Last Updated on February 5, 2021 by Tent Reviewer
It is significant to know how to set up a tent. A tent is the most useful tool for a camper. Many campers have found this task to be complex. It takes practice to be a guru in setting up tents. Camping should be an enjoyable activity especially if you know how to set up your tent.
This article has prepared a guide to help you
- Know the preparation before your camping trip
- Know how to select a camping site
- Be a pro in erecting a tent (dome, cabin, or tunnel)
- Learn tricks on how to set up a tent in rain/windy days and how to pitch a tent
Pre-Trip Preparation for Setting up a Tent
Camping serves to reconnect with Mother Nature. You need to have all the essentials fully packed in your car before you leave for camping.
- Set your tent at home
Your home is the best place where you can learn how to set up a tent. This can be done in your room or your backyard. You do not want to start practicing your tent making skills after a long day of hiking. When the rain is just about to hit the ground or when the sun has set.
- Read instructions and inventory parts carefully
The instruction manual shows you how to set up your tent. It is the best way to prevent confusion and reduce the damage you might cause to the gear. Instructions show you how to merge the parts step by step rather than grabbing things and patching them.
Additionally, you will know whether there is a missing part. This will provide you with ample time to go back to the stores and purchase the missing part.
- Select a footprint
A footprint is another important gear that should never lack when going camping. Yes, tent floors are heavy duty. They can withstand abrasion, tear, and water. But the ground? The ground is a tough opponent.
Having a footprint with you ensures that your tent is well protected. You can decide to go for a tarp. If you are a DIY person, buy a Tyvek material and make your footprint.
Footprints are designed to be smaller than your tent floor. This prevents it from catching and directing rainwater under your tent. Your homemade footprint should also follow suit.
- Camp Selection
The next thing is selecting a camping location. Selecting a camping site early will ensure you prepare the place well before erecting your tent.
Having a set location early enables you to clear the place of any rocks, large sticks, or any other debris that might be uncomfortable to sleep on or cause a puncture on your tent.
What Should Be Noticed When Selecting a Camping Site?
A suitable camping site is important for you to set up your tent without too much extra effort.
Properly drained location
Look for a site where the terrain is well-drained. You do not want to wake in a pool of water in the middle of the night. You can seek to camp in higher and drier grounds.
Higher grounds are characterized by low moisture in the air. So, condensation is not a problem. Additionally, avoid setting your camp in valleys. Cool and moist air settles here.
A sheltered location
If you are camping in the woods, it is advisable to set a tent under a big tree. Camping here means more warmth and less dew.
The only thing you need to be sure of is there should be no dead branches hanging around. Your safety is of importance when sleeping outdoors. Besides, these sites have lower levels of condensation.
A good quality tent is designed to handle wind. To minimize the stress you are likely to face you must select sites that offer you natural protection. A big tree acts as a good windbreaker. Also setting a camp beside a hill means protection from the wind.
It is advisable to have your strongest pole facing the wind. This will prevent your tent from being blown off. When camping in a hot climate such as in a desert, the door to your tent should face the wind for cooling.
Generally, when camping you can:
- Seek out existing campsites in well-traveled places
- Set camps roughly 200 meters away from water bodies
- Keep your campsite small
Step by Step Guide on How to Set up a Tent
You have a dome, tunnel, or cabin tent. All tents are different and have a unique way of setting. But if you have the basic knowledge of setting a tent, this should not be a hard task.
1. Dome tent
This is practically the easiest one to set. It is portable, comfortable, and simple. It is a great way to enjoy your camping adventure.
This kind of tent has two or three poles. If you want to know more about this tent, click to choose your best dome tent for your camping trip.
Here is a guide on how to set it up.
Step 1. Find a spot
Locate a spot that will fit your tent. You should look for flat surfaces with no or less vegetation covering the ground. Clear the space of small rocks, branches, and twigs to make it smooth. Your back will thank you.
Finding a place that is well sheltered from trees will ensure you do not roast in the scorching sun.
Step 2. Layout your tarp
You need a tarp to act as a barrier between your tent and the ground. This prevents moisture from finding its way inside your tent. Importantly your tarp should be half the size of your tent to prevent it from directing rainwater into the tent.
If you have a large tarp, consider folding it.
Step 3. Unfold the tent on the tarp
Unfold your tent over the tarp. Make sure it is as flat as possible. Every other material poles, rain fly, stakes, and bangle ropes should be set aside.
The location of the door can be arranged later, for now just focus on unfolding the tent.
Step 4. Connect the poles
It is now time to separate your poles. The poles should be about six feet long. They are not hard to fix as most poles are connected with elastic ties. You just have to snap them with minimum effort. Fix the poles and lay them on the tent.
Step 5. Attach the poles to the tent
There is a tube of fabric through which the poles slide. You should attach one end of the pole to the edge of the tent.
