Just before dark at your campsite is the wrong time to realize that you aren’t sure how to put up a tent. Pitching a tent is a skill every outdoorsman should know. While the instructions can vary between manufacturers, some basics can give your tent erection a jump-start.
- Clear the area you plan to put up your tent in of all large rocks, sticks, or other potentially sharp objects. Make sure you account for the size of your tent and leave plenty of room for steaks and lines. Clearing away the large debris will protect your tent, and your back, from damage.
- Carefully unpack and separate your tent from your tent poles and stakes. Usually the poles and stakes come in a separate sleeve.
- Unfold your tent in the designated cleared area with the top facing up. Laying the bottom on the ground, pull on the edges to fit the tent into the spot you readied.
- Remove your tent poles from their sleeve to assemble them. All tents come with instructions about the poles, often right on the tent bag itself. Connect the poles, if necessary, end for end. Many tents have poles that connect with elastic cord making the connection easier.
- Insert, according to the directions, the tent poles into the sleeves provided in the tent. It is easiest to insert all poles before attempting to put the tent up.
- Starting at one corner, insert the end of the pole into the piece on the tent’s corner. The poles will flex and bend as you begin to raise the tent. Go to an opposite corner for the second and continue until all the main poles are connected to the tent.
- Straighten the tent and make sure it is fully in place by tugging the poles to the outer point where the tent is stretched taut. This will have the added benefit of allowing rain to flow naturally away from the roof.
- To secure your tent, place stakes in the corners and any guylines at the appropriate places. Both guylines and stakes keep your tent secure in wind.
Once your tent is secured, you can sit back and marvel at the shelter you have just erected. Knowing the instructions for putting up your particular tent beforehand can make the whole process that much simpler. Try to have a practice run or two before you take your show on the road.