Updated: Apr 19
One thing often overlooked in the installation of a tarp is exactly what accessories should be used to do so. There really are so many options, as well as some equipment and methods that are common but not at all recommended. So let's take a look at the things we recommend you steer clear of.
What Not To Use
Rope: This one isn't exactly intuitive. "Don't use rope?" you say, incredulously. Indeed, many people jump straight to this common bit of gear to secure a tarp cover in place. But we recommend that you avoid using it with tarps! You see, tarps need to be able to flex a bit and move with the wind. When you install a tarp with rope, it's far too rigid, which can easily lead to tearing, even with a heavy duty tarp.
Nails/Screws: We recommend staying away from nails, screws, and even nuts and bolts for two reasons. The first is that you're putting a hole in your tarp. That damages the waterproof quality of the tarp and makes it vulnerable to tearing. The other is the same reason that we discourage the use of rope: none of them allow for the flexibility that will allow a tarp to give a little in the face of strong gusts of wind, especially when you've already put holes in the material.
Wood and Nails/Screws: This method, which includes placing wood (usually a 2x4 board) over the edge of a tarp before putting nails, screws, or bolts through it, is intended to help address the issue of waterproofing. But it fails at that and still has the problem of being far too rigid.