How to Set up A Tent!
We’ve all been there: It’s getting dark, it’s cold, a wind’s coming up, and you’ve got to sleep outside tonight. Pretty much the worst time ever to forget the tent instructions. Before you hike into the woods, you better know how to set that tent up by heart to avoid awkward and time-consuming efforts at your camp site. Learning to find the right spot on which to pitch your tent, how to put it together, and how to care for your tent, will make camping a much more enjoyable experience. See Step 1 to start learning how to set up your tent
- Setting Up the Tent
Lay a tarp down before putting up your tent. When setting up your tent, it’s important to put a barrier in between the ground and the bottom of your tent to protect it from gathering moisture. A good-quality plastic or vinyl tarp should accompany any tent.
- Fold the tarp into the relative shape of the tent, but slightly smaller. You don’t want any part of the tarp to hang out beyond the edge of the tent, otherwise it’ll collect water underneath in case it rains. Fold up longer edges and tuck them under the tent.
- Lay out and account for all the components of your tent.Most modern tents are made of lightweight nylon, all-in-one tent poles, and stakes, while older army-style tents often feature more complicated poles and cloth coverings. At the very least, you’ll need the tent itself and the poles, and the method of putting them is generally the same.
- Lay your tent onto the tarp.Find the bottom side of the tent and put that side down on the tarp. Orient the windows and door of the tent in the direction you’d like them to face. Lay it out flat and turn your attention to the poles.
- Connect your tent poles.Depending on your particular tent, they may be connected with bungee ropes, or they may be numbered and require that you connect them yourself. Put the tent poles together and lay them across the flat tent.
- Insert tent poles into the corresponding flaps in the tent.Most basic tents will have two tent poles that cross each other to form an X that will form the basic frame of the tent. To fit them into the tent, usually you’ll put the end of the pole into an eyelet at each corner, and slide the pole either through small flaps on the top of the tent, or attach plastic clips on the top of the tent to the pole.
- Read the directions for your particular tent, or look closely to determine how the poles fit in. All tents are differently designed.
- Raise the tent.This will take some coordination, so it’s usually helpful to have a partner for this part. After you’ve fit both poles through their connection spots, they should probably bend of their own according, straightening up and raising the tent into what looks basically like something you could sleep in.
- Some tents will need a bit of coaxing. Pull the corners apart so they’re square and make sure the poles are secure and untangled.
- Depending on the tent that you use, there may be plastic hooks attached to little chords that are part of the construction. Hook those onto the tent pole frame in the appropriate place, after you’ve raised the tent up some. Attach any other necessary structural components to the tent so that it stands up.
- Stake the tent to the ground.When you’ve got the tent square on the tarp, use the metal tent stakes to fit through the flaps near the ground at the corners and push them into the ground. If you’re in rocky or particularly hard ground, you might need to use a tiny hammer or other blunt object to hammer them in a little. Some tent stakes are pretty easy to bend, so be careful as you do this.
- Add on the rain fly, if you have one.Some tents come with an extra rain guard, called a rain fly. It’s basically another sheet of material that covers the tent. Some have corresponding tent poles and are more elaborate than others, so read the instructions that come with your tent to learn how to put it together if you have a complicated one.