How To Set Up A Tent  [Guide]

How To Set Up A Tent  [Guide]
tent which is pitched on a hill

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How do you make a tent stand up can be a common question among new campers? Setting up of a tent properly is important as it should last long in wind and rain.

How to put up a tent by yourself is also a question to which the answer lies in this article. You can avoid many problems by pitching up a tent properly.

Let’s see in this article how to pitch a tent?


1. Practice tent set up before camping

There are many types of tents, some are easy to set up such as family tents and some have complex designs such as a dome tent. These types of tents are not easy to set up.

So, it is better to practice setting up a tent before you go camping in real.

At home, you can set a tent without the stress of actually setting up successfully in the first attempt. It will not be possible to set the tent after day-long hiking during evening time. So, practice it at your house to learn quickly.

One good thing is to read the instructions carefully and inventory the parts. By this, you will at least not damage the tent parts. If during the tent build up any part is missing then you can get it before camping.

This is also the best way to ensure you have everything before leaving for camping. Know about the different parts of the tent to know the names and functions of the parts.


2. Select a campsite

Before selecting any campsite it is a good idea to look at the facilities provided at the campsite. There are many campsites where you can even get electricity. this will ensure that you have everything which you will not get in the campsite.

Knowing about a campsite can avoid many problems that you can have to face during camping. use the internet and apps to know about different campsites. Read campers review about the campsite. Reading a blog will be an excellent idea to have the proper information.


3. Wind and rain precaution

Many tents which are available for camping have been designed to handle both wind and rain. They minimize many problems associated with them. It is a better practice to set up a tent where you can decrease the effects of wind and rain as much as you can.

To prevent wind-related issues in camping:

  1. Choose campsite near natural windbreak – look for a stand of trees or a hill or a huge rock which can act as a barrier between your tent and the wind.
  2. Place the narrowest side of the tent towards wind – it is best to place the narrowest part of the tent towards the wind. It will reduce the impact force during high wind.
  3. Hot weather – if you are camping in hot weather then place the door of the tent toward the wind to avoid condensation and to allow air circulation to prevent heating.
  4. Avoid damaged trees – do not place your tent near damaged trees which can fall on the tent during a gale.


To prevent rain & water-related issues in camping:

  1. Choose a better place – look for higher and dry ground to pitch a tent. It will have less moisture in the air to form condensation inside the tent during a drop in temperature.
  2. Place tent under trees – if you place your tent under the trees you can avoid heavy rainfall.
  3. Avoid camping in a low area – this will damp air which settles in the low areas. Rainwater can also channel through and pool when a storm ends.
  4. Place door away from the wind – this will prevent rainwater to enter the tent during rainfall.

Further Reading: What To See In Waterproof Tents?


4. Follow camping rules

There are certain camping rules which you should follow to avoid common camping problems.

  1. You should look for camping in a well-traveled area.
  2. Set your camp at least 200 feet from the lakes and water source.
  3. Keep your campsite small.
  4. Choose campsite where vegetation is less to avoid bugs and insect.


5. Unpack the tent and all its part

Now it is time to unpack all the tents part and place it in respective groups to make setting up of tent easier. Place the tents part in a group of tent stakes, tent poles, rain fly, groundsheet or footprint and guylines.

By this way, you will not hunt for the parts during the tent setup.


6. Choose a perfect place for camping

Choose the direction on which you want to place the tent door. You can choose the east side to open the door towards sunrise, it is good for lighting purpose.

If it is hot then you should place the door of the tent on the wind flowing direction to maintain air circulation. During cold weather, you can place the door away from the wind to prevent heat from escaping your tent.


7. Clear debris from the tent site

If you want to protect the tent from cuts then clear away the stones and rocks that may be on the tent site.

level the ground to make a good area for the groundsheet. You can choose any other site if you find that the current site will require a lot of work to make it perfect.


8. When it is windy then stake the tent corners down

During a strong wind, it can be difficult to lay the tent. To avoid this you can stake down the corners at the outset. If you have a footprint set it down first. You will be able to re-stake the tent during its final stages again.

If you have a big tent such as a family tent then stake it down first. Generally, backpacking tents do not have to do this.

Here are some guidelines on stakes:

The maximum holding power for the most type of soil as if the stakes are fully vertical when you drive them in the ground.

You have to leave enough stake exposed which will allow you to slip a tie-down over it.

If stakes are not going down with the hands then you can use a rock for it. You can also use a special stake hammer for this purpose.

Pack extra stakes in case you need them in an emergency.

Pack suitable gear for different weather condition like sand anchors for dessert area and snow stakes for snow area.

Further Reading: How To Keep Tent Cool [23 Tips]


9. Connect the tent poles

Poles of the tent come in sections which have to be joined to make a complete structure. Many tent poles are color coded so that you might not put the wrong section of the poles together.

During the setup process, the poles can get tweaked or chipped so, take your time to unfurl them and join each pole section with care. If you find any problem with that then read the directions.


10. Assemble the frame of the tent

There are many types of tent designs. There is also free standing tent like a dome tent which uses many poles that support each other. While other tents have two poles design which will require the tent to be staked down to pitch the tent.

Slide the tent poles through the sleeves of the outside of the tent and securing the ends of the poles in the grommets at the base of the tent. After that, you can attach the body of the tent to the poles through clips.


11. Secure the rain fly of the tent

You will find several Velcro wraps near the tent poles under the rain fly of most of the tents. When you will secure all these around the nearby pole will help stabilize and strengthen the tent.

You will find a taut rainfly in a well-pitched tent. Cinch the straps of the rainfly at the tent corners. Always check these points before going into the bed at night because changing weather affects the tautness of the tent.

During the early stages of the tent set up, there is no need to over tension the fly corners. Place the fly fully on the tent and then tension all corners evenly.

After rainfall, the rainfly tension can lose as the fly material can stretch when it gets wet.


12. Secure the guy lines

Guy lines are essential for the extra stability of the tents in strong winds. You have to attach them in the important location around the rainfly.

Guy lines are optional and are needed during wind and rain. Pack extra guy lines in case of need.

You have to tie one end of the guy line to a guy line loop for this a bowline knot works well for this.

If you need more tensioner then you can also use the trucker hitch for this. Tensioners are small plastic parts that can make it easy to tighten the cords.

Where to attach the guyline

You can attach the guyline at the guy points on the windward side of the tent.

You should guy out uniformly around the tent.


How long does it take to put up a tent?

It depends upon the design of the tent but commonly it will take about 15 – 20 minutes to put the tent up. Other factors that can take time to put up the tent are campsite terrain, the design of tent and weather conditions.


How do you set up a tent in the rain?

Here are 13 tips for setting up a tent in the rain.

  1. You have to set up lightweight tarp first.
  2. Bring a tent with zipping out panels.
  3. Consider finding a good campsite.
  4. Wear footwear which is meant for rain.
  5. Try to roll the rain fly inside the tent.
  6. Use rain gears for more comfort.
  7. It will be easier to set a tent with a single wall tent.
  8. Bring a waterproof bivvy.
  9. Use a sponge when needed.
  10. Wait for the right time when the rain stops.
  11. Bring a rain cover.
  12. Set up a tent during the daytime.
  13. Plan everything in advance.


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