Step 6. Raise the tent
To get your tent to stand, start with one pole at a time. To make your work easier, start with a pole that is not connected to a corner. You need to insert some force on the pole to bend it.
This allows you to connect the unconnected end to its corner. Do this for each pole. Your tent will be standing in no time. This is easier when done with two people, but if you are alone you can also do it.
Step 7. Put the rain fly
To protect you from the rain, connect the rain fly. Use small cords to pull it. This way when it rains, the water droplets won’t land on your tent. Also, ensure your tarp is tacked underneath your tent to prevent it from trapping water and directing it to your tent.
2. Cabin tent
This tent is old-style and is not much used such as a dome or tunnel tent. It can be a bit trickier in assembling. While this Coleman instant cabin tent is easy to set up for you.
Step 1. Layout your tent
Unfold the leg poles and lay the tent flat on the tarp. Ensure that the location you have chosen is the best.
Please note that two people are needed to set up a cabin tent.
Step 2. Connect the joints
Lift arm joints then extend the upper eave poles. Do this until the silver locking button clicks into position. Repeat this for all the other upper poles.
Proceed to the telescoping leg poles. Stretch them out until the silver locking button clicks into a locking position. At this point, the tent can be moved to its final position before securing it with stakes and guylines.
Step 3. Put rain fly
Put the rain fly over the tent while clipping the hooks attached to the cord of the rain fly onto the fabric loops on the tent. Tie the rain fly on the legs of the poles.
3. Tunnel tent
A tunnel tent is set up similarly to the dome tent. The only difference is that with a tunnel tent, the poles run parallel across the edge of the tent.
Step 1. Lay down the tent
Open and spread your tent over your tarp. With a tunnel tent, consider the wind’s direction before deciding where the door will face.
Step 2. Stake the corners
You can choose to have your corners first before raising the tent. Staking down corners first gives your tent extra stability. Peg the corners and pull the edges. The base should be tight. This makes it easy to bring the tent up.
Step 3. Assemble the poles
Arrange and connect the poles. Your poles might be of the same length based on the model of the tent.
Step 4. Slide the poles in the tent
Thread the poles through the sleeves of the tent. You can start with the middle. This gives the tent support and lessens stress on the front poles. Lay the tent flat on the tart after feeding in the poles.
Step 5. Raise the tent
Hold up the tent as you apply force on the poles to fit into their fasteners. Supporting the tent reduces the pressure on the poles. Fasten the poles along the side of the tent to lock them in place.
Step 6. Put the guylines
All tunnel tents rely on guylines for maximum support. Stake out the guylines and pull them tight before pegging them on the ground. If you are camping in a rocky place, you can secure them tightly around the rocks.
Once your tent is raised and secure it is time for you to enjoy your camping. Apart from the cabin tent, you should find it easy to erect the other tents.
Tricks on Setting up a Tent in Rainy/Windy Days
Camping on a rainy and windy day can be a frightening thought. But it can be done. Pitching up your tent in the correct location properly will let you enjoy your camping.
To set up your tent on a rainy and windy day these tricks can come in handy:
- Check the weather forecast
Before even going camping you should check the weatherman’s report. This will let you know what to expect out there. You do not want to be caught unaware while you are out.
Knowing what to expect will ensure that you are prepared for what may come.
- Choose a well-sheltered site
Areas around big trees and hills will protect you against the wind. Additionally, set camps in high areas. These are safe spots when it rains. You do not desire to wake up in a puddle in the middle of the night.
Note that when setting a site under a tree: you should not be directly under it. Choose a big and strong tree that cannot be easily uprooted. Check out for dead branches.
- Pitch properly in the right direction
When camping in a windy site, your door should always face the opposite direction. This prevents your tent from being blown off.
Ensure that your tent is very tight and fixed well on the ground. Use guylines if possible to secure your tent.
Ensure you have a rain fly to prevent rain from slipping into your tent. Also, you can dig trenches around your tent to direct the rainwater away from you.
Tips on Pitching a Tent
These tips will ensure that your tent is well set up.
- When pitching a tent do not be afraid to ask for help from your fellow campers.
- Organize your gear first before starting to pitch. Lay down the tent, assemble the poles, and lay them down.
- Follow the step by step tent set up instructions for your tent on how to pitch it.
Do You Need to Put a Tarp Under Your Tent?
A tarp is a very important piece that should never miss when going camping. It acts as an insulator protecting your tent from moisture that originates from the ground.
When setting up your tent, the tarp should be folded and tucked underneath the tent. This prevents it from directing groundwater towards your tent.
Setting up a tent should not be a hard process for you as a camper. Practice makes you perfect. You will not have to worry about erecting a tent. This guide will help you out on the best practices the next time you go camping.