline attached to a rock on a beach
Tarp on a beach with trovel
Tarp on a beach

Her’s how an A-frame tarp on a beach looks like once it’s set up

Tarp on a beach
Tarp on a beach
Tarp on a beach

I have the Hilleberg Tarp 10 which is 3.5m x 2.9m (11.5 ft x 9.5 ft) – in other words, pretty big. By the way my Hilleberg Tarp was actually made in Estonia. And I have to say – I LOVE this product.

You can always use a smaller and lighter tarp. One little warning though – the material of the tarp picks up a lot of sand and was a bit of a problem to clean afterwards.

Here’s a video that teaches you how to coil rope – useful when you are packing away your tarp. If you don’t coil the guidelines properly, they might get all tangled up.

If you find this blog post helpful, feel free to share it on social media. Your enthusiasm inspires us to create more useful content that will help you stay safe and comfortable in the outdoors 

PS These pictures were made in the wonderful island of Hiiumaa, off the Western coast of Estonia. The islands and their economy was hit especially hard due to the covid-19 coronavirus. The crisis is over and we encourage you to visit all the wonderful islands in Western Estonia. For more information, please go to the Visit Estonia website.

Tarp on a beach with hiker

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