My preferred method of shelter is to have one exposed side not only for the view but also for heat from a radiant fire. So as posted on before, a favourite tarp pitch is the "Adirondack Wind Shed" very reminiscent of the Whelen leanto. It needs just 4 ground stakes on the tarp and two guylines for support.
Tarp pitched in a "Whelen style" leanto
Here's an old web image featuring a whelen lean to setup with the canoe in front to add an extra bit of protection from the elements. Personally, I would have the canoe propped up much further away and have a small reflecting fire built.
Another option for pitching is a more enclosed shelter with open ends at the front. This one is supported with a single paddle at the head and another paddle in the rear is used to lift up the drooping middle for a little more interior space.
What's nice about this setup is that with the foot area completely staked down, one side can be opened up and pulled back to give a bit more coverage but still retain an open feel. Basically with a bedroll thrown in there, your upper body can be exposed to a warming fire with your lower body more covered by the tarp.
One side opened up for ventilation
Another classic setup with nearly full enclosed protection is the so-called "Tarp Tent" that is featured in lots of different old camping books. Claude P. Fordyce 's Touring Afoot (1922) has a great description on making one along a with a clear image of its setup.
The 1916 Abercrombie and Fitch catalog also featured this design for the outdoorsman...
For a while, the NorthWest Woodsman was selling a high end version and his webpage tutorial on setup is still great reading on the pitching method.
Generally this pitch works best with a rectangular tarp but it can still be done with a 10x10 square design resulting in a more narrow and compact solo shelter (roughly 5.5' high at the entry x 5' wide x 7.5' long).
However, my 58" paddles are too low to raise the front entry to practical levels. For that reason, one would need to find something in the bush or use a canoe pole. For this yard demonstration, I just used a piece of 8ft - 2x2 lumber. It was rigged with two prussic cords that held in position once everything is tensioned. One is connected to the top of the tarp with a carabiner, the other supports some guylines.
Single Pole "Tarpaulin Tent" pitch
The door flaps can be staked closed as in the above picture, angled out or fully pulled back to give a bit more air and space. It requires a minimum of 7 stakes to pitch properly plus the guyline. Of course it could be rigged with two lashed poles to free up space in the entryway but I didn't have another piece of suitable lumber to play with here.
Here's another view of the interior with one door flap angled out and another folded fully back...
As a last resort or in a quick downpour, one could always rig a quick shelter with the canoe paddles and pole like so...
Source Link: Through Trackless Labrador (1911) p 70.